UBC researcher Barb Pesut’s tenure as Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Health, Ethics, and Diversity has been renewed for a further five years.
Pesut, an associate professor in the School of Nursing at UBC’s Okanagan campus, has spent her career working on ways to improve the quality of end-of-life healthcare, specifically for people who are at risk for health disparities due to geographic, cultural, or social differences.
As a CRC, she will receive an additional $500,000 over the next five years to support an interdisciplinary research lab.
“This funding is so central to building research capacity in Canada,” says Pesut. “It supports a climate where we can focus on developing the talented students who will be our future research leaders.”
Her research team at UBC’s Okanagan campus focuses on finding innovative ways to support older adults to age and die in place, particularly those residing in rural communities. Pesut has been instrumental in adapting the role of health care navigators to the care of older adults, and in developing volunteers as navigators in home-based care.
Five years ago, Pesut was named a new Tier Two CRC; a recognition for emerging researchers across Canada. Along with CRC funding, she will also receive funds from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to outfit her lab.
“We have a lot to accomplish over the next five years,” Pesut adds. “Canada is at a critical juncture in relation to palliative care. Projects planned involve students, colleagues, and partners from across Canada and internationally, in designing and testing strategies to improve palliative and end-of-life care for those living with life-limiting chronic illness.”
Vice-Principal Research at UBC Okanagan Phil Barker credits Pesut’s team for the inroads taken in palliative care and end-of-life care for residents in rural communities, and recognizes the significance of the CRC funding.
“We are delighted that Dr. Pesut’s important work in this area will continue to be supported through the CRC program,” says Barker. “There is a critical need to improve palliative care, particularly in rural communities, and this CRC renewal will enable her and her team to have an important impact on the delivery of end-of-life care.”