The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF), in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), have funded a fellowship that will focus on developing tools that will measure the impact of ONF community-based projects.
“There is a lot of data available that can help us understand the impact of the work,” says Jawad Chishtie, the recently funded Health System Impact Fellow (ONF/CHIR). “I am now coming to understand the range of data sources available and how they might be used to increase understanding and awareness of the longer-term impact of the work of ONF.” Jawad will be supervised by Dr. Tara Jeji at ONF (host organization) and Dr. Susan Jaglal at university of Toronto (academic site).
Jawad notes that ONF already has some very tangible outcomes that can be used to showcase its impact. For instance, the Kitchener Waterloo Mobility Clinic is a unique model and one which can now be piloted at other sites. The KW Mobility Clinic already has specific data on the number of patients accessing the service and the geographic area from which they travel to the clinic. The clinic differentiates itself in four major areas from the usual family practice clinic in Canada. This includes being physically accessible, and having a multidisciplinary team, equipped with specialized knowledge on treating and rehabilitating persons with physical disabilities. This allows the clinic to offer a range of preventive and curative services under one roof.
The challenge for Jawad is to determine which pieces of data can be harnessed to create a tool or framework. “I am working on identifying the starting point that will eventually link all data sources, but would also capture and analyze the relevant information,” he says.
The framework, once completed, will allow analysis which will facilitate understanding of gaps in primary care, including for indigenous communities in terms of access to health care for those with spinal cord injury. Currently, there is limited data available on the different factors (location, service availability, etc.) in relation to Indigenous communities, particularly those in the remote northern areas of Ontario.