Health Care Professionals

Ministry Research Funding Opportunities

Applied Health Research Questions (AHRQs)

An AHRQ is a question posed by a health system policy maker or provider in order to obtain research evidence to inform planning, policy and program development that will benefit the entire Ontario health system.

Ministry-Funded Research Organizations/Programs/Projects

Ministry-funded research organizations/programs/projects field Applied Health Research Questions from the broader health care system. For AHRQ contacts see the funded research organizations/programs/projects.

If questions cannot be answered by the ministry-funded organizations/programs/projects listed below, the Research Unit may be able to provide assistance in identifying other research providers. Please contact the Research Unit at for further information.

AHRQ Reporting Forms

The AHRQ Guidelines provide information for both Research Providers and Knowledge Users. If you require any of the AHRQ reporting forms, please contact us.

Research Provider Templates

  • AHRQ Quarterly Workplan Report
  • AHRQ Summary of Findings Form
  • Knowledge User AHRQ Request Form


Applied Health Research Question (AHRQ) Guidelines


The Planning, Research and Analysis Branch in the Health System Strategy and Policy Division of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) supports leading edge health research and knowledge translation activities for the benefit of the Ontario health system. This research provides data, analyses and knowledge to help build a strong, evidence-based foundation for innovation and decision making to improve the Ontario health care system. The funding agreements established by the Planning, Research and Analysis Branch through the Health System Research Fund (HSRF) require most research institutes, centres, programs and projects to set aside a portion of their annual MOHLTC research funding towards Applied Health Research Questions (AHRQs).

An AHRQ is a question posed by a health system policy maker or provider in order to obtain research evidence to inform planning, policy and program development that will benefit the broader Ontario health system.

The AHRQ process :



Three Types of Research Provider Responses

  1. Rapid response – Preliminary information in one week or less providing a "first blush" response, e.g., expert opinion or relevant systematic reviews, articles or reports on a given policy topic.
  2. Research report or technical brief – Approximately 4-8 weeks of work to quickly synthesize the existing research evidence on a given topic. The final product could be a presentation or a report. Upon conclusion of the AHRQ, the researcher will complete the AHRQ Summary of Findings Form which will be disseminated broadly once completed.
  3. Research project – Where it has been confirmed that new knowledge must be generated, i.e., existing knowledge is not sufficient for planning or policy development requirements, new research projects will be initiated. The duration may be months, or years, depending on the project. For longer-term projects it is expected that some information be provided within the funded funding year. Institutions should contact the Research Unit prior to undertaking any longer-term projects. Organizations should not initiate new multi-year projects if they have one year funding agreements unless they can produce some interim or preliminary findings during the funded period. At the end of the project, the researcher will complete an AHRQ Summary of Findings Form which will be disseminated broadly. Interim or preliminary findings will not be disseminated.

It is understood that not every question will result in a research response.

Process and Timing

The AHRQ process will be ongoing throughout the funding year. Knowledge Users should be mindful of the fact that as the funding year progresses, Research Providers might have less capacity to take on new projects as they expend their funding related to AHRQ. Research Providers should limit their work to projects that will have some results within the period for which they have confirmed funding.

AHRQ Process

  1. Research Unit Initiates AHRQ Process for each funding year (April 1 - March 31)
    • Research Unit  sends out AHRQ guidelines and Research Provider contact information to Knowledge Users and will cc: Research Providers to initiate the AHRQ process.
    • Research Providers may forward the announcement to local Knowledge Users.
  2. Knowledge User – Research Provider Contact
    • Knowledge User contacts potential Research Providers
    • Knowledge User and Research Provider dialogue to scope AHRQ
    • Research Provider forwards the completed Knowledge User request form to
  3. Research Unit Identifies Previous Relevant Work and Provides Support as Required
    • Research Unit searches internal repositories and shares previously completed work with Knowledge User and Research Provider
    • Research Unit also provides support throughout the process on request
  4. Initiation of Work
    • Research Provider informs the Research Unit of the question that will be addressed, then initiates work
  5. Research Progress Reported
    • Research Provider submits Quarterly Workplan Report to Research Unit for all AHRQs (e.g., scoping, accepted, completed, on hold, declined, referred) requested during the funding year being reported.
  6. Interim/Preliminary Results Presented
    • For type 2 and 3 responses, Research Provider schedules interim/pre-final report meeting with Knowledge User and include Research Unit, as required.
  7. Research Results Communicated
    • Research Provider sends response to Knowledge User  and will cc: Research Unit. Information is now available to be disseminated broadly.
  8. Knowledge Transfer and Dissemination
    • For type 2 and 3 research responses, Research Provider sends one page AHRQ Summary of Findings Form to Research Unit
    • Research Unit works with Research Providers to identify appropriate knowledge translation opportunities.

