The Strategic Clinical Networks™(SCNs) have been created as the provincial vehicle for evidence-based improvement of outcomes for patients and sustainability of health and health care in Alberta. Alberta Health Services (AHS) is the steward of the networks and provides support for each SCN’s core structure. Each SCN has a membership model that includes patients & families, care providers, clinicians, administrators, zone operations, as well as other partners and stakeholders, including key members in each of the Universities in the Alberta. Each SCN develops an embedded, provincial health services and clinical research and knowledge translation team designed and supported to appeal to University-based researchers and educators. Facilitating, coordinating, and supporting the SCNs to perform world-class health services research and functions will require high level in-kind partnership support from the Universities, including the support of some senior research expertise for each SCN to support translating that research into common practice
The Diabetes, Obesity and Nutrition Scientific Director (SD) is a key member of the Strategic Clinical Network’s (SCN’s) leadership team, responsible for leading the scientific office and developing, implementing, and evaluating a research and knowledge translation strategy that supports the SCN’s mandate and objectives. In partnership with the Senior Medical Director (SMD), Senior Provincial Director (SPD), and members of the research community, the SD will champion and facilitate a broad research agenda that addresses the health needs of the SCN’s populations and focuses on improving the quality, safety, and sustainability of Alberta’s health system. The SD will support individual researchers, help them access funding to advance SCN research priorities, and facilitate the creation of an efficient research network. The SD is responsible for publishing results of SCN research and working with the SMD and SPD to translate evidence into practice.
Responsibilities / Accountabilities:
Work with the SMD and SPD to identify research opportunities and priorities that reflect the SCN’s transformational road map (TRM), and motivate academic researchers to work on projects that align with these priorities.
Lead and promote SCN research excellence through collaboration and engagement with a variety of academic partners, health researchers, front-line and knowledge users (e.g., patients, clinicians, policy makers, community leaders, industry, and others).
Identify key stakeholders, skills and inputs necessary for the SCN to ensure that SCN projects are executed in a scientifically rigorous fashion.
Support the success and methodological rigor of SCN projects by providing robust input on research priorities and evaluation methods. Participate in peer review and provide technical feedback, support and recommendations to researchers.
Seek opportunities to exchange ideas and communicate research priorities, strategies and outcomes with various research communities, universities, hospitals, governments, non-governmental organizations, health charities, industry, and the public.
Seek input from patients and front-line clinicians on SCN research priorities and incorporate their feedback into the SCN’s TRM and research strategic plan.
Work with the SMD and SPD to develop strategies to enhance communication across the network. Engage key stakeholders (both within the SCN and among SCNs) and build trust, consensus, and positive relationships with all partners and health disciplines.
Critical Analysis and Decision-Making
Work with the SMD, SPD, and Assistant Scientific Director (ASD) to identify appropriate indicators, track outcomes and system performance, and interpret results.
Critically evaluate data quality and, where appropriate, use measurement data, research outcomes, and feedback from stakeholders and the core committee to inform SCN priorities, actions and decision making.
Use the skills, expertise and resources the SCNs possess to respond to requests from the Alberta Health Services (AHS) executive.
Partnerships and Collaboration
Work closely with the various research communities and academic partners to build positive relationships and promote research excellence in all pillars of research within the SCN.
Align the needs and research priorities of the SCN with other provincial health research strategies, including the Alberta Health Research and Innovation Strategy (AHRIS), the AHS Strategy for Clinical Health Research, Innovation and Analytics (CHRIA), and the AHS 2017-2020 Health Plan and Business Plan. Work with academic and funding partners (including Alberta Innovates and health centres) to build on Alberta’s existing research capabilities and expand the SCN’s research capacity over time.
Foster and nurture strong partnerships and alliances with the SDs, ASDs, and SMDs of all SCNs. Collaborate on matters of common interest and seek opportunities to bring interdisciplinary research communities together to address pan-SCN priorities in health research and knowledge translation.
Establish and strengthen relationships with national and international partners and stakeholders through consultation and participation in a variety of meetings.
Knowledge Translation and Capacity Building
Support effective knowledge translation within the SCN, including (but not limited to) publication of new knowledge and effective clinical engagement, as required. Incorporate knowledge translation and evaluation into all SCN research and innovation projects, and work with the ASD to achieve the SCN’s research and knowledge translation goals.
Plan, direct and manage research-related funding and human resources within the SCN. Provide direction, mentorship and oversight for the ASD, and work together to attract provincial, national, and international funding partners in a coordinated way.
Facilitate potential commercialization opportunities within the SCN, where feasible, by identifying successful innovations and helping to evaluate their commercial viability.
Collaborate with the SDs and ASDs of all SCNs to build research and knowledge translation capacity through education and training. Seek opportunities to launch pilot projects or studentships that support SCN research.
As the most senior provincial research leader of the DON SCN and with expertise in clinical, health systems, and/or population health research areas aligned with the SCN’s mandate, the DON SD will be a key member of the SCN’s core strategy and leadership group.
The DON SD will champion a broad provincial health research agenda that addresses the health needs of the SCN’s populations with a focus on generating and applying research evidence to achieve the SCN’s priorities. All health research is in scope for this role, including building bridges back to discovery research for a better understanding of diseases, new diagnostics, and new therapeutics of interest. It is expected that the SD of the DON SCN will collaborate and help to promote all SCNs. The SD of the DON SCN will make a particular effort to facilitate research that improves quality/safety and cost effectiveness/sustainability in the respective SCN and broader health system.
Most importantly, the SD will enable the success of both individual researchers and groups of researchers within the SCN to facilitate the creation of an efficient and effective research network in the province; one that successfully attracts national peer reviewed funding as well as funding from other local, provincial, and national sources. In addition, the SD will be accountable for the SCN’s production and publication of new knowledge and, wherever possible, enabling new knowledge to be translated into action in Alberta.
The DON SCN along with other academic and industry partners will be imminently launching a comprehensive diabetes data infrastructure that provides access to all provincial diabetes administrative databases (Physician Claims, Laboratory tests, Pharmaceutical Information Network, Alberta & National Ambulatory Care Reporting Systems, Hospital Discharge Abstract Data) for health services research and quality improvement initiatives.