Celebrating six top achievements in Canadian health research
Ottawa (March 21, 2011) – The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) are acknowledging six top achievements in Canadian health research that have had a significant impact on health, health care and health research. These achievements work to improve our understanding of health and human diseases, help tackle health challenges, and improve our health care system.
For the second year, a peer-review panel of Canadian and international experts selected the winners based on the considerable impact of their work on the health and wellbeing of Canadians and others worldwide.
The six winning achievements are:
Low-molecular-weight heparin for venous thrombosis
Who: Dr. Russell D. Hull is professor of hematology, general internal medicine and community health sciences, and director of the Thromobosis Research Unit at the University of Calgary. His work has changed the way patients with cancer are treated for blood clots. He looked at safe and effective therapies that are appropriate for a wide range of patients with venous thrombosis. He found that there is a safety advantage to the long-term use of low-molecular-weight heparin by patients with and without cancer, and there was also a clinical benefit for those with cancer.
Model of care for hip and knee replacement
Who: Dr. Cyril Frank, Dr. Deborah Marshall, Dr. Peter Faris and Christopher Smith for the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute. Their work towards cost-effective ways to treat severe osteoarthritis in the knee and hip has helped reduce wait times for hip and knee replacements in Alberta and ensure consistent quality of the procedure. Their work in this area led to the creation of the National Hip and Knee Knowledge Translation Network.
Perioperative beta-blockers in noncardiac surgery
Who: Drs. P.J. Devereaux, Dr. Gordon Guyatt, Prof. Homer Yang and Dr. Salim Yusuf for the POISE-1 investigators. The team led a large international trial to evaluate the effects of a β-blocker in more than 8300 patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery. The results of their study contradicted – and changed – recent practice, indicating harm from use where benefit had been assumed. Building on the knowledge from the trial, the investigators are exploring other interventions, such as low-dose clonidine, to reduce vascular risk in patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery.
Cardiac registry for tracking outcomes in cardiac care
Who: Dr. William Ghali, Dr. Merril Knudtson, Dr. Michelle Graham, Dr. Colleen Norris and Diane Galbraith for the APPROACH team. The Alberta Provincial Project for Outcome Assessment in Coronary Heart Disease (APPROACH) team was established as a cardiac registry initiative to track the long-term outcomes of all patients undergoing cardiac catheterization in Alberta. APPROACH is now one of the largest, most comprehensive cardiac registries in the world with more than 140,000 patients from Alberta. APPROACH is applying learnings to manage wait lists and track new diagnostic techniques, procedures and other cardiac conditions.
Transforming orthopedic care in trauma
Who: Dr. Mohit Bhandari is Associate Head in the Division of Orthopaedics; Dr. Gordon Guyatt is professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics, and of medicine; Dr. Stephen Walter is professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics; all at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. The team set out to collectively improve the way clinical trials are done in fracture care. Their collaboration has expanded to include more than 300 orthopedic surgeons and 70 research coordinators across 238 centres, culminating in the completion of the largest trial of fracture care to date and several other randomized trials that address important clinical gaps. It marks a major change as previously, most fracture care studies were small, single centre studies.
Collaboration between infection control and occupational health
Who: Dr. Elizabeth Bryce is regional director of infection control at Vancouver Coastal Health, and professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia; Dr. Annalee Yassi is professor in the school of population and public health at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia. They developed a collaborative research and training team whose work has changed practice and policy in infection control in Canada and many other countries. They produced internationally endorsed guidelines, training products (both online and face-to-face), checklists, research materials, frameworks and a web-based health information system.
“This year’s achievements have proven once again the strength and impact of health research in Canada,” said Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR. “I am pleased to recognize, alongside the CMAJ, these scientists for their talent and dedication in demonstrating the positive outcomes of health research across the country.”
“We are pleased that for the second year, many outstanding scientists applied for this award program,” said Dr. Paul Hébert, Editor-in-Chief of CMAJ. “CMAJ, in partnership with CIHR, is pleased to highlight ground-breaking research that will improve the health of Canadians and the practice of medicine.”
“The winners of this award have demonstrated the key purpose of health research – translating research knowledge into practical health outcomes,” said Dr. Ian Graham, Vice President, Knowledge Translation at CIHR. “The accomplishments recognized today are a testament to how translating knowledge into practice can have a direct impact on the lives of Canadians.”
To read the CMAJ online article highlighting this year’s winners click here: http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/doi/10.1503/cmaj.110255
For the past 10 years, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has supported better health and health care for Canadians. As the Government of Canada’s health research investment agency, CIHR enables the creation of evidence-based knowledge and its transformation into improved treatments, prevention and diagnoses, new products and services, and a stronger, patient-oriented health-care system. Composed of 13 internationally recognized Institutes, CIHR supports more than 13,600 health researchers and trainees across Canada.
CMAJ – 100 years of medical knowledge that matters
CMAJ showcases innovative research and ideas aimed at improving health for people in Canada and globally. It publishes original clinical research, analyses and reviews, news, practice updates and thought-provoking editorials. In 2011, the journal celebrates 100 years of publishing medical knowledge in print and now online at cmaj.ca. CMAJ has an impact factor of 7.3 and its website receives over 30 million requests a year.
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David Coulombe, Media Relations, CIHR, 613-941-4563
Kim Barnhardt, Communications and Partnerships Strategist, CMAJ, 613-520-7116 ext.2224
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