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Governments and U of M strengthen health research in Manitoba

SUPPORT Unit builds foundation for patient-oriented research

February 21, 2014 — 

Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose and Manitoba Health Minister Erin Selby were joined by Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) at the University of Manitoba, to announce the launch of the Manitoba SUPPORT Unit for patient-oriented research.

SUPPORT (Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials) Units are provincial or regional centres that connect patients, researchers, policy makers, funders, and health care professionals to help attract, train, and mentor health care professionals and patient-oriented researchers.

Ultimately, the SUPPORT Units are about improving health outcomes for patients.  They will provide the infrastructure needed to improve health care practices, therapies, and policies. They will ensure new and innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches are applied when and where needed, for the benefit of Canadian patients.

“We are delighted that the Province, the University of Manitoba, and the Winnipeg Health Region have come together to create this innovative partnership with CIHR,” said Terry Klassen, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Medicine, and Academic Director of the George and Fay Centre for Healthcare Innovation.

“The SUPPORT Unit will provide unprecedented, province-wide support to healthcare researchers and clinicians through the George and Fay Centre for Healthcare Innovation that will foster patient engagement, advance the quality and quantity of clinical research within Manitoba, and ultimately improve patient care.”


Quick facts:

Government of Canada Funding: $11.2 million
Government of Manitoba Funding: $11.2 million
Total Funding: $22.4 million, over five years


Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Units are locally accessible, multidisciplinary clusters of specialized research resources, policy knowledge, and patient perspective. SUPPORT Units provide the necessary expertise to pursue patient-oriented research and help lead reforms in response to locally-driven health care needs. They also lead and facilitate decision-making within the health services setting, foster the implementation of best practices, and promote collaboration among researchers engaged in patient-oriented research.

The objectives of a SUPPORT Unit are to:

  • Identify and address the needs of patients and knowledge users by facilitating research;
  • Provide specialized and multidisciplinary methodological expertise in patient-oriented research and its application;
  • Assist decision makers and investigators identify and design research studies, conduct bio-statistical analyses, manage data, provide and teach project management skills, and ensure studies meet regulatory standards;
  • Advance methods and training in comparative effectiveness research and develop the next generation of methodologists;
  • Provide timely access to data including linked datasets and integrate existing or new databases

SPOR: Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research

  • SPOR is a national coalition of federal, provincial and territorial partners (patient advocates, provincial health authorities, academic health centres, charities, philanthropic organizations, pharmaceutical sector) dedicated to the integration of research into care.
  •  SPOR is about ensuring that the right patient receives the right treatment at the right time.
  •  The Manitoba SUPPORT Unit will receive $22.4 million which will go towards improving health care practices, therapies, and policies to better improve patient care.
  •  SUPPORT Units help lead system changes to respond to locally-driven health care needs, and also support the development of new and innovative research methods.
  •  Data systems will be put in place by each SUPPORT Unit to accelerate the conduct of clinical and health services research.
  •  All provinces and territories are working collaboratively on this cross-Canada initiative, with SUPPORT Units to be established in regions throughout the country.
  •  The Government of Canada is the largest single investor in health research in Canada.  Currently, CIHR is supporting more than 12,600 health researchers and trainees across Canada.


The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada’s health research investment agency. CIHR’s mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened health care system for Canadians. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 12,600 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.


One comment on “Governments and U of M strengthen health research in Manitoba

  1. Modot

    Research is mandatory thing for the university. And university of Manitoba has been doing really good in the aspect of health and patient focused research.

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