The Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) encompasses various components, including SUPPORT Units, Chronic Disease Networks, Access Open Minds, the Canadian Data Platform, the National Training Entity, the Primary Care Research Network, and the Evidence Alliance.

In early March 2024, representatives from these entities gathered in Ottawa for the first in-person meeting since February 2020. Michelle Leach, Scientific Director for YSPOR attended for the Yukon. They were accompanied by the Chairs of the SPOR Communities of Practice and Working Groups: Learning Health Systems, Patient Engagement (SPENCOP), Training and Capacity Development, Indigenous peoples, Communications, and Performance Monitoring.

Dr. Amy Lang and Jennifer Campbell represented CIHR at the meeting, which was facilitated by Jaymi Cormier of Cormier Inc. and chaired by Christina Weise (Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research) and Catharine Whiteside (Diabetes Action Canada).

The meeting aimed to:

  1. Identify common priorities among SPOR-funded entities crucial for SPOR’s success, to be presented to CIHR with recommendations. These suggestions will contribute to the SPOR refresh consultation managed by CIHR.
  2. Determine key enablers and collaboration pathways that create value for both SPOR-funded entities and the SPOR Program. This effort will facilitate sharing best practices among SPOR entities, reducing duplication of work, and maximizing the impact and value of the SPOR initiative.

The resulting meeting report will delineate common priorities and key enablers, while highlighting the reality northern SPOR units face. Equally significant, the meetings fostered the rebuilding of close working relationships across the SPOR community.

[L-R] Front Row (sitting): Tracy McQuireExecutive Director Diabetes Action CanadaHeather HarrisExecutive Director Can-SOLVE CKDCatherine StreetDirector NL SPOR SUPPORT UnitMarina HamiltonExecutive Director, Maritime SPOR SUPPORT UnitVasanthi SrinivasanExecutive Director, Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit; Maria TorrejonSPOR Specialist, BC Support UnitMonica MamutUnit Director, BC SUPPORT UnitChristina WeiseExecutive Director, Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research. Middle row (standing): Sharon McCarryDirector of Lived Experience Program, CHILD-BRIGHTMylène LévesqueAdjointe exécutive à la direction scientifique, Unité de soutien SSA QuébecSharmila Sreetharan, Research Coordinator I, SPOR Evidence Alliance; Kelli BuckreusExecutive Director, Alberta SPOR SUPPORT UnitSharon SkalingChair, Training and Capacity Development CoPMaritime SPOR SUPPORT UnitCatharine WhitesideDirector Strategic Partnerships, Diabetes Action CanadaAnni RychteraCo-chair SPENCoP, Patient Research Partner, MBCarly LeggettExecutive Director, George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare InnovationAnne Pleydon, Executive Director, Hotıì ts’eeda NWT SPOR SUPPORT Unit, Brandon Van DamManaging Director, Chronic Pain NetworkMichelle LeachScientific Director, YSPOR SUPPORT UnitJohn RileyAssistant Director, Ontario SPOR SUPPORT UnitJohn LavisChair, Learning Health System Community of Practice, Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit. Back row (standing): Renee GreeneChair, Communications CoP, Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented ResearchIngrid NeilsonCo-chair SPENCoP, Alberta SPOR SUPPORT UnitAnnie LeblancDirectrice, PASSERELLEDavid ParkerDirector of Operations, Health Data Research Network Canada; Jamie DeMoreExecutive Director, Canadian Primary Care Research NetworkWaqar MughalChair, Performance Measurement and Impact Evaluation Working Group, BC SUPPORT Unit. Not Pictured: Jennifer CampbellDeputy Director, Strategy for Patient Oriented Research, CIHR