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Introducing Monika Kastner, our newest research chair

It's a challenge many research institutions face: once an insight or discovery has been made, how can this knowledge be translated effectively into practice? How do we shorten the time between discovery to implementation?

Answering this challenge are researchers such as Monika Kastner, the new Research Chair in Knowledge Translation and Implementation at North York General Hospital (NYGH). “There is so much important work in health care research that is underutilized simply because we do not have adequate processes and channels for dissemination and implementation,” Monika says. “I'm interested in bridging that gap to help enhance services and products for patients and families.”
 
Monika Kastner, Research Chair in Knowledge Translation and Implementation, North York General Hospital
 
Monika Kastner, Research Chair in Knowledge Translation and Implementation at North York General Hospital
 
An Assistant Professor in the Division of Epidemiology in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, Monika earned a PhD in e-health and health services research from the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and then won the CIHR-Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship. Most recently, she was a Scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital.

“I've long recognized the need for knowledge translation strategies for health care providers and patients,” she says. “North York General has a long track record of patient safety and process improvements — innovations and practices that can be used to transform the patient experience at other hospitals. I'm looking forward to being part of the hospital's vibrant research community.”

One of her key projects at NYGH will be developing a knowledge translation tool for seniors who have multiple chronic diseases. The tool works at the point-of-care and it combines electronic decision support with online patient self-management. “Many seniors have to manage multiple diseases, such as asthma and diabetes, rather than one single disease,” she explains. “My team and I are interested in finding innovative ways to help gather and disseminate all the necessary information about these various diseases and communicate them in a way that makes sense to our patients.”

The new Research Chair in Knowledge Translation and Implementation is the second research chair at North York General. The first was the Gordon F. Cheesbrough Research Chair in Family and Community Medicine awarded to Dr. Frank Sullivan, who also leads the University of Toronto Practice-Based Research Network (UTOPIAN). He has been focused on innovating with electronic medical records -— a strength of NYGH, to coordinate care in family practice settings and hospitals. These two research chairs have been entirely funded thanks to the generosity of donors and through North York General Foundation. To support our hospital’s greatest areas of need, please visit GoingBeyondCare.ca.

“Both Monika Kastner and the new role are integral to our hospital's evolution into a research-intensive community academic hospital,” says Donna McRitchie, Vice President, Medical and Academic Affairs. “We are focused on transforming care through applied research and innovation — research that provides tangible benefits for our patients and families. Through knowledge translation, we also hope that our innovation will be spread beyond our walls and communities.”
 
It's a challenge many research institutions face: once an insight or discovery has been made, how can this knowledge be translated effectively into practice? How do we shorten the time between discovery to implementation?


March 2, 2016

This article first appeared in the March 2016 issue of The Pulse, North York General Hospital's community newsletter. Subscribe to receive 10 issues per year.

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