The Responsibilities of Research Providers

Research Providers will :

The Responsibilities of Knowledge Users

Knowledge Users will:

The Responsibilities of the Research Unit

The Research Unit will :

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Applied Health Research Question (AHRQ)?

An AHRQ is a question posed by a health system Knowledge User in order to request research evidence that can be applied to improve or benefit the Ontario health system. Institutes, centres and projects funded by the Planning, Research and Analysis Branch provide responses to AHRQs in order to inform planning, policy and program development, which in turn helps strengthen the Ontario health system.

Can you provide some examples of Knowledge Users?

Knowledge Users include policy development staff, planners and decision makers from across the Ontario health system including, but not limited to: Ontario ministries, Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), hospitals (acute and rehabilitation), Community Care Access Centres, provincial associations and agencies (e.g., Health Quality Ontario, Public Health Ontario). Research Providers may also suggest their own local Knowledge Users.

Can you provide some examples of Research Providers?

Research Providers are the research institutes, centres, programs or projects that receive funding from the Planning, Research and Analysis Branch through the Health System Research Fund (HSRF) under a Transfer Payment Accountability Agreement. (Knowledge translation and exchange HSRF programs and projects are excluded from the AHRQ process). A full list of Research Providers is available on request from

Will the Research Unit screen who can be a Knowledge User?

No, the Research Unit will not be screening Knowledge Users. It will be the responsibility of the Research Providers to determine if the research evidence being sought has the potential to impact planning, policy or program decisions in health and the health care system to be eligible for consideration as an AHRQ. The Research Unit will provide input and advice to Research Providers on request. AHRQs must be approved in writing by a senior decision maker within the Knowledge User's organization (e.g., assistant deputy minister, executive director).

Can organizations that are not on the first outreach email participate as Knowledge Users in the AHRQ process and will the knowledge exchange with them count as AHRQ products in reporting to MOHLTC?

Yes. Research Providers can forward the Research Unit outreach email to local Knowledge Users. It is the responsibility of the research organization to ensure that the engagement with Knowledge Users and resulting AHRQ products meet the requirements for AHRQs.

Prior to the launch of the annual AHRQ process, some Knowledge Users have already connected with Research Providers to undertake AHRQ activities. Does the Research Provider need to inform the Research Unit?

Yes, Research Providers must include this activity on the AHRQ Quarterly Workplan Report to be submitted to the Research Unit. A Knowledge User Request Form should also be submitted to

Are there any restrictions regarding scientists' publication rights or data ownership rights?

What if a question posed appears to seek data and analysis that would support advocacy rather than research evidence and advice?

Research under AHRQ is intended to inform planning, policy and program development that benefits the Ontario health system broadly. Research evidence presented to Knowledge Users must be balanced and reflect the evidence base. For example, Knowledge Users may request a summary of all evidence related to a policy or program but may not ask for only successful examples of implementation. Requests to support specific advocacy positions are neither in scope, nor appropriate, for the AHRQ process.

What documents do I need to complete?

Knowledge Users :

Research Providers :

What if the Research Provider cannot complete the work proposed within the term of the funding agreement?

AHRQs must be able to be completed during the time the funding agreement is in place. A Research Provider might identify from the beginning that the question cannot be researched within the proposed time or funding period. The Research Provider should communicate this directly to the Knowledge User and the Research Unit.  The Research Providers and Knowledge Users can then work together, involving the Research Unit for advice as required, to determine if an interim product or preliminary response can be produced during the funded period. The Research Provider should further note if a project will continue beyond the funded period in the AHRQ Quarterly Workplan Report.

