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McMaster University

Collaborative for Health and Aging

About Us

The McMaster Collaborative for Health and Aging is a coalition of researchers, trainees, older adults and caregivers working together to improve the health equity and well-being of older Canadians by advancing patient-oriented health research on aging. 

Meet our Collaborative Leads

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Scientific Co-leads

Rebecca Ganann, RN, PhD Visit Rebecca's faculty expert bio

Associate Professor, School of Nursing, McMaster University

Brenda Vrkljan, BA, MClSc, PhD Visit Brenda's faculty expert bio

Professor, Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University

Information Box Group

Managing Lead

Soo Chan Carusone, PhD Visit Soo's faculty expert bio

Managing Director, McMaster University

About Us

The McMaster Collaborative for Health and Aging brings an aging perspective to health services and policy research, provides researchers and trainees with methods and tools needed to conduct patient-oriented research and fosters synergies between our stakeholders, that also include policy makers, health care providers and other Strategy for Patient Oriented-Research (SPOR)-funded groups to address health care issues that are important to older adults. 

The Collaborative provides consultation and support, promotes training and mentorship, and facilitates partnerships and knowledge translation for patient-oriented research on aging in three key areas of focus: 

Building on McMaster University’s established excellence in research on aging, the Collaborative supports the university in improving health system performance and older adult and caregivers’ care experiences, by strengthening Ontario’s capacity in patient-oriented research. The Collaborative is a partner of the McMaster Institute on Research and Aging (MIRA) and part of McMaster University’s dynamic network of aging research initiatives. 

Expandable List

“Patient-oriented research is about engaging patients, their caregivers, and families as partners in the research process. This engagement helps to ensure that studies focus on patient-identified priorities, which ultimately leads to better patient outcomes.”

– Canadian Institutes of Health Research 

The overall goal of the Collaborative is to provide the necessary methodological expertise to researchers and trainees pursuing patient-oriented research with a focus on health and optimizing aging.

We aim to achieve this by:

  1. Supporting and advancing patient-oriented research with a focus on advancing health equity and optimizing aging.
  2. Mobilizing knowledge to improve health care systems and practices to ultimately improve the health and well-being of older Canadians.
  3. Supporting patient-oriented research capacity building and partnerships.

At the Collaborative, we provide consultation and support, promote training and mentorship, and facilitate partnerships and knowledge translation for patient-oriented research on aging within three key areas listed below: 

Funding for the McMaster Collaborative for Health and Aging is provided by the Ontario Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) SUPPORT Unit, which is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Province of Ontario and partner Ontario hospital foundations and institutes. 

The Collaborative was established to support and foster relationships with older adults, researchers, health system decision-makers and health care providers across Ontario to accelerate patient-oriented point-of-care improvements that are based on evidence and co-designed with older Ontarians, frontline providers, and policy makers.  

This funding will enable the Collaborative to continue to build capacity for the province and support researchers and other stakeholders to conduct patient-oriented research by developing resources and supports and offering consultation services. 

“Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR), created by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), is about ensuring that the right patient receives the right intervention at the right time.  

The objective of SPOR is to foster evidence-informed health care by bringing innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to the point of care as soon as possible to ensure greater quality, accountability, and accessibility of care.” 

– The Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit (OSSU)

McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) 

Created in 2016, the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) is a centre of world-class expertise in aging research. As McMaster’s cross-faculty research institute for advancing the science of aging, the mandate of MIRA is to support novel and interdisciplinary research and training across McMaster and serve as the collaborative hub between multiple specialized centres on aging at the university (such as the Collaborative). MIRA’s mission is to optimize the health and longevity of the aging population through leading-edge research, education and stakeholder collaborations, while upholding the values of integrity, excellence, interdisciplinary collaboration and transparency. 

The McMaster Collaborative for Health and Aging was founded by the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) and the Aging, Community and Health Research Unit (ACHRU), in the McMaster University School of Nursing. The Collaborative was formed in 2019 to strengthen Ontario’s capacity in patient-oriented research and improve health system performance and patients’ experiences by advancing the science of engagement and methods and tools in patient-oriented research in aging. 

The co-founders of the McMaster Collaborative for Health and Aging are scientific director of McMaster’s Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA), Dr. Parminder Raina, and co-founder of the Aging, Community and Health Research Unit (ACHRU), Dr. Maureen Markle-Reid.