We were fortunate to host Professor Gina Agarwal, from McMaster University in Canada, who visited CaHRU and the University of Lincoln in September 2022, under the international visiting fellowship programme supported by the Lincoln Institute for Advanced Studies. Gina Agarwal holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Vulnerable Individuals in Primary Care. Gina is Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and McMaster Family Medicine Levitt Scholar. She has been a practicing Family Physician for 25 years both in the UK and Canada. She is a primary care epidemiologist and Associate Faculty in the Departments of HEI (Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact) and Health, Aging and Society. She is the Director of the Vulnerable Individuals in Primary Care (VIP) Research Lab, which focuses on improving primary health care access for vulnerable populations. She is the co-founder and co-chair, with Prof Niro Siriwardena, of the Emergency Data Analysis and Geospatial Mapping (EDGE) Consortium, a collaboration initiated between the University of Lincoln, UK and McMaster University, Canada.
Gina gave a seminar on, ‘Performing Health Research with Low Income Vulnerable Older Adults’. In the seminar Gina described vulnerable populations in terms of age, fraility, risk and need for care but also in terms of human/social, physical, economic, and envronmental vulnerabilities. As an example, she described her work with seniors living in social housing with risks related to age, loneliness, food security, and falls, leading to a high rate of emergency calls, how this led to development of preventive care delivered by community paramedics and how this was evaluated in a cluster randomised controlled trial. A number of related case studies were also presented. Please see below to access the recording of the presentation.
Gina also gave a public lecture, ‘Re-shaping care delivery across Canada: the revolutionary CP@clinic Program in which she discussed the Canadian healthcare system, as well as its deficiencies and their impact on vulnerable populations. As Principal Investigator of the McMaster Community Paramedicine Research Program, she described how the evolution of community paramedicine has contributed to reshaping the healthcare system and filled a gap to address some of its shortfalls. The Community Paramedicine at Clinic (CP@clinic) Program is an innovative, research-driven program which focuses on health promotion and disease prevention to address health problems before they become more severe. By improving the health and quality of life of vulnerable populations, the CP@clinic Program contributes to a sustainable healthcare system and is spreading across Canada and beyond.
The rest of the week included a series of meetings with health service and academic partners, including a meeting of the EDGE consortium partners. The final event of the week was CaHRU’s awayday, held at the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa, which led to development of CaHRU’s strategy and plans for the future. Our thanks from everyone at CaHRU for a fabulous visit!