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SickKids

Child Health Evaluative Sciences

Our multidisciplinary researchers are focused on four areas to support child health: methods development and data science, knowledge dissemination and implementation, training and education, and patient, family and citizen partnerships.

Filling a gap in paediatric health sciences research, Child Health Evaluative Sciences (CHES) has grown into the largest research program at SickKids Research Institute.

We conduct research and translate findings into clinical practice, systems, and policy to improve the health and well-being of children and their families.

Message from the Program Head

We are committed to being a research program that aims to think big. The CHES program innovates and collaborates with peers both locally and globally on cross-cutting research initiatives, while training the next generation of child health researchers.

Our program aims to improve the welfare of children by enabling health-care decisions to be based on the best possible evidence generated through the integration of research, clinical practice and training, and the development and application of innovative and effective research methods.

Together with our faculty and staff, we developed a strategic framework for the program (PDF) in 2020 that builds on our core expertise and supports the vision and priorities of the SickKids 2025 Strategic Plan. Our main objective continues to be to grow and sustain a high-quality research program, cultivating connections and collaborations among faculty and recruiting new members with expertise aligned with our mission, core research areas, themes, and values.

I believe there is tremendous opportunity within CHES to break new ground. We will continue to focus on our strengths and opportunities, and leveraging the best of CHES into the future.

Sincerely,
Dr. Eyal Cohen, CHES Program Head


Research team

The diverse talent on the CHES team plays a role in improving child health by continuously delivering high-impact research. We encourage collaboration and always welcome new trainees to get hands-on experience with researchers and leaders in kids health research, providing excellent opportunities to further their careers.

We're recognized as a leader among scientific research programs in Canada and internationally by consistently impacting health-care decisions through innovative methodologies. Research from CHES is regularly published in top-tier general medical journals (e.g. NEJM, JAMA, Lancet, BMJ, CMAJ) and paediatric journals (e.g. JAMA Pediatrics, Pediatrics). Several CHES members have been featured in top journals focusing on epidemiology, biostatistics, health economics, and more, as well as important media that guides health policy worldwide.

 

Scientist - Status Only

  • Dr. Mark Stabile

  • Susanne Benseler
  • Sharon Dell
  • Andrea Gershon
  • Peter Laussen
  • Cedric Manlhiot
  • Rulan Parekh
  • Jason Pole
  • Linda Rothman
  • Robyn Stremler
  • Paul Wales
  • James Wright

CHES Hybrid Rounds

CHES Rounds are held in a hybrid format (virtual and in-person) every Monday from noon - 1 p.m. unless otherwise specified. 

The weekly CHES Rounds bring together scientists, research staff, graduate students, trainees, and clinical fellows and feature many local, national, and international guest speakers. Rounds are a great opportunity for trainees to learn about the types of research that their peers are involved in and how research approaches and technologies can be applied to research studies.

CHES Rounds are an accredited group learning activity as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program Of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

To request the virtual rounds link, or for a copy of the CHES Rounds calendar or recordings of past rounds, please email us at ches.program@sickkids.ca.

Calendar

Monday, January 23: Dr. Meta Van del Heuval

CHES and Leong Centre Joint Rounds. Topic: Food Insecurity and Health

Research highlights

Keeping in Touch (KiT) - Dr. Rayzel Shulman

Many adolescents and young adults living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) feel overwhelmed and unprepared to move from paediatric to adult care. At those ages diabetes management worsens because diabetes self-care is impacted by changing relationships with parents and caregivers and by other competing priorities such as school, work, and social activities. Dr. Shulman’s research team is co-designing a text message-based digital tool with patients and providers to deliver just-in-time personalized transition education to young adults over a 12-month period starting from the time of their final paediatric visit. The personalized education resources will be based on patients’ self-reported confidence about transition skills and interests. The research team will then test the effectiveness of the intervention to improve patient reported outcome measures, such as diabetes self-efficacy, in a multi-site randomized control trial in Ontario and Quebec.

Improving Study Design with Value of Information - Dr. Anna Heath

Value of Information (VoI) is a method to design clinical trials that ensures that trials effectively and efficiently collect evidence to support decision making in health care. VoI is relatively complicated and can take a long time to compute, so it has rarely been used in practice. Recently, new research has reduced some of this complexity to make it easier to use VoI in practice to improve trial design. The Heath has been working towards implementing VoI in trial design by:  

  1. applying VoI to real-life clinical trials, e.g., trials investigating the best method to reduce distress during procedures in the emergency department,
  2. using VoI to design flexible, adaptive clinical trials as these can reduce research burden, and
  3. developing new methods so VoI can be used early in the research process.

The lab’s research and methods are freely available on the IMPaCT Lab website to help other researchers use VoI in their study design. 

Transition to Long-term In Home Ventilator Engagement (TtLIVE) – Dr. Reshma Amin

Home mechanical ventilation (HMV) is one of the most advanced, highly specialized therapies offered to community-dwelling individuals. Unfortunately, there is a lack of care integration for this population and the initial transition home after the initiation of HMV can be stressful. The TtLIVE team is exploring how virtual care can improve this transition. Individuals transitioning home with HMV are an ideal population for virtual care because of its ability to overcome distance, cost and time by bringing the “Right People with the Right Expertise at the Right Time” into the homes of these complex patients.

