Congratulations to MHAC researcher Dr. Stacey Lovo, co-PIs Dr. Brenna Bath, Dr. Jaris Swidrovich and Dr. Scotty Butcher on being awarded the 2020-2021 Solutions- IMPACT Grant funded by the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation. This two-year, nearly $150,000 grant will expand on a successful virtual rehabilitation program that is a collaborative project with the Northern Saskatchewan community of Pelican Narrows to address access disparities to care for chronic back disorders. The IMPACT funded project will include focus on other chronic musculoskeletal health conditions and will facilitate partnerships with the communities of La Loche and Waterhen Lake to develop, implement and evaluate virtual access to culturally responsive musculoskeletal rehabilitation through a team-based intervention, including physical therapists and pharmacists, using remote presence robotics.
This project prioritizes community collaboration to ensure the unique strengths and needs of the communities are the driving force for development and evaluation of new service models. This research will provide a better understanding of barriers to access and provision of culturally responsive care for chronic musculoskeletal conditions in remote Saskatchewan Indigenous communities, describe experiences that highlight the consequences of access challenges, and empower community-led development of care models that meet community needs.
With COVID-19, virtual care has been forced to the forefront of health system care in Canada. Northern communities have faced added travel bans and lockdowns which make the uptake of effective and appropriate virtual care strategies even more relevant. With rapid growth comes the need to ensure healthcare quality is maintained. This research will empower the communities to define and plan quality, culturally responsive access to care using virtual strategies for chronic musculoskeletal conditions.
We wish the research team the best of luck with this project titled Empowering northern Indigenous communities to ensure equitable, appropriate and community-based access to musculoskeletal care using virtual technology. Stay tuned for the addition of this project and project-related updates on MHAC’s ‘current research’ page.