A research project of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) and its 10 First Nation partners have been recognized with a provincial award for innovation in research.
The project has received the 2011 Innovation Award from the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario. The project is titled Engaging First Nations Women in Cervical Cancer Screening: Assessing Factors Related to Screening and Uptake of Self-Sampling.
“Our team has been able to develop a respectful cancer prevention research study with our collaborating First Nations partners,” said Dr. Marion Maar, co-principal investigator on the project, in a news release. “It is very exciting that this process is recognized along with the science in this project at a provincial level.”
The project aims to raise awareness of cervical cancer, which has a higher incidence in First Nations populations, the disease's association with the human papillomavirus (HPV) and its prevention through screening by developing culturally appropriate campaigns and educational resources. It will also introduce self-sampling and sensitive HPV testing as alternatives to pap testing.
The study is expected to last three years and has received an operating grant worth $594,505 from the Canadian Institute of Health Research.
“These researchers are advancing new and innovative programs aimed at reducing the risk of cancer as well as improving care for cancer patients,” NOSM Dean Dr. Roger Strasser said in the release.
“The award recognizes best practices for improving the quality and value of health-care programs across Ontario. We are happy that leaders in our region are being recognized for their valuable contributions to improving the health of the people and communities of Northern Ontario.”