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SHRF Solutions: Virtual Care 

Empowering Healthcare through Technology

Why Virtual Care Matters

 Virtual Care has become an essential aspect of healthcare in Saskatchewan, especially during the pandemic. This initiative, launched by SHRF in July 2020, aims to address the unique health challenges faced by our community by leveraging technology to provide innovative care solutions.

Thanks to the many researchers focusing on virtual healthcare, Saskatchewan stands out with remarkable strength in this area, offering opportunities to transform healthcare. 

Investments in Virtual Care Research

Over the past four years, SHRF and our partners have invested $2,657,582 through the Solutions program to fund 29 projects that advance virtual care.

It all started with the first Solutions competition in 2020-21, with Virtual Care as the focus. The initial competition supported 14 grants with an initial investment of $1,062,368.
While virtual care was offered explicitly as a focus area again only in 2022-23, many projects funded through our other focus areas and partnerships are also advancing virtual care solutions within their research. Over the past three years, we have invested an additional $1,595,214 in 15 projects addressing virtual care. 

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Project Themes

SHRF has 29 projects aligned with the Virtual Care focus. However, many of SHRF's other focus areas, such as Child & Youth Health, overlap with Virtual Care. Check out our current focus areas in our Solutions Program here.

23 of the 29 grants included team members with lived experience.

Involvement of people with lived experience

Healthcare Providers

Over 40 healthcare providers were on the project teams.

Types of virtual care solutions

  • 16 of the projects look at virtual delivery of specialized healthcare

  • 12 of the projects looked at home-based resources/solutions

Your Feedback and Suggestions

The grant progress reports have provided the following feedback from recipients about the Solutions program.

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Next Steps

Through our Solutions Program, SHRF is committed to supporting practical solutions to Saskatchewan's health challenges and to moving these solutions towards real-world applications.

What is ahead on your path in taking your virtual care research to the next step in becoming a practical solution?

Help us Focus our Efforts


Are there any specific challenges or hurdles you are facing in taking your project to the next step in becoming a practical solution?


If so, please tell us about them in our survey link below.

Stay Connected

Stay tuned for future opportunities and share our mailing list with your network. In the meantime, explore funding opportunities in the Connections Program.

Align Grant
1 year, $10k to enable a diverse and connected research community in Saskatchewan that is well-positioned to receive peer-reviewed funding and conduct impactful research aligned with Saskatchewan stakeholder needs. 

Mobilize Grant
1 year, $10k to fund knowledge mobilization activities in relevant and practical settings and mediums, with the aim of improving the applicability and impact of health research in Saskatchewan.

Thanks for joining!

Explore the Solutions Virtual Care Recipients

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Funded in 2020-21

Funded 2020-21

Innovation Grant: Exploring the use of virtual care in Saskatchewan in individuals with inflammatory bowel disease and gastroenterologist care providers 

Led by: Noelle Rohatinsky, Juan-Nicolás Peña-Sánchez 

Supported by: Multidisciplinary IBD Clinic and gastroenterologists in Saskatoon and Regina, people with lived experience, SHA LiveWell Chronic Disease Management, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada


Quick Links:  

Impact Grant: Saskatchewan Virtual Follow-up Clinic of Patients Discharged Home from ICU (Vi-DISH) 

Led by: Eric Sy, Stephen Lee, Vincent Lau, Jonathan Mailman 

Supported by: People with lived experience, clinicians in Critical Care, SHA Critical Care, Respiratory and Organ Donation, SHA Provincial Program Tertiary Care, SHA Stewardship and Clinical Appropriateness, hospital ICU managers 

Quick Links: 

Impact Grant: Help for People Who Have Been Hurt by Healthcare: An Online Resource 

Led by: Bridget Klest, Jennifer Gordon 

Supported by: People with lived experience 

Quick Links: 

Innovation Grant: Budget Cuts, the Northern-Rural-Urban Divide, and the Pandemic Response: Exploring Speech-Language Pathologists’ and Audiologists’ Perceptions and Experiences of in Person and Telepractice Therapeutic Health and Education Services in Saskatchewan 

Led by: Laureen McIntyre 

Supported by: Hear2Understand Audiology Services, practicing speech-language pathologist 

Quick Links:  

Innovation Grant: Assessing the mental health support needs for Indigenous adolescents residing in northern Saskatchewan: A community-based participatory action study exploring the potential of virtual reality technology 

