About

The Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research works to enhance the health and well-being for the diverse population of Canada's military personnel, Veterans, public safety personnel and their families. By engaging academic and government research resources, fostering new research, and promoting knowledge translation, CIMVHR plays a crucial role in addressing this population's unique risks and needs.

Annually, CIMVHR Forum serves as a platform for thought leaders across various sectors to exchange insights, collaborate, and showcase advancements in research and ideas for the betterment of our military personnel, Veterans and their families.

CIMVHR Forum 2024 will take place on October 21-23 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

CIMVHR: Serving those who serve us.

Past CIMVHR Forums

CIMVHR Forum 2023
CIMVHR Forum 2022
Virtual Forum 2021
Forum 2019
Forum 2018
Forum 2017
Forum 2016
Forum 2015
Forum 2014
Forum 2013
Forum 2012
Forum 2011
Forum 2010

CIMVHR Forum 2023

CIMVHR Forum 2023 - October 16-18 in Ottawa Gatineau

The Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) hosted its 13th annual Military and Veteran Health Research Forum in Ottawa-Gatineau. This event featured over 850 attendees that had an opportunity to view over 250 presentations, including current research from over 190 government and academic researchers. Making this our largest Forum to date.

Monday morning opened at CIMVHR Forum with over 200 individuals attending The Families Roundtable entitled Families of military personnel, Veterans, and public safety personnel are the strength beside the uniform, doing their part to ensure the safety and security of Canada, at home and abroad. Following the well-attended roundtable, CIMVHR Forum kicked off with a panel discussion title We stand on guard: Integrating and advancing Veteran and public safety personnel research and care, which was moderated by Dr. Nicole Sadler, Head of Policy and Practice, Phoenix Australia Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health. Panelists included: Brent MacIntyre, Ottawa Police Services; LCol (Retd) Alexandra Heber, Chief of Psychiatry, Veterans Affairs Canada; ; Stephanie Priest, Acting Director General, Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Public Health Agency of Canada; Dr. Heidi Cramm, Professor of Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Research Lead, Families Matter Research Group, Queen’s University, Head of Family Research Strategy, CIMVHR; and Dr. R. Nicholas Carleton, Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Regina. The group discussed the important work being done on the evolution and intersections between military and veteran and public safety personnel mental health research, treatment services and policies, and what we have learned over recent years.

The Surgeon General of the Canadian Armed Forces, MGen Marc Bilodeau, introduced the 2022 recipient of the Sir Frederick Banting Award, Chris M. Edwards PhD (Cand). Chris M. Edwards is a PhD candidate at the University of Ottawa working under the supervision of Dr. Kristi Adamo who delivered a keynote presentation titled Does a History of Childbirth Impact Musculoskeletal Injury in Female Military Members?

Monday evening ended with a special discussion with the Surgeon General and Commander of the Medical Forces Command, Armed Forces Ukraine who highlighted the medical challenges and innovations implemented by the Ukraine medical services over the first 18 months of the ongoing Ukrainian-Russian war.

The second day of CIMVHR Forum began with Col. C. Forestier, OMM, MSC, CD, MD
Director Health Services Strategic Concepts, Canadian Forces Health Services Group introduced Dr. Margaret Bourdeaux to deliver a keynote presentation entitles Building Health System Resilience: Is Canada Ready?. Dr. Bourdeaux is the Research Director, Program in Global Public Policy and Social Change, Co-chair, Berkman Klein Center, Policy Practice: Digital Pandemic Response, Instructor in Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital.

On the final day of CIMVHR Forum, Mr. Nathan Svenson, Research Director at Veteran Affairs Canada, introduced the final keynote speaker Dr. Sumitra Muralidhar who presented on The Million Veteran Program: Advancing Precision Healthcare at the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Muralidhar is the Director of Million Veteran Program (MVP); U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

In 2016, CIMVHR established a fellowship initiative to recognize leading experts who demonstrate exceptional research advancements in the military, Veteran, and family health and well-being field. This year, CIMVHR appointed two new fellows Dr. Dave Blackburn and Dr. Anthony Nazarov for their outstanding contributions to military, Veteran, and family health research in Canada and leadership within the field.

Dave Blackburn, PhD
2023 Fellow

Dean, Université du Québec en Outaouais

 

 

Anthony Nazarov,PhD, PMP
2023 Fellow

Associate Scientific Director, MacDonald Franklin OSI Research Centre 
Associate Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute; Research Scientist and Adjunct Research Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Western University; and Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University

 

 

Annually at the conference, CIMVHR hosts various events to engage emerging researchers and students, including the announcement of the recipients of CIMVHR’s scholarships and awards.

This year the 2023 recipients are:

The Dr. Mark Zamorski Award

Awarded to a post-graduate student to enhance their specialization in epidemiological and mental health problems in military personnel, Veterans, and/or their families.

2023 recipient:
Blake Boehme , MSc, University of Regina, for the research Personalized Psychological Networks in Canadian Forces Veterans with PTSD: A Proof of Concept Study

Royal Canadian Legion Masters Scholarship in Veteran Health Research

An annual entrance scholarship awarded to a master’s level student specializing in research related to Veterans and their families.

2023 recipient:
Kathryn Reeves, BA (Hons), Mount Saint Vincent University, for the research The Intergenerational Impacts of Military Service Related Moral Injury

Welcome Reception
Sunday, October 15th

CIMVHR hosted a welcome reception at Forum, allowing participants to reconnect. This year’s welcome reception was held at the Palais des congrès in Salle Deschênes. CIMVHR leadership Dr. David Pedlar, Dr. Stéphanie Bélanger, Dr. Nicholas Held and Paul Hook were in attendance greeting guests as they arrived to welcome them to CIMVHR Forum 2023.

CIMVHR SPEC Networking Event
Monday, October 16th

The Student and Post-doctoral Engagement Committee's (SPEC) annual networking social was held on the first evening of Forum, at Canadian Museum of History in the stunning Riverview Salon overlooking downtown Ottawa. This event allows emerging researchers to network and connect with other trainees and post-docs attending the conference. CIMVHR's Managing Director Paul Hook delivered welcome remarks, and SPEC Co-Chairs Ashley Williams and Shannon Hill spoke on behalf of the SPEC Members. The event was sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion. Bruce Julian, Dominion President, Legion’s Dominion Command, offered encouraging words to students and mentors in attendance.

Thank you to the Royal Canadian Legion for sponsoring the event.

Networking Reception
Tuesday, October 17th

CIMVHR Forum attendees took a break from the scientific and academic rigours of Forum and enjoyed an evening of networking and entertainment at a local sugar shack – Le Domaine de L’Ange Gardien.  Guests loved experiencing a true Québecois sugar shack, featuring live entertainment, maple taffy demonstrations, a photobooth, s’more station, and a bonfire.

Thank you to Bayshore Health Care for sponsoring the event.

Tuesday, October 17th

Integrating sex, gender and diversity factors into military health research

Sex and gender are important determinants of health and well-being. Sex and gender differences have historically often been overlooked in military health research design, study implementation and scientific reporting, as well as in health promotion communication. This has limited the generalizability of research findings and applicability to prevention and clinical practice. Many now recognize the imperative to integrate gender and diversity into military health and wellness research. This workshop will review:

  • terminology relating to sex, gender and diversity variables;
  • rationale for and implications of including sex, gender and diversity in military and veteran research;
  • existing policy and guidelines in this area; and,
  • guidance on methodology to reduce gender and diversity bias in military health and social science research

“Same Stuff, Different Uniform” -- Mapping out Military and Public Safety Personnel culture and identity development, international contexts and why it is essential in research, policy and service design

Understanding service culture is essential for designing research, treatment, services and policy for military and public safety personnel, to effectively support them and their families. There is often a ‘lumping’ of service personnel when considering research, practice and policy, with the assumption that interventions that work with one group will work for another. However, what makes up the domains of “service culture” and how that impacts identity, looks different within services (e.g. different military roles), between services (e.g. paramedics and police), within countries (e.g. between provinces in Canada or states in Australia or USA) and in different countries around the globe. This workshop aims to discuss first of all “why” cultural awareness is important for researchers, policy makers and health professionals to effectively work with these populations. Secondly, we will discuss the differences and similarities between service contexts, to inform the development of cultural awareness programs.

