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Primary health care evaluation gets $2.4M boost

Jul 12, 2013 |

Research to improve performance measurement and reporting of community-based primary health care (CBPHC) received a boost today when federal Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq awarded funding to 12 innovation teams.

The University of British Columbia team, co-led by Assistant Prof. Kim McGrail, in the School of Population and Public Health, and Associate Prof. Sabrina Wong, in the School of Nursing, received a $2.4 million grant, co-funded with $1.9 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and $500,000 from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR).

“UBC welcomes this support for a project that will make a real contribution to health care in Canada,” said John Hepburn, Vice President Research and International. “This is very important work being led by some of our country’s top experts in health policy.”

Assistant Prof. Kim McGrail of the School of Population and Public Health, and Associate Prof. Sabrina Wong, in the School of Nursing.

Assistant Professors Kim McGrail and Sabrina Wong. Photo: Stefan Mladenovic

This CIHR CBPHC innovation team will collect and analyze data from three regions in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec that have similar socio-demographic characteristics. The aim is to work with providers to learn how comprehensive performance measurement and reporting can support improvements and innovation in how primary care services are delivered to Canadians, especially populations who are made vulnerable by multiple poor determinants of health.

“The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research is committed to supporting evidence-based transformation of our health system,” said Dr. Diane Finegood, MSFHR President & CEO. “Projects such as this reinforce our ongoing work to facilitate real-world learning systems that translate new knowledge into better health for British Columbians.”

The Community Based Primary Health Care Innovation Teams are the first component of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Signature Initiative in CBPHC. The initiative’s goals are to improve access to appropriate community-based primary healthcare; enhance the patient experience; and contribute to better health outcomes.


Assistant Prof. Kim McGrail:

“Currently there is a lack of routinely available data that can tell us whether primary care services are timely, comprehensive, centered on the patient, and integrated with the other health care services that patients receive. This grant gives us an opportunity to conduct research about what data we need and how best to report information so that it is meaningful and useful to primary care providers.”

Associate Prof. Sabrina Wong:

“Primary health care is where most people first come into contact with the health system, and where many health problems are managed or resolved,” said Associate Prof. Wong. “Our research will focus on improving the science of measuring performance in primary health care and how best to report change and innovation so that clinicians and decision-makers can learn from each other. The intent is to strengthen primary health care so that it is more responsive to Canadians’ needs.”

About the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research:

The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) harnesses the power of health research to improve the health of British Columbians and their health system. It does this by building BC’s capacity for world-class research by funding the best scientists; coordinating the sharing of health research resources across the province; and bringing people together for health research planning and action. Learn more at www.msfhr.org.

About the University of British Columbia:

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is one of North America’s largest public research and teaching institutions, and is consistently ranked among the world’s 40 best universities. Surrounded by the beauty of the Canadian West, it is a place that inspires bold, new ways of thinking that have helped make it a national leader in areas as diverse as community service learning, sustainability and research commercialization. UBC offers more than 56,000 students a range of innovative programs and attracts $550 million per year in research funding from government, non-profit organizations and industry through over 8,000 projects and grants.