Dr. Richard Sawatsky earned Reach Award alongside UBC School of Nursing’s Jae-Yung Kwon, for their research proposal dedicated to improving health care for ageing adults. (Langley Ådvance Times files)

Trinity Western doctor awarded for dedication to improve health care for aging adults

Langley’s Dr. Richard Sawatzky of TWU School of Nursing received Reach Award

Trinity Western University (TWU) announced that Dr. Richard Sawatzky of TWU’s School of Nursing was granted a REACH Award by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR).

The REACH Awards (Recognizing Excellence around Champions of Health) are a series of biennial Awards celebrating frontline health workers, champions and innovators who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and commitment to eliminate global diseases.

Sawatzky was awarded the honour alongside Jae-Yung Kwon, doctoral candidate at the University of British Columbia (UBC) School of Nursing.

Their co-led research proposal is dedicated to supporting health-care providers in using tools that collect information from patients about their health and health care to improve quality of care – known as patient-reported-outcome-measures (PROMs).

“I am thrilled to be able to continue working with my team on this important area of research that seeks to place the concerns and priorities of older adult patients and family caregivers at the centre of health care,” Dr. Sawatzky said.

Dr. Sawatzky’s program of research focuses on older adults who are living with chronic conditions.

READ MORE: TWU professor honoured for Dead Sea Scroll research

His team of patients, clinicians, health care leaders, researchers, and students has developed online resources for PROMs to enhance health care for older adult patients and their family caregivers.

“Not all PROMs are necessarily person-centered,” Dr. Sawatzky explained. “They do not, by definition, focus on what matters to each individual patient and family caregiver. On the other hand, the term ‘person-centered outcomes’ is an all-encompassing term that draws attention to the outcomes and experiences from the point of view of individual patients and their family caregivers.”

Sawatzky and Kwon’s REACH Award project involves developing a webinar with case studies and an online interactive learning module to support health care teams in their use of PROMs.

“Although the idea behind obtaining this feedback has been around for a long time,” Dr. Sawatzky continued, “the uptake of these tools has been limited—the reason being that the tools have not been integrated effectively into everyday health care.”

Rick Sawatzky holds the Canada Research Chair in Person-Centred Outcomes at TWU, leads the Patient-Reported Outcomes Program at the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHEOS), and is Lead of the Patient-Centred Measurement Methods Cluster with the BC SUPPORT Unit, a multi-partner organization that carries out patient-oriented research to improve health care outcomes for all patients.

To celebrate these achievements as well as Dr. Sawatzky’s recent promotion to full professorship at Trinity Western University, the institution will host a public seminar and reception where anyone can learn more about his research and how quality of health care and quality of life can be improved in the near future.

The event will feature presentations by Dr. Sawatzky and key members of his research team, as well as activities and food.

Attendees can try out the online person-centered health information application.

The event is at the university’s Northwest Building on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m.

Those who would like to attend are asked to RSVP to ORGS@twu.ca.

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