Building Resilience in the Military-to-Civilian Transition

The military-to-civilian transition (MCT) is a significant event in the lives of military members, and although most members adjust well following the MCT process, research suggests that some military members may experience significant challenges. The focus of this workshop is on using the research collected on MCT experiences to build resilience in members about to undergo the MCT process. The workshop will include a review of literature on resilience among military populations, and a discussion of how resilience may be conceptualized and measured among transitioning members specifically, and at what points in the process, with examples provided from the Canadian MCT process and existing data collection practices (e.g., the Transition Support and Well-being Survey). Group discussions in the workshop will explore the concept of resilience in the MCT process in other contexts and identify best practices and potential new initiatives to support resilience among transitioning members.

Pain Reprocessing Therapy as a Group Treatment

Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT) is a ground-breaking set of psychological techniques designed to retrain the brain to interpret and respond to signals from the body more accurately and effectively, thereby breaking the cycle of chronic pain (see Ashar, Gordon, Schubiner, et al., JAMA Psychiatry, 2021). Participants in this workshop will learn about the current research on PRT and gain experience with its five main components:

  1. education about the brain origins and reversibility of pain,
  2. gathering and reinforcing personalized evidence for the brain origins and reversibility of pain,
  3. attending to and appraising pain sensations through a lens of safety,
  4. addressing other emotional threats, and
  5. gravitating to positive feelings and sensations.

Modifications to standard PRT for addressing non-pain chronic conditions and for offering the treatment in a group format will also be covered.

Wednesday, October 18th

Health and Climate Change: Civil-Military Challenges and Opportunities

Most international organizations state that climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity. From a healthcare perspective, climate change affects multiple social and environmental determinants of population health such as changes in the distribution of infectious diseases, potable water and food availability and has placed additional strain on health and healthcare systems globally. From a military perspective, climate change has contributed to an increase in within-country stability, between-state military competition, and an increase in the number of humanitarian requests for natural disaster response. As climate change accelerates, Canadian health agencies at all levels, including DND, will need to identify and develop specific capabilities to ensure readiness to respond to future events, both domestically and internationally.

Considerations for the assessment, treatment and research of military/Veteran PTSD – an updated primer

The proposed workshop will review guidelines with case examples on best practice and special considerations for assessment, treatment and research of military/Veteran PTSD. Psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and collaborative care will be highlighted with break out discussions. Assessment topics will include the importance of identifying an index trauma, connecting assessment of symptomatology to this trauma, considerations when using self-report questionnaires in treatment, and highlight the importance of outcome monitoring. Treatment discussion will focus on integrating adjuvants to standard psychopharmacology (i.e., ketamine and rTMS), pharmacogenetics, and exploring factors underlying the suggestion that military/Veteran PTSD is less responsive to treatment. To promote research, the importance of continuing to emphasize evidence-based treatments while exploring ways to adapt these treatments will be reviewed, and areas of much needed research will be highlighted. Strategies to engage and educate Veterans in treatment to better inform outcomes and collaborative treatment decision making will be discussed.

So What?! Operationalizing priorities from a Community Health Needs Assessment for Canadian Veterans

For the first time, VAC is completing a Veterans’ Well-being Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). Collecting new and building on existing data, the CHNA will engage with Canadian Veterans to systematically identify their health and well-being strengths and needs and communicate results in an accessible way. Of particular interest, are the unique needs of equity-deserving Veteran groups including women, 2SLGBTQI+, Indigenous, Black, and racialized Veterans and Veterans with disabilities. Results can be used to inform decision-makers in program, policy, and research, and to support equitable allocation of resources for all Veterans. Building on the CHNA engagement approach, participants in this workshop will transform knowledge into action by brainstorming meaningful ways to share CHNA results with Veterans/stakeholders; and identify tangible and impactful strategies to address highlighted priorities. Input from this workshop will contribute to planning an implementation strategy, highlighting the health strengths and needs of Canadian Veterans and recommendations for action.

Charting Your Path Forward: A Mentoring Event for Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

In response to the overwhelming feedback and demand after last year’s event, the Student and Postdoctoral Engagement Committee are thrilled to host this mentoring event. This event will provide students and postdoctoral fellows with formal mentoring and networking opportunities where they will hear from and engage with seasoned researchers in the fields of military, Veteran, public safety personnel, and family health. The event will include two components, first starting with a World Café in which participants and researchers will engage in multiple smaller collaborative discussions covering relevant questions and topics related to developing a high-impact research career. The second component will include a panel discussion of what these researchers wished they knew as students and postdoctoral fellows, what they know now regarding their careers and research trajectories, and what they are currently working on to make meaningful contributions and advancements in their fields.

 

Each year at CIMVHR Forum, several researchers are recognized for their significant contributions. This year’s award recipients include:

Banting Award

Awarded annually for military health research and sponsored by the True Patriot Love Foundation. The Banting Award honours Major Sir Frederick Banting – a world renowned physician, Nobel Prize winner and researcher who discovered insulin. The award recognizes high quality Canadian research that addresses military health issues.

2023 recipient:
Eric Robitaille, PhD, Canadian Forces Health Services, for the research The effectiveness of standardized physical training programs to reduce musculoskeletal injuries in Canadian Armed Forces combat arms developmental courses

 

 

Hans Christian Tingelstad, PhD, Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services, for the research Absolute strength: A key predictor of injury risk in Infantry Developmental Period 1 infantry candidates

 

 

 

Release Point Education Student Award, sponsored by Release Point Education

Release Point Education works to foster the realization of academic excellence by supporting military-connected students through the provision of specialized, relevant, and credible programming. The Release Point Education Student Award was established to continue their support of military-connected students who have a passion for military, Veteran and family research. This award is presented to the best student researcher presentation or poster at CIMVHR Forum 2023.

2023 recipient:

Lauren Roberts, MSc, PhD Student, Queen’s University, for the research Considerations on the application of family theories, models, and frameworks within adult rehabilitation and recovery following acquired injury or illness

 

 

Mental Health Research Award, sponsored by Homewood Health

Awarded for the best presentation on improving or innovating clinical mental health practice.

2023 recipient:
Kaitlin Chivers-Wilson, MD, MSc, FRCPC, Alberta Health Services for the research Evaluating the effectiveness of delivering Cognitive Processing Therapy in an intensive format for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder in an Operational Stress Injury context

 

 

Family Health Research Award, sponsored by Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services

An award recognizing high quality Canadian research that increases our understanding of military and Veteran family health.

2023 recipient:
Michèle L. Hébert, PhD, OT, University of Alberta, Heroes in Mind, Advocacy and Research Consortium (HiMARC) for the research Building Community Capacity by Designing a Novel Pan-Canadian Military Family-centred Strengthening Programme with Military Families, Service Providers and Decision-makers

 

 

Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) Public Safety Personnel (PSP) Mental Health Research Award, sponsored by Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT)

New to CIMVHR’s Annual Forum, CIPSRT has developed an award dedicated to individuals or research teams that show outstanding progress in advancing PSP mental health research. This award was established to support student researchers presenting on PSP at CIMVHR Forum.

2023 recipient:
Andrea D'Alessandro-Lowe, MSc, PhD Student, McMaster University, Homewood Research Institute, for the research Associations Between Coping, Supports and Moral Injury Symptoms among Canadian Public Safety Personnel

 

 

Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health Editors’ Choice Award, sponsored by JMVFH

Awarded to a researcher whose poster presentation at CIMVHR Forum 2023 made an exceptional contribution to military, Veteran, and family health research

2023 recipient:
Kate St. Cyr, MSc, PhD (c), University of Toronto; Lawson Health Research Institute, for the research A retrospective cohort analysis of mental health-related emergency department visits among Veterans and non-Veterans in Ontario, Canada

 

 

Student Research Award, sponsored by CIMVHR

Awarded to the best student researcher presentation at CIMVHR Forum 2023.

