CHRSP Champions


The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research is committed to its partnership with the provincial health system through our Contextualized Health Research Synthesis Program (CHRSP). As health and community services undergo a process of transformation following from the findings of Health Accord NL, CHRSP is now working closely with partners throughout the health and social services system to weave evidence and decision support seamlessly into the transformation process. Given the need for timely evidence that can be considered as new decisions are being made, CHRSP will focus our work on producing more rapid and responsive reports. 

To strengthen communication linkages with CHRSP, in 2023, we have established connections with a new group of Health System Leaders and valued CHRSP Champions who will direct and support the production of locally-relevant decision support to inform health system transformation in 2023, 2024 and beyond.

The four top priority research themes our health system and patient partners have identified to support the transition process are: Health Human Resources, the Learning Health and Social System, Care of the Older Adult, and Public Engagement.  This year, in a new approach for CHRSP, we have identified Champions whose work aligns with these priority themes.

How do Champions work with CHRSP?

For CHRSP to initiate a new decision support project on behalf of our health and social services system partners, CHRSP Champions are expected to:

  1. Discuss and confirm with CHRSP the type of project/product you wish to have us produce for you, including:
    1. Rapid Decision Support (quick evidence overviews, curated reading lists, links to pertinent publications or websites)
    2. Snapshot Reports (jurisdictional scans of best practices implemented elsewhere that might be adapted for local use)
    3. Rapid Evidence Reports (synthesis and appraisal of research evidence)
    4. NLCAHR Experts' Exchanges in which we will organize a meeting between your team and leading national experts in a structured discussion to answer your targeted questions.
  2. Frame your decision support needs as a researchable question that clearly identifies the focus and scope of the project in plain language (without jargon or ambiguity) and that, where appropriate, identifies the study's PICOS parameters (Population, Intervention, Control/Comparator, Outcome, and Setting).
  3. Assign a designated partnership lead within your organization for each project.  CHRSP will communicate with this person about the project with an expectation of regular and timely consultation/response.
  4. Provide at least one example of research that will support your decision, or work with CHRSP to locate such an example (e.g., a published research study, a systematic review article, a grey-lit report, a policy, etc.).  Having this groundwork in place will help define the research question and will shorten project timelines. 

How does CHRSP work with its Champions?

Once the CHRSP team has consulted with you to gather the information outlined above, we will start the project on your behalf.

  1. The preliminary step for any CHRSP project will be to schedule a meeting (1 hour) with the designated partnership lead (see #3 above) for the purposes of learning about the background of the topic as it applies to Newfoundland and Labrador (i.e., the service landscape, the state of policy development or implementation, and what other individuals, consultants, agencies or organizations we may need to connect with to inform our work in this area.)
  2. We envisage each project consisting of the following three phases, all of which require engagement with Champions and other health system and community partners:
    1. Phase 1 |Define the topic: our researchers will work with you to ensure that the project is focused on the areas where decision support is required- this typically involves a narrowing of the project scope to identify the optimal approach/ researchable parameters for CHRSP's work
    2. Work on the project: our researchers will then carry out the methodological steps required to produce a decision support product for you that will be tailored to meet your needs (See list of products in item #1 above)
    3. Review and publish:  We will send you a draft of our decision support for review prior to publication on the NLCAHR website.

CHRSP Health System Leaders & Champions- 2023-2024

Health System Leaders

  • John McGrath, Deputy Minister, Department of Health & Community Services
  • Alan Doody, Deputy Minister, Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development
  • David Diamond, President and CEO, Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services
  • Chief Operating Officers for Geographic Zones:
    • Ron R. Johnson, VP COO, Eastern Urban Zone
    • Debbie Walsh, VP COO, Eastern Rural Zone
    • Joanne Pelley, VP COO Central Zone
    • Teara Freake VP COO Western Zone
    • Antionette Cabot, VP COO Labrador-Grenfell Zone

CHRSP Champions for 2023-2024

Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services

NLHS Transformation Leadership:

  • Kenneth W. Baird, VP Transformation- Transition
  • Cassie Chisholm, VP Transformation- Primary Healthcare 
  • Darla King, VP Transformation-Wellbeing
  • Kelli O'Brien, VP Transformation- Learning Health and Social System

NLHS Thematic Champions for projects related to priority themes:

Health Human Resources Research Theme

  • Cassie Chisholm, VP Transformation- Primary Healthcare
  • Debbie Molloy, VP Health Human Resources
  • Murray Doucette- Physician Recruitment Lead
  • Krista Peach, Senior HR Consultant

Learning Health & Social System Research Theme

  • Kelli O'Brien, BSc, Msc, Extra Fellow, VP Transformation- Learning Health and Social System
  • Stephen Greene VP Digital Health
  • Lisa Pottle, NL Centre for Health Information

Care of the Older Adult Research Theme

  • Darla King, MScOT, OTRNL, VP Transformation-Wellbeing

Public Engagement Research Theme

  • Lynette Oates, Chief Communications Officer

Department of Children, Seniors, and Social Development

Department of Health and Community Services

 Health Human Resources Research Theme:

  • Megan Hayes, ADM of Health Professional Recruitment and Retention
  • Carla Whittle, Director of Health Professional Recruitment and Retention
  • Jeannine Herritt, ADM of Regional Services
  • Andrew Wells, Manager of Health Workforce Planning
  • NLCAHR presentation to DHCS (November 2023)

Care of the Older Adult Research Theme:

  • Deena Waddleton, Director of Seniors' Health Care

Learning Health & Social System Research Theme:

  • Donna Roche, Director of Data Governance and Privacy

Patient  and Context Advisers: