Family Medicine professor leads $11.7 million project to help fight chronic disease
A new, ground-breaking project led by a Queen’s University professor is going to improve the primary care management of Canadians battling five chronic diseases.
Richard Birtwhistle chairs the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN) – a national project just announced by the federal government that securely collects vital information from patient’s electronic medical records and combines the information for primary care practitioners managing patients with obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoarthritis.
“This is an exciting project that I’m proud to be a part of. It's going to be a very valuable additional resource for what's already out there for doctors and health care planners,” said Dr. Birtwhistle, the director of the Queen’s University Centre for Studies in Primary Care in the Department of Family Medicine.
The program has been piloted for the last two years by about 140 physicians in nine regions. Dr. Birtwhistle will help expand the project over the next five years – it’s getting $11.7 million in federal funding to grow to between 600 to 1,000 participating doctors and storing 600,000 to one million patient records.
Dr. Birtwhistle was recently named the Family Medicine Researcher of the Year by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for shepherding this project – one of many initiatives he has developed over his career that has significantly influenced Canadian family practice.
Richard Reznick, dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, feels the honour is well deserved.
“Dr. Birtwhistle has a long history of many accomplishments to this faculty and beyond,” says Dr. Reznick. “His work at the national level brings tremendous pride to all of us in the Faculty of Health Sciences.”