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Research

Innovative partnerships are at the heart of what we do at Southlake. Through collaboration with our partners, including our staff members and physicians, Southlake is focusing on key research activities to champion a culture of exemplary care and deliver clinical excellence.

In addition to clinical trials and population health research, Southlake is home to a healthcare-focused innovation centre, called CreateIT Now. Through this centre  we support those who are developing the products, services and technologies that can solve today’s healthcare challenges.

Visit the CreateIT Now at Southlake website at www.createitnow.ca

If you are interested in a research-related student placement at Southlake, please contact the Research Office at 905-895-4521, ext. 6638.

For information on the Research Ethics Board, including forms and templates, click here.

While COVID-19 continues to be a challenge around the world, Southlake and other hospitals in Ontario are taking a careful and slow resumption of healthcare programs and services following provincial guidance and best practices.

We are using the same conservative approach with our research activity using several key principles including:

  • patient/staff safety
  • priority resuming previously suspended research vs new research
  • collaboration with study sponsors

We are putting in place specific practices to facilitate the gradual, safe return to research activity over the next weeks and months. Please feel free to chat with your physician, trial coordinator if you have any questions or contact Sharon Villani, Research Department at 905-895-4521 ext. 6638 for further information.


Research Makes us Better

Health research is critical to the day-to-day work of Southlake. Research at Southlake provides greater opportunities for patients to access leading-edge treatments and procedures closer to home.  

The culture of innovation and research at Southlake has attracted internationally recognized physician researchers who continuously integrate and apply their expertise into the lives of our patients each day.  

As a large community hospital that delivers regional programs, Southlake has been focused on generating new knowledge and its application to improve healthcare outcomes of our patients for more than 30 years.  

Conducting a variety of research at our hospital helps us and researchers around the world to better understand disease and illness, which treatments work best and why the best ways to deliver health care and helps us understand the costs and benefits of a given health care intervention compared to another. Although much of the research is developed and funded by industry partners such as pharmaceutical companies, Southlake is proud to support academic and grant-funded research that comes from the minds of our own physicians and staff.

Southlake also collaborates in the research we do.  We collaborate with a variety of other hospitals throughout Canada and academic partners like York University, Ontario Tech University, University of Toronto and McMaster University not only to tackle important questions about health and healthcare but also to support a new generation of student learners and researchers.

Staff, students and clinicians have been conducting research at Southlake for more than 30 years. As a snapshot of current research activity at Southlake, here is a brief overview of some of our current activity:

  • 200+  current active research projects.
  • 80-100 new research studies are submitted to the Research Ethics Board each year.
  • As of March 2019, 68% of research conducted at Southlake was related to our Regional Cancer and Cardiac Programs. 

Journals, magazines, newspapers, conferences, poster presentations, web publications are sources of information in all disciplines. We are pleased to offer a listing of Southlake staff, physician and student publications and presentations. 

Please follow this link to our repository.

Research We Thrive On

Southlake is interested in a wide variety of research, from clinical trials to grant-funded, investigator-initiated and academic research. We are proud to say we have been involved in all of these types of research activities.  

Broadly, we have defined a variety of research areas of interest and look for opportunities to conduct research in each of these particular areas:

  • Remote monitoring
  • Devices
  • Adaptive aids
  • Advanced interventional techniques
  • Advanced imaging and diagnostics
  • Predictive medicine
  • Personalized medicine
  • Medications and device trials

Study Title: Anti-Coronavirus Therapies to prevent COVID-19 progression (ACT) Trial

SRHC Principal Investigator: Dr. Carter Thorne

Summary:  The goal of this study is to test whether certain drugs can prevent disease progression. The drugs being tested are hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, which are commonly used to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus; azithromycin, which is an antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections and interferon beta, which is commonly used to treat multiple sclerosis.

Study Population: COVID-19 positive inpatients and outpatients

 

Study Title: Assessing the psychological, social, and economic impacts of an emerging pandemic (C19 Online Survey)

SRHC Principal Investigator: Janet Jeffrey, RN, PhD

Summary: To examine the psychological, social, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic at various stages of the outbreak. Special attention will be given to social isolation, as well as family and work related factors.

Study Population: All individuals who are at least 12 years of age

Link to Survey: COVID-19 Online Survey       

 

  • Clinical outcomes related to diagnostic and treatment procedures
  • Examination of delivery models against health and non-health outcomes (cost, accessibility)
  • Population health (supporting new models of health care delivery like OHT’s and Southlake@Home)
  • Health data analysis
  • Personalized medicine
  • Predictive medicine
  • Digital and Information Technology innovation
  • Networked health
  • Participatory medicine
  • Health economics
  • Resource management, efficiencies and effectiveness
  • Health decision-making
  • Assessment of teaching or learning models
  • Outcomes of interprofessional education on care delivery and practitioner satisfaction and competence

About the Southlake Regional Health Centre Research Ethics Board (SRHC REB)

The SRHC REB is an autonomous body that has been established and granted authority by the Institution (the hospital) to protect the rights, safety and well-being of study participants (including patients, staff, physicians, volunteers) who participate in research conducted under the auspices of Southlake Regional Health Centre.

