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Health Research office to be established in Grand Falls-Windsor

By Sharon Gray

The Faculty of Medicine will establish a new outreach office in Grand Falls-Windsor that will be part of a provincial network of outreach offices located in each of the four health regions, conducting research in human genetic disorders and population health in Newfoundland and Labrador.

This outreach office will serve as part of the infrastructure to translate key research findings back to the community, and to their health care providers, and to inform health policy with an aim to help improve delivery of care in rural and remote areas of the province.

The office in Grand Falls-Windsor will be responsible for recruitment of participants from the community into studies on genetics research and population health. The project will also receive funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Grand Falls-Windsor office will start with a staff of six and will grow to 12 over the life of the project.

This project will be supported by a contribution of just over $1.4 million, with $740,000 from ACOA’s Community Adjustment Fund (CAF), just over $250,000 from the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development Regional/Sectoral Diversification Fund (RSDF); and $350,000 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Dr. Patrick Parfrey, Memorial University’s associate dean of clinical research in the Faculty of Medicine, explained that the Grand Falls-Windsor research office will combine the opportunities arising from the distinctive characteristics of the province’s population with the expertise of a proven interdisciplinary research team.

“Our research program has had substantial economic benefits for Newfoundland and Labrador through research funding and employment of highly skilled personnel,” said Dr. Parfrey. “MUN’s Interdisciplinary Research Team in Human Genetics has developed key partnerships with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Health and Community Services, Central Health Corporation and rural physicians who will directly benefit from the evidence-based research that emerges from the work.”