Bringing hope and healing through research

Dr. Ron Heslegrave

Osler’s Corporate Chief of Research, Dr. Ron Heslegrave, works with EMS to test a new medical device for heart attack patients.

This week’s guest blogger is Dr. Ron Heslegrave, Osler’s Corporate Chief of Research

How many of you made a resolution to learn a new skill in 2018? To improve your health or discover a new passion? As I rang in 2018, it occurred to me that the very things that inspire our own personal New Year’s Resolutions – learning, improving, discovering – also drive Osler’s Research and Innovation Program.

Every day, our researchers seek to discover new ways to improve patient care and prevent and treat disease in our community. There are literally hundreds of research initiatives – far too many to list in this blog – underway at Osler right now! And what we are learning is bringing hope and healing to our patients.

For example:

  • A patient with advanced lung cancer is getting access to a promising new drug, years before it goes to market, giving him more time to spend with the people he loves.
  • A new medical device called autoRIC, currently being tested by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Peel and Halton and our interventional cardiologists, is helping to minimize cardiac damage in heart attack patients before they even arrive at our hospital.
  • Our collaboration on the Canadian Alliance Study for Healthy Hearts and Minds is providing insights about the factors that contribute to the high incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer among South Asians in our community.
  • We’re piloting an innovative digital platform designed to tailor home-care needs to individual patients in our community, at lower cost than what is currently available.

Again these are just a few examples of the many way our research is influencing and impacting front-line care locally, regionally, nationally, as well as far beyond our borders through our Global Health Program with partnering countries India and Pakistan.

Members of Osler’s 2017 Summer Student Research Program with Her Worship the Mayor of Brampton, Linda Jeffrey, Dr. Ronald Heslegrave, Corporate Chief of Research, and Dr. Ravi Bhargava (Lt.) Corporate Manager of Research.

We are also helping to nurture the next generation of health care leaders and researchers through our annual Osler Summer Student Research Program. Students who participate gain first-hand experience conducting meaningful research that supports our Mission of innovative health care delivered with compassion.

Research cannot happen without funding and our team has had significant success attracting support in a highly competitive market – a fact that speaks to the calibre of our work. Just this week, we learned that two Osler teams are receiving grants from the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation for research projects looking at ways to enhance care for palliative patients in their own home and provide physicians with access to their patient’s end-of-life wishes.

I am so proud of the incredible progress of Osler’s Research and Innovation Program to date and excited at the opportunities ahead. The future of research at Osler looks bright indeed. I look forward to leading the program as it continues to help deliver patient-inspired care without boundaries for patients and their families in our community and beyond.

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