Health Research Foundation announces recipient of its new Fellowship in Health Systems Resilience

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Ottawa, October 28, 2021 – The Health Research Foundation (HRF) of Innovative Medicines Canada is pleased to announce that Dr. Brianne Wood has been awarded the Fellowship in Health Systems Resilience. Dr. Wood is an Associate Scientist, Social Accountability and Learning Health Systems at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine University and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted significant and persistent healthcare inequities in Canada. Northern, rural and remote communities in particular suffer from limited infrastructure, workforce shortages, and unequal distribution of resources. Dr. Wood’s research aims to improve healthcare in these regions by building a socially accountable health system that reflects the unique contexts of inhabitants. She will investigate how these communities and their health systems can better generate knowledge for decision- and policy-making during public health emergencies and ongoing health systems transformation.

The HRF is a non-profit organization that has long supported research excellence and promoted world-class scientists focused on the discoveries and innovations that keep our communities healthy, and our economy thriving. The new Fellowship will examine the factors that enhance or undermine the resilience of the health system, specifically to strengthen the system’s capacity to accommodate and adapt to shocks while maintaining and improving performance. Dr. Wood’s selection was resoundingly endorsed by the Foundation’s Fellowship Selection Committee, which is made up of leading Canadian life sciences experts. She will receive $450,000 in funding over the course of three years.


I’m thrilled for the opportunity this Fellowship provides, and for the trust the HRF places in me to advance my research. My vision is to improve health and healthcare 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.” Dr. Brianne Wood.

The Fellowship in Health Systems Resilience is a vital piece in HRF’s research strategy as we form deeper partnerships and prepare for future health challenges. On behalf of the HRF, I extend my congratulations to Dr. Brianne Wood. I am particularly pleased that her work will inform more effective health planning and preparedness in northern, rural and remote settings. This focus on previously underserved areas aligns with HRF aims to ensure Canadians experience the benefits of health research no matter where they live.” Mel Cappe, Chair of the HRF Board of Directors.

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.” Pamela Fralick, President, Innovative Medicines Canada.

About Innovative Medicines Canada

Innovative Medicines Canada is the national association representing the voice of Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry. The association advocates for policies that enable the discovery, development, and delivery of innovative medicines and vaccines to improve the lives of all Canadians and supports the members’ commitment to being a valued partner in the Canadian healthcare system. The association represents 48 companies who invest nearly $1.2-billion in R&D annually, fueling Canada’s knowledge-based economy, while contributing $8-billion to Canada’s economy. Guided by the Code of Ethical Practices, all members work with governments, private payers, healthcare professionals, and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

About IMC’s Health Research Foundation

The Innovative Medicines Canada Health Research Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and promote the value of health research in Canada. By applying the highest standards of scientific excellence, addressing health challenges and establishing partnerships, HRF, one of the leading private health foundations in the country, contributes significantly to the prevention and treatment of disease, to a better healthcare system and the availability for Canadians to access effective health products.


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