UBC Okanagan is creating a new research centre focused on combating major preventable chronic diseases — and finding ways to promote healthy lifestyles to prevent diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Joan Bottorff, who served as the first Dean of UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Health and Social Development, will direct the new Research Centre for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention. She has also been named UBC Okanagan’s first Chair in Cancer Prevention and Health Promotion.
“This new research centre will be a great thing for the Okanagan valley and for our campus,” says Dr. Doug Owram, Deputy Vice Chancellor. “Our program of disease prevention research led by Joan Bottorff, who has an international reputation as one of Canada’s leading health behaviour researchers, will become one of UBC Okanagan’s flagships.”
“I am looking forward to focusing my attention on building this new research centre,” says Bottorff, pointing out that the Centre’s research and education activities will focus on:
- Promoting health by addressing the social, cultural, and environmental determinants of physical inactivity, unhealthy weights, unhealthy eating, and substance use (for example, smoking and alcohol consumption)
- Preventing chronic disease through focused and integrated action to address risk factors
- Supporting early detection and management of chronic disease
“Research to address individual diseases, such as cancer, will be balanced with research to develop integrated health promotion efforts, where that’s appropriate, to achieve greater impact,” Bottorff says. “To support these activities, we will be building a number of new interdisciplinary research collaborations and partnerships with health service providers, policy makers and community stakeholders.”
The Centre’s research priorities are in line with current directions in Canada and other countries around the world in developing an integrated approach to addressing chronic disease, says Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, Provost at UBC Okanagan.
“Joan has wonderful foresight and has shown great dedication to the Faculty of Health and Social Development, as well as to UBC Okanagan,” Abd-El-Aziz says. “We are very fortunate to have someone with Joan’s research expertise and leadership qualities guiding the development of such an important new centre. She is greatly respected as a researcher and mentor to faculty and many others in health care professions — something that will be invaluable as the Centre establishes new partnerships for health research.”
Bottorff among 100 exceptional RNs honoured during National Nursing Week
As she takes the helm of a brand-new research centre at UBC Okanagan, Dr. Joan Bottorff is also among 100 registered nurses honoured this week — National Nursing Week — by the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) with the CNA Centennial Award for outstanding contributions to her profession and to Canada.
“These awards provide an opportunity to celebrate the solutions and innovations that registered nurses are putting forward to strengthen patient care, contribute to research and advance nursing education,” says Marlene Smadu, CNA president.
The CNA Centennial Awards are one-time awards created to celebrate 100 exceptional registered nurses whose personal and professional contributions have made an outstanding and significant impact on the nursing profession, and also to celebrate the centennial of CNA in 2008. Nursing associations from across the country nominated registered nurses for the award.
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