Led by: Lindsey Boechler, Terry Peckham, Mya Ruelling 

Supported by: Administrators in Northern Lights School Division, people with lived experience, Luxisonic Technologies 


Quick Links:  

Impact Grant: Enhancing Access to Team Based Musculoskeletal Care to Indigenous Communities using Virtual Technology 

Led by: Stacey Lovo, Brenna Bath, Jaris Swidrovich, Scotty Butcher 

Supported by: Northern Medical Services, people with lived experience, SHA Regional Physical Therapist, SHA Provincial Programs, CBI Health, Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation Health Services, Waterhen Lake First Nation, SK-NEIHR 

Quick Links:  

Innovation Grant: Connect-ICU: Using technology to facilitate communication and build relationships between patients, their loved ones, and the healthcare team in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) 

Led by: Sabira Valiani, Jennifer O’Brien, Salima Suleman 

Supported by: People with lived experience, clinicians in Critical Care, hospital ICU managers, SHA Quality, Safety and Information, SHA Provincial Program Tertiary Care 

Quick Links:  

Impact Grant: CO-Away: A Virtual Care Platform for Indigenous Health Decision-Making and Data Sovereignty 

Led by: Tarun Katapally, Kelly Skinner, Ken Coates  

Supported by: Northern Village of Ile a la Crosse, Citizen Scientist Advisory Council, SCPOR, Lung Sask 

Quick Links: 

Innovation Grant: Can A Multidisciplinary Preoperative Assessment Be Completed From Home? Virtually There 

Led by: Jonathon Gamble, Peter Hedlin, Jennifer O’Brien 

Supported by: People with lived experience, clinicians in Anesthesiology and General Internal Medicine, SHA Quality, Safety and Information 

Quick Links: (or link to new Impact Grant within the list?) 

Innovation Grant: Empowering patients, families and health systems with new tools for accessing home care services: A technology-enabled home care ordering solution (CareOnDemand) 

Led by: Ramona Kyabaggu, Tim Maciag, Cheryl Camillo 

Supported by: Eden Care Communities Management 

Quick Links:  

Innovation Grant: Handgrip Exercise to Improve Blood Vessel Function in Congenital Heart Disease 

Led by: Corey Tomczak, Dylan Olver 

Supported by: Clinicians in Pediatric Cardiology, Mending Little Hearts Fund of Saskatchewan, people with lived experience 


Quick Links:  

Innovation Grant: Culturally Safe Caregiver Support Groups for Caregivers of Indigenous Peoples Living with Dementia 

Led by: Megan O’Connell, Gail Boehme 

Supported by: All Nations Healing Hospital, people with lived experience, Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan 


Quick Links:  

Innovation Grant: Health Information and Service Access for Caregivers of Persons with Dementia 

Led by: Gary Groot, Cari McIlduff 

Supported by: Star Blanket Cree Nation 

Quick Links:  

Innovation Grant: Using Virtual Reality to Address Persistent Chronic Kidney Care Challenges in Saskatchewan 

Led by: Donald Leidl, Tracie Risling 

Supported by: Hemodialysis units, Luxisonic Technologies 

Quick Links:  

Funded in 2021-22

Funded 2021-22

Innovation Grant: CHOICE+: A virtual program to improve the dining environment and mealtime experience in Long-Term Care 

Led by: Allison Cammer, Heather Keller 

Supported by: SHA Continuing Care, people with lived experience, Luther Care Communities, Sherbrooke Long Term Care, Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan 

Quick Links:  

Impact Grant: Enhancing Impact of Internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Alcohol Misuse: A Patient-Oriented Research Approach 

Led by: Heather Hadjistavropoulos 

Supported by: People with lived experience, SHA Mental Health and Addictions, Ministry of Health Mental Health and Addictions, SCPOR 

Quick Links:  

Impact Grant: Delivery of Virtual Care in Saskatchewan: A Strategic Framework and Roadmap For Implementation 

Led by: Ivar Mendez, Stacey Lovo, Vern Behl, Caroline Tait, Paul Babyn 

Supported by: SHA Quality, Safety and Information, practicing family physicians, Northern Medical Services, Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, Ministry of Health Strategy and Innovation, SK-NEIHR 

Quick Links:  

