2015 SOG Award Winners

Leadership Award – Patrice Lindsay

Patrice LindsayPatrice Lindsay has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Western Ontario and completed her PhD in Health Services Research/Evaluation and Outcomes at the University of Toronto. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences.  Dr. Lindsay is currently the Director of Best Practices and Performance at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, where she has leads the development of stroke evidence-based best practice guidelines, system design and implementation strategies, stroke quality monitoring and reporting initiatives, and the development of resources for stroke patients and families at all ages and stages of the stroke journey. She is a respected expert member of several international stroke committees, including the World Stroke Organization Board of Directors where she chairs the Global Stroke Guidelines and Quality Committee and is a member of the Global Policy and the Education committees; the board of directors of the International Alliance for Paediatric Stroke; and the Scientific Committee of the European Stroke Organization.  Dr. Lindsay is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for her efforts to improve stroke care and outcomes in Canada and internationally.

Innovation Award – Clare Atzema

Clare AtzemaDr Atzema obtained her Master’s degree in clinical epidemiology from IHPME in 2006. She is a practicing emergency physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and a Core Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. Her research focusses on patients with cardiovascular disease in the emergency department (ED), specifically on atrial fibrillation and hypertension. One of her primary research goals is to increase the proportion of these patients who are safely discharged home from the ED.

Dr Atzema published a 24-site study that derived and validated a complex tool (which requires a smartphone for the app or internet access) as well as a simple tool that can be committed to memory (“TrOPs-BAC”), which predicts who can safely be discharged home. The latter is much like the “CHADS2” score, which is used ubiquitously in clinical practice for calculating stroke risk. Dr Atzema created both tools because emergency physicians utilize complex tools far less frequently than simple tools, likely secondary to the time constraints in the ED setting. If the simple tool results in a score or 0 or 1, the patient can be sent home, whereas a 4 or more should prompt consideration of admission. If the score is 2 or 3, then the physician may consult the complex score. By creating two complimentary tools, this innovative approach will facilitate the use of tool(s) in real-time in the emergency setting.

In her work on the clinical decision tools, Dr Atzema found that one of the barriers to uptake of her tool(s) in the emergency setting was patient access to appropriate follow-up care (with a primary care provider). For patients who cannot access their primary care provider in a timely way, the tool(s) will not be utilized: instead, the patient will be admitted to hospital, since they can’t get the check-up and follow-up testing they need in the outpatient setting. Therefore Dr Atzema obtained a CIHR Meetings Grant to bring together the individuals with the ability to address this issue: representatives from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (the Honorable Susan Fitzpatrick), eHealth (Chief Architect Peter Bascom), Health Quality Ontario, CMPA, CPSO, Ontario Telehealth Network (OTN), Patients Canada, OntarioMD (a subsidiary of the Ontario Medical Association), LHIN leaders, IT technicians and administrative staff at EDs and primary care offices, and physician leaders from primary care and emergency medicine. Following the meeting on May 20, 2015, pre-booked follow-up care appointments following ED discharge is now on the e-Health agenda.

Dr Atzema focused her attention on the patient component of ED discharge when she created a set of online discharge instruction videos specifically for the ED (see www.sunnybrook.ca/eddischarge). In response to work demonstrating that patients do not remember a large proportion of their discharge instructions, she secured funding to produce 40 videos for 40 commonly discharged diagnoses. Each script was vetted by 5 emergency physicians of varying career stage, and by laypersons for comprehension. These videos are the first of their kind in the world, free for use on the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre website. Dr Atzema demonstrated their effectiveness in a randomized controlled trial entitled, “Speak Fast, Use Jargon, and Don’t Repeat Yourself: A Randomized Trial Assessing the Effectiveness of Online Videos to Supplement Emergency Department Discharge Instructions”.

From online ED discharge instruction videos to a set of tools to facilitate the safe discharge of more patients to their own homes, to convening stakeholders from across Ontario to tackle access to care following ED discharge, Dr Atzema has created a set of complimentary innovations, supported by clinical epidemiological skills gained at IHPME.

Literary Award in Health Services, Policy and Management – Anna Durbin

Anna DurbinAnna Durbin has had consistent interest in mental health care for vulnerable groups. She is currently working as a Research Associate at Canadian Mental Health Association (Toronto branch) where she is helping to develop system wide indicators for supportive housing and case management services, and using needs assessment data to identify opportunities for quality improvement initiatives in community-based mental health programs.

Anna is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) in Health Services Research. Anna’s doctoral thesis entitled “Mental health service use by recent immigrants and by long term residents in Ontario, Canada” is population based research that examined use of physician and hospital provided mental health care by recent immigrants disaggregated into different groups (e.g. by worldwide region of origin, time in Canada, and admission class).  Findings can contribute to more informed discussions among policymakers and providers regarding how to support the mental health of the diverse population of immigrants arriving to Canada. She holds a Masters in Epidemiology and has won a series of awards and scholarships from Canadian Institute for Health Research and other funding bodies.

Literary Award in Health Services Evaluation- Moira Kapral

Moira KaptralDr. Moira Kapral is a Professor of Medicine and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist for the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Ontario (ICES) and the Toronto General Research Institute.  She is a general internist at the Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network.  She holds a career investigator award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.  Her research focuses on the evaluation of stroke care and outcomes in different populations and on the development of stroke quality indicators.