Primary Healthcare Research Day

Registration is now open for Primary Healthcare Research Day 2017!

Primary Healthcare Research Day, now in its fourth year, is an opportunity for learners, decision-makers, citizens, and researchers from a variety of disciplines to come together and celebrate primary healthcare research happening across the province.  Research Day is presented by Collaborative Research in Primary Health Care (CoR-PHC).  The day is focused on the role that research has in improving primary healthcare service and delivery.

BRIC NS is pleased to offer and award for best student poster given at Primary Healthcare Research Day.

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Upcoming funding opportunities

The following funding opportunities will be launched by CIHR in 2017. These opportunities are specifically available to members of Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations Networks across the country.  Each project must involve at least one other PIHCI Network and must have 1:1 matching funds.

Funding Opportunity Description Total Budget Funding Opportunity Launch Deadline
Knowledge Synthesis Grants

View 2016 Funding Opportunity

To support teams of researchers and knowledge users to produce knowledge syntheses and scoping reviews that will contribute to the use of synthesized evidence in decision-making and practice. $50,000 for 1 year Anticipated Spring 2017 Anticipated Early Fall 2017
Comparative Program and Policy Grants

View 2016 Funding Opportunity

To support teams who wish to engage in evidence-based policy-making by analyzing and comparing various provincial policies to produce relevant, compelling research that can be used to influence policy decisions. $125,000/ year for 2 years Anticipated Spring 2017 Anticipated Early Fall 2017
Multi-year Large Grants

Open now

To support larger cross-jurisdictional research projects based on the medium and long term priorities identified by the member networks. $500,000/year for 4 years Winter 2017 Network LOI: August 11, 2017

CIHR LOI: September 26, 2017

Full application: November 28, 2017

BRIC NS Student Seminar Series

The BRIC NS Student Seminar Series is an opportunity for students across Nova Scotia to share their completed or in-progress research. Presentations cover a wide-variety of disciplines, but all address the common thread of primary and integrated health care. Everyone is welcome!


Date: July 13, 2022
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm AST
To Register:

After registering, you will receive an email with details about joining the Zoom session. If you need assistance registering email

This seminar will cover two topics:

Brannon Senger will present: Pathways to care, perceptions of services and clinical outcomes in a first episode psychosis setting.
Chiara Gottheil will present: Understanding diagnostic pathways for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer: A mixed-methods study.

About the speakers:

Brannon Senger is completing his first year in clinical psychology. With a Master’s in Public Health, his interests are in improving mental healthcare by making services more accessible and fostering coordination between primary care and specialized psychiatric services. Brannon strongly believes in the scientist-practitioner model and hopes to conduct research that improves outcomes for those with mental illness and have this research inform his future clinical work.

Chiara Gottheil is finishing the first year of her Master’s in Community Health & Epidemiology at Dalhousie University. Chiara works under the supervision of Dr. Robin Urquhart. Previously, Chiara completed an honours BSc at Queen’s University in Life Science. Her research will examine barriers to diagnosing ovarian cancer in Nova Scotia. Ovarian cancer is typically diagnosed at a late stage, so this research will help determine why that is and how we can diagnose it in a more timely manner. Chiara is looking forward to speaking about her project!

Congratulations to the ACTing Collectively Project Team

Congratulations to the ACTing Collectively Project Team who were recently awarded funding by the Department of Seniors and Long-term Care ($517,500 over 3 years) to augment funds previously granted by the NSH Research Fund ($99,308 over 2 years) in 2021 for their proof-of-concept study, ‘ACTing Collectively to map and address the needs of community-living older adults in Nova Scotia’.

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Blog: Patient Partners and researchers work together to navigate and spread knowledge about nurse-led primary care in Nova Scotia

Alannah Delahunty-Pike – Research Associate
Donna Rubenstein and Judy Porter – Patient Partners  

Knowledge translation, or KT, is an integral part of health research projects. KT is how we share what is learned in a study and how to apply those learnings. In a Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) grant, Patient Partners and researchers can work together to move beyond sharing study findings. An integrated KT approach demonstrating co-development and team collaboration with visuals, allows us to begin to do that.

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Welcome to the new BRIC NS leadership team!

