Research holds great potential to make an immediate difference in the care of patients. Fostering this work is critical in helping the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) achieve the mission of “Working together to improve our health and well-being. Every day. For everyone.”
The Clinician Research Support Pilot Program is an exciting new partnership between the SHA and College of Medicine Regina Campus that aims to assist new clinician researchers in achieving early successes and to help them build a track record that will strengthen their future funding applications to provincial, national, and international funding opportunities.
From left: Dr. Eric Sy, Dr. Megan Clark and Dr. Darrien Rattray are the first three physicians selected to participate in the Clinician Research Support Program, a new pilot project that aims to assist new Clinician Researchers with support from the Saskatchewan Health Authority Research Department.
“In 2017, the College of Medicine and former Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region signed a Memorandum of Understanding that supported growth on the Regina Campus. One area of growth is in Research and this new pilot project was launched to directly support faculty members in conducting research,” said Dr. Gill White, Associate Dean - Regina Campus, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan.
To be eligible to apply for the award, candidates were required to be Regina-based physicians who had held their first clinical position for fewer than six years. In addition, they had to be currently engaged in clinical and/or patient-oriented research that would be eligible for other external funding opportunities at the provincial (e.g., Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, College of Medicine Research Award at the University of Saskatchewan) and national (e.g., Health Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research) levels within the next two years.
“We were extremely pleased with both the number and calibre of this year’s applicants. The Review Committee was forced to make some very tough decisions, but we are confident that we have selected three clinician researchers with tremendous potential to become leaders in research,” said Dr. Elan Paluck, SHA’s Director of Research and member of the Review Committee.
The three successful applicants will each receive one day a week of dedicated research support from the SHA’s Research Department for a period of up to two years.
This year’s successful recipients include:
Dr. Darrien Rattray is currently in his fifth year of practice in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Regina. His areas of research interest include fibroid management, minimally invasive surgery (hysteroscopy and laparoscopy), endometrial ablation techniques, and medical education (specifically surgical simulation and the development of evidence-based models for teaching). One of the interesting studies that he and his research colleagues have in development is the management of intramural fibroids as they pertain to fertility. Dr. Rattray is also the inaugural recipient of a matching research scholarship through the Dr. George Carson Young Innovator Award.
Dr. Eric Sy is in his fourth year of practice as a Critical Care Medicine specialist with the Saskatchewan Health Authority. He is also a Transport Physician with STARS Air Ambulance, and most recently, was awarded an Assistant Professorship in the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. His research interests are primarily in the fields of critical care epidemiology, health service research and patient outcomes. Dr. Sy recently was awarded a grant from the Department of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan to investigate the role of airway pressure release ventilation in acute respiratory distress syndrome and its impact on patient outcomes. His goal is to help develop local critical care research so that Regina may become a participating site in the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group within the next five years.
Dr. Megan Clark is in her third year of practice at the Regina Family Medicine Unit and is a clinician-teacher and Assistant Professor in the Department of Academic Family Medicine. She is involved in several areas of research including Indigenous health, trans and gender-diverse (TGD) health, and women's health. Dr. Clark provides care to a number of TGD patients in her practice. Further potential for patient-oriented and community-engaged research projects will also stem from Dr. Clark’s clinical involvements in addictions medicine, palliative care and inner city medicine.