2023 recipient:
Ashley Williams, PhD, McMaster University, for the research What do civilian healthcare providers need to know to care for Veterans with chronic pain? A qualitative study

 

 

CIMVHR Forum 2022

CIMVHR Forum 2022 – October 17 to 19 in Halifax, NS

The Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) co-hosted its 12th annual Military and Veteran Health Research Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with Dalhousie University, Mount Saint Vincent University and Saint Mary's University. The sold-out event returned to an in-person format for the first time since 2019, with 550 people in attendance and over 200 research presentations.

New to CIMVHR Forum, the Monday morning started with over 100 delegates participating in the CIMVHR, and Vanier Institute Family Roundtable entitled What about the families? A partnership to enhance services and supports for families of military, veterans, and public safety personnel. Following the early morning session, Forum kicked off with a panel discussion titled Culture Change: More Than Just a Checklist, which was moderated by Col (Retd) Heather Thorne-Albright, a Veteran who served in the forces for more than 39 years. Panellists included: Chief Warrant Officer Bob McCann, Command Chief Warrant Officer, Professional Conduct and Culture, Canadian Armed Forces; Dr. Maya Eichler,  Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair, Mount Saint Vincent University; Dr. Karen Davis, Defence Scientist, Director General, Military Personnel Research and Analysis, and Research Lead for the Chief, Professional Conduct and Culture, National Defence Canada; and Vaughn Charlton, Director General, Action Innovation and Modernization, Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Later that day, the Surgeon General of the Canadian Armed Forces, MGen Marc Bilodeau, introduced the 2021 recipient of the Sir Frederick Banting Award, Dr. Stacey Silins. Dr. Silins is a Defence Scientist with the Director Research Personnel and Family Support, Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis, Military Personnel Command in the Department of National Defence, who delivered a keynote presentation titled Making a difference: The value of lived experience research in understanding and responding to sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

On October 18th, the plenary session featured Ms. Seileen Mullen, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs within the U.S. Department of Defense. The keynote focused on Women in the Military: Equity and Health Equity.

On the final day of Forum, Mr. Nathan Svenson, Research Director at Veteran Affairs Canada, introduced the final keynote speaker Dr. Samir Sinha, who presented on Addressing our Coming of Age for Canada’s Veterans. Dr. Sinha is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, the Director of Geriatrics at Sinai Health, and the University Health Network Director of Health Policy Research at the National Institute on Ageing.

In 2016, CIMVHR established a fellowship initiative to recognize leading experts who demonstrate exceptional research advancements in the military, Veteran, and family health and well-being field. This year, CIMVHR appointed one new fellow, Dr. Maya L. Roth, to recognize her outstanding contributions to military, Veteran, and family health research in Canada and leadership within the field.

Additionally, the 2021 fellow, LCol Andrew Beckett, received his CIMVHR coin (since Forum 2021 was held virtually). They join the group of 14 fellows supporting CIMVHR's mission.

Maya L. Roth, PhD
2022 Fellow

Clinical Psychologist, St. Joseph’s Operational Stress Injury Clinic – Greater Toronto Site; Associate Member, Yeates School of Graduate Studies, Toronto Metropolitan University; Adjunct Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University; and Associate Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute.

 

 

LCol Andrew Beckett, CD, MD
2021 Fellow

Trauma Advisor to the Surgeon General, Chief of General Surgery, Canadian Armed Forces; Assistant Professor, University of Toronto; Assistant Professor, McGill University; Medical Director, Trauma Program, St. Michael’s Hospital

 

 

Annually at the conference, CIMVHR hosts various events to engage emerging researchers and students, including the announcement of the recipients of CIMVHR’s scholarships and awards.

This year the 2022 recipients are:

Wounded Warriors Doctoral Scholarship in Military and Veteran Health Research

A scholarship awarded annually to a PhD candidate who demonstrates excellence in their proposed research while exhibiting significant potential for a high-impact career health research for military members, Veterans or other related populations and their families.

2022 recipient:
Jordana Sommer, PhD (c), University of Manitoba, for the research Protective factors for mental health conditions among survivors of military sexual trauma: A Canadian population-based study.

 

 

The Dr. Mark Zamorski Award

Awarded to a post-graduate student to enhance their specialization in epidemiological and mental health problems in military personnel, Veterans, and/or their families.

2022 recipient:
Nabil Ali-Mohamad, BASc, University of British Columbia, for the research Quantifying the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder following traumatic blunt or penetrating trauma to the torso area

 

 

Royal Canadian Legion Masters Scholarship in Veteran Health Research

An annual entrance scholarship awarded to a master’s level student specializing in research related to Veterans and their families.

2022 recipient:
Martine Southall, BS (Hons), University of Manitoba, for the research Understanding the Relationship between Cannabis Use and Psychotherapeutic Treatment in Canadian Veterans: A Mixed-Methods Study

Welcome Reception
Sunday, October 16th

For the first time, CIMVHR hosted a welcome reception at Forum, allowing participants to reconnect in an informal setting. Held at the Halifax Marriott Waterfront Hotel, the event opened with initial remarks from Dr. David Pedlar and the Hon. Myra Freeman. They welcomed everyone to CIMVHR Forum 2022 and encouraged networking, discussion, and learning over the three days of the conference.

CIMVHR SPEC Networking Event
Monday, October 17th

The Student and Post-doctoral Engagement Committee's (SPEC) annual networking social was held at Garrison Brewery on the Monday night of Forum. This event allows emerging researchers to network and connect with other trainees and post-docs attending the conference. CIMVHR's Assistant Scientific Director Dianne Groll delivered welcome remarks, and SPEC Co-Chairs Ashley Williams and Shannon Hill spoke on behalf of the SPEC Members. The event was sponsored by Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT). Dr. Nick Jones, Executive Director at CIPSRT, offered encouraging words to students in attendance.

Thank you to CIPSRT for sponsoring the event.

Networking Reception
Tuesday, October 18th

The Tuesday night networking reception at the Discovery Centre offered attendees an opportunity to continue networking with colleagues and friends in a social environment. The event had a Nova Scotia theme photo booth, local music, delicious food and hands-on learning activities throughout the venue.

Tuesday, October 18th

Psychedelic Medicine: Definitely Out of the Shadows But Is It Ready for Prime Time?

This workshop investigated the “hot topic” of psychedelic medicine, sharing a brief historic narrative and key touchpoints in the evolution of these treatments and the psychedelic renaissance that has occurred within the past two decades using a “biopharmaceutical approach.” The session concluded with a discussion on current and future use of these approaches and their safety and efficacy.

Fatigue and Moral Injury in People of Service; Identifying and Offering Appropriate Support and Treatment to Active and Retired Members and Families

This session explored effective treatments and support for people in service suffering from fatigue, post-traumatic stress disorder, and undiagnosed moral injury. Presenters described the Ontario Police Association’s Fatigue Management Strategy, which incorporates concepts of proper sleep health, along with moral injury awareness and treatment, and access to the Sleep Disorders Centre when necessary. They also explained how treatment has been linked to a reduction in self-harm and improvement of quality of life in members, and has helped others to access programs to assist personnel and their families.

Role of the Arts in Ill and Injured CAF Members and Veterans' Recovery and Rehabilitation in Canada

Despite scholarly evidence of the positive impact of community-based creative arts, Canada does not yet have a well-developed understanding of the role of the arts in the recovery and rehabilitation of injured or ill service members, Veterans, and their families. In this workshop, facilitators leveraged the findings of academic review and lived experience insights to inform a discussion with community-based evaluators and Veteran artists for recommendations on establishing a framework for community-based arts interventions in Canada.

