Federal and provincial government partner to jointly invest $4.8M in health research

News release

Researchers will test ways to reduce emergency room wait times and improve the patient experience

July 12, 2019 – St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Funding science, research, and investments in innovative technology, processes, and procedures will help to ensure the Canadian health care system remains sustainable.

To that end, today, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced a joint federal-provincial investment of $4.8 million in health research. Minister O’Regan made the announcement at Memorial University of Newfoundland on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health.

The funding, partly through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), will support a project at Memorial University that is testing the effectiveness of an app designed to lower emergency room wait times in Newfoundland and Labrador.

If the project proves successful at saving money, provincial partners have agreed to explore ways to re-invest some of the savings in further health research.

This research is made possible by the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR), a series of funding partnerships between CIHR, provinces and territories, philanthropic organizations, academic institutions, and health charities. At its core, SPOR is about providing the evidence needed to inform the development of health policies and improve the health care system for patients.


“Congratulations to the health researchers receiving funding today. Your project shows great promise for improving the quality of care patients receive. It is my hope that this health innovation will ultimately prove to increase patient satisfaction and lower wait times.”   
- The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services

“Canadians are proud of their health care system, and while it gets many things right, we know that there is always room for improvement. Health research is one of the keys to unlocking the potential of our health system and services. That is why I commend the researchers who have listened to the priorities of patients in their province and are working to make a difference in their lives.”
- The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health

“The project being announced today is a wonderful example of how effective we can be when we work together. Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, a research team at Memorial University, with support from the federal and provincial governments and our partners at Eastern Health and the Trinity Conception Placentia Health Foundation, are test-driving an app that could make extreme emergency department wait times a thing of the past.”
- Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East

“Congratulations to Dr. Asghari and her team. This is the story of two front line clinicians who saw a problem and took the initiative to solve it. This app is a homegrown Newfoundland and Labrador solution that has generated national attention. It has the potential to be used in any acute care facility with an emergency room. We are pleased to join with the Government of Canada to support a project that will have a direct impact on patients and the health care sector.”
- The Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Quick facts

  • The $4.8M investment announced today has been jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments:

    • CIHR: $2.4M
    • Trinity Conception Placentia Health Foundation: $100,000
    • Eastern Health: $1.8M
    • Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation: $500,000
  • The research project announced today is one that has been identified by patient partners as a priority, and will benefit from the involvement of patients throughout its life-cycle.

Associated links


Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Thierry Bélair
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Kathy Dicks-Peyton
Health and Community Services
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
709-729-6986, 699-1982

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

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