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April 18, 2017

Partners launch Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research

The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan, along with provincial partners, announced on April 18 a combined investment of $63 million in funding and in-kind contributions for the launch of the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR).

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott spoke during the official SCPOR launch, which was held at the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre on the University of Saskatchewan campus. SCPOR is a partnership of provincial organizations that provides resources and education in support of patient-oriented research to improve health care for the people of Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Health Quality Council (HQC) is one of those provincial partners, along with the University of Saskatchewan, eHealth Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, Saskatoon Health Region, Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, the University of Regina, and Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

“I strongly believe that innovation is essential to improving health care. Through initiatives such as the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research, we are promoting innovation, fostering collaboration, and helping ensure that we address the health care needs of people from Saskatchewan,” said Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott.

“SCPOR creates opportunities for researchers, patients, health care providers and administrators to collaborate in developing and evaluating evidence-informed improvements to health care. SCPOR is a partnership of health system and academic organizations focused on providing a stronger scientific basis for policy and practice changes within areas prioritized for improvement by the health system,” said Gary Teare, CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council and co-chair of SCPOR Host Council.

SCPOR was developed under Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR), a pan-Canadian coalition of partners from the public and private sector dedicated to the integration of research into care. SPOR, a national initiative led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), is about ensuring that the right patient receives the right intervention at the right time.

“Having the patient at the centre of care or research is a fairly new initiative that has been much talked about. SCPOR makes this happen, so that patients, researchers, clinicians, and policy makers come together to design solutions that will positively change care and the health care system for all Saskatchewan peoples,” said Helen Kenyon, SCPOR’s Executive Director.

SCPOR has a specialized unit dedicated to improving Indigenous health outcomes in Saskatchewan. It provides guidance and support for researchers working in the area of Indigenous health, while ensuring Indigenous communities are empowered partners in research.

While SCPOR provides support for all kinds of patient-oriented research, its current focus is on mental health and addictions. Other SCPOR projects underway include nutrition in long-term care residences and dementia in rural Saskatchewan.

“The new Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research will support our government’s priorities, including improved access to appropriate mental health and addictions services, and better health outcomes for Saskatchewan’s Indigenous people. This partnership will help advance our efforts to put our patients first,” said Saskatchewan Health Minister Jim Reiter.

SCPOR is one of nine provincial/territorial centres currently funded by the SPOR initiative to build provincial and national capacity for patient-oriented research. The Saskatchewan centre will collaborate with its counterparts in other provinces and territories to create a pan-Canadian platform for supporting patient-oriented research through the sharing of information and best practices.

The $62.7 million in funding and in-kind support over five years for SCPOR comes from CIHR ($31,350,000) and the Government of Saskatchewan and the other provincial partners ($31,350,000). SCPOR’s main office is located at the University of Saskatchewan.

“The investment we are making today will lead to real, tangible improvements in health care that will result in better health for patients, families, and communities across Saskatchewan. Research centres like this one in Saskatchewan are great examples of the power of harnessing partnerships to deliver patient-centered care to Canadians,” said Michel Perron, Vice-President, External Affairs and Business Development, Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

“This major investment in patient-oriented research will improve the health and care of Saskatchewan people, and in particular will make a difference in Indigenous communities by ensuring that they are part of the research planning from the start,” said University of Saskatchewan President Peter Stoicheff.

Photo: Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott speaks during the April 18 launch of the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR)

For more information about SCPOR, visit www.scpor.ca.