Department of Medicine members awarded 2021 MSFHR C2 and Reach awards

Congratulations to UBC Department of Medicine members who have been awarded 2021 Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Reach Award & Convening & Collaborating (C2) Program Awards.

MSFHR’s Reach Program provides funding for teams of researchers and research users to support the dissemination and effective uptake of research evidence.

MSFHR’s Convening & Collaborating (C2) Program is designed to build capacity for the development and use of research evidence in practice, policy and further research by promoting knowledge exchange between health researchers and research users.

In 2021, the MSFHR C2 and Reach award recipients and project leads from the UBC department of medicine are:

Brittany Bingham, Principle Investigator (Director of Indigenous Research, CGSHE) and Chris Carlsten, Co-Lead (Division of Respiratory Medicine) and their team have been awarded the MSFHR C2 Award for 2021.

Host Institute: University of British Columbia

Project Title: Exploring Indigenous community access to airway health prevention and care: Towards the development of community-driven interventions

Indigenous peoples across Canada continue to be disproportionately impacted by respiratory diseases (RD) (i.e. asthma, COPD, long COVID); however, there is limited evidence describing their Indigenous peoples respiratory healthcare needs and ways in which respiratory healthcare services can be improved. Given this knowledge gap, this project seeks to engage Indigenous peoples with RD to understand their experiences living with RD; to explore Indigenous peoples’ healthcare experiences; and to identify promising practices that can improve the treatment experiences and outcomes among Indigenous peoples with RD. In order to accomplish this, we plan to hold a minimum of five talking circles with Indigenous peoples with RD across urban and rural areas of the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) region. A graphic facilitator will guide a journey mapping exercise with community members in order to understand community members’ experiences when attempting to access services, while also elucidating promising practices in the treatment of RD. In addition to the benefits that this project may have for the health of Indigenous peoples in the VCH region, findings also have implications for Indigenous peoples living in other parts of British Columbia.


Aline Talhouk, Principle Investigator (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology) and Jerilynn Prior, Co-Lead (Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism) and their team have been awarded the MSFHR C2 Award for 2021.

Host Institute: University of British Columbia

Project Title: Digital health to guide the transition to menopause: Recognizing normal and abnormal changes during reproductive aging

During the years leading up to menopause, women often experience menstrual cycle and flow changes. This is usually part of normal aging, but can also be the first symptom of endometrial cancer, the most common gynecological cancer in Canada. Few women are aware of the risk factors for endometrial cancer, can recognize abnormal bleeding, and/or seek medical help. Predicting cancer risk and determining which abnormal bleeding is associated with endometrial cancer is a top priority for clinicians and women alike, because if detected early, this cancer is curable and has exceptional outcomes. Digital health technology (e.g. mobile phones apps) and analytics can help women track and monitor risk factors and symptoms and be alerted when suspicious patterns arise. In this project, we will collaborate with women in the community, patients, clinicians, and women’s health researchers to co-design digital health tools that can help women learn about and assess their risk factors for endometrial cancer, discern symptoms of cancer from those of normal aging, and provide opportunities for education, prevention, and early detection, especially among women at high-risk for cancer.

In addition to the projects above, in 2021, several Department of Medicine members are part of diverse teams involved in multiple exciting MSFHR C2 Program projects and Reach Awards including:

Dr. Daniel Renouf (Medical Oncology):
C2 Project: Cancer and aging research engagement: Identifying priorities to enhance research and care of older adults with cancer and their caregivers

Dr. Ken Madden, Dr. Naaz Parmar, and Dr. Larry Dian (Geriatric Medicine):
Reach Project: Mobilizing falls prevention knowledge with patients and clinicians in British Columbia

Dr. M-J Milloy (Social Medicine):
Reach Project: Tokes in the throat: Health practitioner education on the effects of smoking cannabis in the upper airway

Please join us in congratulating our Department members on their exciting and excellent work!