In 2016, SRHC REB was the first Ontario community hospital to achieve CTO (Clinical Trials Ontario) Qualification status and may act as the REB of Record for multi-centre studies across the Province.

For your convenience, we have included all the links to Southlake’s Research Ethics Board (REB) forms. 

The REB is comprised of scientific and non-scientific members. This would typically include physicians, clinical staff, non-affiliated community members/lawyers, and individuals that are knowledgeable in ethics and privacy, relevant to research involving humans.

If you are interested in volunteering as an REB member, please contact Sharon Villani at 905-895-4521 ext. 6638 or by email at svillani@southlakeregional.org   

We are currently recruiting for additional physician members (active or retired).

REB Membership Lists (PDF Format)

2021-September-28
2021-April-13
2020-November-16
2020-October-19
2020-August-24
2020-June-03
2020-May-15
2020-March-13
2019-May-13
2019-Jun-17
2019-Jul-02
2019-Sep-16
2019-Nov-13

The SRHC REB is organized and operates in accordance with the Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Humans (TCPS2 2018); Clinical Trials Ontario (CTO) REB Qualification Standards, the International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH) Good Clinical Practice Guidelines (GCP); Part C, Division 5 of the Food and Drug Regulations of Canada; Part 4 of the Natural Health Product Regulations; Medical Devices Regulations, and the provisions within the Ontario Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) and all other applicable laws and regulations.  The Southlake Regional Health Centre REB is registered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office for Human Research Protection (OHRP).

The Southlake REB has adopted the N2 CAREB REB SOPs.

Physicians and staff can access all other research-related SOPs on Southlake’s Intranet.

Participating in a Clinical Trial may save a life! We know that the advances in medicine, and broadly speaking healthcare in general, have come from the work of health care researchers and from people like you who have been willing to try new pharmaceuticals and new medical devices to prove their worth and value. However, not all clinical trials are about drugs, medical devices or treatments. Clinical trials have helped develop screening processes and prevention methods to find diseases earlier or prevent them altogether. The value of lifestyle changes like exercise and diet are studied through clinical trials, and more often, people are surviving diseases like cancer due to clinical trials and other research efforts.

Southlake encourages you to consider becoming a research participant so that the knowledge gained from clinical trials and other types of studies will benefit generations to come. Ask your doctor or clinician if there is a study available that you may be eligible to join, or for general inquiries call the Research Office:

c/o Sharon Villani, REB Administrator
Telephone 905-895-4521, ext. 6638
svillani@southlakeregional.org

For more information on participation in a clinical trial and to be better informed about your rights and responsibilities when it comes to being a participant in a clinical trial, follow this link: “It Starts With Me” The video was provided by and is used with permission of N2 ©N2.

The Research Office at Southlake is the starting point for your research journey.

Services and support by the Research Office:

  • We will provide you with information on policies and procedures when doing research at Southlake.
  • We will offer you assistance with the Research Ethics Board process and getting your research study approved by the hospital.
  • We can assist researchers when applying for grants, submitting papers for publication and statistical analysis.
  • We work with applicants on overseeing research grants, including the process of applying for and receiving grants and the disbursement and tracking of funds.
  • We advise and facilitate general training and courses to physicians and clinicians looking to make a start in research.
  • We will assist you in obtaining legal expertise for review of clinical trial agreements or advising on the commercialization of intellectual property.
  • We will provide support to researchers through our research scientist for the development of new research initiatives.
  • We will help researchers determine the resources required/costs to conduct a study and facilitate the overall hospital approval process for the research to proceed.

Please note: the 2021 Research Volunteer Program has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check back in fall 2021 for updates.

Southlake and its academic partners have a long history of partnership and collaboration, bringing the academic and research power of several of Ontario’s leading universities to Southlake staff, physicians and our patients.  Likewise, Southlake has been able to provide to researchers, academics and students across several Ontario Universities opportunities to ground their scholarly and research pursuits in the lived real-life experience of patients, families and the hospital environment. This mixing of academics, researchers, clinicians, patients and families sets the stage for the best possible experiences and for meaningful discovery. 

In addition, Southlake offers an in-house Research Scientist to support our staff and physicians in developing their research interests, helping to design research protocols, navigate the Research Ethics Board process, conduct their research, gather and analyze data and develop final reports for internal use and/or external publication or presentation. 

Projects can be wide-ranging but often fall into the following areas:

  • biomedical research
  • patient-oriented research
  • health policies and systems
  • population and  community health

Leading EDGE Research Program

Southlake is committed to advancing research to champion a culture of exemplary care and deliver clinical excellence.

As part of conducting research at the hospital, the Leading Edge Research Program (LERP) was created to provide more opportunities for our patients and researchers to connect.

The hospital maintains records of the care provided to every patient who receives care.  As part of this research program, authorized hospital staff members, upon request from a researcher, will review health records, (including your records) to identify past or present patients who may be eligible to join a research study. Only health records of individuals registered at the hospital for care on or after October 7, 2020 will be included in any of these reviews.