The Research Provider, Knowledge User and Research Unit may also agree to bring forward the AHRQ in the future (noting that no commitments can be made outside the funded period).

When do Research Providers need to contact the Research Unit?

Who will be responsible for dissemination when research is finalized?

Depending on the nature of the work, dissemination may involve collaboration between a combination of the Research Provider, Knowledge User and Research Unit. The format for dissemination will also depend on the nature of the work.

The ministry intends to develop a searchable public repository of current and previous AHRQ Summary of Findings to be available in the future on the Research Unit website.

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Research Provider Contact List

Main Priority Area

Research Provider Institution

Area of Focus/Description

AHRQ Contact


Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES)

Specialized Research Centre - The advanced analysis of enriched, linked population health data sets to: identify determinants of health and ill health; examine the effectiveness and safety of a wide range of medical interventions including drugs and devices; and, investigate the equity, quality, value and appropriateness of care delivered by the Ontario healthcare systems; aging; various cancers; cardiovascular disease; chronic disease; diabetes; diagnostic testing and screening; disability, drug safety, equity and social determinants of disease; emergency services; gastroenterology; geographic factors in distribution of health and healthcare; health of First Nations and Métis; health technology assessment; health of immigrants; mental health and addiction; peri-natal and child health; primary care models; rehabilitation; resource consumption and costing; respiratory disease; stroke medicine; surgical procedures and pre-operative testing; vaccination, wait times and women's health.

Erika Yates
Phone: 416-480-4055, ext. 83781

Community-based Care

Centre for Research in Community Interventions to Promote Optimal Aging at Home (McMaster University)

HSRF Program Award - The aim of this program is to promote optimal aging at home for older adults with multiple chronic conditions and to support their families and caregivers. To this end, the program designs, evaluates and translates new and innovative inter-professional community-based interventions to improve access to health care, health-related quality of life, and health outcomes in this population, while reducing costs.

Maureen Markle-Reid
Phone: 905-525-9140, ext. 22306

Innovation, with focus on drugs

Fostering Innovation and Evaluating the Effectiveness of Ontario Pharmacist-led Medication Management Programs
(University of Waterloo)

HSRF Program Award - There is a large gap in the evidence available on the value of Ontario professional pharmacist services and even less information on how they relate to frequent or high risk users of the health care system. This interdisciplinary research collaboration aims to assess and improve the quality, outcomes and value of pharmacists' services to improve medication use. Goals include investigating existing and emerging pharmacist-led inter-professional practice-based approaches (with a focus on high-users), and building on Ontario pharmacy practice and medication management research capacity.  The program evaluates the MedsCheck and Pharmaceutical Opinion programs, pharmacist administration of influenza vaccine and pharmacist authority to renew and adapt prescriptions programs. Other research projects examine the community pharmacist's role in chronic pain management, how "deprescribing" guidelines can reduce unnecessary medication use in the elderly and how health care providers perceive pharmacists as prescribers, with minor ailments as the model.

Lisa Dolovich
Phone: 905-525-9140, ext. 20876 (Karen Slonim)

The Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (St. Michael's Hospital)

HSRF Program Award - ODPRN's program generates scientifically sound evidence related to drug safety, effectiveness, and policy. It includes a new formulary modernization component focused on comprehensive drug class reviews. It also focuses on integrated knowledge translation to disseminate research to relevant knowledge users (Ontario Public Drug Program, physicians, pharmacists, health units).

Mina Tadrous
Phone: 416-864-6060, ext. 76207

Healthy Living, with a focus on tobacco control

Reaching LGBTQ Youth and Young Adults (University of Waterloo)

Targeted Research - The study aims are: 1) synthesize the published and grey literature on LGBTQ tobacco use prevention and cessation interventions; 2) analyze the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation and maintenance of LGBTQ interventions with a knowledge user lens to identify relevant gaps; and 3) using participatory action research, identify appropriate interventions OR develop/adapt a new and attractive tobacco use prevention and cessation intervention(s) with the LGBTQ community in Ontario. The vision of developing effective interventions for these populations will be reduced morbidity and mortality associated with smoking, and improving the overall population health of Ontarians in the process.

