Report to our community 2020-21

Bruyère Research Institute

A message from our leadership

Every year the Bruyère Research Institute pushes forward, seeking to broaden our knowledge and uncover solutions to health challenges – locally, nationally, and globally – in an effort to improve care at Bruyère and beyond. This past year was a year like no other, and we could not be prouder of all the ways our investigators and teams responded.

Advancing the ways we provide care, enhancing quality of life, and transforming our health care system are each dependent on a cycle: continuously identifying the unique needs and problems of today so we may research, learn, and innovate for a better tomorrow. This year, we want to give our thanks to everyone who continued to be a part of that cycle in the face of change and uncertainty.

As we continued to face the effects of the pandemic, we saw an incredible response from researchers and research participants alike. Many of our investigators spent the year addressing COVID-19 and its effects, from the nature of immunity in long-term care, to the ethical and policy implications of vaccination passports, to the changing needs of care delivery and equitable access.

We have seen record achievements and ambitious undertakings, including the launch of a multi-province study of COVID-19 immunity in long-term care residents, staff, and family. The Pan-Canadian Palliative Care Research Collaborative is now fostering multiple projects to support palliative care, focusing on high-impact applied health services research, end-of-life care during and after the pandemic, and the pursuit of novel therapeutics. Numerous researchers have pivoted their work to study and assess how we responded to the pandemic, and how we can improve the long-term care experience, support isolated older adults, and implement and improve virtual care at Bruyère.

Without wavering, so many more adapted their research to accommodate the necessary health and safety measures we implemented to keep teams and participants safe. Whether taking interviews virtually or adhering to distancing and PPE guidelines onsite, our teams pulled through, keeping vital projects and programs alive. We also owe thanks to the countless research participants who continued to invest their time in research and were accommodating with those changes.

We were also proud to respond to the provincial and national call to action to strengthen our long-term care sector by training more people in health care needs. With the support of the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care, Bruyère’s partnership with La Cité to launch the Living Classroom connected Personal Support Worker students with our experienced staff at Saint-Louis Residence. We saw more of this dedication to meaningful educational experiences through the students and trainees who undertook their placements remotely, yet remained engaged with teams and mentors at Bruyère.

Together, we are celebrating the tremendous work and dedication of everyone at the Research Institute. As we reflect on how our students, staff, researchers, and trainees all stepped up, we move into the next year knowing our commitment to advancing health care remains strong, bringing us into a better tomorrow.

 denys cabral
Sally Douglas, Board Chair
Heidi Szeistrup
Heidi Sveistrup, CEO & Chief Scientific Officer of the Bruyère Research Institute and VP, Research and Academic Affairs