Improving Indigenous care focus of $2-million grant
A University of Saskatchewan researcher and clinician has received a $2-million grant to refine and expand how on-reserve patients are diagnosed and treated for HIV, hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted blood-borne infections.
Dr. Stewart Skinner, assistant professor in the College of Medicine, has been working closely with Indigenous communities around the province in the Know Your Status program, which helps Indigenous patients receive a culturally responsive approach to their medical care within their own community — integrating mainstream western medicine with traditional Indigenous health models.
“We’re pretty excited about the grant success,” Skinner said in a statement.
“We wanted to build a First Nations-led initiative that met the local community needs and integrated western and Indigenous approaches.”
Awarded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the five-year multidisciplinary, multi-sectoral project involving nearly 50 policy-makers, clinicians and knowledge users — nearly half of whom are Indigenous — aims to expand the network of the program and hopefully create a model of care that can be used in other communities.
“Through this project we will be able to show just how much resilience, strengths and assets there are in Indigenous communities,” said Carrie Bourassa, scientific director of CIHR’s Institute of Aboriginal People’s Health in a statement. “Given that it is implementation research, hopefully they are going to provide a model that can be used across Saskatchewan and in other parts of Canada.”
With this new grant, the total funding for the program now sits at $4.65 million.