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.