Bruce Baskerville
Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 35236

E-cigarettes in Ontario: Patterns of use among youth, product design, and clinical efficacy (University of Waterloo)

Targeted Research - This project consists of three sub-studies: Study 1 will assess the prevalence of e-cigarette use among youth using data from more than 24,000 high school youth participating in the COMPASS study. COMPASS is a cohort study with the potential to examine uptake of e-cigarette use in conjunction with tobacco use and other risk behaviours. Study 2 will monitor and test e-cigarette products on the Ontario market. All available products will be purchased from four geographically diverse cities in Ontario. Products from the leading 10 manufacturers will be tested for harmful and addictive chemicals in e-cigarette vapour delivery, including nicotine. Study 3 will consist of a clinical trial to examine the efficacy of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid, as well as to examine potential adverse outcomes and health risks.

David Hammond
Phone: 519 888 4567, ext. 36462

RETRAC: Researching Tobacco Reduction in Aboriginal Communities (University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)

Targeted Research - The study focuses on learning about how tobacco use in unique contexts of Aboriginal communities (on-reserve and off-reserve) in Ontario can best be addressed through interventions. A Knowledge Forum will be convened with community partners, each of the seven Ontario communities identified for this study, exemplary communities and other stakeholders. Finally, seed money and research support will be provided to the seven Ontario communities to develop interventions and proposals tailored to community contexts.

Dr. Robert Schwartz
Phone: 416-978-3901

RECIG: Research on E-Cigarettes (University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)

Targeted Research - The use of electronic or e-cigarettes has grown exponentially in the past decade, yet research on this new epidemic is limited. This project will address four key research areas to increase understanding and provide a basis for policies and programs: 1) determine the prevalence of e-cigarette use, particularly among youth, and examine patterns of change over time; 2) review and assess research on health effects and related exposures to nicotine, aerosols and contaminants; 3) explore use of e-cigarettes to reduce, replace or stop smoking traditional cigarettes; and 4) examine the role of e-cigarettes as a "gateway" to uptake of traditional cigarettes.

Dr. Robert Schwartz
Phone: 416-978-3901

Health System Performance and Sustainability

Harnessing Evidence and Values for Health System Excellence (McMaster University)

HSRF Program Award - This interdisciplinary program of research focuses on economic and policy analysis of health system performance (including analysis of socio-economic-related inequities of access, the impact of primary care practice structure on performance, etc.). It also includes the development of methods to identify values, along with frameworks for integrating evidence and values into decision-making (e.g., values-informed equity analysis, health technology assessment).

Gioia Buckley
Phone: 905-525 9140, ext. 24658

Health System Performance Research Network (University of Toronto)

HSRF Program Award - This program focuses on ways to improve value for high-cost and high-risk populations, responding to questions such as: Who are the most important populations to focus on to improve value in the health system? What are the most important evidence-based models of care that can be spread across Ontario to improve value? What are the different configurations of resources and organizational factors that can lead to achieving equally high value in different contexts, regions and provider groupings that exist across Ontario?

Lori Taccino
Phone: 416-946-5023

Interventions to Support Long-term Adherence and Decrease cardiovascular events post-Acute Coronary Syndrome (ISLAND-ACS) (Women's College Hospital)

HSRF Capacity Award - This project aims reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in Ontario by increasing uptake of cardiac rehabilitation and persistence with secondary prevention medications. More specifically, ISLANDS-ACS will implement and evaluate sustainable, scalable reminder systems to increase the proportion of heart patients who continue to take their medications and participate in rehabilitation. Costs and benefits of each strategy will also be compared.

