Not too long ago, the running commentary around various initiatives and projects in multiple sectors, was that once work was completed and a report was generated and it simply sat on a shelf collecting dust. One of the reasons that I am so proud that the Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA) is a partner, friend and collaborator with ONF is that the work ONF engages in is being used in meaningful ways to improve the lives of those living with Neurotrauma. There are no reports simply collecting dust!
In fact, the very opposite is true. ONF is the leader in knowledge translation and knowledge brokering to support improved care for the ABI community in Ontario.
My understanding of what makes knowledge translation impactful is that it must be relevant to the end user. ONF has continued to strive to make research not only relevant to clinicians, but to the broader acquired brain injury (ABI) community, including persons who have sustained brain injuries and their families.
The very definition of a knowledge broker is described as a force that facilitates the process of knowledge transfer and adoption.
Brain Injury Speaks is a prime example of a new and innovative means by which ONF and OBIA are partnering to translate and broker knowledge. Brain Injury Speaks is an active engagement network of persons with lived experience, caregivers and family members whose goal is to identify and prioritize issues important to Ontario’s brain injury community. It is our belief that by connecting people with lived experience from across Ontario, the outcome will be that their most common issues can be identified and prioritized.
Our goal is to have a large network of individuals representing all parts of Ontario so that together we can be both proactive and reactive. Proactive means that we are receiving relevant input to what the current needs are. Reactive includes being able to respond quickly when issues arise (such as new policies or funding opportunities or decreased funding). As a network we can gather feedback quickly and respond to provincial plans or proposals.
Another project that ONF is funding is the Brain Injury Impact Study conducted by OBIA. This study gathers information on the long-term outcomes of brain injury and what services were received (or in many cases not received) and how this contributed to recovery.
The knowledge gathered from this study will better inform treatment planning and long-term planning for supports and services. The ultimate goal is that this data can be used to improve the lives of those living with brain injury.
OBIA is so grateful to ONF for providing investment into research, guidelines, patient-centred materials and other initiatives that lead to better care and services for those living with acquired brain injury.
The Brain Injury Speaks Network has issued a questionnaire to better understand the impacts of COVID-19 on the community – review the findings and learn more about how ONF and OBIA are engaging the brain injury community through Brain Injury Speaks.