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Embracing health research this holiday season

Parkwood Institute Research hosts public open house

Guests at the open house talk with Lawson researcher
St. Joseph’s: Parkwood Institute - 

Community members, patients and families, and those working in the health field attended a special open house on November 28 by research groups at Lawson Health Research Institute. Together, they celebrated the holiday spirit and the gift of hope that is made possible through hospital-based research. 

A part of St. Joseph’s Health Care London, Parkwood Institute represents the next era in care, recovery and rehabilitation. Across the site, clinical and research teams in different disciplines and specialties collaborate not only with each other but also with patients and families. 

“Many people in the community know the high-quality and compassionate care that is supported by the various clinical teams at Parkwood Institute, but aren’t aware of the research happening at this site,” says Dr. Cheryl Forchuk, Beryl and Richard Ivey Research Chair in Aging, Mental Health, Rehabilitation and Recovery, and Assistant Scientific Director at Lawson.

“Lawson researchers at Parkwood are tackling important challenges with highly innovative and meaningful solutions that help improve care and quality of life.”

For the past three years, the open house gives guests a more in-depth understanding of hospital-based research and its impact. Dr. Forchuk notes that it is a great chance to talk to the researchers and their teams, and to learn about research in a really fun and interactive way. Guests may also learn about opportunities to participate in studies, as the research teams rely on people in the community getting involved.  

Research team at PIR OPen House

There were 12 interactive program displays from Parkwood Institute Research, a Lawson program, in the areas of cognitive vitality and brain health, mobility and activity and mental health: 

  • Cognitive Clinical Trials Group (CCTG)
  • Collaboration of Rehabilitation Research Evidence (CORRE)
  • Gait and Brain Lab
  • Geriatric Mood Disorders Lab
  • MacDonald Franklin OSI Research Centre (Occupational Stress Injury)
  • Mental Health Nursing Research Alliance (MHNRA
  • Mental Health INcubator for Disruptive Solutions (MINDS) of London
  • Neuropsychiatry and Therapeutic Brain Stimulation Research Group
  • Occupational Therapy and Spiritual Care Research Lab
  • R2P (Research to Practice) 
  • Rehabilitation Mental Health 
  • Wound Care

The open house had a festive theme and many of the exhibits involved a problem solving or interactive elements to encourage learning and foster teamwork. 

Karen Vecchio, federal Member of Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London, was among the over 200 people in attendance.  

Dr. Cheryl Forchuk. MP Karen Vecchio and Roy Butler at PIR Open House

At the open house, from left: Dr. Cheryl Forchuk, MP Karen Vecchio and Roy Butler, St. Joseph’s Vice President. 

“London is a great community to conduct research,” explains Dr. Forchuk. “We are a mid-size city surrounded by rural areas, in many ways reflecting Canada as a whole. A lot of our projects cover the country with multiple sites and results found here by our leading experts are being implemented in health centres and national strategies in this country and around the world.”