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Dr. Roberta Woodgate, faculty member, Psychosocial Oncology and Cancer Nursing Research at St-Boniface Hospital Research, and Faculty of Nursing professor at the University of Manitoba has been awarded a research chair in child and youth health from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Woodgate has been a trailblazer in this area of medical research. Prior to her research in this field, the voices of children and youth were virtually absent from discussions related to health research. This matters because if health care professionals want to have an effective impact on the health of children and youth, health care services must be grounded within, and be responsive to, the life-situations of children and youth.

Woodgate’s already strong research program is further strengthened by this new five-year CIHR Applied Research Chair in Reproductive, Child and Youth Health Services and Policy Research ($925,000). This chair will allow her to conduct innovative, high-quality applied health services and policy research.

As a CIHR applied research chair, Woodgate will have three priorities: children and youth living with chronic physical and mental illness; children and youth living with disabilities and complex health needs; and promoting health and access to health care for children and youth.

She will work with health system managers, policy-makers and health care providers, as well as children and youth who are directly impacted by the research. Her goal is to find policies and practices that will have impact and can be implemented into the health care system.

“This investment by CIHR speaks to the national and international reputation that Dr. Woodgate has established over the past decade in researching issues surrounding children and youth and the care they receive,” said Dr. Digvir Jayas, vice-president (research and international) at the University of Manitoba. “I’m sure research support through this chair will have outcomes that result in improved care for future generations.”

Woodgate is also a scientist at the Manitoba Institute of Child Health. In 2010 she was awarded a Manitoba Research Chair in youth health and illness from the Manitoba Health Research Council.

Woodgate’s chair is one of six across Canada. For more information go to the CIHR website at http://www.cihr.gc.ca/e/46349.html

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