Part of ensuring that our investments have a meaningful local impact involves supporting health research that is aligned and relevant to the diverse communities of Saskatchewan. SHRF is excited to announce this next wave of Align Grant recipients, and to support these interdisciplinary teams as they engage outside of traditional academic settings. - Patrick Odnokon, SHRF CEO
The Align Grant was first established in 2022 with the goal of providing funding to enable:
The development and engagement of robust interdisciplinary research teams; and
The completion of activities that shape research to align with the context and needs of Saskatchewan.
As part of SHRF's Connections Program, this funding prioritizes knowledge mobilization and alignment activities outside of academic settings.
As the third and final series of Align Grants in 2022-23, the following projects represent interdisciplinary and diverse research that seeks to benefit the many facets of human health. SHRF is proud to fund a total of 18 projects through an investment of $179,403. This call concludes the 2022-23 Align Grant, which supported a total of 34 projects through $329,178 in funding.
2022-23 Align Grant #3 Recipients
Allison Cammer | University of Saskatchewan $9,963 End of Life Nutrition Care in Saskatchewan Long-Term Care Homes: Evidence Review and Stakeholder Consultation
In a collaboration between the SHA and Saskatchewan Long-Term Care Network, this project aims to generate data that explores healthcare provider, resident and family needs to support decision-making about nutrition care within LTC environments at end of life. The long-term goal of this work is to enhance end of life nutrition care in Saskatchewan's LTC settings.
Jorden Cummings | University of Saskatchewan $9,978 RESOLVing Saskatchewan Violence: Broadening and Strengthening Connections
This project seeks to broaden RESOLVE SK—a research network that aims to end interpersonal violence and gender-based violence—in order to enhance their research and funding capacity moving forward. This will involve fostering connections with new stakeholders, strengthening existing connections and culminating larger and tighter networks of scholars and community agencies.
Sarah Donkers | University of Saskatchewan $10,000 Increasing Accessibility to Neurorehabilitation Services in Saskatchewan: Setting the Stage for a ‘Provincial Neurorehab Strategy’
In collaboration with Heart and Stroke Saskatchewan and the SHA's Research Department and Rural and Northern Integrated Care Networks, this project seeks to engage key stakeholders in a comprehensive needs assessment of the current state of neurorehabilitation services, build on existing strengths and expertise, collaboratively identify opportunities to build capacity and strengthen existing services, and support the implementation of existing evidence-based practice guidelines. In doing so, this project aims to improve equitable and timely access to evidence-based neurorehabilitation care province-wide.
Ernesto Figueiro-Filho | University of Saskatchewan $10,000 Placental Growth Factor (PLGF) as a Clinical Tool to Manage High-Risk Pregnancies
In partnership with the Regina General Hospital, this project will retrospectively evaluate maternal and perinatal pregnancy outcomes associated with maternal Placental Growth Factor (PLGF) levels tested during the management of high-risk pregnancies, with and without diabetes. In doing so, researchers hope to better understand the association between maternal PLGF levels and the development of intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) and preeclampsia in patients with gestational diabetes.
Natasha Gallant | University of Regina $9,857 Establishing Research Priorities for Long-Term Care Residents with Mental Illness
This project aims to identify research questions and priorities that can spark meaningful work in the under-researched field of mental illness and LTC. This process will include a series of consultation and engagement sessions with LTC residents living with mental illness, the family members who care for these individuals, and the healthcare professionals who work with these individuals with the goal of preparing a 'Top-10' list of research priorities for future investigation.
Peter Hedlin | University of Saskatchewan Jennifer O'Brien | University of Saskatchewan $9,997 Experiences of Older Patients, Their Families, and Healthcare Providers in Dealing with Delirium After Surgery: An Action Research Study to Improve Patient and Family Centered Care
The project aims to: understand and describe the postoperative delirium experiences of patients, their families and their healthcare providers; and to identify the needs and targeted initiatives required to support patient and family centered care for patients experiencing postoperative delirium.
Joshua Lawson | University of Saskatchewan $9,997 Geographic Variation in the Under- and Over-Diagnosis of Asthma
In collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, Lung Saskatchewan, and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, this project seeks to investigate the potential problem of asthma under- and over-diagnosis and how it differs geographically. This project will include a systematic review and meta-analysis, development and refinement of recommendations, identification of the best methods to roll-out recommendations and direction of future research in the area.
Akram Mahani | University of Regina $10,000 Integration of Health Into Urban Planning and Urban Design Policies
This project seeks to engage the City of Regina in an effort to inform capacity-building for health-promoting urban policies. Through interviews and document reviews, this research will identify existing health-promoting policies and programs as well as decision support tools such as a Health Impact Assessment at the City of Regina. The project will also identify barriers to integration and uptake of health policies into urban design and planning policies.
Geoffrey Maina | University of Saskatchewan $9,938 Assessing Rural Communities in Northeast Saskatchewan's Readiness to Implement Harm Reduction Interventions and Identifying Evidence-Based and Sustainable Priorities to Support Their Uptake
In collaboration with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and Cumberland House Health Centre, this project aims to improve the effectiveness of harm reduction approaches in rural communities through an environmental scan and rapid review of the literature, assessment of community preparedness for harm reduction service provision and the identification of priorities for implementation through future grant applications.
