Government of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador are putting patients first with new research investment

News release

July 13, 2022 – St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Patients, 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 Canadians.

Today, the Honorable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced a combined investment of $9.7 million over five years from the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to support ongoing patient-oriented research through the province's SPOR SUPPORT Unit. The SPOR Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Unit connects research with patient needs so that evidence-based solutions can be applied to health care.

NL SUPPORT, the province's SPOR SUPPORT Unit, has had a busy year. It hosted a Research Design Training Series after assessing their community's training needs. These weekly webinars featured guest speakers on various research methods and provided valuable insight to researchers, decision makers, clinicians, patient partners and students, who are now better positioned to understand how to conduct patient-oriented research.

As well, NL SUPPORT's lead program Quality of Care NL, played a key role as secretariat for the provincial government's Health Accord NL Task Force, whose work centres on improving health outcomes and health care for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Culminating in 59 calls to action focused on addressing the social determinants of health and rebalancing the health care system, the Task Force's work will result in a significant health transformation in the province.

This funding 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 and what doesn't. This is where patients, caregivers, and families can contribute by sharing their lived experiences. Through this collaboration with the province, we are strengthening health care systems and improving patient care right here in Newfoundland and Labrador."
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

"I want to congratulate Memorial University of Newfoundland and all those involved in the SUPPORT Unit for their hard work and dedication to building a culture of patient-oriented in this province. You have made a direct impact on improving patient care. I am looking forward to seeing what you accomplish in this next phase of your operations."
Joanne Thompson
Member of Parliament for St. John's East

"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

"Our government is committed to finding innovative solutions to help reimagine health care delivery in our province. By investing in Newfoundland and Labrador's SPOR SUPPORT Unit, we will support new and better ways to effectively support health care delivery, further development of health policies, and improve patient care. This homegrown health research is an exciting initiative, as it will not only help to strengthen the health care system right here at home, but across the country as well."
The Honourable Tom Osborne
Minister of Health and Community Services
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

"Our programs act as a catalyst within a learning health system – a structure in which all players work together to generate knowledge and continually improve care. While great strides have been made by SPOR SUPPORT Units and researchers across the country, system and culture change takes time. We are so pleased to have received this funding that will help us develop a sustainability plan and continue our work building a culture of patient-oriented research in Newfoundland and Labrador."
Dr. Brendan Barrett
Principal Investigator, NL SUPPORT

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 Units are patient-oriented research centres in the provinces and territories that improve patient outcomes by enabling equitable access to data for health research, applying knowledge to improve health care practices, systems, and patient outcomes, providing training to conduct and use patient-oriented research, and engaging patients as active partners throughout the entire research process.

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

  • The Government of Canada, through CIHR, and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador are providing an investment of $9.7 million over five years to help NL SUPPORT continue its important work.

Associated links


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

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Page details

Date modified: