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St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Interprofessional Research Award. In total, fourteen applications were submitted for the 2020 competition, the second highest since the inception of the award. The award is granted to one experienced researcher and one novice researcher. See below for the winning projects.

Award recipients were notified in mid-June of their winnings following a process of peer review involving the generous time and input of members of the PAC and our scientific community. The PAC consulted with the Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton, which provides the funding for the awards, on how to coordinate research activities in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Professional Advisory Committee continues to appreciate the annual generous support of the Research Institute to foster interprofessional research endeavours,” said Jane Loncke, PAC Chair, and Dr. Joe Pellizzari of the PAC Research Subcommittee.

The PAC plans to work with the Research Institute to further develop an online submission portal, which will allow for more specific guidance on application categories and further enhance the interprofessional opportunities that the award is intended to foster.

The PAC and the Research Institute congratulate the winners and thank everyone who submitted an application for this award. The applications were spread across seven PAC groups and demonstrate St. Joe’s variety of research disciplines and the exciting opportunities for innovation.


2020 Winners: 

Respiratory Therapy & Ultrasound Training

Kelly Hassall, a respiratory therapist and clinical resource leader, won in the novice researcher category. Hassall and her team are leading a research project that will develop and pilot the first Canadian point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) curriculum for respiratory therapists.

In Canada, PoCUS is currently not included in training for respiratory therapists, but it has become standard of care for many care strategies, including difficult arterial line placement and the rapid assessment of acute pulmonary edema.

Co-Investigators include:

  • Josh Piticaru, Department of Medicine
  • Dipayan Chaudhuri, Department of Medicine
  • Coralea Kappel, Department of Medicine
  • Sarah Culgin, The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton
  • Kim Lewis, Departments of Medicine and HEI
  • Waleed Alhazzani, Departments of Medicine and HEI


Engagement of Interprofessional Staff for Expansion of the 3 Wishes Project

Neala Hoad, a registered nurse who works in the ICU, won in the experienced researcher category of the award. Hoad and her team are aiming to determine whether the 3 Wishes Project is feasible as an intervention for dying patients in medical units outside of the ICU, and to understand the learning needs of clinicians who provide end-of-life care in these units.

The 3 Wishes Project began at St. Joe’s under the leadership of Dr. Deborah Cook. It aims to dignify dying patients and their families by granting three wishes during end-of-life care in the ICU. The program has since expanded across North American hospitals and into Europe, where it has not only helped grieving families during the loss of a loved one, it has also helped clinicians reconnect to the humanity intrinsic to their vocations.

Co-Investigators include:

  • France Clarke, Respiratory Therapy
  • Julie Reid, Physiotherapy
  • Jill Rudkowski, General Internal Medicine
  • Rajendar Hanmiah, General Internal Medicine
  • Kathleen Willison, Palliative Care
  • Felida Toledo, Spiritual Care
  • Aji John, Social Work
  • Angela Greiter, Nursing Education
  • Deborah Cook, Critical Care & Founder of the 3 Wishes Project


Some of Hoad's team members: (from left to right) Neala Hoad, Kathleen Willison, France Clarke, Angela Greiter, Raj Hanmiah, and Julie Reid.


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