The BRIC NS team is delighted to share exciting updates on the future of BRIC NS.  BRIC NS, along with the other SPOR PIHCI Networks, has applied for funding to form a pan-Canadian Primary Care Network. The results of this funding competition will be known in early spring 2022. BRIC NS will continue to focus on research support and development, capacity building, and engagement in the province. In addition, we will have more responsibility for pan-Canadian activities in the new Primary Care Network.
Dr. Emily Gard Marshall, Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Dalhousie University, who participated in writing the initial BRIC NS grant and has acted as co-Investigator and BRIC NS Management Committee member, will oversee the management and operations of BRIC NS going forward. Dr. Ruth Lavergne, Canada Research Chair in Primary Care in the Department of Family Medicine at Dalhousie University, is the new Nova Scotia Co-Investigator in the SPOR Primary Care Network. Working together, Drs. Marshall and Lavergne will ensure that BRIC NS continues its work of supporting primary and integrated health care research in Nova Scotia and contributes to the mission and goals of the pan-Canadian network. Success in the SPOR Primary Care Network funding application will also include a greater role for the Nova Scotia practice-based research network known as MaRNet led by Dr. Matt Grandy. Dr. Fred Burge, who has acted as the Science Lead and Nominated Principal Investigator for BRIC NS since 2015, is retiring and stepping down from his role. We are thankful for his continued support and guidance over the next few months as we make these transitions.
As always, reach out to us at if you have any questions or if we can support you in your primary health care research.

BRIC NS Student Seminar Series

The BRIC NS Student Seminar Series is an opportunity for students across Nova Scotia to share their completed or in-progress research. Presentations cover a wide-variety of disciplines, but all address the common thread of primary and integrated health care. Everyone is welcome!


Date: March 9, 2022
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm AST
To Register:

After registering, you will receive an email with details about joining the Zoom session. If you need assistance registering email

This seminar will cover two topics:

Julia Kontak will present: The role of Youth Engagement in Health Promoting Schools

Rachel Erskine will present: Thyroid testing: Are we choosing wisely?

About the speakers:

Julia Kontak is a PhD in Health student at Dalhousie University. Julia’s research interests include healthy school communities, youth engagement and knowledge translation. Julia’s PhD work is embedded within UpLift, a School-Community-Partnership co-led by her supervisor, Dr. Sara Kirk, that aims to catalyze and support Health Promoting Schools efforts across Nova Scotia, Canada. Prior to pursuing her PhD, Julia completed her MA in Health Promotion at Dalhousie University and worked at two leading health research organizations in Nova Scotia. Most recently, Julia held the position of the Knowledge Translation Coordinator at the Maritime SPOR Support Unit for four years.

Rachel Erskine is a fourth year medical student at Dalhousie University, planning to pursue a career in Family Medicine. Her research interests include quality improvement and medical education. This talk will provide an update on current thyroid screening guidelines. A chart review at a Dalhousie Family medicine clinic was done to assess how well we are adhering to the Choosing Wisely guidelines when it comes to TSH testing. We also compare our performance prior to pandemic restrictions to during restrictions and hope to spark discussion on how COVID restrictions have impacted clinical decision making. 

Health System Impact Fellows

Congratulations to BRIC NS member Mike Reid, chosen as one of the 2021 CIHR Health System Impact Fellows. His work will explore how people accessing the health care system have a differing experience with primary health care as their health care needs become more complex and he will be working with Nova Scotia Health. Read more here.

Primary Health Care Learning Series

Join us to learn research and quality assurance projects being conducted by the primary and integrated health care community

Date: February 9, 2022 | 12:00 – 1:15 pm AST

This event is free and open to everyone. You must register in advance: If you need help registering please contact Information about joining the webinar will be sent after registration.

This seminar will consist of two presentations:

Talking ’bout my generation: Practice patterns among early-career family physicians and implications for primary care policy and workforce planning

About the speaker:

Dr. Ruth Lavergne is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Dalhousie University and Tier II Canada Research Chair in Primary care. Dr. Lavergne’s program of research aims to address disparities in access and build evidence to ensure primary care organization, delivery, and workforce meet the needs of Canadians now and in the future. She leads the Early Career Primary Care (ECPC) study, which is exploring changing practice patterns among family physicians, as well as practice intentions and choices among family medicine residents and early career physicians.

The kids are alright: Influences on the intentions for obstetric practice among family physicians and residents in Canada

About the speaker:

Dr. Emily Gard Marshall is an Associate Professor in the Dalhousie Department of Family Medicine Primary Care Research Unit, cross appointed with Community Health and Epidemiology, and Psychiatry, as well as a Nova Scotia Health Affiliated Scientist. Her mixed methods research examines primary healthcare from patient, provider, and system perspectives to address the quadruple aim: promoting population health, optimizing costs, enhancing patient experience, and supporting care team well-being. Foci include access, continuity, and comprehensiveness to improve equity and optimize outcomes across the life course, involving population data and equity-deserving populations. She leads multiple pan-Canadian studies including the CIHR COVID-19 Rapid Response funded PUPPY-Study. Dr. Marshall is the 2020 recipient of the NAPCRG Mid-Career Researcher Award.