Impact Grant: A virtual program to promote physical activity and health behaviours among women with obstructive sleep apnea 

Led by: Joshua Lawson, Donna Goodridge 

Supported by: Lung Sask, people with lived experience, clinicians in Respirology and Sleep Medicine, Live Well Exercise Clinic Regina, Parkland CPAP Services 

Quick Links:  

Funded in 2022-23


Innovation Grant: Community-Directed Virtual Care Strategies for the Management of Neuropathic Pain in Remote Indigenous Communities 

Led by: Stacey Lovo, Gary Linassi 

Supported by: Elder Margaret Larocque, Metis Knowledge Keeper TJ Roy, Northern Medical Services, people with lived experience, SK-NEIHR, CBI Health Group, Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority, Metis Nation of Saskatchewan, SHA Continuing Care, SaskPain, U of S Virtual Care & Robotics Program 

Quick Links:  

Innovation Grant: Testing a new way to use Virtual (video based) Care for patients needing consultation for developmental and mental health concerns to decrease the wait for services and brings the specialist to the patient’s community with the help of a Nurse Practitioner 

Led by: Susan Petryk, Jill Bally 

Supported by: Clinicians in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, SHA Child and Youth Services, parents of children referred to Child and Youth Services, Mental Health Research Canada 

Quick Links:  

Impact Grant: Enhancing Access to Ultrasound Services Using a Telerobotic Ultrasonography System in Rural Southern Saskatchewan 

Led by: Ivar Mendez, Stacey Lovo, Scott Adams, Rachel Johnson 

Supported by: St. Joseph's Hospital, The Ultrasound Centre, people with lived experience, U of S Virtual Care & Robotics Program, SHA Primary Health Care, Larin Medical Professional Corporation, Cypress Health Region, SHA Provincial Programs 


Quick Links: 

Impact Grant: How well does virtual reality compare to the use of high fidelity manikins: Using virtual reality to examine a paramedic's ability to perform specific tasks and skills when seeking employment in rural and remote areas of Saskatchewan 

Led by: Shauna Davies, Ramona Kyabaggu 

Supported by: Practicing paramedics, Saskatchewan College of Paramedics, Luxisonic Technologies 

Quick Links:  

Impact Grant: Making Virtual Multidisciplinary Preoperative Assessment Possible for Everyone in Saskatchewan 

Led by: Jonathon Gamble, Jennifer O’Brien 

Supported by: People with lived experience, clinicians in Anesthesiology, Provincial Department of Anesthesiology, SHA Quality, Safety and Information, SHA Pre and Postoperative Services 

Quick Links:  

Innovation Grant: Supporting Caregivers of Children with Cystic Fibrosis: The Development of an Online Mental Health and Wellness Prevention Program for Caregivers 

Led by: Kristi Wright 

Supported by: People with lived experience, Saskatoon Adult Cystic Fibrosis Clinic 

Quick Links: 


Funded in 2023-24

Impact Grant: Facilitating self-management throughout the lung and kidney transplant journey with HELP (the Health Education and Learning Platform)

Led by: Holly Mansell 

Supported by: Saskatchewan Transplant Program, people with lived experience, Lung Sask, Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program 

Quick Links: 

Innovation Grant: Development of a reliable screening tool for using virtual reality content in recreation therapy in long-term care

Led by: Rebecca Genoe, Susan Tupper 

Supported by: Practicing Recreation Therapists, SHA Strategy & Innovation, SHA Professional Practice for Recreation Therapy 


Quick Links:  

Impact Grant: Development of a culturally-rooted pediatric virtual care program to facilitate care closer to home 

Led by: Ivar Mendez, Stacey Lovo, Scott Adams 

Supported by: Northern Medical Services, Whitecap Dakota Nation 


Quick Links: 

Innovation Grant: The Mindful Lung Study: Helping lung cancer survivors through mindfulness techniques

Led by: Mohamad Baydoun, Shadi Beshai 

Supported by: Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, Tisdale Hospital, Lung Sask 

Quick Links:  

Innovation Grant: Supporting the 'Forgotten Ones': Development and evaluation of an internet-delivered resource program for siblings of youth with congenital heart disease 

Led by: Kristi Wright 

Supported by: Clinicians in Pediatric Cardiology, Mending Little Hearts Fund of Saskatchewan, parent of children with congenital heart disease 

Quick Links: 

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