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SHRF and Boehringer Ingelheim Partner to Improve Chronic Diseases Care in SK Indigenous Communities

Updated: Jan 7, 2022

Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) and Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. are pleased to announce a partnership to provide innovative healthcare solutions for chronic disease care within Saskatchewan’s Indigenous communities. The partnership will focus on a commitment to improving Indigenous health outcomes in chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart failure and chronic respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and progressive fibrosis ILD (PF-ILD).

Indigenous peoples do not have the same access to equitable healthcare as other Canadians and disproportionately suffer from chronic diseases and their associated risk factors. [i] In alignment with Boehringer Ingelheim Canada’s PATHWAYS Framework, the partnership will include the perspectives of Indigenous leadership to ensure research strategies are directly informed through Indigenous knowledge and community participation.

“As part of ongoing efforts to eliminate the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous access to equitable healthcare, we welcome partnerships that are committed to including the perspectives and traditions of Indigenous communities to support and share their practices for healing and health,” says Keith Leclaire, Chairperson, PATHWAYS Advisory Circle. “Traditional and holistic Indigenous approaches are important for chronic disease prevention, care, and the healing journey in Indigenous communities.”

This partnership and the project funding opportunity aligns with the purpose of SHRF’s Solutions Program, which aims to mobilize the research community and its partners to focus and coordinate their diverse skills and perspectives to address current Saskatchewan health challenges. The selected project will focus on the transformation and structural changes required to address conditions which maintain health gaps and disparities among Saskatchewan’s Indigenous populations.

“More can be accomplished when we collaborate and form values-based partnerships to advance health research innovations in our province,” says SHRF CEO Patrick Odnokon. “We are proud to be part of this partnership to empower Indigenous-led care for chronic disease care in Saskatchewan.”

“Through our ongoing collaborations in Indigenous health initiatives, we aspire to close the gap in health care disparities for Indigenous Peoples in Canada who are significantly disadvantaged by a high incidence of chronic illnesses,” says Andrea Sambati, President and CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. “By working together with Indigenous Peoples, the patient community, researchers, healthcare authorities, providers and partners, we continue to find innovative ways to improve patient care.”

About Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF)

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.

About Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.

Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies that improve the lives of humans and animals. As a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, the company creates value through innovation in areas of high unmet medical need. Founded in 1885 and family-owned ever since, Boehringer Ingelheim takes a long-term perspective. Approximately 52,000 employees serve more than 130 markets in the three business areas: Human Pharma, Animal Health and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing. The Canadian headquarters of Boehringer Ingelheim was established in 1972 in Montreal, Quebec and is now located in Burlington, Ontario. Boehringer Ingelheim employs approximately 600 people across Canada. Learn more at

[i] National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (2013). Understanding Chronic Disease and the Role for Traditional Approaches in Aboriginal Communities. Available at: (Accessed August 2021).

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