On March 2, 2017, I had the opportunity to visit with women’s health researchers at Island Health Authority and the University of Victoria. After an
interactive and engaging rounds presentation at Victoria General Hospital, I had an opportunity to meet with researchers, clinicians, and hospital operations managers. I learned that the South Island BC Support Unit is thriving and supporting numerous patient-oriented research projects. I also learned that knowledge translation to practice and policy is swifter than other health authorities and jurisdictions. That said, there are also gaps in women’s health research, such as the need for a women’s health database, and more support devoted to women’s mental health.
I then attended a meeting with a dozen women’s health researchers at the University of Victoria. There I learned about the rich diversity of women’s health research across various university departments, with research focused on: adolescent women and media/health literacy; family violence research; rural and remote issues in women’s health; perinatal mental health; issues specific to sexual minority women; issues specific to Indigenous and immigrant women; and gender and medicalization. UVic has particular strengths in studying elderly women, and those from Indigenous backgrounds.
I was impressed by the hub of women’s health researchers in Island Health Authority and UVic, and we will explore the possibility of holding a “mini WHRI Symposium” in Victoria, together with our island colleagues, in the near future.