New CIHR-funded program brings together emerging and established health service researchers

News Release

18 Oct 2017

A new Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded program aimed at developing future health service and policy research leaders is bringing two post-doctoral fellows to Public Health Ontario.

Through CIHR’s Health System Impact Fellowship and Training Modernization Start-Up Grant programs, Dr. Sandra Juutilainen and Dr. Renata Valaitis join PHO’s Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention (HPCDIP) department.

Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor recently announced a $5.8 million investment that will support a new model of training for health services researchers. The funding supports 46 PhD graduates who will receive the first awards funded through the new program developed by CIHR and the Canadian Health Services and Policy Research Alliance.

The program brings together emerging and established leaders in health service research in Canada and provides trainees with experience and learning opportunities in health care organizations where they will bring new ideas and innovative approaches to tackle the complex challenges facing their respective organizations.

Dr. Juutilainen joins PHO through CIHR’s Health Systems Impact Fellowship.  Her project is titled In the spirit of peace, friendship and respect – relationships with our partners and will examine the relationship between PHO and Indigenous organizations and communities.

Dr. Valaitis joins PHO through CIHR’s Training Modernization Start-up grant. Her project is titled Bridging Research and Policy in Public and Population Health. Dr. Valaitis brings her expertise in school nutrition policy to support PHO’s work on Ontario Public Health Standards.

Drs. Juutilainen and Valaitis will be working with PHO for one year on core projects related to PHO’s mandate and the broader public health sector. Their time will be shared between PHO and the University of Waterloo, with 80 per cent spent at PHO and 20 per cent at Waterloo.

"This CIHR program seek to address the critical need for individuals with a combination of advanced research methods and practical skills such a project management, communications, and networking. By being embedded within PHO's dynamic environment, Sandra and Renata are well-positioned to contribute to our organization's mandate, while acquiring new skills towards their future impactful careers," says Dr. Heather Manson, chief of HPCDIP. 

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Updated 18 Oct 2017