BRIC NS Student Seminar Series

The BRIC NS Student Seminar Series is an opportunity for students across Nova Scotia to share their completed or in-progress research. Presentations cover a wide variety of disciplines, but all address the common thread of primary and integrated healthcare. Everyone is welcome!


Date: January 12, 2022
Time:12:15-1:30 pm AST
To register:

After registering you will receive an email with details about joining the Zoom session. If you need assistance registering contact

This seminar will cover two topics:

Kaylee Jabbour will present: Exclusive breastfeeding prevalence in an urban Nova Scotia primary care setting at six months of age

Hailey Burns will present: Attention bias and social skills in youth with anxiety disorders

About the speakers:

Kaylee Jabbour is currently a 3rd year Dalhousie medical student. She graduated from the University of Prince Edward Island with her Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2017. Her supervisor is Dr. Helena Piccinini-Vallis. Her primary clinical and research interests include maternal health, women’s health and sexual health. 

Hailey Burns is a first year Master’s student in the Masters of Psychiatry Research Program at Dalhousie University under the co-supervision of Dr. Sandra Meier and Dr. Raymond Klein. Her research focuses on the relationship between negative attentional biases in anxious and healthy youth in various social situations. This innovative project blends the study of cognitive behaviours and emotional well-being with modern eye-tracking software to potentially identify new targets, such as altering one’s attention bias, to help guide the development of new therapeutic techniques for those living with anxiety. Outside of academia, Hailey has taken up many hobbies due to the ongoing pandemic, including embroidering, painting, hiking with her dog Hudson, watching all of the marvel movies in chronological order, and has now moved on to a new hobby to try: knitting.

Primary Health Care Learning Series

Innovation and Integration in Practice at Nova Scotia Health: An integrated care model for patients experiencing persistent post-COVID symptoms and the role of embedded research, improvement, and patient engagement

Date: December 8, 2021 | 12:00 – 1:15 pm AST

This event is free and open to everyone. You must register in advance:

Information about joining the Zoom Webinar will be sent after registering. If you need assistance registering, please contact

Presentation 1: Integrated Post-COVID Care Delivery

About the speakers:

Ashley Harnish is a Health Services Manager in Primary Health Care at Nova Scotia Health. In her portfolio, Ashley supports a range of programs and services within primary health care and is most excited to speak to you today about the Integrated Chronic Care Service.

Krista Blaikie Hughes is a Patient Family Advisor with the Post-Covid Care steering committee. Krista brings her perspective and lived-experience to the committee’s activities having tested positive for COVID-19 during Nova Scotia’s third wave. She spent 19 days in hospital on the Covid Unit and in ICU. She is currently in the Long Covid phase of her recovery. A graduate of Acadia University and Mount Saint Vincent University, Krista is office manager for a Dartmouth-based marine engineering consulting firm, ABL Canada, responsible for finance and HR, HSEQ and marketing. Prior to joining ABL, Krista worked in communication management roles in a variety of industry sectors including law enforcement, wholesale food distribution, economic development, residential construction and electrical utility. 

Presentation 2: The Role of Embedded Research, Innovation and Discovery

About the speakers:

Dr. Tara Sampalli is the Senior Scientific Director in the Research, Innovation and Discovery portfolio at Nova Scotia Health.  Dr. Sampalli obtained her engineering degree from Bangalore University, followed by Masters of Applied Science from Dalhousie University. She obtained her PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies specializing in Health Informatics from Dalhousie University. Tara is the lead for the Implementation Science Team in Research, Innovation & Discovery. Working with key partners in Nova Scotia Health and the province, she is also involved in leading the development of a learning health system strategy. Tara and the implementation team routinely engage in supporting key policy, planning and practice improvement decisions through rapid reviews, implementation science initiatives and rapid evaluation. Her research interests include chronic disease management and multimorbidities, patient engagement, integrated models of care, and knowledge management.

Dr. Caroline King is a biostatistics consultant with the Research Methods Unit at Nova Scotia Health. The Research Methods Unit provides expert advice on all stages of the research process including study design and protocol development, statistical analyses and interpretation of results. She has a PhD in Epidemiology from McGill University where she specialized in health policy impact evaluation. Her primary interests is in using real world data and causal inference methods to rigorously assess the impact of health system changes on patient-centered outcomes. She particularly enjoys collaborating with large teams and helping them combine quantitative methods from epidemiology, economics and machine learning to achieve their research goals.

Swarnima Gambhir and Robert Laureijs are project coordinators working closely with Dr. Sampalli as part of the Implementation Science Team in Research, Innovation and Discovery, Nova Scotia Health.