Institute Awards 2018

We as an Institute have a lot to celebrate this year. We’ve almost tripled our research funding since 2014, which is a remarkable testament to the hard work Institute members have been engaged in. We have real excellence in our midst.

Dr. William Ghali

O'Brien Institute Scientific Director

The Awards

Five O’Brien Institute researchers are being recognized for their commitment to fostering meaningful change in public and population health, and outstanding contributions to health research.

The 2018 O’Brien Institute Emerging Research Leader Award

Kirsten Fiest, PhD

For outstanding contributions, at an early career stage, to knowledge and innovation; the successful promotion, dissemination and management of research activities; and the training of graduate students and other research personnel.

Dr. Kirsten Fiest, PhD, is an assistant professor with the Department of Community Health Sciences, as well as a research leader focused on applying her expertise in epidemiological methods to advance evidence-informed patient and family centered care of critically ill patients. Currently the care of seriously ill patients is almost entirely delegated to healthcare professionals, which is in contrast to care in the community where patients and family members are primarily responsible for their own care. Fiest is working to better engage patients and families in their care in hospital – leading to a more unified experience.

Since April 2016 Fiest has led and collaborated on national and international research teams that have received over $18,000,000 in funding. She is also a founding member of the Calgary Critical Care Research Network; whose aim is to improve patient care and outcomes by supporting high quality critical care research and training.

The 2018 O’Brien Institute Mid-Career Research Leader Award

Matt James, MD, PhD

For outstanding contributions, at a mid-career stage, to knowledge and innovation; the successful promotion, dissemination and management of research activities; and the training of graduate students and other research personnel.

Dr. Matt James, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor and clinician scientist in the departments of medicine and Community Health Sciences. James’ academic focus is on risk predication models in renal and cardiovascular disease, and he is rapidly establishing himself as one of the leading health outcomes researchers in renal disease in both Canada and throughout the world. His research has influenced how clinicians approach cardiovascular procedures in people with kidney disease globally.

James currently holds both a CIHR New Investigator award (2015-2020) and a CIHR Foundation Scheme grant (2015-2020), notable achievements for a clinician scientist in the early phases of his career.

The 2018 O’Brien Institute Research Excellence Award

David Hogan, MD

For substantial and distinguished research and scholarly contributions over a significant period of time, and the impact these contributions have had nationally and internationally.

Throughout his career, Dr. David Hogan, MD, has played a significant leadership role in almost every major Canadian initiative related to aging, dementia and geriatric medicine. He is well regarded as an international leader in geriatrics and gerontology.

Hogan has also been sought for his expertise in dementia and geriatric syndromes as a key research collaborator with the O’Brien Institute’s W21C, as well as making substantial contributions as a collaborator on several other technological innovation projects.

Hogan has authored or co-authored 280 peer reviewed journal articles, 127 non-peer-reviewed papers (including letters), 40 book chapters or monographs, and 145 published abstracts.

Beyond these impressive research contributions, Hogan also founded the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Calgary (1990), where he was also department head until 2000. He held the first Brenda Strafford Foundation Chair in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Calgary (until 2017), and is the first (and current) academic lead of the Brenda Strafford Centre on Aging at the University.

Even with his widespread involvement in research, Hogan has garnered a reputation as an engaged and compassionate clinician, who personifies professionalism and compassion for older patients and their family caregivers.

The 2018 O’Brien Institute Societal Impact Award

Katrina Milaney, PhD

For significant advancement and outstanding contributions toward health-related impact on society: Applying an inequities lens and a human focus to her active role informing public systems, and to her community-based investigations into domestic violence, poverty, drug use, and homelessness.

Dr. Katrina Milaney, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Community Health Sciences has been actively engaged in research and knowledge translation activities for 15 years. Milaney currently serves as an executive steering committee member for the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness which provides opportunities for national and international collaborations and knowledge translation activities.

In 2017 she worked collaboratively with the Calgary Recovery Services Task Force to investigate the health needs of chronically homeless Calgarians to develop and advance several evidence-based recommendations to Alberta Health for enhanced addiction and mental health supports for this vulnerable population.

This research and engagement project led to $750,000 in new funding from Alberta Health into community-based responses to streamline access to health services for Calgary’s most vulnerable. Several of the recommendations from her research have led to new initiatives, including informing the service models for three new supervised consumption sites. Since opening in October 2017, there have been more than 18,000 visits to the sites and more than 300 overdoses have been prevented.

The 2018 Lynn McIntyre Outstanding Service Award

Aleem Bharwani, MD

For significant contributions of time, talent, and leadership to the O’Brien Institute for Public Health. His wisdom in policy, social justice, and global citizenship, enrich high-profile Institute events, partnerships, and committees.

Dr. Aleem Bharwani, MD, is a clinical assistant professor, and director of Public Policy and Strategic Partnerships at the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM).

Bharwani has become an integral part of the Institute, working closely with the directorship on several important and high profile events and initiatives, including his early and continuous service to the Institute’s Health Policy Council, liaising between the CSM’s Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement (SPaCE) and the Institute, sitting on the Institute’s Executive Committee, dedication to, and broad knowledge of, social justice, global citizenship, and skillfully contributing to several of the Institute’s highest-profile events.