New investment in patient-oriented research in Saskatchewan

News release

June 29, 2022 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Patients, their families, and caregivers are best placed to know what is important and what is not when receiving health care services. That's why patient-oriented research and care is so vital. Through their lived experience, patients bring valuable firsthand perspectives to research that, in turn, help lead to new and better ways of delivering care that ultimately improve the health of all people in Canada.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced a joint investment of $25 million from the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan to continue the work of the Saskatchewan SPOR Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Unit, which connects research with patient needs so that evidence-based solutions can be applied to health care.

Since 2015, the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR), Saskatchewan's SPOR SUPPORT Unit, has been establishing systems to support patient-oriented research in the province. This includes supporting research that engages with the populations the research is aiming to support. For example, input from patient family partners has proved invaluable in guiding the direction of research projects exploring the use of artificial intelligence in diagnosing lung cancer and how to better support the mental health of Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers.

This investment is provided as part of Canada's Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR), a pan-Canadian initiative dedicated to integrating the voices of patients in research and health care. SPOR is led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) with support from partners across the country.


"To provide Canadians with high-quality health care, we need research evidence to tell us what works best. Patients, caregivers, and families help us get this evidence by adding their unique lived experiences to the research process. Through this continued collaboration with the provinces and territories and our partners, we are strengthening health care systems across the country and improving patient care for Canadians."
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

"Our government is proud to invest in Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research as they leverage the experience of a variety of partners to ensure patients have a strong voice in the delivery of health care in our province. This collaboration will lead to a responsive, equitable and innovative system that supports a healthier Saskatchewan."
The Honourable Paul Merriman
Minister of Health, Government of Saskatchewan

"Our work at CIHR has made patient-oriented research no longer just a concept in Canada; patients and researchers are working together to produce measurable improvements in service delivery and health care practice across the country. Patient-oriented research wouldn't be where it is today without the ongoing support and contributions from all SPOR-funded entities and their steadfast commitment to patient-oriented research in each of their jurisdictions."
Dr. Michael J. Strong
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

"Through patient-oriented research, we can achieve better experiences and better results for patients – the people of Saskatchewan. We are grateful for CIHR's funding commitment, and that of our partner agencies to this important initiative."
Dr. Preston Smith
Dean of the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine
SCPOR Named Principal Investigator

Quick facts

  • SPOR is a pan-Canadian coalition of the federal government, provinces, territories, philanthropic organizations, academic institutions, and health charities with the goal of achieving better patient outcomes through patient-oriented research.

  • SPOR Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Units, or SPOR SUPPORT Units, are provincial and territorial-based centres that provide access to health data, apply knowledge generated through research to improve health care practices, provide training on conducting and using patient-oriented research, and engaging patients as active partners throughout the entire research process.

  • There are also SPOR SUPPORT Units located in Alberta, British Columbia, the Maritimes, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, Ontario, Quebec, and Yukon. Discussions are underway to establish a SUPPORT Unit in Nunavut.

  • The Government of Canada, through the CIHR, the Government of Saskatchewan and provincial partners are providing an investment of $25M over five years to help the SPOR SUPPORT Units in Saskatchewan continue their important work.

  • SCPOR is receiving contributions from the Saskatchewan Health Authority, the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council, the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, eHealth Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency and First Nations University of Canada.

Associated links


Marie-France Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

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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