An interdisciplinary team made up of professionals from BC Cancer and the University of British Columbia (UBC) has been selected by UBC Health to receive a Health Innovation Funding Investment (HIFI) Award for their project titled, Adapting Educational Tools and Resources to Reduce Substance Use Stigma and Promote Health Equity in the Cancer Care Sector.

This is a collaborative project led by Dr. Leah Lambert, executive director and senior scientist, Nursing and Allied Health Research and Knowledge Translation at BC Cancer and clinical assistant professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science at UBC, and Dr. Annette Browne, professor and distinguished university scholar, School of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science at UBC. The HIFI award provides funding to interdisciplinary teams for innovative health research.

This project will leverage insights from people with lived experience to share their knowledge and allow researchers and clinicians the ability to develop innovative, practice-relevant educational tools. These resources would be designed to help reduce substance use stigma at the point of care and optimize their relevancy for use across the cancer continuum. The project’s focus on substance use stigma is vital given BC’s drug toxicity crisis, the extent to which people actively avoid care and the lack of attention to substance use stigma in cancer care. The project team will invite people with lived experience of substance use stigma from within their networks to inform the adaption and tailoring process; many have had diverse experiences in the cancer care sector.

“Despite increasing concerns about deepening inequities across the cancer care continuum, strategies to support the implementation of equity-oriented approaches remain limited,” said Dr. Lambert. “We are excited to partner with Dr. Browne’s EQUIP Health Care research team who has developed a suite of evidence-based educational tools and resources to guide organizations and direct care staff on how to reduce inequities stemming from substance use stigma and intersecting forms of discrimination. Our aim is to mobilize and translate these findings for actionable and impactful change.”

HIFI Awards enable interdisciplinary groups of health researchers to undertake innovative activities that have the potential to create change. Congratulations to Drs. Lambert, Browne and their interdisciplinary colleagues on receiving a HIFI Award!

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