Holly Mansell | University of Saskatchewan Nathaniel Osgood | University of Saskatchewan $10,000
Co-developing an App to Improve Patient Education
In collaboration with patients and health care providers, this project seeks to develop a mobile app that can improve the delivery of tailored information and incorporate patient storytelling into patient education. Process will include testing of the app with a group of transplant patients and caregivers from Saskatchewan, and the application for additional funding to study whether the inclusion of patient stories improves the effectiveness of education.
Jaime Mantesso | University of Regina Vicky Schultz | Wellness Wheel Clinic Juandell Winidigo | Muskowekwan First Nation Cara Spence | Wellness Wheel Clinic
Stuart Skinner | University of Saskatchewan $9,972 Prenatal Indigenous Women’s Health in Four Saskatchewan First Nations Communities
This project encompasses a collaboration between the Wellness Wheel Clinic and Muskowekwan Health Services, whereby community engagement activities will be hosted to inform the development of a culturally-responsive strategy to promote prenatal Indigenous women's mental well-being and holistic health.
Pammla Petrucka | University of Saskatchewan April Mackey | University of Saskatchewan $9,996 Saskatchewan Awareness, Advocacy, and Knowledge Strategies (Sask-A2SKS): Addressing IPV Amongst Queer Women in Saskatchewan’s 2SLBGTQ+ Communities
Through community partnerships and engagements, this project will explore the scope of queer women's experience with intimate partner violence. This process will engage the 2SLGBTQ+ communities of Saskatoon, Regina, Humboldt and Prince Albert, with the goal of building a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to understanding issues regarding intimate partner violence.
Schroder Sattar | University of Saskatchewan Roslyn Compton | University of Saskatchewan $9,780 Feasibility of Virtual Exercise Program for Men with Prostate Cancer: The TARGET Study
This project seeks to understand perceptions, preferences and perceived barriers to participation in a virtually-delivered exercise program from the perspective of men with prostate cancer. In doing so, this study aims to inform virtual exercise intervention design in the context of pandemics, varying locations, access to transportation, and rural and remote communities.
Michelle Siqueira | University of Saskatchewan Amrinderbir Singh | University of Saskatchewan $9,986 Water Quality Testing at Selected Urban and Rural Dental Clinics in Saskatchewan - Assessing Trends Over Six Months
In collaboration with Big River First Nation and the Prince Albert Grand Council, this project will work to gain insights into whether the current regulatory requirements for dental unit waterline water testing are sufficient to protect the health of both patients and oral health professionals in the dental clinic environment. Research will include bi-weekly water testing, interviews with clinic staff, and water analysis and comparison.
Julia Totosy de Zepetnek | University of Regina Cameron Mang | University of Regina Andrew Cameron | University of Regina Jennifer Gordon | University of Regina Julian Tam | Saskatchewan Health Authority Niki Afseth | Saskatchewan Health Authority Alison Hamilton | Patient Partner $10,000 Elaxacaftor-Tezacaftor-Ivcaftor on Overall Health in Persons with Cystic Fibrosis
In partnership with the Saskatchewan Health Authority Adult Cystic Fibrosis Clinic, this project seeks to recognize and monitor external benefits and possible adverse effects of Elazacaftor-Tazacaftor-Ivcaftor: a breakthrough treatment that targets the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis, recently made available in Saskatchewan. In doing so, this project aims to produce pilot data that can be leveraged for larger funding applications in the future to better understand how to best manage cystic fibrosis.
Susan Tupper | Saskatchewan Health Authority $9,939 Implementing Virtual Reality into Therapeutic Recreation Practice in Long-term Care Homes in Saskatchewan
This project seeks to continue work towards the implementation of virtual reality use in long-term care settings by expanding a research team and designing clinical program plans which are foundational to Recreation Therapy practice. The team will design a future research project to implement this technology in LTC settings. This project reflects a collaboration between the SHA and several LTC homes across Saskatchewan.
Hassan Vatanparast | University of Saskatchewan Stacey Wiens | Saskatchewan Health Authority $10,000 Working Together to Improve the Food Environment in Saskatchewan Public Recreation Facilities
In collaboration with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association, SaskSport, Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, Saskatchewan Ministry of Parks Culture and Sports, and the Eat Healthy Play Healthy Committee, this project aims to identify the knowledge, attitudes and practices of consumers accessing food environments in Saskatchewan public recreation facilities. Through this project and past research, they will establish a comprehensive understanding of the health and societal impacts of food environments in public recreation facilities and the barriers and facilitators to supporting a healthy food environment. The team will encourage the implementation of this knowledge within these facilities across the province.
Chris Zhang | University of Saskatchewan $10,000 Development of a Cell-Individualized NanoKnife Protocol for Glioma Tumours with the Least Damage of Surrounding Healthy Cells.
This project seeks to explore treatment options for cancerous brain tumours through the application of NanoKnife technology on different types of brain cells. Researchers will build a mathematical model and lab experiments that will further the exploration of a NanoKnife treatment protocol on inoperable brain tumours for use by surgeons.
The Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) is the provincial funding agency that funds, supports and promotes the impact of health research that matters to Saskatchewan. SHRF collaborates with stakeholders to contribute to the growth of a high-performing health system, culture of innovation and the improved health of citizens by strengthening research capacity and competitiveness, increasing the investment in health research in Saskatchewan and aligning research with the needs of our stakeholders. Inquiries about SHRF's Align Grant may be directed to Karen Tilsley, Director of Programs and Partnerships, at firstname.lastname@example.org