The Military Sexual Trauma Community of Practice: A Partnership to Promote Understanding, and Decrease the Occurrence and Effects of MST

This workshop provided the opportunity to discuss progress and key accomplishments within the Canadian Military Sexual Trauma (MST) Community of Practice, which was formed after CIMVHR’s first workshop addressing MST at CIMVHR Forum 2019. Applying an intersectional lens to all conversations, facilitators explained the role of community partners and of the MINDS-funded Canadian MST Network, as well as the impact of the first Canadian Virtual Symposium Series on MST, and contributions to the “Critical Conversations” meetings with CAF junior and senior leaders. Progress-to-date on goals identified in 2019 were reviewed and participants worked in breakout groups to identify knowledge gaps, new initiatives, and research topics for the upcoming year.

Wednesday, October 19th

Culture Change Meets Health and Wellness

This session focused on how culture change – a stated key priority of the Canadian Armed Forces – intersects with health and wellness in the military context. Workshop participants heard from academics, military members, military health-care professionals, and civilian health-care professionals working on issues of equity and intersectionality. They identified lessons to be learned about culture change from civilian health care, which has begun to address histories of ableism, colonialism, racism, sexism, and homophobia in its own practices. The workshop also identified best practices for ongoing culture change efforts within Canadian Forces Health Services (CFHS) and Chief Professional Conduct and Culture related to health and wellness.

Creating the Space for Military and Veteran-connected Post-secondary Education in Canada

This workshop focused on generating awareness of educational needs for military members and Veterans, evolving the Canadian Military and Veteran Friendly Campus Consortium (CMVFCC), enhancing equity across the post-secondary landscape, and leveraging expertise of group members for the benefit of those who serve and have served. Participants engaged in small group discussions to co-design a national consortium, co-authored an organizational vision, and co-created best practices, educational interventions and knowledge mobilization strategies that academically and socially support military-connected and Veteran learners.

Equity in Decision Making: The Adjudication of Sexual Dysfunction and Military Sexual Trauma at Veterans Affairs Canada

This discussion highlighted the sex and gender-inclusive approach Veteran Affairs Canada (VAC) is undertaking to ensure equity in Disability Benefits processes for Veterans. Participants learned about the main tools VAC uses to support consistent, transparent, equitable, and timely Disability Benefits decisions; the VAC Entitlement Eligibility Guidelines (EEG) and the Table of Disabilities, and the work underway to modernize these tools by applying a Sex and Gender-Based Analysis Plus (SGBA+) lens. Discussions focused on the importance of providing treatment benefits for sexual dysfunction as part of the overall strategy for supporting Veterans suffering from military sexual trauma.

Harnessing Military and Veteran Data from Census 2021

Drawing from historical records, federal administrative data, and a new military service question on the 2021 short-form census, Statistics Canada now has a database that contains records from more than 2.7 million individuals who served over the past 100 years. This workshop explored the use of census data and the unprecedented opportunity for population health research on the military and Veteran community. It also investigated directions for future large-scale data linkages with federal and provincial administrative data in the health and socio-economic domains.

Charting Your Path Forward: A Mentoring Event for Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

This event provided students and postdoctoral fellows with formal mentoring and networking opportunities, learning and engaging with seasoned researchers in the fields of military, Veteran, and family health, as well as public safety personnel. The event included a panel discussion and a World Café-style session in which participants and panellists had smaller collaborative conversations covering relevant and important questions and topics related to developing a high-impact research career.

Each year at CIMVHR Forum, several researchers are recognized for their significant contributions. This year’s award recipients include:

Banting Award

Awarded annually for military health research and sponsored by the True Patriot Love Foundation. The Banting Award honours Major Sir Frederick Banting – a world renowned physician, Nobel Prize winner and researcher who discovered insulin. The award recognizes high quality Canadian research that addresses military health issues.

2022 recipient:
Chris Edwards, PhD (c), University of Ottawa, for the research Does a History of Childbirth Impact Musculoskeletal Injury in Female Military Members?

 

 

Mental Health Research Award, sponsored by Homewood Health

Awarded for the best presentation on improving or innovating clinical mental health practice.

2022 recipient:
Gia (Gaayathri) Geetha, MA, Department of National Defence; University of Ottawa, for the research Evaluation of The Road to Mental Readiness for Canadian Forces Health Services Personnel

 

 

Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health Editors’ Choice Award, sponsored by JMVFH

Awarded to a researcher whose poster presentation at CIMVHR Forum 2022 made an exceptional contribution to military, Veteran, and family health research

2022 recipient:
Rebecca Gomez, MD, Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre; University of Ottawa, Stellate Ganglion Block for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Military Veterans and Royal Canadian Mounted Police: A Case Series

 

 

Student Research Award, sponsored by CIMVHR

Awarded to the best student researcher presentation at CIMVHR Forum 2022.

2022 recipient:
Nadine Leduc, MA, Memorial University of Newfoundland, for the research The Impact of Leadership Behaviours on the Mental Well-being of Public Safety Communicators

 

 

Russ Mann Award, sponsored by The Vanier Institute of the Family

The Vanier Institute’s Military and Veteran Family Initiative’s Colonel Russell Mann Military, Veteran and Public Safety Families Research Award recognizes high-quality Canadian research that increases understanding of military and Veteran family health. The award is named after Colonel Russell Mann, a recognized national leader and strong voice for military and Veteran families in Canada and a key supporter of the Military and Veteran Family Initiative.

2022 recipient:
Kamaldeep Gill, PhD, Queen’s University, for the research A Systematic Review of Suicidality amongst Military Family Members: Prevalence and Associated Factors

Enhancing Services and Supports for Families of Military, Veterans, and Public Safety Personnel

February 7, 2023

Margaret Campbell, PhD

Each year, the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) Forum offers participants from academic, government, non-profit, and industry organizations an opportunity to present new research, explore emerging issues, and learn from each other. This year, the Vanier Institute of the Family co-hosted the roundtable with CIMVHR at their 12th annual Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The purpose of the roundtable was twofold. First, it aimed to stimulate conversations about the unique needs and strengths of military, Veteran, and public safety personnel (MVPSP) families. Second, it explored how MVPSP families can benefit from and inform the direction of the ongoing Families Matter Partnership Development project.

Since 2021, the Vanier Institute has partnered with Dr. Heidi Cramm (PhD) of the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen’s University, CIMVHR, and the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) on the Families Matter Partnership Development project. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) through its Partnership Development Grant, this initiative is focused on developing research and training opportunities in Canada that support family research focusing on occupational risk and requirements.

The roundtable was an important step in helping to ensure that the Families Matter Partnership is relevant to the lives of MVPSP families, which are a diverse and often overlooked population. Many people with different backgrounds attended, including members of the Canadian Forces Morale and Wellness Services, Canadian Armed Forces, CIPSRT, Military Family Resource Centres, and Wounded Warriors Canada. Around 100 individuals took part in discussions led by experts in military and Veteran families to address the following questions:

  • What are some of the unique characteristics of military, Veteran, and public safety personnel (MVPSP) families?
  • What does it mean to live with and navigate the challenges faced by MVPSP personnel and their families?
  • What are some of the consequences when these needs are not met?
  • How do organizations or systems (e.g., educational systems, healthcare systems) respond to these needs?
  • What do military, Veteran, and public safety personnel families need from the Families Matter partnership?
  • How do we collectively envision a partnership that is designed to meet these needs?
  • When you think about a partnership that supports knowledge mobilization for MVPSP families and those who work with them, how would you complete the phrase “Wouldn’t it be great if…”?

The roundtable identified several key issues:

Family identity and structure are influenced by occupational risks and requirements

Participants shared that MVPSP families navigate a range of challenges that stem from occupational risks and requirements associated with the sector in which the serving family member works. These risks and requirements flow into the family unit and can influence family identity, structure, and wellbeing.

The unique and diverse needs of MVPSP families are often unmet

MVPSP families have unique needs, but these families experience a range of barriers when attempting to access supports that would help address their needs. Support services available to MVPSP families are lacking. Not only do these families need help identifying and accessing existing support, but these supports must be accessible, plentiful, inclusive, and designed to fit the unique needs of MVPSP families. Similarly, they should be delivered by professionals who are prepared to work with people from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. Lastly, these supports should be delivered by professionals who are understanding of the different ways that trauma can impact an individual’s life and wellbeing.

