Health research in BC is complex. Research is underway at academic institutions, health authorities, research centres, corporations, and not-for-profit organizations. There are few mechanisms to develop strategy and coherence, and no clear picture exists of health research strengths and areas of need.
To address this, health research and health care leaders met in 2012 to discuss the potential of a health research strategy initiative to shape a more comprehensive, coordinated and systems-oriented approach to health research in BC. Participants agreed on the need for such a strategy, and endorsed the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) to consult with the community and facilitate its development.
At the outset, the strategy had two aims:
- To identify specific actions for collaborative implementation by the health research community.
- To provide a framework from which other organizations can determine their own priorities, plans and investment decisions.
To support the strategy development, an advisory board, planning team and reference group were established. In spring/summer 2013, MSFHR led a multi-pronged consultation process to inform the development of Directions for Health Research in BC assess the potential of the emerging health research strategy to support local needs.