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Celebrating the 2018 Vancouver Community Team Grant Recipients


VCHRI recently announced the winners of the 2018 Team Grant Awards. Seven staff-led teams from across VCH are embarking on supportive and collaborative research that will bring benefits to health care practice. Vancouver Community is proud of its three teams who will be working to advance community care in the 2017/2018 VC priority research areas of Mental Health & Substance Use, and Indigenous Health.

Hilda Fernandez is a suicide prevention counsellor at Mental Health and Substance Use Outpatient Services. Her project “Understanding trauma and recovery practices among users and providers of trauma-specific services within mental health and substance use sites at Vancouver Coastal Health" will explore how users of these services understand trauma and recovery. Trauma-informed care is part of VCH practices, yet little is known about what constitutes effective trauma care from the patient perspective. This qualitative study will survey 4 sites within VCH using semi-structured interviews, focus groups of practitioners and patients, and discourse analysis of educational trauma material. The goal of this research is to improve existing trauma-informed policy and care by understanding how patients perceive trauma care, and how practitioners conceptualize it.

Bernd Mueller is a social worker at Three Bridges Community Health Centre. His project is entitled “DBT skills training groups for clients on waitlist for trans-specialty care". The Trans Specialty Care program at Three Bridges primary care clinic provides hormone readiness and assessment, surgical planning, referrals, and psychotherapy to gender diverse individuals. Long wait times can induce considerable anxiety in patients. Given the high rates of suicide in this population, Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) may offer a solution. DBT is known to be effective for clients with anxiety, severe depression, and bipolar disorder. The study will evaluate the effect of DBT skills training on suicidal thinking and self-harm behavior in gender-diverse individuals who are waitlisted for Trans care. This work will inform the implementation of better Trans Specialty Care at VCH and will improve the lives of patients.

Belle Selkirk (pictured right) is a mental health therapist at Mental Health and Substance Use Outpatient Services. Colleen Stewart (pictured left) is an Aboriginal Patient Navigator at Aboriginal Health. The title of their project is “Indigenous women's voices in health care planning and service delivery". Indigenous women experience disproportionate health disparities compared to the rest of the population. VCH Aboriginal Health has made Indigenous women's health a priority. This study will make use of facilitated knowledge gathering sessions in Vancouver Community settings to better understand Indigenous women's experiences in health care. This will be used to help identify issues that are most relevant to the community. Several VCH Aboriginal health initiatives will benefit from the knowledge gathered, such as the DTES Women's Health & Safety Initiative, the Nәćamat Village of Women's Wellness, and the Indigenous Cultural Safety curriculum. This work will have important implications for the health of Indigenous women themselves and therefore will also impact the health of Indigenous children and communities.

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SOURCE: Celebrating the 2018 Vancouver Community Team Grant Recipients ( )
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