New Funding Announcement – Dr. Stewart Harris – PATHWAYS

Dr. Stewart B. Harris is the Principal Investigator on a new grant sponsored by Canadian Institutes of Health (CIHR) titled Transformation of Indigenous Primary Healthcare Delivery (FORGE AHEAD): Enhancement and Adaptation of Community-driven Innovations and Scale-up Toolkits (PATHWAYS).  This is a three year grant with a budget of $869,480.  Other funding sources include Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Astra Zeneca, JDRF, First Nations and Unit Health Branch – Atlantic Region.  The co-investigators are D.E. Barre, O. Bhattacharyya, K. Dawson, R. Dyck, M. Green, A. Hanley, B. Lavallee, M. Parry, V. Rac, S. Reichert, J. Salsberg, B. Te Hiwi, A. Thind, S. Tobe, A. Walsh, L. Wylie, and M. Zwarenstein.

In Canada, there are significant disparities between the health status of Indigenous peoples and the general population with respect to diabetes. Community-driven innovations, activated by quality improvement processes, have the potential to reform local healthcare. The goal of the proposed research is to improve the health and health equity of Indigenous populations by enhancing the FORGE AHEAD Quality Improvement (QI) Strategy, a promising population-based health intervention targeting diabetes mellitus (type 2, gestational) prevention and management. Community facilitators are trained to support a community-based team to make improvements to diabetes programs and clinical care. The 18-month program includes diabetes education, action planning sessions and quality improvement coaching. Interviews and questionnaires will be used to understand factors that influence the program’s execution and success. Our strong, multidisciplinary and cross-jurisdictional Implementation Research Team includes First Nations community representatives, Indigenous and non-Indigenous healthcare providers, clinician scientists and academic researchers, as well as policy decision-makers. The proposed research supports the overall goal of Pathways to develop a better understanding of how to design, implement and scale-up population health interventions that will improve Indigenous health and health equity at a population level across the life course. The results of this research will provide community leaders and knowledge-users with policy recommendations and a quality improvement strategy that can be implemented, sustained and spread to Indigenous community settings and regions across Canada and internationally.