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Webinar: "How to Win Friends and Influence Health Planning: Lessons from th...

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Influencing health services policy through research is a challenge that has besotted researchers – and funders and policy-makers – despite the growing attention to the necessity of this dynamic exchange. Often timelines, misalignment of research and planning priorities and skepticism mar even the best intentions of both constituencies. One thing that is common to the emerging understanding of effective research-to-action noted in the literature is recognition of the importance of relationships. The Applied Policy Research Unit is part of the Centre for Rural Health Research that is dedicated to moving primary research on rural health services into policy and decision-making. It is built on relationship-based processes with all key stakeholders (integrated knowledge translation) with the objective of demonstrating the relevance of researchers – and the university – to policy makers. The unit provides rapid reviews commissioned by decision makers who are in a position to change health care policy and overviews of the implications of position statements for rural communities. We developed the proto-type to be ‘mainstreamed’ into other health service research settings, viewing it as a necessary part of the research process. Three years in, this ‘proof of concept’ unit has achieved some successes and can provide some cautionary tales to others embarking on applied policy research.

Presenter Bio:

Jude Kornelsen, PhD, is a health services researcher with an interest in sustainable rural health, maternity care, rural health planning and community and policy engagement. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Practice, UBC, Co-Director of the Centre for Rural Health Research and Director of the Applied Policy Research Unit, an initiative based on bridging the research – policy gap by understanding and meeting the needs and contextual realities of decision-makers and health planners. She has both led and contributed to foundational work documenting the impacts of maternity service closures on rural women, families and communities from a psycho-social and health outcomes perspective. Current research foci include rural health services performance measurement to identify innovation in rural practice and the development of a framework to facilitate ‘scaling up’ of innovative practices.

Dr. Kornelsen is a past Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar. She is currently an adjunct Associate Professor, Sydney Medical School (Australia).

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