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College of Nursing

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Several Researchers Celebrate SHRF Grant Success

March 30, 2017


(l to r) Drs. Marcella Ogenchuk, Sonia Udod and Tracie Risling

The Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) Collaborative Innovation Development (CID) Grant Program supports collaborative, interdisciplinary and innovative research that represents the first step forward on the path to additional funding. The grants are intended to foster creativity, novelty and innovation in research that has the potential to benefit the health of Saskatchewan residents. Please join the College of Nursing in congratulating Drs. Tracie Risling, Noelle Rohatinsky, Marcella Ogenchuk, Holly Graham, Sonia Udod and Lois Berry on their 2016 - 2017 SHRF CID Grant success for the following projects.

Tracie Risling and Noelle Rohatinsky

Dr. Tracie Risling and team members Dr. Noelle Rohatinsky (College of Nursing), Derek Risling (ICT Specialist) and Sharyle Fowler (College of Medicine) are looking to use technology to help young patients move forward into adult care. Their project, Developing a Mobile Application to Support Healthcare Transition Success for Adolescents with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, specifically aims to help teens and young adults living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), their caregivers and healthcare providers by developing a pilot application that can be used on a cell phone or tablet that is specifically designed to their needs. Basically, the app would allow them to have their medical history and care requirements at their fingertips.

“I am very excited to be able to advance the work that Dr. Rohatinsky and I have been doing in collaboration with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada both at the local and national level to support those living with IBD during the time of transition between pediatric and adult care,” said Risling. “Technology is becoming a more significant factor both in our daily lives and in healthcare delivery. This project is an opportunity to work in collaboration with patients, family caregivers and healthcare practitioners to create a technological solution to not only ease the stress of transition of care, but to provide long-term support for improved health outcomes for patients with IBD.”

The hope is by uniting the expertise of patients, families, healthcare providers, researchers and software development professionals, the group will create a new way of providing support focused on patient-centered care. Rohatinsky had this to say about their project. “Canada has one of the highest rates of IBD in the world, and the numbers are rising in children and adolescents. With the lack of a pediatric gastroenterologist in Saskatchewan, there is risk for a gap in care to occur as young adults’ transition to adult gastroenterology care. This interdisciplinary project offers an opportunity to collaboratively develop a mobile application that can serve the healthcare and learning needs of patients and families in Saskatchewan.”

Marcella Ogenchuk and Holly Graham

Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in Canada. Dr. Marcella Ogenchuk and the team of Drs. Holly Graham (College of Nursing), Gerry Uswak (College of Dentistry), Vivian Ramsden (College of Medicine) and Rob Weiler (Saskatoon Health Region) are working alongside the communities of Thunderchild First Nation and La Loche to look for ways to facilitate change that will improve the oral health of Saskatchewan children. Their project, Exploring Oral Health with Indigenous Communities: Collaborative Pathways for Early Intervention, will focus on decreasing the prevalence of decay in Indigenous communities with high rates.

This project is exciting; it includes an interdisciplinary team of doctorally prepared nurses, a dentist and an anesthesiologist that will explore the oral health needs of Indigenous communities with participation from the communities themselves. Graham expressed how important it is for the communities, including the parents, to be involved in a process that will allow for the provision of oral health care for their children. “Dental caries are largely preventable and can have lifelong consequences on the overall health and wellbeing of children,” said Ogenchuk.

This research is critical to better understand oral health and disease, identify strengths and barriers of oral health care services and identify culturally appropriate resources with Indigenous communities. By engaging individuals, families, community leaders, health care practitioners, educators and policy makers, Dr. Ogenchuk and the team hope to create an effective framework to be used to improve oral health in Indigenous populations.

Sonia Udod and Lois Berry

How do emergency departments reduce wait times? What is the best way to help care providers in busy emergency departments feel they are providing the best possible care? Drs. Sonia Udod, Lois Berry and Joan Wagner (University of Regina), along with their team Amber Alecxe (Saskatchewan Union of Nurses) and Glen Perchie (Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region) are hoping to determine some of these answers through their project, Improving Emergency Department Care Provider and Patient Outcomes Using a Synergy Tool. There is a new tool being used in acute and critical care in Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. This tool, the Synergy tool, is what the research team will be using for their project in the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region. Specifically, the Synergy tool, will systematically assess patient priority care needs and determine nurse staffing assignments within the two busiest emergency departments in the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region.

“The government of Saskatchewan's 2016 - 2017 goal to reduce emergency department wait times and improve patient flow sparked this unique collaboration,” said Udod. “We are hoping the information we gather will assist the emergency departments to meet government goals of reduced wait times and improved patient flow, while ensuring quality patient care. From a nursing perspective, we anticipate this tool will improve nurses’ quality of life, improve healthcare services and continue to reinforce the important contributions nurses make to the healthcare system.”

Dr. Lois Berry had this to add about the project. “The tool we are using can also help administrators determine what services are really needed for emergency department clients. Often these people are in need of special care, but the emergency department is not the right place to get those services. This study can help to demonstrate patient needs in a way that will allow for identification of more appropriate programs and services for them.”

Congratulations once again to Drs. Tracie Risling, Noelle Rohatinsky, Marcella Ogenchuk, Holly Graham, Sonia Udod and Lois Berry on their 2016 - 2017 SHRF CID Grant success.