Beth Bosiak
Phone: 416-323-6400 x 3056

Understanding Factors Related to Evidence-Informed Practice: attributes, contextual factors and barriers to use of the Maternal Newborn Dashboard in Ontario (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute)

HSRF Capacity Award - This study will focus on an alerting system, the Maternal Newborn Dashboard, which was recently implemented across Ontario to improve care. The goals of this project are to determine the effectiveness of the Maternal Newborn Dashboard to improve performance related to specific maternal-newborn key performance indicators, and identify which attributes, hospital contextual factors, and facilitation factors explain differences in effectiveness. The Dashboard provides information on near real-time feedback, with site-specific and peer comparison data for six selected key performance indicators, as well as other metrics.

Dr. Sandra Dunn
Phone: 613-737-7600 x 6018

Mental Health and Addictions

Ontario Child Health Study Sequel (McMaster University)

HSRF Program Award - This program replicates and extends the landmark 1983 Ontario Child Health Study, which provided the first estimates of mental disorders among children and adolescents in Ontario. This sequel quantifies changes in prevalence, evaluates the responsiveness of the health system to these children/youth, and determines the influence on risks for mental disorders associated with children/youth's neighbourhoods, homes and families to inform evidence-based prevention programs and policies.

Kathryn Bennett
Phone: 905-525 9410, ext. 22914

Schizophrenia Quality of Care: managing the complexity (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)

HSRF Capacity Award - The purpose of this study is to investigate the management of comorbidity complexity. This will be achieved by measuring the impact of medical comorbidity on psychiatric care for people with schizophrenia, and the impact of schizophrenia on medical care among people with chronic medical conditions. This project will use comprehensive health administrative data to systematically evaluate the quality of psychiatric and medical care for people with schizophrenia and medical comorbidity. This project will also establish best practices and develop performance metrics through engaging with organizations that provide and monitor the quality of care for people with serious mental illnesses.

Dr. Paul Kurdyak
Phone: 416-535-8501

Nursing Research

The Impact of Home Care Nurse Staffing, Work Environments and Collaboration on Patient Outcomes (University of Toronto)

Targeted Research - This project focuses on the delivery of nursing care to long-term / maintenance (LTM) home care clients in Ontario. In the community, a combination of nurses and personal support workers (PSW) provide care to LTM home care clients. However, limited research exists examining relationships between who provides nursing care, how that care is provided and client outcomes. Knowledge gained from this project will inform the selection of appropriate nursing care providers for LTM clients in Ontario home care settings.

Margaret Saari
Phone: 416 978-7706

Nurse Led Care Transitions Interventions: A Strategy to Improve Health System Integration and Performance (St. Michael's Hospital)

Targeted Research - Poorly executed care transitions involving elder patients with complex care needs (elder complex patients) results in medication errors, care delays, avoidable re-admissions, and increased healthcare costs. System navigator roles may reduce readmissions to hospitals and emergency room visits, lower health care costs, and improve quality of care and functional status. The proposed research study aims to explore the question, "Which care transition interventions involving nurses hold promise for improving health system integration and performance outcomes amongst complex elder patients and under what circumstances?"

Maria Maione
Phone: 416-864-6060, ext. 4063

Understanding Structures, Processes and Outcomes Related to Effective Leaders in Long-Term Care Homes (LTCH) (University Health Network)

Targeted Research - As supervisors in long-term care homes (LTCHs), regulated nurses are responsible for providing leadership to staff and ensuring the delivery of quality care to all residents. There is evidence that poor supervisory performance negatively influences quality of care in LTCHs. This project seeks to understand the factors that contribute to supervisory performance. This research will contribute to improving leadership training for regulated nurses and will influence the quality of care delivered to residents in LTCHs.

Dr. Kathy McGilton
Phone: 416-597-3422, ext. 2500

What factors influence nurse practitioner (NP) activities in primary healthcare (PHC) settings and what are the implications for optimizing NP patient panel size? (Ryerson University)

Targeted Research - Optimizing the patient panel size of nurse practitioners (NPs) in primary healthcare (PHC) is important for effective interprofessional team functioning, human resource planning and timely access to high quality patient care. No studies have directly measured NP activities in PHC settings. Data will be collected in eight diverse PHC practice settings using: 1) surveys to identify organizational and NP factors influencing NP activities, 2) observation of NPs' activities using time and motion studies, 3) patient surveys to relate patient factors to how NPs spend their time, and 4) qualitative interviews to explore individual, organizational and system factors that influence NP patient panel size in Ontario. Data will be analyzed to identify implications for optimizing NP activity and patient panel size.

