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Dr. Kelly Smith
Dr. Kelly Smith

Dr. Kelly Smith named as MGH’s inaugural Michael Garron Chair in Patient Oriented Research

Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) is thrilled to announce that Dr. Kelly Smith, PhD, has been appointed as the inaugural Michael Garron Chair in Patient Oriented Research (Research Chair), a shared position with the University of Toronto, effective September 2021.

In this new role, Dr. Smith will help further develop and enhance the hospital’s research activities by conducting and supporting patient-centric research that is both aligned with the hospital’s vision of creating health, building community and that aims to improve care for the many diverse and high priority communities that MGH serves.

“We are incredibly excited to have Dr. Smith join our team,” says Dr. Jeff Powis, medical director, Quality, Operational Excellence, Research & Innovation. “As a community-based hospital, it is important for us to hear and use the voices of our community members in our research. With Dr. Smith’s wealth of experience and her passion for partnership and patient involvement, we know she will have much to offer our department and the community at large.”

Dr. Smith brings years of extensive research experience and a passion for partnering with patients and health system stakeholders to improve patient safety and healthcare quality. In her last role as the Senior Director of Quality and Patient Safety Research at MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Patient Safety, Dr. Smith was responsible for setting the strategic direction for research and innovation across all six of the Institute’s Centres of Excellence. In addition to conducting patient partnered research, Dr. Smith also focused on establishing relationships for research with other organizations and securing research funding. This experience will play an important role in her work at MGH – improving knowledge translation, building relationships with partner organizations, increasing funding support and evaluating the hospital’s research initiatives to ensure that they lead to meaningful impact for the East Toronto community.

In addition to her work at MGH, Dr. Smith will also be joining the University of Toronto as an Associate Professor with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. Within her role, Dr. Smith will be teaching in both the Health Services Research and Quality Improvement and Patient Safety programs and supervising and mentoring graduate students.

Dr. Smith’s role at the University of Toronto formalizes MGH’s relationship with the Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety CQuIPS – a partnership between the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine and three of its major teaching hospitals. The Centre provides leadership in quality improvement and patient safety education and research programs and collaborative networks within the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN).

The Research Chair role, which is held for a five-year term, is made possible with the generous and gracious support of Berna and Myron Garron.

“We are proud to be able to support the founding of this inaugural role and hope that its impact is felt by all those who give and receive care at Michael Garron Hospital,” says Berna and Myron Garron. “For more than 90 years, MGH has provided exemplary care to the East Toronto community, and we are so pleased to support the development of this program through Dr. Smith’s involvement and leadership.”

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Smith!

About research at Michael Garron Hospital

Serving one of the most diverse communities in Canada, Michael Garron Hospital has provided high-quality healthcare to the East Toronto community for more than 90 years. At present, this includes 22 neighbourhoods with more than 400,000 people – 40 per cent of whom are new Canadians. Poverty and isolation—two of the most critical social determinants of health—affect individuals in these neighbourhoods disproportionately, with many experiencing a higher prevalence of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and mental health disorders, than the city average.

MGH’s long-standing research department has historically focused on community-based research that addresses the changing needs of the community and offers practical outcomes that impact the very patients seen in the hospital every day. This research spans across patient care, quality improvement and community health. Patients, physicians, and staff contribute to research through their participation in clinical trials and investigator-initiated studies. Most recently, several MGH physicians and researchers have been taking part in vital COVID-19 research spanning across topics such as treatment and medication options, impact of school-based testing, patient outcomes depending on provider workloads and barriers to accessing specialty care during the pandemic.

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