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New funding will transform military & veteran health research

Monday was an extraordinary day at the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) Forum in Toronto, and not just because we had a sold-out crowd of over 500 delegates. To open the day’s events, Minister Ambrose and Michael Burns announced that Health Canada and the True Patriot Love Foundation would each commit $5M to in funding to the institute. To end the day, Kelly Williams from General Dynamics announced that the company would be donating a further $500,000.

Military personnel receive excellent care while serving in the Armed Forces, and this care is tailored to the specific needs inherent in the type of work and environment within which they are operating. Unfortunately, there is a gap between this type of care and the care offered by the civilian health system, which is not always attuned to the unique needs of veterans arising from exceptional exposures, extreme environments, and intense working conditions.

It is this gap that formed the impetus to build an institute that would focus specifically on the nature, magnitude, long-term effects, delayed presentation and trans-generational implications of military service. We needed research that would inform the dramatic changes necessary to improve our health care system for military personal and Veterans alike. It was out of this drive to narrow the gap, and through the tireless work of Dr. Alice Aiken (right), that CIMVHR was born.

Now in its fourth year of operation, CIMVHR welcomed its 35th university to the list of collaborating institutions this year. These schools work in cooperation, performing research, translating knowledge and communicating with stakeholder groups.

Through their contributions, Health Canada, True Patriot Love and General Dynamics have made it possible for CIMVHR to look forward, grow and continue changing the lives of Canadian military, Veterans and their families. CIMVHR is the hub that connects all of the stakeholders who have a role in advancing research for the health of our troops and funding for this cause can only mean strengthening the available resources for the military, Veterans and their families.

These funds mean the ability to build new partnerships, expand our capacity to disseminate the most current evidence, educate clinicians and policy makers, develop important links with provincial and territorial governments who care for our Veterans and military families, create new research programs, and share what we learn broadly and openly for the benefit of all Canadians.

Share your thoughts on military & Veteran health and CIMVHR’s work by responding to the blog, or better yet, please drop by the Macklem House, my door is always open.

Branden Deschambault

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 13:55

Proud of the relationship between Queen’s and CIMVHR Dr Reznick. Any idea on the most immediate likely tangibles these dollars translate to for veteran access to specialized care? Perhaps better directed to Dr. Aiken, but maybe you have some insights.

Branden Deschambault

Cheryl King-VanVlack

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 13:56

Kudos go to Alice Aiken for all of her dedication and hard work to see the centre through its infancy to a thriving enterprise.

Cheryl King-VanVlack

Dr. M. Susan Rodgman

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 13:58

I have the same question as Branden. Despite the fact that we at CFB Kingston are right next door to Queen’s, I do not know of any CIMVHR initiative that has been instituted on our base. I am one of the doctors who works on base & only heard about this initiative last year at a Mess dinner where Dr Aitken spoke. How is CIMVHR specifically helping our local Kingston veterans?

Dr. M. Susan Rodgman

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