[L-R] Front Row (sitting): Tracy McQuire, Executive Director Diabetes Action Canada; Heather Harris, Executive Director Can-SOLVE CKD; Catherine Street, Director NL SPOR SUPPORT Unit; Marina Hamilton, Executive Director, Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit, Vasanthi Srinivasan, Executive Director, Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit; Maria Torrejon, SPOR Specialist, BC Support Unit; Monica Mamut, Unit Director, BC SUPPORT Unit; Christina Weise, Executive Director, Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research. Middle row (standing): Sharon McCarry, Director of Lived Experience Program, CHILD-BRIGHT; Mylène Lévesque, Adjointe exécutive à la direction scientifique, Unité de soutien SSA Québec; Sharmila Sreetharan, Research Coordinator I, SPOR Evidence Alliance; Kelli Buckreus, Executive Director, Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit; Sharon Skaling, Chair, Training and Capacity Development CoP, Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit; Catharine Whiteside, Director Strategic Partnerships, Diabetes Action Canada; Anni Rychtera, Co-chair SPENCoP, Patient Research Partner, MB; Carly Leggett, Executive Director, George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation; Anne Pleydon, Executive Director, Hotıì ts’eeda NWT SPOR SUPPORT Unit, Brandon Van Dam, Managing Director, Chronic Pain Network; Michelle Leach, Scientific Director, YSPOR SUPPORT Unit; John Riley, Assistant Director, Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit; John Lavis, Chair, Learning Health System Community of Practice, Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit. Back row (standing): Renee Greene, Chair, Communications CoP, Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research; Ingrid Neilson, Co-chair SPENCoP, Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit; Annie Leblanc, Directrice, PASSERELLE; David Parker, Director of Operations, Health Data Research Network Canada; Jamie DeMore, Executive Director, Canadian Primary Care Research Network; Waqar Mughal, Chair, Performance Measurement and Impact Evaluation Working Group, BC SUPPORT Unit. Not Pictured: Jennifer Campbell, Deputy Director, Strategy for Patient Oriented Research, CIHR

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s (CIHR) Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) includes many elements, such as SUPPORT Units, Chronic Disease Networks, Access Open Minds, the Canadian Data Platform, the National Training Entity, the Primary Care Research Network and the Evidence Alliance.

In early March 2024, representatives of these entities met in person in Ottawa for the first time since February 2020. They were joined by the Chairs of the SPOR Communities of Practice and Working Groups: Learning Health Systems, Patient Engagement (SPENCOP), Training and Capacity Development, Indigenous peoples, Communications and Performance Monitoring.

Dr. Amy Lang and Jennifer Campbell joined the meeting to represent CIHR. The meetings were facilitated by Jaymi Cormier of Cormier Inc. and chaired by Christina Weise (Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research) and Catharine Whiteside (Diabetes Action Canada).

The objectives of the meeting were:

  1.  To identify common priorities across SPOR-funded entities that are critical to the success of SPOR and can be brought forward in a united voice to CIHR with our recommendations. These recommendations will inform the ongoing SPOR refresh consultation process being managed by CIHR.
  2.  To identify key enablers and paths forward for collaboration that will create value for both the SPOR-funded entities and the SPOR Program. Work in this area will ensure that good practice from all the SPOR entities can be shared across the SPOR community, thus reducing duplication of work and maximizing the impact and value of the SPOR initiative.

The resulting meeting report will outline the common priorities and key enablers, but just as important, the meetings themselves facilitated the building of the close working relationships across the SPOR community; relationships that were lost during the pandemic.

(Thank you to NL Support for this summary.)