NB Children’s Foundation provides $750,000 gift for Mount Allison, UNB research
12/19/2014 11:34:41 AM
Donation to assist in development of a virtual health centre in New Brunswick
 
MtA_UNB_Research_funding_announcementThe New Brunswick Children’s Foundation has invested $750,000 to assist researchers at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Saint John and Mount Allison University in Sackville in developing a virtual health centre to provide more convenient and integrated care for children with complex health issues.
 
The centre, initially hosted at UNB, will improve access to prompt diagnosis and offer critical information and support for families by ensuring that they have access to integrated collaborative care that is timely, convenient, and meets the unique health care needs of this population.
 
The proposed centre will be the first of its kind in New Brunswick and will include a unique patient navigator, or registered nurse in a triage role who will assist families and effectively move patients through the system, depending on their health-care needs.  This role will remove barriers to care and ensure children and their families receive appropriate support in a thorough and cost-efficient manner.

This project will be led by Dr. Shelley Doucet, the Jarislowsky Chair in Interprofessional Patient-Centred Care and an associate professor in the department of Nursing and Health Sciences at UNB Saint John, and by Dr. Rima Azar, an associate professor in the psychology department at Mount Allison University and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Regional Partnership Program New Investigator in developmental psychoneuroimmunology.  
 
 “This project will ensure that every child with complex health-care needs receives the treatment he or she requires, in the appropriate setting for their families,” said Dr. Doucet. “We are so thankful for the support from the New Brunswick Children’s Foundation for this important initiative.”
 
“It is both reassuring and refreshing that the New Brunswick Children’s Foundation is investing in child and youth health. This shows how much our province cares for its children,” added Dr. Azar. “This is crucial, especially when Canada has not fared well in international comparisons of child health over the past ten years, according to UNICEF rankings.”
 
Drs. Doucet and Azar, plus an extensive team of collaborators, will oversee the development of the virtual health centre, which will begin with a year-long, province-wide needs assessment, followed by feasibility studies and follow-up evaluations on short-term and long-term effectiveness.
 
Since its incorporation in 1855 as the Saint John Protestant Orphans' Home, the New Brunswick  Children’s Foundation has focused on helping children succeed by financially assisting charities that share a common vision.
 
 “I am delighted with this development as it takes us back to our roots with the New Brunswick Protestant Orphanage Home,” said Peter Daniels, a director with the New Brunswick Children’s Foundation. “Once again, it allows us to help New Brunswick children. This program is a perfect fit for all of our aims and objectives.”
 
Photo caption (left to right): Mount Allison psychology professor Dr. Rima Azar, Peter Daniels, director with the New Brunswick Children’s Foundation, and UNB Nursing and Health Sciences professor Dr. Shelly Doucet.