TWU Faculty Member Receives “Reach Award” for New Research to Improve Health Care for Aging Adults

Langley, British Columbia: Trinity Western University (TWU) is excited to announce that Dr. Richard (Rick) Sawatzky of TWU’s School of Nursing and Jae-Yung Kwon, doctoral candidate at the University of British Columbia (UBC) School of Nursing, were granted a Reach Award by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR). Their co-led research proposal, which won the award, is dedicated to supporting health-care providers in using tools that collect information from patients about their health and health care to improve quality of care. These tools are often called patient-reported outcome measures—or, PROMs.

Dr. Sawatzky’s program of research focuses on PROMs for older adults who are living with chronic conditions. His team of patients, clinicians, health care leaders, researchers, and students has developed online resources (see healthyqol.com) to enhance the understanding and effective widespread use of PROMs with the goal of improving health care for older adult patients and their family caregivers. Examples include work by TWU alumnus Ben Stenner who developed a whiteboard video about PROMs, and a short film called A Better Life, developed by undergraduate student Madison Stenner.

Sawatzky and Kwon’s Reach Award project involves developing a webinar with case studies and an online interactive learning module to support health care teams in their use of PROMs.

Reflecting on the award, Dr. Sawatzky said, “I am thrilled to be able to continue working with my team on this important area of research that seeks to place the concerns and priorities of older adult patients and family caregivers at the centre of health care.”

Rick Sawatzky holds the Canada Research Chair in Person-Centred Outcomes at TWU, leads the Patient-Reported Outcomes Program at the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHEOS) of Providence Health Care, and is Lead of the Patient-Centred Measurement Methods Cluster with the BC SUPPORT Unit, a multipartner organization that carries out patient-oriented research to improve health care outcomes for all patients.

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