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Survey Results: Understanding smoking cessation training needs for primary care providers in BC

The BC Smoking and Vaping Cessation Community of Practice, led by Legacy for Airway Health, conducted a survey titled “Understanding smoking cessation training needs for primary care providers in BC”.

Between November 2022 and March 2023, 156 family physicians and 42 nurse practitioners completed the survey. The survey results highlighted key barriers and opportunities, such as building capacity and competency in primary care teams through training and creating resources and tools that are in a simple 1-page format. We continue to work on ways to address and identify strategies to overcome gaps. A summary of the results are here.


Respiratory Health Network Newsletter #3, September 2022

The September issue of RespNetBC News is available online.


In this newsletter…

Network news: Network advisory committee
People: Researcher profile (Dr. Scott Tebbutt)
ProjectsHLI Knowledge Translation and Mobilization training program
OpportunitiesFaculty posting | Circulatory and Respiratory Health grant stream
ResourcesVideo: How do I publish a paper (with patient partners)?
EventsPatient/public research priorities | Knowledge Translation courses


Respiratory Health Network Newsletter #2, July 2022

In this newsletter….

Network news: Join the network advisory committee
People: Researcher profile (Dr. Laura Struik) | Asset map of respiratory research
Projects: IMPACT Project profile | Seeking stories of collaboration | COPD & Asthma Summit
Opportunities: Collaborate on a Health System Policy Grant application
Events: Toward Unity for Health conference | BC Lung Foundation workshop recordings


COPD & Asthma Care Summit Series

In the Spring of 2022, LAH hosted the COPD & Asthma Care Summit Series to seek input from patients, healthcare professionals, health executives, researchers and non-profits, on asthma and COPD prevention and care. The vibrant participation of community members allowed the identification of nine goals for improving prevention and care of these conditions in the Vancouver Coastal region. An overview of the series can be found here.

Publication – Public Health Messaging for Wildfire Smoke: Cast a Wide Net

In the fall of 2020, we distributed an online survey across BC to understand how the public receives, understands, and implements wildfire smoke messaging. With stakeholders, including patients partners from the Community Stakeholder Committee, we wrote about the results of the survey, which have been published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health. The article can be found here and the results can be viewed here.

Respiratory Network Newsletter #1, April 2022

Building a respiratory health network for BC

LAH has been building a province-wide respiratory health network. This network will provide an enabling ecosystem to enhance research and knowledge translation through collaboration. Through it, we aim to strengthen the prevention, treatment, and care of respiratory health conditions through cross-sector and inter-disciplinary investigative collaborations that are grounded in meaningful engagement of patients, communities at risk, and knowledge users. The network will facilitate communication, host events, develop resources, and support training and career development.

With support from LAH, the network development is now supported by a dedicated staff person. The network coordinator (Karen Rideout) will work with the LAH team and people from across BC to build this new space to support collaboration, research, and translation.


Remembering Dr. Mark FitzGerald

A message from Dr. Chris Carlsten

As we enter an exciting new era with this network poised to increase synergies for research productivity and impact, we recognize the life and death of Dr. Mark FitzGerald. Mark passed peacefully on January 18, 2022.

Dr. FitzGerald earned his diploma in Medicine in 1978 at the University College, Dublin. He blessed Canada (Hamilton and then Vancouver) from 1984 onwards, but for a brief mid-90s return to his native Ireland. A full professor at UBC since 2002, he earned renown for the breadth of his academic achievements, reflected not only in his hundreds of publications but moreover for their span from an early focus on TB to a later emphasis on asthma, health economics, and respiratory outcomes. Having published in every major medical journal, Dr. FitzGerald also turned to health literacy and ‘humanomics’ in a plea to make such volumes of research more accessible and impactful to the patients who adored him and to so many others who benefited indirectly from his work. Over the years, he was repeatedly awarded by major societies for his contributions and he led dozens of committees and initiatives that collectively had major impact on the respiratory medicine community locally, nationally, and internationally.

Mark’s history is most relevant to the network’s vision. He led the UBC and VGH Divisions of Respiratory Medicine – both for more than 10 years – which benefited from him immeasurably by his epitomizing a rare and consummate constellation of excellence in patient care, education, research, and service. The network is a natural reflection of the next phase of our coming together as a community to break silos and keep prevention and care foremost in our sights, as we remember our common goals and how much stronger we are together when sharing resources, expertise, and commitment to improving respiratory health for all.

Our hearts go out to all those saddened by the passing of such a monumental colleague and friend, and we offer a warm communal embrace as we slowly come to reconcile this profound loss. We stand resolved to use the network as one way to honour Mark positively as we move forward, together.

A memoriam of Dr. FitzGerald written by several of his collaborators and colleagues was published in the Canadian Journal of Respiratory, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine (https://doi.org/10.1080/24745332.2022.2035854).


Finding research synergies in respiratory disease prevention and care

The first network event was hosted by Legacy for Airway Health in January. We brought together 23 researchers from across BC with an interest in respiratory health. This was an opportunity learn about the breadth of research happening across the province, challenges to translating evidence into practice or policy, and start to build new connections. You can read more about the event from LAH News or download the event summary here. We started to build an asset map of respiratory research/ers. Stay tuned for an updated version in the summer.


