March and April have seen the consultation plan for the BC health research strategy move into action. In March, small working groups reviewed the five strategic directions proposed as a framework for the strategy and offered input into the rationale, current status, and potential actions for each.
The five strategic directions are:
- Support integration of research, care and education
- Strengthen linkages between researchers and health system decision-makers
- Strengthen the commercialization continuum
- Build capacity for patient-centred research
- Enhance support for health research
A number of consultation activities will be taking place in the coming weeks, starting with a series of focus sessions being held the last few days of April. The focus sessions will include a cross section of individuals representing universities, health authorities, health-related not-for-profits, health-care professionals and the biotechnology industry.
In mid-May, an online survey will solicit broad input into the strategic directions to ensure the health research strategy is moving forward in the right direction. The survey is open to all and we will be promoting it widely – watch for more information in the next couple of weeks.
In June, regional workshops in Vancouver, Surrey, Kelowna, Victoria and Prince George will provide stakeholders in those areas to provide input on the emerging strategy and to confirm that it will address regional needs and circumstances.
The provincial health research strategy will help shape a more comprehensive, coordinated and systems-oriented approach to health research across the province. BC’s health research community endorsed the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research to facilitate the process; a preliminary planning phase in fall 2012 included the establishment of an advisory board and key informant interviews.