Katrina Plamondon receives $105,000 in research funding

Katrina Plamondon

UBC’s School of Nursing PhD student Katrina Plamondon has won three prestigious scholarships. She has been named a Frederick Banting and Charles Best Graduate Scholar by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR). She was also awarded CIHR’s doctoral competition award and the Knowledge Translation award, but can only accept one of the three major awards.

Plamondon, originally from Nelson, BC, was recognized this month for her research into knowledge translation – the activities involved in taking research out of the university and into practice. The three-year CIHR award carries a $105,000 stipend.

“There is an urgent need for integrated support for health care professionals who want to be able to use research evidence but don’t have time, skills or capacity to do so,” says Joan Bottorff, director of the Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention at UBC Okanagan.

Plamondon focuses her doctoral dissertation on narrowing the gap between research, and the needs of policy-makers or practitioners. Plamondon herself bridges this gap in her roles as regional practice leader, Research and Knowledge Translation, at Interior Health (IH) and as a PhD student at UBC .

Patricia Marck, director of UBC’s Okanagan School of Nursing, describes the partnering between the university and Interior Health as an exceptional example of a relationship that produces better care within the health system.

It is also a rare distinction for one researcher to win all three of these prestigious awards, says Marck.

“Katrina Plamondon and her supervisor Dr. Bottorff are both exemplars of researchers who understand the importance of engaging students, practitioners and communities in the research experience to ensure that evidence is used to improve health care. We are very fortunate to work with such talented scientists in our school.”

A self-described “knowledge broker,” Plamondon points to the need for inclusive partnerships to foster relationships between people in practice, policy, and research.

“If we pay attention to people across the health system, if we give a keen ear to the front lines – whether we are a researcher, practitioner, care aide or in housekeeping and laundry services – we can do a much better job at being responsive to practice and policy needs when we recognize how critical we each are in this inter-connected mesh that makes up our systems,” says Plamondon.

She notes that exciting changes are coming with strengthened provincial and regional health research strategies.

“Knowledge translation is an important area of research,” says Heather Cook, Chief Nursing Officer at IH. “I am confident that her contribution will be of value to IH and UBC Okanagan.”

The results of Plamondon’s study will make a difference in the way research is used, or conducted in healthcare, says Cook.