Partnership with Michael Smith Foundation funds health-related Solutions Projects

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Two Wall Solutions Projects pursuing innovative health solutions will be supported to implement knowledge translation strategies through MSFHR’s 2015 Supplemental Knowledge Broker Funding Competition.

The competition, held in partnership with the Wall Solutions Initiative (WSI), will fund the hiring of knowledge brokers who will engage with diverse stakeholders and use knowledge translation models, strategies, and activities to enhance the use of health research evidence in policy and practice.

The two teams approved to receive supplemental knowledge broker funding are both undertaking health-related projects funded by WSI that will partner with end-users or community partners to develop practical research solutions to societal problems. It is expected that the knowledge brokers funded through this competition will be embedded within the WSI projects to develop, implement, and evaluate the use of knowledge translation strategies and activities.

This funding opportunity aligns with MSFHR’s strategic focus on enhancing the use of research evidence in practice and policy.

“Partnerships between researchers, research users, and knowledge brokers result in the development of knowledge to address issues of importance to the research users,” says Gayle Scarrow, knowledge translation director at MSFHR. “This knowledge is a marriage of the local and expert knowledge brought by the users coupled with the research evidence developed in partnership with the researchers.”

MSFHR thanks the members of the competition review panel for their contributions and congratulates the following 2015 MSFHR/WSI Supplemental Knowledge Broker Funding recipients on their successful applications.


Supporting the Achievement of Health Goals with Formerly Incarcerated Men

  • Principal investigator: Dr. Ruth Elwood Martin, Clinical Professor, School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
  • Community partner/End-user organization: Ms. Catherine Latimer, Executive Director, John Howard Society of Canada

Project summary:

Incarcerated individuals, 90% of whom are male, suffer vast health inequities compared to the general population.  They face multiple barriers to reintegration and to seeking and receiving health care and health support following their release from correctional facilities.

This community-based participatory research project seeks to answer the question, “Will peer health mentoring result in successful reintegration and achievement of health goals for men leaving federal correctional facilities in BC?” The aim is to determine what the health goal priorities are for the formerly incarcerated men and if peer health mentors improve the achievement of individuals' health goals. 

The project will invite, train, and support formerly incarcerated individuals to become peer health mentors.  The mentors will work with men recently released from correctional facilities to address and meet their self-identified health goals.  This project has the potential to produce life-altering results, increasing men's chances of successful reintegration, and becoming self-sustaining, contributing citizen.


Evaluating the Impact of Alternative Social Assistance Timing on Drug-Related Harm

  • Principal investigator: Dr. Lindsey Richardson, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, UBC
  • Community partner/End-user organization: Mr. Russ Maynard, Harm Reduction Manager, PHS Community Services Society; Mr. Kevin Grant, Project Manager, Pigeon Park Savings

Project summary:

Coordinated monthly social assistance payments, while seeking to alleviate poverty, can have negative and unintended impacts, particularly among people who use illicit drugs (PWUD). Observational research has identified escalations in drug-related harm coinciding with assistance payments, such as overdose, treatment interruption and hospital admissions.

This project seeks to address these harms through an intervention to vary the timing and frequency of social assistance disbursement and an assessment of whether this intervention reduces drug-related harm coinciding with synchronized social assistance. Conducted among 273 PWUD, participants will be allocated for 6 social assistance cycles to a control or one of two intervention arms.

Intervention arm participants will receive their social assistance through PPS: (1) monthly on a day different from government cheque issue; or (2) semi-monthly on days different from government cheque issue. The intervention will be evaluated using qualitative and quantitative methods for its impact on drug use and related harms.