What does the new Providence Care Hospital (PCH) in Kingston mean for health research in Ontario and the CAHO community?
Providence Care is a proud member of the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario, and our new space is an asset to the research community in southeastern Ontario. The PCH design provided dedicated space for health research in a prime location: Kingston is within easy distance of both Ottawa and Toronto, and our hospital itself overlooks local parks and Lake Ontario.
Researchers have open areas suitable for collaboration at PCH and just steps from our in-house Health Sciences Library, which is an academic library accessed by health care providers across the region. In addition, each of the nine inpatient units has space on the unit for researchers and care teams to work together with patients and families.
What is the focus of research at Providence Care?
The top three areas of focus for researchers at Providence Care align with our Mission to enhance the quality of life for the people we serve. Working hand-in-hand with our health care partners, Providence Care offers programs and services in the areas of ‘Aging, Mental Health and Rehabilitative Care.’ Our research streams are aligned to these themes as well.
From a strategic perspective, our focus areas are also aligned to the Queen’s University Faculty of Health Services, and in particular they are supported by the Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Divisions of Geriatric and Forensic Psychiatry, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and the Schools of Rehabilitation Therapy and Nursing.
When you look at the full spectrum of research, from knowledge generation to translation and exchange, there is quite a lot going on at PCH.
First, with respect to knowledge generation, currently in Psychiatry and its subspecialties at PCH there are 37 active studies totaling $8.2 million. These include:
- 3 CIHR studies (2.7m) – dementia, CT evaluation, drug efficacy in seniors
- 6 OBI studies (2.2m) neurodegenerative disease and biomarkers in depression
- 4 CAN-BIND studies (800K) biomarkers in depression
- 11 pharma drug evaluation studies (600K)
When it comes to Knowledge Translation and Exchange, the Centre for Studies in Aging & Health at Providence Care focuses on education and training, capacity building, development of partnerships and linkages and the use of online education and information.
The Centre is supported by success in grant applications from agencies such as Health Force Ontario, The Ontario Research Coalition, and Ontario Senior’s Secretariat and the South East Local Health Integration Network. Important current initiatives include continued involvement as one of three funded sites involved in the provincial Age Friendly Communities initiative and for the Ministry of Corrections, the development and dissemination of materials on Aging for the inmates and institutional care providers, staff and administration.
What’s next for research at Providence Care Hospital?
Looking ahead, since moving into the new hospital, we see health research activities growing in Southeastern Ontario. This relates to the previously mentioned new space and expanded partnerships. These provide new opportunities for our research supporters to grow and develop on-site and with our acute care academic hospital partners contributing substantially to the development of an Integrated Research Institute comprised of the Queen’s University Faculty of Health Sciences, the Kingston Health Sciences Centre and Providence Care. We also are working hard to attract new researchers into contributing to developments in care for seniors, people living with mental illness and people living with and/or recovering from illness or injury.