Faith Donald
Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 16309

Nursing Health Services Research Unit (McMaster University)

Health care services; nursing/health human resources; co-coordinator of care; health outcomes; health systems; database registry; sustainability and accountability; economics; health settings; community/hospital/LTC; geographical area served: rural/border cities.

Theresa Noonan
Phone: 905-525-9140, ext. 22698

Nursing Health Services Research Unit (University of Toronto)

Health care services: nursing; health human resources; health outcomes and patient safety; health care setting: home; correctional; LTC; community; health care system: quality; best practice; innovation; system performance; and knowledge translation.

Lianne Jeffs
Phone: 416-978-2853

Primary Care Reform

Primary Health Care Program (Western University)

HSRF Program Award - This program studies Primary Health Care's quality, equity, access, links with other sectors of health care, and sustainability - with consideration of the practice, community health care, and the broader health care system. A particular focus is the integration/coordination of care delivery for patients with multiple chronic conditions deserving care in the home delivered by Primary Care Reform models in collaboration with hospitals, CCACs, community agencies and specialists. Studies also examine the use of technology (Personal Health Records, eConsults, etc.) in improving quality and experience of care.

Moira Stewart
Phone: 519-661-2111, ext. 22133

Problem Gambling

Starving to gamble: Hunger, craving, and self-perceptions as harbingers of problem gambling (and responsible gambling solutions) (Carlton University)

Targeted Research - This project will examine the role hunger plays in problematic gambling. This project will test the idea that hunger heightens craving to gamble, which undermines self-control and decision-making. The net effect may be a drive to wager among gamblers who are provided the opportunity to gamble. Moreover, hunger-induced deficits in executive cognitive functioning may undermine the gambler's ability to wager responsibly. To test this possibility, researchers will take both a social and physiological determinant of health approach to assess risk and protective factors related to problem gambling.

Cathy Edwards
Phone: 613-520-2600, ext. 7462

Social determinants of problem gambling in the Ontario population: Risk and protective factors (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)

Targeted Research - The project will undertake a comprehensive program of research and knowledge translation aimed at bringing together the best information on problem gambling determinants, risk factors and protective factors, identifying needs for new Ontario-based information, and collecting that information. The project will involve educators, policy makers and clinicians who deal with problem gambling to understand their needs for information and to make this information available to them.

John McCready
Phone: 416-691-2402
E-mail: John.McCready@

The Prevalence of Problem Gambling among Older Adults in Ontario: Development and Dissemination of Best Practices for Prevention and Treatment (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)

Targeted Research - The purpose of this research is to describe the complete gambling experience of older adults 55+ in Ontario and develop and disseminate best practices for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling among older adults in Ontario. The research team will conduct a large scale prevalence study of problem gambling among older adults 55+ in Ontario. In addition to problem gambling prevalence, the survey will describe the gambling and problem gambling experience for older adults in Ontario.

John McCready
Phone: 416-691-2402
E-mail: John.McCready@

Youth Gambling (8-24) in Ontario: Developing Best Practices for Prevention and Treatment (Responsible Gaming Council)

Targeted Research - This research project aims to: 1) provide an estimate of the attitudes, motivations and behaviours related to youth (8-24) gambling participation; 2) review the available evidence on the effectiveness of prevention and treatment approaches for youth (8-24); and 3) identify best practices to provide direction for the future development of prevention and treatment programs to meet the needs of youth. The findings will inform the Ontario Health System's future education and harm-reduction strategies designed to assist youth prevention and treatment efforts.

Dr. Jamie Wiebe
Phone:416-499-9800, ext. 244

Quality Improvement and Safety

The Ontario Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Population Health Network (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre)

HSRF Capacity Award - This project aims to create new evidence and characterize the real-world care and outcomes that patients diagnosed with COPD in Ontario are experiencing. This project will develop quality indicators to reliably measure COPD care in Ontario and evaluate the association of these indicators with patient outcomes using large administrative datasets and innovative analytics. The research team will use this population-level data to identify groups at risk of receiving poor COPD care.

