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Board tracks CPSR progress, sets new directions

CPSR Directors met in Toronto on Oct. 21 to reaffirm the organization’s strategic and operational plans, review and measure progress against targets, consider a tiered business model to expand partnership opportunities, and appoint a new Baycrest representative to the Board.

Board members indicated they are pleased with progress and new directions as the partnership:

  • builds on its top-flight research program in stroke recovery;
  • enhances its strong training program for rising stars in research;
  • expands clinicial trials of new therapies;
  • creates tools to ensure knowledge reaches clinicians and people living with stroke; and
  • enhances patient engagement in the development of resources and new research directions.

Jean Lazarus, Director of Research Operations at Baycrest, was unanimously approved as that institution’s new representative on the Board. Ms. Lazarus is a respected health administrator with strong skills in financial management and human resources.

The Board heard about the CPSR’s role at the Canadian Stroke Congress in October, its development of a resource on Stroke in the Young, its support and redevelopment plan for the popular Stroke Enginewebsite (www.strokengine.ca), which provides stroke recovery research evidence, assessment tools and more, and its patient engagement initiatives, including the recent Stroke Recovery Hangout with stroke survivors Andrew Parr and Carole Laurin.

Currently, 73 scientists and 82 trainees receive funding support from CPSR and have published widely on their research. The Partnership supports innovative new research areas with catalyst grants(totalling more than $5 million in less than five years).

Its Rehab Affiliates program, a network that tests new rehabilitation research, includes a robust longitudinal stroke recovery database with more than 1285 individual assessments on 438 stroke patients. Through Rehab Affiliates, 30 co-op students, 10 graduate students and five post-doctoral fellows have been trained and data from trials have been used in publications and grant applications.

The CPSR’s SPReD (Stroke Patient Recovery Research Database) is being used on many CPSR projects but also for major national and international research efforts. This powerful repository of stroke recovery research data has resulted in strong publications. Trainees involved in the project have gone on to post-doctoral research in the US and Europe.

Over the past year, the CPSR has supported 27 post-doctoral fellows, 40 graduate students and 15 co-op students, who were successfully awarded $450,000 in external funding. These trainees have published 41 journal articles and another 35 manuscripts are in submission or preparation.

The CPSR’s Trainee Association includes 110 trainees (34% PDF, 42% PhD, 21% MSc, 3% undergraduate) in seven provinces. The Trainee Association provides mentoring, lab exchanges, workshops, fellowship awards and more.

Overall, the performance review by the Board showed the CPSR catalyst grant program and trainee programs are highly effective; there has been increased use of research platforms (Rehab Affiliates and SPReD) resulting in more projects and publications; and there has been increased awareness of the Partnership in the media.

Over the coming months, CPSR management is involved in a series of visits to research sites to describe new initiatives, report on progress, reaffirm existing partnerships and build new relationships with further investment opportunities in areas such as clinical trials.

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