Regina Physicians Awarded Research Funding

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Regina Physicians Awarded Research Funding

13-Dec-2017

$2M Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for HIV and Hepatitis C Research

$2M Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for HIV and Hepatitis C Research

Dr. Stuart Skinner, an infectious disease specialist with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the University of Saskatchewan, has been awarded nearly $2-million by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.  The research, which aims to address the HIV and hepatitis C epidemics in Saskatchewan, includes a team comprised of members from Regina’s Research & Performance Support department (Dr. Mamata Pandey and Adam Clay), the University of Saskatchewan, the University of McGill, the Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre, Health Canada’s First Nations Inuit Health Branch, and six Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan.  A comprehensive on-reserve HIV testing and treatment initiative, called “Know Your Status” will be expanded and implemented in six Indigenous communities throughout Saskatchewan. The key components of this community-designed and community-based initiative include: community involvement and leadership, education, prevention, specialized nursing support, support for mental health and addictions, lab testing and accessible and culturally safe clinical management that meets the clients where they are located. Through meaningful engagement of First Nations leaders and communities and continual crosstalk between clinicians, health researchers, policy makers, community leadership and other physicians the projects aims to build sustainable provincial capacity to treat on-reserve HIV and hepatitis C for years to come.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons Funds Study to Augment Chronic Pain Services at Meadows Primary Health Care Centre

Congratulations to family physician, Dr. Radhika Marwah, who was recently awarded a two year grant from the College of Physicians and Surgeons to pilot test the expansion of a multi-modal treatment program that will augment chronic pain services at the Meadows Primary Health Care Centre. Meadow serves a population with significant health burdens related to the social determinants of health. This contributes to a high number of clients coming to Meadow with multiple comorbidities including: chronic disease, chronic pain, opioid dependence, mental health and substance use disorders. The need for dedicated care of clients with chronic pain and opioid dependence is clear. The RQHR supported a Chronic Pain Clinic (CPC) Pilot Project in July 2016 that was also run by Dr. Marwah. The following statistics were gathered since the initiation of the pilot project (July 2016 - January 2017):

  • An estimated 53% of the 100 clients in the CPC were First Nations.
  • 17% reported chronic pain which happens to be similar to national and provincial prevalence of chronic pain.
  • Opioid taper was instituted for nearly 31% of opioid dependent clients. Interestingly, all clients on high morphine equivalent doses were inherited, some at more than 2000-3000 Meq of morphine daily. As of January 2017, 11.5% had been successfully weaned off all opioids and the number continues to grow.
  • 57% of patients were referred to physio therapy. Results of physiotherapy in helping with opioid taper and preventing conversion of acute pain to chronic pain has been encouraging in the pilot.

Dr. Marwah has credentials in Addictions-Mental Health, Anesthesiology, the College of Family Physicians of Canada mediated and accredited “Safe Opioid Prescribing Skills” course and relevant past experience as a Pain Clinician. The pilot project is expected to begin in January 2018 and will include partnerships with the Eagle Moon Health Office and the Primary Health Care – Connected to Care Strategy. Dr. Rashaad Hansia, who is the Urban Physician Dyad for the Primary Health Care Network, serves as the clinical co-Lead for this project.