Dr. Brianne Wood, Associate Scientist at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), has been awarded the Fellowship in Health Systems Resilience by the Health Research Foundation of Innovative Medicines Canada. Dr. Wood was selected by the foundation’s committee of leading Canadian life sciences experts to receive $450,000 over three years.
As an Associate Scientist in Social Accountability and Learning Health Systems, Dr. Wood’s research aims to improve health care in Northern Ontario by building a system that reflects the health needs of communities. She will investigate how communities and health systems can better generate knowledge and understanding to help inform policy both in times of emergency and for the future of health system improvement.
“I’m thrilled for the opportunity this fellowship provides, and for the trust the foundation places in me to advance my research. My vision is to improve health and health care in Northern, rural, and remote communities. Partnerships, shared strategies and resources between education, research, health services and communities are essential to create meaningful impact. This fellowship will enable me to better prepare underserved health systems to meet the needs of their health workforce and the communities they serve,” says Dr. Wood.
Her research comes at a critical time, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight ongoing health-care inequities in Northern Ontario. Rural and remote communities in the region face health workforce shortages, burnout, fewer resources, and more complex population health issues compared to the rest of Ontario. The Fellowship will examine the resilience of Northern Ontario’s health system—specifically to strengthen the system’s capacity to adapt to crisis, emergencies and change—while maintaining and improving health care service.
“Through initiatives such as the Fellowship in Health Systems Resilience, our industry makes valuable contributions to public policy and helps Canadians prepare and be equipped to face our next public health crisis. I believe that Dr. Wood and her work will help Canada curb the impact of future pandemics and other health threats, especially in vulnerable communities,” says Pamela Fralick, President, Innovative Medicines Canada.