Message from Dr. Brian H. Rowe: Setting a New Year in Motion

Dear colleagues,

Happy New Year! Despite the Omicron variant of concern, I hope you enjoyed the holidays and some well-deserved time off. If not, my sympathies and thank you for your service! With 2022 now upon us, we are looking ahead to many exciting Institute activities. I would like to take this opportunity to summarize a few key successes from 2021 and convey our plans for the upcoming year.

Reflecting on 2021

We successfully launched several new initiatives with our partners and Institute colleagues. These initiatives included a heart failure research network, a research consortium focused on sleep hygiene and insomnia, interdisciplinary implementation science teams optimizing health outcomes during transitions in care, awards for early career researchers in the field of asthma, and the respiratory health effects of long COVID grants.

Given pandemic travel restrictions, ICRH supported trainees by pivoting to cover conference registration costs in lieu of travel awards. We invested once again in the bi-annual planning and dissemination grants, with another anticipated launch of this program in Summer 2022. We also continued to bolster training and career development opportunities by supporting the health system impact fellows, early career investigator (ECI) awards in maternal, reproductive, child and young health, and recognition awards for outstanding mid-career and senior scientists.

Looking Ahead to 2022

ICRH highly values our research partners who have enabled our Institute to develop strategic investments for collective impact in areas of need. We remain committed to working with partners and communities to continue to strengthen current partnered activities and to develop new innovative partnerships.

We look forward to finding new ways to extend and leverage our strategic funding and activities to create more opportunities for researchers within our community, at all stages of their career. The Institute strives to enhance existing relationships and forge new collaborations for funding opportunities and knowledge mobilization activities that align with our strategic priorities. Furthermore, we plan to take a leadership role to incorporate equity, diversity, and inclusion considerations, and strengthen Indigenous health research within the ICRH mandate, while developing future capacity in people, platforms, and programs.

Institute Strategic Plan 2022-2024

Throughout 2021, we undertook an extensive outreach with the ICRH community and Institute Advisory Board in support of the next Institute strategic plan, which we plan to launch in the next few months. This process included the production of a new animated video about the Institute, which gives a brief snapshot of our operations, strategic funding and upcoming three-year plan. The Plan will provide a forward-looking vision and responsive framework to address the challenges of the past two years of the pandemic and guide the Institute activities over the next three years.

There is no doubt that 2022 is shaping up to be another very challenging year. By working together and encouraging vaccination, I am optimistic that we will build and sustain strong partnerships for better health.

Best wishes,

Dr. Brian H. Rowe
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health
Professor, University of Alberta

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