Dr. Andrea Gershon
Phone: 416-480-6100, ext. 3619

Patient-Centered Care Transitions in Heart Failure (PACT-HF): a pragmatic multi-center cluster randomized trial (McMaster University)

HSRF Capacity Award - Heart failure is the most common cause of hospitalization in older adults. The month after hospital discharge is a vulnerable period, when patients are at increased risk of death and worsening symptoms. One in five patients is readmitted to hospital during this period. This study will test the effectiveness of the PACT-HF model in 16 Ontario hospitals using a randomized controlled trial design. It is hypothesized that patients hospitalized at the sites receiving PACT-HF will have fewer readmissions, emergency visits, and deaths after discharge; report a better quality of life; and feel more prepared for discharge.

Dr. Harriette Van Spall
Phone: 905-521-2100, ext. 40309

Seniors' Care

Optimizing the health of Ontario seniors: the development and evaluation of a Pathway to Tools for Healthy Seniors (PATH-S) framework (St. Michael's Hospital)

HSRF Capacity Award - This project aims to create and test a "pathway" for the development of well-built, evidence-based chronic disease management tools for seniors that will integrate care of more than one high-burden chronic disease. A central aim of the tool will be the inclusion of patient self-management. Tools generally facilitate ongoing, proactive and preventative support for optimal chronic disease management. They can involve care co-ordination, patient self-management, clinical decision support/decision aid and be targeted to health care professionals, patients or caregivers, and delivered in any format.

Wai-Hin Chan
Phone: 416-864-6060, ext. 77525

Vulnerable and Special Health Needs Populations

Improving Health Equity for Northern Ontarians: Applied Health Research with Vulnerable Populations (Laurentian University)

HSRF Program Award - How can current health policy, systems and practice be transformed to improve health equity for vulnerable and special health needs populations in northern Ontario? This program aims to improve access, delivery, and quality of care in this region, with a focus on rural, remote, Aboriginal and Francophone populations. It examines telemedicine and health professionals as a means to improve quality of care.

Wayne Warry
Phone: 705-675-1151, ext. 4301

Urban Aboriginal Health Counts: advancing urban Aboriginal population-based health needs assessment and health service evaluation in Ontario (St. Michael's Hospital)

HSRF Capacity Award - This project aims to develop data on urban Aboriginal health status, data on their health care use, and evidence-based guidelines to evaluate Aboriginal health services, in partnership with four urban Aboriginal health service providers and additional key stakeholders from across the province. This project will contribute to improved urban Aboriginal health services. The research team will use the results of this work to develop evidence-based guidelines for the evaluation of urban Indigenous health services.

Conrad Prince
Phone: 416-864-6060, ext. 77454

Health Care Access Research in Developmental Disabilities Program (H-CARDD) (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)

HSRF Program Award - Individuals with developmental disabilities are one of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations when it comes to accessing healthcare. The goal of this program is to improve their health experiences by reducing disparities through access to best practices. This program provides new information that profiles vulnerable developmental disability subgroups and translates research to facilitate the uptake of evidence-based practice in primary and emergency care.

Denise Canso Phone: 416-535-8501, ext 37814 Email:

Healthier Built Environments: An Opportunity for Innovation in Mental Health and Obesity Policy (McMaster University)

HSRF Program Award - This program builds on evidence that links features of the built environment to enhanced physical activity, healthy body weights and positive mental health, especially for vulnerable populations. Studies focus on whether living in more "walkable" urban areas leads to healthier body weights, whether housing interventions (e.g., subsidized housing) improve adult mental health and healthy child development, and whether neighbourhood improvement strategies can benefit the health of residents in concentrated poverty neighbourhoods.

James Dunn Phone: 905-525-9140, ext. 23832 Email:

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For More Information
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Health System Strategy and Policy Division
Planning, Research and Analysis Branch
8th Floor Hepburn Block, 80 Grosvenor Street
Toronto ON M7A 1R3
Tel.: 416-327-7759
Fax : 416-327-3200
E-mail :