Certain MVPSP families (e.g., single-income families, divorced families, racialized families) are the most underserved. There is a lack of resources and supports designed to fit the unique needs of MVPSP families who are vulnerable to racism, income inequality, sexism, and other forms of inequality.

The Families Matter Partnership must be informed by and fit the needs of MVPSP families

The Families Matter Partnership should offer MVPSP families resources, results, and a network. Additionally, the partnership should offer MVPSP families a concrete role within the partnership and help amplify their voices so that more people are aware of their experiences, complexities, and contributions.

Learn more about the 2022 CIMVHR Forum

Learn more about the Families Matter Partnership

Margaret Campbell, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow with the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen’s University and the Vanier Institute of the Family. Her research focus is on the relationships between disability and family wellbeing, and she is currently developing a Family Science curriculum for those studying the families of military, Veteran, and public safety personnel. 

Virtual Forum 2021

The Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) hosted for its 11th annual Military and Veteran Health Research Forum in September and October 2021. With the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the safety of CIMVHR's stakeholders, the annual event pivoted to an entirely virtual format for the first time.

The Virtual Forum kicked off on September 29 with encouraging remarks from the Surgeon General of the Canadian Armed Forces, MGen Marc Bilodeau. who recognized CIMVHR’s outstanding work over the past decade. Following the Surgeon General’s comments, the 2019 Sir Frederick Banting Award recipient’s keynote presentation was delivered by Dr. Ruth Lanius from Western University. The presentation was titled: Moral Injury Wounds Run Deep: Implications for Treatment. The newly appointed Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada, Paul Ledwell, addressed the delegation and thanked CIMVHR and researchers for their thought and collaboration that will impact our serving members and Veterans. As the kick-off event wrapped up, Dr. David Pedlar took the opportunity to announce the newest CIMVHR Fellow, LCol Andrew Beckett. The Fellows program started in 2016 to recognize the leaders who demonstrate exceptional research advancements within the field of military, Veteran, and family health and well-being. We look forward to working with LCol Beckett in the future.

Keynote Presentation - MORAL INJURY WOUNDS RUN DEEP IMPLICATIONS FOR TREATMENT

Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Harris-Woodman Chair, Schulich School of Medicine, Western University of Canada

On October 5, the virtual poster session hosted 64 research presentations. Researchers and attendees communicated through chat boxes to discuss the research.

Throughout CIMVHR Virtual Forum, 64 oral presentations were divided into four population streams, which took place every Thursday throughout October. Each event opened with a keynote presentation pertinent to the topic of the day, followed by two streams of research presentations.

Serving Military – October 7

THE UK DEFENCE MEDICAL SERVICES POST COVID-19 RECOVERY, REHABILITATION AND RESEARCH PROGRAMME

Gp Capt Alex Bennett, PhD, Professor of Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Medicine, Research and Clinical Innovation, HQ Joint Medical Group, Academic Department of Military Rehabilitation, DMRC, and
LCol David Holdsworth, MA, DPhil, Consultant Cardiologist and General Physician, Clinical Lead DMS COVID-19 Recovery Service (DCRS)

Veterans – October 14

PROVIDING CARE FOR SURVIVORS OF MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA

Amy Street, PhD, Deputy Director, Women’s Health Sciences Division
National Center for PTSD, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Families and Serving Military – October 21

THE MANY FACES OF FAMILY IN THE TIME OF COVID-19

Jennifer E.C. Lee, PhD, Acting Director of Research on Personnel and Family Support, Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis

Public Safety Personnel and Veterans – October 28

INNOVATIONS IN THE TREATMENT OF PTSD: FROM PSYCHEDELICS TO VIRTUAL REALITY

Barbara O. Rothbaum, PhD, ABPP, Professor in Psychiatry, Director, Trauma and Anxiety Recovery Program, Paul A. Janssen Chair in Neuropsychopharmacology, Associate Vice Chair of Clinical Research, School of Medicine

CIMVHR Virtual Forum featured over 130 research presentations chosen from 192 abstract submissions. Under the guidance of Drs. Pedlar, Groll and Thompson, Co-Chairs of the CIMVHR Forum Scientific Committee, the agenda was a high-quality and diverse representation of military, Veteran, family and public safety personnel health research happening across Canada and around the world.

The Student and Post-doctoral Engagement Committee (SPEC) hosted their annual networking social in a virtual format this year. This event is designed to allow emerging researchers to network and connect. This year, the SPEC executive committee encouraged the attendees to apply to their open elections throughout October and November.

Annually at Forum, a group of researchers are recognized during the award ceremony. At CIMVHR Virtual Forum 2021, three researchers were recognized:

BANTING AWARD

Awarded annually for military health research and sponsored by the True Patriot Love Foundation. The Banting Award honours Major Sir Frederick Banting- a world renowned physician, Nobel Prize winner and researcher who discovered insulin. The award recognizes high quality Canadian research that addresses military health issues.

Winner:
2021 Recipient:
Stacey Silins, PhD, for the research Exploring the lived experiences of members impacted by sexual misconduct in the CAF: Impacts and the threat of secondary harm.

Sponsored By

True Patriot Love

MILITARY FAMILY HEALTH RESEARCH AWARD

The Vanier Institute’s Military and Veteran Family Initiative’s Colonel Russell Mann Award recognizes high quality Canadian research that increases our understanding of military and Veteran family health. The award is named after Colonel Russell Mann, a recognized national leader and strong voice for military and Veteran families in Canada and a key supporter of the Military and Veteran Family Initiative.

Winner:
2021 Recipient:
Lynda Manser, MA, for the research The State of Military Families in Canada: A Scoping Review and for Relocation Experiences: The Experiences of Military Families with Relocations Due to Postings – Survey Results, as well as for her subsequent knowledge mobilization efforts. This research, along with her work on Services for Military and Veteran Families: The 2020+ Strategic Framework.

STUDENT RESEARCH AWARD

Presented to the best student researcher presentation at CIMVHR Virtual Forum 2021.

Winner:
2021 Recipient:
Massimo Cau, MSc, UBC, for the research Minimally Invasive Delivery of CounterFlow Hemostatic Powder Extends Survivability in a Model of Non-Compressible Truncal Hemorrhage in Swine

Sponsored By

Via Rail Canada

JOURNAL OF MILITARY, VETERAN AND FAMILY HEALTH
EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARD

Awarded to a researcher whose poster presentation at the CIMVHR Virtual Forum 2021 made an exceptional contribution to military, Veteran and family health research.

Winner:
2021 Recipient:
Shawn Rhind, PhD and team, for the research Peripheral blood neurological injury biomarker profiles are elevated in Canadian Special Operations Forces snipers following heavy weapons training.

Sponsored By

Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health

We are grateful to the researchers who presented, the sponsors who supported, and all the delegates from Canada, the United States, and worldwide – CIMVHR Virtual Forum 2021 helped advance military, Veteran, and family health research. Thank you all for serving those who serve us.

Forum 2019

At Forum 2019, four new CIMVHR Fellows were announced. Fellows are recognized for their leadership and demonstrated exceptional research advancements within the field of military, Veteran and family health and well-being. L to R: Dr. Stéphanie Bélanger, CIMVHR; Dr. Homer Tien, Orgne; Dr. Sanela Dursun, DRDC; Col Rakesh Jetly, Canadian Armed Forces; and Dr. David Pedlar, CIMVHR. Absent from photo: Dr. Luc J. Hébert, Université Laval

In October 2019, the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) hosted its 10th Annual Military and Veteran Health Research Forum. This special year in the history of Forum was held in the Ottawa-Gatineau region and attracted the largest-ever delegation.

