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.
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.
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:
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.