The newly developed aTouchAway™ platform is a multi-component virtual care solution that enables:

  • virtual home visits
  • customizable care plans
  • clinical workflows that incorporate reminders, completion of symptom profiles and tele-monitoring;
  • secure communication via messaging, audio, and video calls; and
  • access to an education resource library.

Dr. Amin is leading a 12 month, 8-centre, pragmatic, parallel group, hybrid type 1, randomized controlled trial with individuals (children and adults) newly transitioning to home ventilation in Ontario. The team will assess the effect of the intervention, compared to usual care, on Emergency Department visits 6 and 12 months after transitioning home.

CHES labs

Browse a list of CHES labs to learn more about the exciting research taking place in our program.

Two staff members having a discussion while seated at a table with a laptop and notebook open

Awards & achievements

The Beverly Antle Trainee Award is a one-time award that recognizes excellence in research and knowledge translation for first-authored research conducted by trainees, such as

  1. a first-authored published or submitted paper or
  2. a first-authored conference presentation (poster or oral presentation). 

2021 Winners

  • Andi Camden, PhD(c)
    • Supervisor: Dr. A. Guttmann
  • Michelle Gould, M.Sc.(c)
    • Supervisor: Dr. C. Walsh
  • Jia Lu "Lilian" Lil, PhD(c)
    • Supervisor: Dr. E. Cohen

2020 Winners

  • Kuan Liu, PhD(c)
    • Supervisor: Dr. E. Pullenayegum
  • Tiffany Fitzpatrick, PhD(c)
    • Supervisor: Dr. A. Guttmann
  • Brandon Maser, PhD(c)
    • Supervisor: Dr. A. Denburg

Established in 2009, the Career Research Award is a biennial award that recognizes the career of an outstanding and accomplished researcher working on an aspect of paediatric research in Canada.

Congratulations to Dr. Patricia Parkin for winning the 2020 CPS Career Research Award!

The Noni MacDonald Award recognizes an article in Paediatrics & Child Health that has positively affected paediatric medicine. This year’s award goes to the authors of an article published in April 2019, titled Overview of a Knowledge Translation (KT) Project to improve the vaccination experience at school: The CARD™ System.”

Lead author Dr. Anna Taddio's research program examines the short-term and long-term effects of pain in childre,  the effectiveness and safety of pain management interventions, and knowledge synthesis and implementation research.

Five CHES members currently hold prestigious Canada Research Chairs:

2021 Winner

Chitra Lalloo, PhD
Research Associate, Stinson Lab

"Chitra Lalloo is an empathetic and compassionate leader for all new staff, trainees, and summer students."

2020 Winner

Dalah Mason
Clinical Research Project Manager, CHES

"Dalah is the heart of the operations of our TARGet Kids! program. She oversees the coordination of several research projects and is the main person the study team relies on. You may have had the opportunity to hear Dalah speak about the COVID-19 study our group is running during the CREW lunch session.

Dalah was instrumental in preparing study documentation, obtaining REB approval, and securing the necessary supplies in order to launch the study. Dalah was nominated because she demonstrates commitment and leadership. Though she shies away from the spotlight, she never hesitates to advocate for what is right."

The RTC Exceptional Trainee Award honours outstanding SickKids' graduate students and research fellows – one from each of the seven Research Institute (RI) programs. Winners are selected on the basis of their research excellence, outstanding character, and significant contributions to their research environment, the RI and SickKids.

2021 Winner

  • Tieghan Killackey, Postdoctoral Fellow
    • Supervisor: Dr. Stinson

2020 Winner

  • Tiffany Fitzpatrick, PhD (Epidemiology) Candidate, CHES

Latest news

A women holding an infant while a doctor with a clipboard sits in front of them.

January 9, 2023

Study finds higher pre-pregnancy body mass index may be linked with faster infant growth

A new study suggests preconception maternal body mass index may be associated with faster growth rates for infants up to four months old.

A doctor kneels in front of a young cancer patient holding a clipboard.

December 13, 2022

Updated clinical trial reporting guidelines include patient voices to improve trial utility and transparency

A global study of outcome reporting in clinical trials leads to updated trial reporting guidelines that aim to increase impact and improve research integrity.

Drs. Zulfiqar Bhutta and Mike Tyers

November 15, 2022

Drs. Zulfiqar Bhutta and Mike Tyers named Highly Cited Researchers for 2022

SickKids scientists Drs. Zulfiqar Bhutta and Mike Tyers have been named to Clarivate’s list of Highly Cited Researchers for 2022.


Clinical Research Services

Clinical Research Services

CRS supports study teams and quality clinical research with tools, templates, education, facilities and more.

The Research Institute

The Research Institute

Over 2,000 researchers, trainees and staff are working together to tackle the toughest challenges in child health.

Contact CHES

Antonia Antonopoulos, Research Program Manager
686 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5G 0A4

 

 

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