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St Joseph's Innovative Research Centre Launched

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THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ---     February 6, 2015   ----  Friday, St. Joseph’s Care Group launched a new Centre for Applied Health  Michel BédardResearch (CAHR), strengthening its commitment to client care by bringing together leading-edge clinicians and researchers.

“Looking around the room today at the increased number of displays, I can’t help but think: what a long way we’ve come,” says Tracy Buckler, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Care Group. “This Centre has been years in the making and the time is right to launch at today’s anniversary of our Research Showcase.”

The announcement was made during the 10th Annual Showcase of Health Research, a one-day research event hosted by the Research Department at St. Joseph’s Care Group (SJCG), at the Best Western Plus Nor’Wester Hotel and Conference Centre.  And it was a full house, with 180 participants registered.

“The CAHR will give more structure to our research activities, and increase the visibility of the applied research being done in our organization,” says Michel Bédard, Scientific Director at SJCG.  “Because it is ‘applied research,’ the studies we conduct potentially promise better care for our clients and their families.”

Dr. Chi Cheng is a youth psychiatrist, and a child & adolescent researcher. She says the Centre will greatly benefit her research activities.

“I am thrilled as a physician researcher. My research focuses particularly on underservices and vulnerable populations, including rural and remote residents and aboriginal youth,” she explains. “The CAHR gives me an opportunity to collaborate, and it will help researchers apply for grants and attract other researchers.”

While the new CAHR will support internal researchers, it also plans to increase research activities by partnering with Lakehead University, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

“More research means enhanced learning opportunities for clinicians, staff and students, adding to their satisfaction and expertise because they are part of a continuous and dynamic learning environment,” Bédard says.

Innovative research is currently being conducted in the areas of long-term care, complex care, physical rehabilitation, mental health and addictions. The CAHR will enhance this by offering traditional services including assistance with methodology, statistics and proposal writing. Also, it will work to identify research areas that need to be developed, as well as partnerships, external funding sources, and opportunities to conduct research within clinical settings.

“Research allows us to enhance current practice,” Bédard says. “Where there’s an identified need, we can do something about it, and sometimes we can find ways to improve how we provide care. It pushes us to find new approaches and innovative solutions to problems.”

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