Ms. Nora Spinks once again brilliantly kicked off the event by moderating a panel discussion. Dr. Jitender Sareen, Dr. Sanela Dursun and Ms. Lacey Cranston discussed “Investing in Impact: The role of research in the lives of military members, veterans and their families."

The Forum agenda featured over 240 research presentations that were chosen from 325 abstract submissions. Under the guidance of Drs. Heidi Cramm and R. Nicholas Carleton, Co-Chairs of the CIMVHR Forum Scientific Committee, the agenda was a high-quality and diverse representation of military, Veteran and family health research happening across Canada and around the world.

Keynote presenters at Forum 2019 included:

Robert Hawes, PhD (Cand): Battle Injury, Non-battle Injury and Disease among Canadian Armed Forces Personnel in Afghanistan, 2004-2012: A novel program of operational and population health research

Eric B. Schoomaker, MD, PhD: Integrated Comprehensive Pain Management in the US Military and VA

Rob Riddell, MD: From Far Forward to Far Out: Special operations and deep space health care

An element of CIMVHR Forum is to celebrate emerging scholars in the field with an event hosted by the Student and Post-Doctoral Engagement Committee. This networking event is designed to allow students to meet one another and to connect with stakeholders and leading researchers in the field. The event was supported by Wounded Warriors Canada.

Other student recognition at Forum 2019 included Ashley Williams, Queen’s University, who was awarded the Wounded Warriors Doctoral Scholarship in Military and Veteran Health Research for her research From Canadian Forces Health Services to the Civilian Heath Care System: A Study of Veteran Health Transition. In addition, Kaitlin Sullivan, University of British Columbia, was awarded the Royal Canadian Legion Master’s Scholarship in Veteran Health Research for her research Identifying neuronal subpopulation participation across the stages fear memory.

New this year: Jordana Sommer, University of Manitoba, received the inaugural Dr. Mark Zamorski Award for the research A Longitudinal Population-Based Examination of Comorbid Relationships Between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Physical Health Conditions Among Canadian Military Personnel. Honouring the legacy of Dr. Mark Zamorski, the award is presented annually to a postgraduate student to enhance their specialization in epidemiological and mental health problems in military personnel, Veterans and /or their families.

Four CIMVHR Fellows were announced at Forum 2019. The program started in 2016 as a way to recognize the leaders who demonstrate exceptional research advancements within the field of military, Veteran and family health and well-being. The 2019 CIMVHR Fellows are Dr. Sanela Dursun, Dr. Luc J. Hébert, Col Rakesh Jetly and Dr. Homer Tien.

A long-standing tradition at Forum is to announce a series of research awards in the final session. The following awards were presented at Forum 2019:

The Mental Health Research Award
Sponsored by Homewood Health

Awarded to Robin Campbell, PhD (Cand) Dalhousie University, Health, Occupational Therapy, Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Canadian Navy, After the Alarm: Navigating community assets to cope with occupational stress.

The Colonel Russell Mann, Military Family Health Research Award
Sponsored by The Vanier Institute of the Family

Awarded to Valerie Wood, PhD, Queen's University, Reunited, but he’s not Meeting my Needs: Spouses’ attachment anxiety and conflict post-deployment

The Editors’ Choice Award
Sponsored by the Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health

Awarded to Stephanie Houle-Johnson, University of Ottawa, Impact of Potentially Morally Injurious Experiences in the Canadian Forces: A multi-method analysis

The Student Research Award
Sponsored by VIA Rail Canada

Awarded to Jennifer Drummelsmith, MA, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Mental Health Needs and Perceptions of Incarcerated Canadian Veterans

The Major Sir Frederick Banting MC, RCAMC Award
Sponsored by True Patriot Love Foundation

Awarded to Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD, Western University, Alpha Neurofeedback as an Adjunct Treatment for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: A randomized controlled trial

We are grateful to the researchers who presented, to the sponsors who supported, and all the delegates from Canada, the United States and around the world – CIMVHR Forum 2019 helped advance military, Veteran and family health research. Thank you all for serving those who serve us. Join us October 19-21, 2020 as we take CIMVHR Forum to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Forum 2018

The 9th Annual Military and Veteran Health Research Forum was held in Regina from October 15-17, 2018. Our co-host, the University of Regina, is home to the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment. Given this collaboration, CIMVHR Forum 2018 featured over 200 research presentations on health research for military, Veterans, public safety personnel and their families.

Our 2018 conference kicked off with a warm welcome from Regina-Wascana MP and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness The Honourable Ralph Goodale as well as an address from Mr. Stephane Lauzon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence. The very first scientific presentation was presented as a Panel on Advanced Analytics moderated by Ms. Nora Spinks and featuring panelists Dr. Lisa Patton, Dr. Alex Singer and Dr. Cathy Boscarino. Over the course of the 3 days, we also heard from remarkable keynote and featured speakers, in order of appearance: RAdm H.C. Edmundson, Dr. Benjamin Dunkley, Dr. James MacKillop and Dr. Andrew Cap.

Our annual Forum is where delegates from all around the world gather to hear top research in the field of military, Veteran and family health. Each year, CIMVHR brings together academia, government, industry, philanthropy, clinicians, and decision-makers to improve the lives of our serving members and their families. Forum also offers workshops designed to engage and develop emerging research fields. CIMVHR Forum is the premier event bringing the latest military, Veteran and family health research to those who develop practices, policies and programs.

CIMVHR Forum 2018 celebrated emerging scholars in the field of military, Veteran and family heath at the 2nd Annual Student and Post-Doctoral Engagement Committee Networking Event sponsored by Wounded Warriors Canada. Two students in particular were highlighted at Forum: Stephanie Houle-Johnson, PhD Cand., University of Ottawa and Mr. Massimo Cau, MA Cand., University of British Columbia. Ms. Houle-Johnson was awarded the Wounded Warriors Doctoral Scholarship in Military and Veteran Health Research and Mr. Cau was awarded the Royal Canadian Legion Master’s Scholarship in Veteran Health Research.

CIMVHR Forum 2018 welcomed a new Board Chair, Dr. Elizabeth Taylor, University of Alberta. The institute also appointed its 8th fellow, Dr. Christian Kastrup, University of British Columbia. Dr. Kastrup, as a fellow, joins a remarkable group of researchers who demonstrate exceptional research advancements within the field of military, Veteran and family health.

To recognize the outstanding research presented over the 3 days, five awards were presented to researchers and their teams for their outstanding presentations at CIMVHR Forum 2018. This year, Robert Hawes, PhD Cand., Canadian Forces Health Services Group (CF H Svcs Gp), received the prestigious Banting Award sponsored by True Patriot Love; Ryan Van Slyke, Syracuse University, received the Via Rail Student Research Award; Lieutenant Colonel Suzanne Bailey, CF H Svcs GP, received the Homewood Mental Health Treatment Award; Dr. Deborah Norris, Mount St. Vincent University, received the Colonel Russell Mann, Military Family Health Research Award sponsored by The Vanier Institute of the Family; and Alina Protopopescu, PhD Cand.,, McMaster University, received the Journal of Military and Veteran and Family Health (JMVFH) Editors' Choice Award.

CIMVHR Forum 2019 will be in Ottawa Gatineau, October 21 to 23. See you next year in the nation’s Capital!

Dr. R. Nicholas Carleton, University of Regina, and Drs. Stéphanie Bélanger, David Pedlar and Heidi Cramm, CIMVHR.

Forum 2017

CEO Invictus Games Toronto 2017, Michael Burns; CIMVHR Fellow, Dr. Alice Aiken; CIMVHR Researcher, Dr. Celina Shirazipour; His Highness Prince Harry; Invictus Games Athlete, Leading Seaman (ret) Stéphane Moreau; and CIMVHR Interim Co-Scientific Directors Drs. Heidi Cramm and Stéphanie Bélanger.

The Eighth Annual Military and Veteran Health Research Forum, the official research partner of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017, was held in Toronto from September 25 – 27, 2017. This marked CIMVHR’s largest conference to date, this is thanks to the 43 Canadian universities, 8 global affiliates, countless government researchers as well as many industry and philanthropic partners that make up the CIMVHR network.

