Harm reduction-based programming and services for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in a novel clinical care setting: the opportunities and challenges for clinicians, clients, donors and fundraisers - Year two

Substance use significantly impacts the health and health care of many people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV), especially those dealing with additional medical, psychosocial, and economic complications. The need for comprehensive care for this population is particularly important given the current opioid overdose crisis in Canada. In response, harm reduction (HR) services (e.g., supervised injection, naloxone training, etc.) have been implemented to reduce drug-related deaths and harms. However, such services are typically not provided within hospitals/outpatient programs.

Resistant Starch Prebiotic Effects in Chronic Kidney Disease (ReSPECKD) study - Year two

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is associated with a reduced quality of life and an increased risk of kidney failure, cardiovascular events, and all-cause mortality. The goal of this project is to investigate whether the consumption of resistant potato starch (RPS) in addition to current standard care for CKD will reduce uremic toxins and symptoms by altering gut microbiota in patients with CKD. Strategies to reduce the production of these toxins by the gut microbiome in patients with CKD are highly desirable because they may lead to reduced symptoms and delay the onset of dialysis.

Understanding the impact of changes to blood donation deferral screening and criteria for men who have sex with men - Year two

Available evidence suggests that up to 71% of individuals will require blood or blood products at some point in their lives. To meet this demand, Canadian Blood Services estimates that approximately 100,000 new donors are required annually. However, current blood donation guidelines in Canada require a 3-month deferral period for men who have sex with men (MSM) due to the elevated incidence of HIV in this population, guidelines many see as discriminatory. Given the the improvement in HIV testing technology in recent years, re-evaluation of these guidelines would optimize donor eligibility.

Building Intergenerational Solidarity Around the History of HIV

As the perceived threat from HIV has declined over the decades, many AIDS service organizations have closed. Solidarity around HIV has lessened within queer communities. However, HIV rates and HIV stigma remain high. There is a need to rebuild solidarity in the HIV response. As part of the “HIV in My Day” project, this research analyzes over one hundred oral history interviews conducted in British Columbia with long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS and their caregivers.

Assessing the mental health impact of Covid-19 on Canadians: a longitudinal study

MHRC is conducting ongoing polling of Canadians to assess the effect of Covid19 on mental health. We require additional support to expand our capacity to analyze the datasets we are creating. Our poll is extensive including a number of markers of mental health along with an array of demographic controls and is rolled out every 6 to 8 weeks. While we will release top-line data, this internship will involve a deeper dive into these dataset to parse out new findings.

Monitoring the Impact of COVID-19 Isolation Policies on Public Wellness using IoT - A Public Health and Work from Home Perspective

Social isolation is having a significant impact on the quality of life, physical activity, and sleep patterns of our population. While self-isolation and social distancing provide the most successful method for limiting the progression and spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, we often overlook the impact of these rules on our population.

Evaluation of best practice police resources to assist in the rapid response of missing persons with dementia

Three out of five Canadians with dementia wander, raising concern as to how it can be managed. Strategies, such as GPS, offer options for finding missing persons with dementia and may be a preferred strategy by police. As part of the Finding Your Way® Program with the Alzheimer Society on Ontario, a series of education resources were developed in 2018 to assist in the location of this population by police services. The impact of these resources has yet to be evaluated by participating police services.

Evaluating and optimizing rural and urban lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQI2S) engagement with hospice and palliative care in the Island Health Region - Year two

Existing research focused on the experiences of gay and lesbian older adults with the health care system report that there is a general distrust and reluctance to access healthcare based upon the cumulative effect of discrimination over the life course. At present, while 75% of Canadians have indicated they would like to die at home, 45% of Vancouver Island residents die of in acute care. Clearly there exists a service gap and it appears possible that such a gap may be larger in the LGBTQI2S community.

Maternal Augmentation and Digital Empowerment Initiative in Tanzania (MADE-IT)

Shortages of skilled healthcare professionals and unequal distribution of healthcare professionals throughout the country are two key challenges causing unexpectedly high number of preventable maternal deaths in Tanzania. Hence, developing innovative solutions that take fewer resources but have a wider impact on Tanzanian midwifery education system is crucial to avert these deaths.

Predicting risk of unplanned hospital readmission within 30-days of discharge using machine learning approaches

Unplanned hospital readmissions are a preventable and costly outcome in the health care system. There are limited tools to estimate risk of readmission. The machine learning process offers an opportunity to develop a risk predictor to identify those at high risk of readmission upon discharge. OKAKI has an opportunity to diversify the commercial products it can offer to health care administrators.

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