Re-imagining COPD and asthma prevention and care

Legacy for Airway Health is hosting a four-part summit series to improve COPD and asthma prevention and care in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. This interactive series brings together patients, researchers, clinicians, and healthcare leaders to collaboratively describe a vision for better COPD/asthma care, identify priority problems and solutions, and create an evidence-based action plan to achieve the desired transformations. With its focus on collaboration, evidence, and implementation, this summit series is an example of how a network approach can support innovation and knowledge translation. Day 1 of the series (A look inside the data) was held March 15. There is still time to register for upcoming sessions:

  1. Clarifying the vision – April 4, 9am-12pm (This coming Monday!)
  2. Forward thinking research and solutions – April 29, 9am-12pm
  3. Putting the pieces together – May 30, 9-11am

Click here or email aneisha.collinsfairclough@vch.ca.


Wildfire Smoke Communication Workshops

Legacy for Airway Health (LAH) hosted a two-part workshop in February to focus on effective wildfire smoke communications for the public. We shared the results of an LAH survey about how wildfire smoke communications are received, understood, and implemented by people in communities across BC. Nearly 70 stakeholders from 30 organizations or communities collectively identified challenges, priorities, and solutions to improve how wildfire smoke messages are created and delivered. Learn more about this event and ongoing work here.

We will follow up with more news and updates in early June.


Publication: Better Together: Launching and Nurturing a Community Stakeholder Committee to Enhance Care and Research for Asthma and COPD

In fall of 2020, we evaluated engagement within our Community Stakeholder Committee (CSC) over the first year of its inception using an adaptation of the Patient Engagement in Research Scale (PEIRS-22). With the support of CSC members, student trainees, and the LAH team, we wrote about our experience of building a community of airways disease patients and caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This work has now been published in the journal CHEST (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chest.2021.10.028).

Finding Research Synergies in Respiratory Disease Prevention and Care

LAH hosted the first event to engage researchers from across British Columbia as we launch a new research network to enhance interdisciplinary research and accelerate translation into practice and policy that will improve respiratory health. During two sessions of Finding Research Synergies in Respiratory Disease Prevention and Care in January 2022, we heard from researchers who work across the continuum from bench (biomedical research) to bedside (clinical and health systems research) and beyond (policy and prevention research). We learned about some key evidence gaps that limit our ability to prevent and provide optimal care for respiratory disease. We also learned about constraints to filling those gaps and challenges to translating research into action.


An event summary, which includes an overview of respiratory research knowledge gaps and translational challenges, can be downloaded here.


As we build the (provisionally titled) BC Respiratory Health Network, we will work with researchers, patients, and other stakeholders to enable research and translation. The event summary includes an overview of the researchers and research areas represented at Finding Research Synergies in Respiratory Disease Prevention and Care, which forms Version 1 of a living “asset map” of respiratory research(ers) in British Columbia.

Wildfire Smoke Communication Workshops

In the fall of 2020, Legacy for Airway Health conducted a provincial survey to evaluate how people in BC receive, understand, and implement wildfire smoke communications. The study was the first of its kind to support the improvement of wildfire smoke communications to better protect people living in BC.

To share the results of this survey with relevant stakeholders and support the implementation of the findings, Legacy for Airway Health hosted a two-part virtual workshop on Feb 8th and 14th, 2022.

There were sixty-nine stakeholders from thirty different organizations across Canada who attended the workshops; through breakout sessions, stakeholders identified priorities, challenges, and opportunities to optimize wildfire smoke communications. Grounding this work in community perspective, UBC Studios produced a video with five community members’ perspectives, including three of our Community Stakeholder Committee members.  You can view the video here.

A summary of the workshops can be found here and ici (en français).

This project was contracted by Health Canada.



Youth and Vaping Virtual Forum

LAH hosted a virtual forum, Youth and Vaping: Understanding and coordinating pathways for stopping or not starting, on February 26. This project, funded by the Vancouver Physician Staff Association, was led by Dr. Milan Khara, Physician Lead at the VGH Smoking Cessation Clinic, and LAH Director Dr. Chris Carlsten. In response to the rapidly growing popularity of vaping among youth and a lack of awareness among youth about vaping resources, we wanted to understand what services were available for youth in the Vancouver area and find ways to improve the network of services through increased collaboration and communication.

The virtual forum brought together nearly 50 stakeholders, including youth, educators, health care providers, policy makers, community organizations, and researchers to share knowledge, highlight challenges to youth awareness about vaping and available resources, and identify ways to work better together to support youth around vaping issues. Participants at the forum were passionate and motivated to improve youth awareness about vaping. Leading up to the forum, we conducted an environmental scan of available services and resources and worked with a group of youth partners to create graphic tools to facilitate pathways to access vaping supports. Our learnings will serve to inform and motivate future research aiming to understand and address the challenges of youth vaping.

The Youth Vaping Support Pathways infographics are available to view and download.

The forum summary report can be downloaded here.

For questions about this project, please contact Karen.rideout@VCH.ca.