Over the course of the event, 198 research presentations were delivered by 173 different researchers to over 600 delegates. Research presentation topics included: advances in primary and trauma care; gender differences in health, mental health and rehabilitation; novel health technologies; occupational health; physical health and rehabilitation; social health and wellbeing; and transition from military to civilian life.

Forum 2017 included pre- and post- Forum Research Theme Working Groups. The themes for these working groups included: Cannabis for medical use: exploring risks and possibilities; towards a better understanding of how and when musculoskeletal injuries occur – aiming for more effective preventative strategies; culture and diversity in relation to the mental and physical health of military personnel; transition and the family; and contemporary research with public safety personnel.

CIMVHR Forum 2017 was held in partnership with the Invictus Games Toronto 2017. The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 showcased the power of human spirit in using adaptive sport in the recovery of ill or wounded service members and re-engagement with their families and communities. As the patron of the Invictus Games, His Royal Highness Prince Harry also came to Forum and spoke about his passion to change the lives of service members and their families through sport, and of the importance of research. A recording of his speech is available here.

Other keynote speakers at Forum 2017 included:

  • The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada and Associate Minister of National Defence
  • MGen Wayne Eyre, Deputy Commander, Military Personnel Command
  • Warrant Officer (WO) Mark Jones, Joint Counter Explosive Threat Task Force, Canadian Armed Forces
  • Lieutenant-General (Ret’d) The Honorable Roméo Dallaire, author and founder of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
  • Air Commodore Rich Withnall, Medical Director, UK Defence Medical Services
  • Dr. Mark A. Williamson, Director General, Defence Research and Development Canada- Centre for Security Science
  • Dr. Christian Kastrup, 2016 Banting Award Winner; Assistant Professor, UBC
  • John W. Boerstler – Executive Director, NextOp.

Additional highlights of Forum 2017 included a presentation by Dr. Celina Shirazipour, Dalhousie University, on her research about the impact of adaptive sport on recovery for those wounded both physically and psychologically through military service. Dr. Christian Kastrup, 2016 Banting Award Winner, presented his innovative research on treating severe hemorrhage with self-propelling particles to the delegation at Forum.

Six new CIMVHR Fellows were named during Forum 2017: Dr. Deborah Norris, Mount Saint Vincent University; Dr. Don Richardson, Western University; Dr. Jacqueline Hebert, University of Alberta; Dr. Jitender Sareen, University of Manitoba; Dr. Bradford McFadyen, Laval University; and Dr. Tim Black, University of Victoria.

BGen Andrew Downes, Surgeon General presented the 2017 Banting Award for Military Health Research to Dr. Benjamin Dunkley, The Hospital for Sick Kids & University of Toronto, for his research Perception of Emotional Faces Induces Fear Circuit Hyper Connectivity in Soldiers with PTSD.

Several other research award winners were announced during Forum 2017. They included:

  • Mr. Noel Lipana, the Homewood Mental Health Treatment Award for Treating Moral Injury and Posttraumatic Stress: Exploring a Model that Works;
  • Dr. Alyson Mahar, the Colonel Russell Mann, Military Family Health Research Award for A Comparison of Mental Health Services use in Older Dependents and Spouses of Service Personnel in the Canadian Armed Forces to Age and Sex Matched Civilian Comparison Cohort;
  • Mr. Daniel Cousineau-Short, the Via Rail Student Research Award for Fractures in the Canadian Armed Forces: Operational Impact, Cost and Opportunities for Injury Prevention;
  • Dr. Richard M. Gray and Dr. Frank Bourke, the CIMVHR Silver Quill Award for Remediation of intrusive symptoms of PTSD in fewer than five sessions: a 30-person pre-pilot study of the RTM Protocol;
  • Dr. Donna Pickering et al, the CIMVHR Editor’s Choice Award for A Qualitative Analysis of Factors Affecting Canadian Army Reservists Wellbeing

Thank you to all Forum delegates for your engaged participation, and to the Forum 2017 sponsors and volunteers for your commitment and generosity. With your continued support, CIMVHR is able to fulfill its mission to enhance the lives of Canadian military personnel, Veterans and their families by harnessing the national capacity for research.

Forum 2016

The Seventh Annual Military and Veteran Health Research Forum was held in Vancouver at the Westin Bayshore from 21 to 23 November 2016. Over the course of the three-day event, 175 research papers and posters were presented to a delegation of 600 people from the military, government, industry and academia. Further, 6 Research Theme Working Groups were organized on emerging research fields with the participation of over 250 delegates. Forum delegates also had the opportunity to hear from many distinguished keynote and featured speakers, including The Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia; The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister for Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence; Lieutenant-General C. Whitecross, Chief of Military Personnel; Colonel Scott A. McLeod, Deputy Surgeon General; Lieutenant General the Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire (Retired); Charles W Hoge, Colonel (retired), Author “Once a Warrior Always a Warrior”; Group Captain Rich Withnall, DACOS Health / Deputy Head RAF Medical Services and Defence Professor of General Practice & Primary Care; William P. Nash, MD, Director of Psychological Health, U.S. Marine Corps; and Dr. Deniz Fikretoglu, DRDC. As gala dinner keynote speakers, Forum 2016 hosted Captain (Retired) Trevor Greene, Journalist and the best-selling author of six books; and Dr. Ryan D’Arcy, BC Leadership Chair in Medical Technologies and Professor of Applied Sciences at Simon Fraser University.

Some of the Forum highlights include the recognition of exceptional members of the CIMVHR community for their contributions to the enhancement of research capacity on military, Veteran and family health across Canada. During the opening plenary, hosted by the interim co-scientific directors Drs. Stephanie Belanger and Heidi Cramm, Dr. Alice Aiken, Dean, Faculty of Health Professions, Dalhousie University and CIMVHR co-founder, was presented with the inaugural Certificate of Fellowship for her visionary leadership to CIMVHR and continued ambassadorship for the Institute. Furthermore, Lieutenant-Colonel Rob Poisson, Canadian Forces Health Services Group, was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for his visionary guidance and meritorious dedication to CIMVHR.

Annually at Forum, two prestigious scholarships are awarded to help support the next generations of researchers. This year, Ms. Linna Tam-Seto, Queen’s University was awarded the Wounded Warriors Doctoral Scholarship in Military and Veteran Health Research for her research on Enhancing health care providers' capacity to work effectively with Canadian military and Veteran families: A cultural competency model. As well, The Royal Canadian Legion Masters Scholarship in Veteran Health Research was awarded to Mr. Jeremiah Buhler, University of Manitoba, for his research on Efficacy of Online Chronic Pain for Military, RCMP, and Veterans: A Randomized Control Trial.

In addition to the annual Major Sir Frederick Banting Award sponsored by the True Patriot Love Foundation, a prestigious recognition from the Surgeon General for the best research presented on military health, four other awards were presented at Forum 2016: the Via Rail Student Research Award; the Homewood Mental Health Treatment Award; the Colonel Russell Mann, Military Family Health Research Award sponsored by The Vanier Institute of the Family; and the Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health (JMVFH) Editors’ Choice Award. Dr. Christian Kastrup, University of British Columbia, received The Major Sir Frederick Banting Award; Alyson Mahar, PhD, Queen’s University/King’s College London, received the JMVFH Editors' Choice Award; Ms. Rachael Gribble, King’s College London, received the Via Rail Student Research Award; Dr. Allison Feduccia, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, received the Homewood Mental Health Treatment Award; and Dr. Heidi Cramm, Queen’s University, received the Colonel Russell Mann, Military Family Health Research Award.

Thank you to all Forum delegates, sponsors and volunteers for their dedication and commitment and for supporting CIMVHR to fulfill its mission, harness the national capacity of research to improve the health of Canada’s military personnel and their families: past, present and future.

Dr. Heidi Cramm; Hon. Judith Guichon, OBC; Dr. Richard Reznick; and Dr. Stéphanie Bélanger.

