News and Stories

FALL 2021

Get to know... Amanda Leddy

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Amanda Leddy is Island Health's research facilitator, helping guide Island Health staff and health professionals from research idea to implementation. Amanda is the first point of call for all research queries. Learn more about Amanda below!

What is your role in Island Health’s research department?

I am the research facilitator, which means that I support teams through the full research process. From formalizing an idea, designing a study, forming collaborations and navigating approvals, I’m here to be a guide for clinicians conducting research and for external teams looking to partner with Island Health.

Why did you embark on a career in research?

After completing my MSC in Psychology (Lifespan Health & Development) at UVic, I knew I wanted to stay in the research world. To me, there’s nothing more exciting than tackling an interesting question that will help add to existing knowledge or evidence about the world. I worked in research and clinical education at the University of Saskatchewan for five years, and was delighted to join Island Health in 2020. My favourite thing about my current role is the incredible diversity of projects I get to support from across program areas and geographies.

What are the challenges or benefits of conducting research on Vancouver Island?

The partnerships and collaborations that are possible here are truly outstanding. Between the five local post-secondary institutions, active community groups and highly engaged patients, families and public, there is so much opportunity to bring multidisciplinary teams together and learn from different perspectives. As for challenges, many clinicians are constrained from engaging in research by heavy workloads and lack of time. The Research Department works to reduce these barriers and make research more accessible through teambuilding, sharing resources and streamlining processes.

What is your favourite thing about living here?

Our rainy winters are my favourite time of year. I love nothing better than cracking a window and listening to the rain on our tin roof. I also get to rediscover the island through my toddler’s eyes, which is a treat – there’s so much to explore. I feel very fortunate to be able to live and work on Coast Salish territory, and to raise my daughter to understand the relationship between this land and its original stewards.

What’s your top health or wellness tip? 

Like many people who’ve been working from home during the pandemic, I realized how much time I spend sitting when I don’t get to commute by bike, walk to meetings or take a co-worker for coffee. I try to add movement to my day by digging in the garden during webinars, for example, or calling into meetings while walking around the block. I can’t wait for the day when we’re able to have in-person walking meetings again.

     

    SUMMER 2021

    Global COVID-19 clinical database passes the half million patient records mark

    The International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC) is celebrating a major milestone: submission of clinical data from over half a million individuals hospitalised with COVID-19. ISARIC is a global federation of clinical research networks, providing a proficient, coordinated, and agile research response to outbreak-prone infectious diseases.

    COVID-19 data is being collected from 1,651 sites in 63 countries - including data contributed by our Clinical Trials Unit at Royal Jubilee Hospital through the Short PeRiod IncideNce sTudy of Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SPRINT SARI). SPRINT SARI is a hospital-based surveillance database that enables the real time tracking and reporting of the sickest patients with COVID-19. Data from SPRINT SARI feeds into the ISARIC COVID-19 Clinical Database. Clinical research nurses Gayle Carney (lead) and Deb Parfett oversaw Island Health’s involvement, supported by medical and nursing students Riley Reel, Sarah Douglas, and Ashleigh Swanson who volunteered to assist with the data collection and entry.

    The ISARIC COVID-19 Clinical Database enables individual investigators to collaborate globally. The collective generated evidence has resulted in the publication of over 50 reports and manuscripts, with an additional 25 in progress. These publications help inform public health response to COVID-19 around the world.

    To learn more, read the full announcement here.

    Changing the conversation: pilot projects focus on improving emergency department care for people who use opioids

    A better experience for people who use opioids and their care providers is the goal of two pilot projects underway at emergency departments in Campbell River and Victoria. “We needed champions to be in both sites to do this,” says Arlene Hogan, Island Health’s Regional Overdose Response Coordinator. “You need people on the ground to create momentum and interest.”

    Read the full article in Island Health’s News page.

    The Contact Identification Tool keeping patients and staff safe

    As a vital part of ensuring patient safety, Island Health follows strict infection control to prevent the introduction and spread of infection. Because of COVID-19, we’ve all become familiar with measures like screening, hand hygiene stations, and proper personal protective equipment. But even with strong procedures in place, transmission of infectious viruses such as COVID-19 within Island Health care and service locations may still be possible.

    Read the full article in the 2021 Summer edition of Island Health Magazine.