Only authorized Southlake staff will review you records prior to contacting you about a study you may be eligible to join. If the research is being conducted by a Southlake researcher, you will be contacted directly by study personnel to see if you are interested in learning more about a study.

LERP also enables authorized external researchers from universities and healthcare institutions to connect with Southlake patients.  If the study is being conducted by one of these third-parties, a Southlake staff member would contact you and ask your permission to share your name and contact information with the researcher.

We safeguard your privacy and will not release any of your personal contact information outside of Southlake without your permission.

It is always your choice to participate or not in a research study. A researcher is not permitted by law to review your health record unless you consent to participate in research that has been approved by the hospital.

Research is very specific. Not all patients qualify to be enrolled in a particular research study. Individual characteristics, such as age, diagnosis, gender and overall health history, are considered when determining participant eligibility.

LERP involves internal streamlined processes that enables us to screen thousands of health records against various study criteria. This results in offering more patients research opportunities while continuing to protect your rights to privacy and confidentiality.

If you do not wish to be considered for any research, simply tell the registration clerk. We will not look at your health information for research purposes if you ask us not to. You can also call the Research Office anytime afterwards at 905-895-4521 ext. 6638.

Remember, research participation is strictly voluntary and you can decline to be considered for future studies through LERP at any time.

Personal health information will not be released to external researchers or collected by Southlake researchers without your explicit consent to participate in a study that has been approved by the Southlake Research Ethics Board.

For more information, contact the Research Office at Southlake at 905-895-4521, ext. 6638.

Study Title: ACT 2 – Anti-Coronavirus Therapies (ACT) to prevent progression of COVID-19: Randomized trials

SRHC Principal Investigator: Dr. Carter Thorne

Aim: to evaluate anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic therapy to determine whether they prevent clinical progression of COVID-19 in inpatients.

Treatment:

Inpatients

  • Anti-inflammatory: colchicine vs. control
  • Antithrombotic: combination of ASA and rivaroxaban vs. control

Outpatients

  • Anti-inflammatory: colchicine vs. control
  • Antithrombotic: ASA vs. control

Study Population: COVID -19 positive inpatients & outpatients that meet all of the inclusion criteria and none of the exclusion as per the study

 

Study Title: Assessing the psychological, social, and economic impacts of an emerging pandemic (C19 Online Survey)

SRHC Principal Investigator: Janet Jeffrey, RN, PhD

Summary: To examine the psychological, social, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic at various stages of the outbreak. Special attention will be given to social isolation, as well as family and work related factors.

Study Population: All individuals who are at least 12 years of age

Link to Survey: COVID-19 Online Survey       

 

Study Title:  Risk of death or respiratory failure in patients with COVID-19 who received an ACE inhibitor, ARB, or NSAID: A Multicentre Cohort study [COVID-ACE/ARB/NSAID]

SRHC Principal Investigator: Dr. Yaariv Khayin

Summary: A retrospective study investigating the association between use of ACE inhibitors, ARBs, or NSAIDs with all-cause mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) admission or respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation among hospitalized patients with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

Study Population: COVID-19 positive adults 40 years and older

 

Study Title:  RAPID COVID COAG – Coagulopathy of COVID-19: A Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial of Therapeutic Anticoagulation versus Standard Care as a Rapid Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

SRHC Principal Investigator: Dr. Jai Jayakar

Aim: To determine the effect of therapeutic anticoagulation, with low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) or unfractionated heparin (UFH) (high dose nomogram), compared to standard care in hospitalized patients admitted for COVID-19 with an elevated D-dimer, on the composite outcome of ICU admission, non-invasive positive pressure ventilation, invasive mechanical ventilation or death at 28 days

Study Population:  COVID -19 positive inpatients that meet all of the inclusion criteria and none of the exclusion as per the study

 

Study Title: Exploring the Perspectives of Families of Pediatric Patients Who Have Eating Disorders on Medical Appointment Attendance and Refeeding during the COVID-19 Pandemic

SRHC Principal Investigator: Edigna Kusi Appiah RN, MN, NP-Pediatrics

Aim: To identify why patients have been keeping or not keeping medical appointments in the Eating Disorders Program during the COVID-19 pandemic; and to understand what factors that contribute to patients’ weight stabilization during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Study Population: Children and adolescent patients (pediatric population) who are 8-18 years of age and their parents.

 

Study Title: Virtual Family-Based Treatment (FBT) during a global pandemic: Exploring early treatment response and remission rates in a child and adolescent eating disorder sample

SRHC Principal Investigator: Jessica Pereira PhD, C. Psych

Aim: To determine if FBT (Family Based Treatment) being utilized in the Eating Disorders Program at Southlake Regional Health Centre can be effectively delivered using a virtual platform

Study Population: Child and adolescent patients and their families who have/will participate in virtual FBT compared to a matched-sample of participants who received FBT prior to COVID-19 restrictions.