Want to better understand how the health and social systems work and how you can better advocate for changes that would improve these systems for you and your family? Enhance your knowledge with one of our free courses for citizens:

Finding and using research evidence: A guide for citizens

In this free online course, you’ll be provided with solutions to overcome the most commonly cited frustrations people have when trying to access research evidence. Prepared by the McMaster Health Forum with support from the Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit, the course is now available online as a set of eight videos:

Here are helpful resources that are drawn on in the course:

Don’t miss the most important resource for citizen-targeted evidence about healthy aging:

Understanding how to navigate the health system

Knowing how your health system works will better you to navigate the system, identify opportunities to make things better, and advocate for changes that you’d like to see. This free online course describes the 'building blocks' of Ontario’s health system as well as how those building blocks are used to provide care in the province in different ways (e.g., by sector, condition, treatment, population). While Ontario is the example, these principles are useful to understanding health systems other jurisdictions in Canada and internationally.

Prepared by the McMaster Health Forum with support from the Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit, the course is now available online as a set of six videos:

Here are helpful resources that are drawn on in the course:

Don’t miss the most important resource for citizen-targeted evidence about healthy aging:

Masterclass on patient-oriented research

The Forum’s masterclass was designed to prepare future champions for the conduct and use of patient-oriented research and future mentors to others becoming involved in the conduct and use of patient-oriented research. While we are not currently planning any Masterclass sessions, you can access all of the course material to learn more about patient-oriented research.

Virtual masterclass on patient-oriented research

The Forum and its collaborators are pleased to be hosting a ‘virtual’ version of the masterclass on the conduct and use of patient-oriented research in Ontario’s health system. All sessions will be conducted online using Webex. Learn more and register.

McMaster Health Forum receives $1M to lead COVID-19 Evidence Network to support Decision-makers

Jan 13, 2021, 10:17 AM
To ensure decision-makers have access to the best COVID-19 science in a timely manner, the federal government is investing $1 million to support the COVID-19 Evidence Network to support Decision-makers (COVID-END) hosted at McMaster University.
Title : McMaster Health Forum receives $1M to lead COVID-19 Evidence Network to support Decision-makers
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To ensure decision-makers have access to the best COVID-19 science in a timely manner, the federal government is investing $1 million to support the COVID-19 Evidence Network to support Decision-makers (COVID-END) hosted at McMaster University.

Led by John Lavis, director of the McMaster Health Forum, COVID-END will work with Canadian and international partners to better develop and coordinate groundbreaking research on COVID-19, while reducing the duplication of efforts so our experts can focus on the latest research and developments to keep Canadians safe. Dr. Lavis's co-leads for the Network include Jeremy Grimshaw from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Andrea Tricco of the SPOR Evidence Alliance, which is based at St. Michael's Hospital of Unity Health Toronto, and Nancy Santesso of Cochrane Canada, based at McMaster University.

By providing timely access to the latest research on public health measures, clinical management, health-system arrangements, and economic and social impacts, policymakers will better understand the impact that these measures have on Canadians’ health and safety.

In announcing the grant, federal Minister of Health Patty Hajdu, said: “Our response to COVID-19 has always been informed by the latest science and evidence, which we get from our internationally-respected Canadian researchers."

“Through the COVID-19 Evidence Network, our best and brightest will work with provincial, national and international partners so that decision-makers get the information we need to keep Canadians safe throughout the next phase of this pandemic. Through this network, we will ensure that Canada continues to be a global leader in COVID-19 research.”

Lavis, who is also a Canada Research Chair in Evidence-informed Health Systems, said COVID-END will work with Canadian and international partners to better develop and coordinate groundbreaking research on COVID-19, while reducing the duplication of efforts so experts can focus on the latest research and developments to keep Canadians safe.

“The COVID-19 Evidence Network will use a highly collaborative approach to rapidly synthesizing the best available evidence about key COVID-19 topics – in timelines ranging from four hours to 10 days – in response to requests from decision-makers,” said Lavis.

“The network will identify emergent issues where synthesized evidence is needed as well as profile the best available evidence syntheses on all key COVID-19 decisions. We will work with both domestic and international partners to reduce duplication and enhance coordination in the COVID-19 evidence response.”

The Canadian government is supporting the COVID-19 Evidence Network through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) so they may provide the latest evidence to decision-makers at the federal, provincial, and territorial levels.

Formation of the network also recognizes that while the arrival of vaccines brings hope for the eventual ending of the pandemic, there are still critical knowledge gaps that must be filled to further support ongoing decision-making as we respond to this virus to keep Canadians safe.

“The COVID-19 Evidence Network will focus on synthesizing the evidence we already have and identifying evidence gaps that exist,” said Michael Strong, CIHR president.

“The network will use a highly collaborative approach to rapidly synthesizing evidence for improved decision-making. To ensure sensitivity to how COVID-19 and COVID-19 responses can affect different groups in different ways, the network will apply principles of equity, diversity and inclusion in all of its work.”

The network will build on nine months of experiences in preparing COVID-19 rapid evidence profiles and on many years of experience with the SPOR Evidence Alliance and Cochrane Canada in preparing rapid evidence syntheses, said Lavis.

The project will maintain a publicly available inventory of the best evidence syntheses for COVID-19 decisions to ensure that Canadian decision-makers have the most updated science available when needed, and will establish a Canadian panel to complement its existing global horizon-scanning panel that monitors emerging issues where evidence syntheses are needed.

>> Read the CIHR news release

>> Read the backgrounder from CIHR about COVID-END

Quick Facts

  • COVID-END will build on nine months of experiences in preparing COVID-19 rapid evidence profiles and on many years of experience with the SPOR Evidence Alliance and Cochrane Canada in preparing rapid evidence syntheses.
  • COVID-END will maintain a publicly available inventory of the best evidence syntheses for COVID-19 decisions to ensure that Canadian decision-makers have the most updated science available when needed.
  • COVID-END will establish a Canadian panel to complement its existing global horizon-scanning panel that monitors emerging issues where evidence syntheses are needed
  • COVID-END will work with Canadian and global partners to reduce duplication and enhance coordination in the evidence response to COVID-19.
 
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