Forum 2015

Dr. Stéphanie Bélanger, Gen (Retd) Walt Natynczyk, Dr. Alice Aiken

The Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research Forum 2015 was held at the Hilton Quebec in Quebec City from Nov. 23-25 featuring many remarkable keynote speakers: Hon. J. Michel Doyon, Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec; Gen (Retd) Walt Natynczyk, Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada; LGen Guy R. Thibault, Vice Chief of Defence Staff; BGen H.C. MacKay, Surgeon General/Commander CFHSG; Dr. Nicola Fear, Kings College London; Dr. Rory Cooper; University of Pittsburgh; and Dr. Stephen L. Fisher, University of Waterloo. Over the three-day event, there were 180 research presentations presented to a delegation of 600 people from the military, government, industry and academia.

During the opening plenary, Drs. Aiken and Bélanger were presented with the United States’ Four Chaplains’ Legion of Honor Bronze Medallion by Dr. Cooper; an award that recognizes exemplary individuals who have gone above and beyond in service to their community and nation.

Two prestigious scholarships are awarded at Forum every year to help fund the next generation of researchers. This year, The Royal Canadian Legion Masters Scholarship in Veteran Health Research was presented to Ms. Ashleigh Forsyth, Queen’s University, and the Wounded Warriors Doctoral Scholarship in Military and Veteran Health Research was presented to Ms. Helena Hawryluk, University of Calgary.

The 2015 recipient of the Major Sir Frederick Banting award, sponsored by the True Patriot Love Foundation was Dr. Deniz Fikretoglu, DRDC. Four additional awards were presented this year: the Student Research Award, sponsored by Via Rail Canada, was presented to Ms. Linna Tam-Seto, Queen’s University; the Mental Health Treatment Award, sponsored by Homewood Health Centre, was presented to Dr. Craig Bryan, University of Utah; the Military Family Health Research Award, sponsored by the Vanier Institute of the Family, was presented to Dr. Alla Skomorovsky, DND; and the Editors’ Choice Award, sponsored by the Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health, was presented to Ms. Andrea Stelnicki and Dr. Kelly Schwartz, University of Calgary.

To all Forum 2015 delegates, thank you for serving those who served us.

Forum 2014

Forum 2014 was held in Toronto, ON and was extremely successful. During the Scientific Poster opening reception, Forum attendees had the honour of listening to an inspirational speech from CBC’s Rex Murphy, host of Cross Country Check Up. Rex spoke about the importance of serving those who serve us through evidence-informed practices, policies and programs.

Forum 2014 hosted many remarkable and memorable keynote speakers such as General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence
 Staff, who discussed how removing stigma around mental health is critical to developing resilience. Other Forum keynotes included, in chronological order of presentation, Françoise Mathieu, Director of Compassion Fatigue Solutions Inc.; Dr. Mark Zamorski, Forum 2013 Banting Award Winner; Dr. Terence M. Keane, from the National Center for PTSD; and The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, OC, OOnt Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

Each year at Forum, attendees have the privilege of finding out the winners of two very prestigious scholarships offered through CIMVHR. This year, Wounded Warriors Canada announced that Celina Shirazipour, from Queen’s University, was the winner of the Wounded Warriors Doctoral Scholarship in Military and Veteran Health Research, while The Royal Canadian Legion announced former Reservist Brigitte Phinney, Carleton University, as the winner of the Royal Canadian Legion Masters Scholarship in Veteran Health Research. Good luck to both recipients, we look forward to seeing your research at future Forums.

The Forum 2014 delegation had the opportunity to see over 50 poster presentations and listen to over 115 podium presentations that touched on six distinctive themes relating to mental health and rehabilitation; physical health and rehabilitation; social health and wellbeing; occupational health; novel health technologies; and, transitioning from military to civilian life.

Dr. Stéphanie Bélanger, The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Dr. Alice Aiken

Forum 2013

After three consecutive 'sold out' conferences in Kingston, Ontario, CIMVHR and University of Alberta co-hosted the 4th annual Forum in Edmonton Alberta.

Our goal was to create a Forum for knowledge translation, networking and collaboration that would ultimately improve the health and well-being of our Canadian Military personnel, Veterans and their families – and thanks to the 125 researchers and 430 delegates from military, academia and industry – we believe that we achieved our goal!

A few highlights from Forum 2013 include: The Royal Canadian Legion announcing funding for a Masters Scholarship in Military and Veteran Health Research, Wounded Warriors announcing that Dr. Duncan Shields was awarded its Doctoral Scholarship funding, the release of "Beyond the Line" (McGill-Queen's University Press), CIMVHR's third book, and an impassioned keynote address by The Honourable Donald Ethell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

To our delegates, presenters and sponsors, please accept our heartfelt thanks for your participation in and commitment to the Forum 2013.

Forum 2012

In November 2012 the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) hosted its third annual Forum in Kingston, Ontario. The event hosted over 450 participants including international delegates, military personnel, keynote speakers, veterans, industry stakeholders and over 25 universities from across the country.

The event began with a poster session where the Minister of National Defence, The Honourable Peter MacKay, addressed the attendees with an encouraging message that began with his recognition for all of the hard work and dedication that the researchers of CIMVHR have contributed to the well-being of military personnel, Veterans and their families.

Forum 2012 highlights included: Museum of Health Care 1812 Display, the announcement of CIMVHR’s first official Board of Directors, and excellent networking opportunities. The highly interactive Forum featured 14 keynote speakers and top quality research.

As well, CIMVHR took the opportunity to celebrate the launch of their second collective, A New Coalition for a Challenging Battlefield; Military and Veteran Health Research, highlighting the top research presented at Forum 2011 and published by the Canadian Defence Academy Press. CIMVHR was pleased to announce that the 4th Annual Forum was going to be held in Edmonton, Alberta November 25-27, 2013.

Dr. Stéphanie Bélanger, The Honourable Peter MacKay, Dr. Alice Aiken

Forum 2011

CIMVHR at the Ambassador Convention Centre on 27 Nov 2012. ©2012 DND-MDN Canada LGen (Ret'd), The Honourable Romeo Dallaire.

November 14th-16th 2011, the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) hosted the second annual Forum in Kingston, Ontario. The Forum hosted 400 researchers, national and international representatives, clinicians, military and civilian personnel, prominent keynote speakers, veterans and major stakeholders.

Highlights of the Forum included an interactive outdoor session by 1 Canadian Field Hospital, a $50 000.00 donation to CIMVHR from the Henderson Foundation, and the Gala dinner. The Forum featured 12 keynote speakers, 31 scientific posters were exhibited and 110 quality research papers were presented, focusing on significant aspects of mental health, operational and environmental health protection, rehabilitation, physical and mental, combat casualty care, transition from military to civilian life, and Health Care Policies and Programs.

CIMVHR is extremely proud to have hosted Forum 2011, but could not have done so without the committed support of the its Sponsors, as well as from the Canadian Forces Health Services Group, Veterans Affairs Canada and Defence Research and Development Canada.

Forum 2010

In November 2010, Queen's and RMCC hosted the inaugural Forum. The Forum was designed as a first step in the process of creating a national institute for Military and Veteran Health Research. By all accounts, the gathering was a great success. This first Military and Veteran Health Research Forum sold out and hosted a delegation of 250 researchers, clinicians and others interested in military and Veteran health research. Delegates came from across Canada and abroad to share their research and meet colleagues with an interest in this area. The program was comprised of over 100 oral and poster presentations representing a wide range of research.

At the close of this first Forum, a select group of academic, military, and government advisors held the first official meeting of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR).

The MVHR Forum is thankful for the ongoing and committed support of its Sponsors, as well as from the Canadian Forces Health Services Group, Veterans Affair's Canada and Defence Research and Development Canada.

Welcome address to the CIMVHR by the Honorable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs at Ambassador Convention Centre on 27 Nov 2012. ©2012 DND-MDN Canada