The Pan Am Clinic Foundation supported the establishment of the David & Ruth Asper Research Centre. This support includes allocation of ongoing and long-term funds for a dedicated research team and expansion of the existing research program to create an on-site biomechanics research centre for objective measurement of patient outcomes.
Researchers at the Pan Am Clinic investigate muscle, bone, and joint conditions with respect to risk factors, treatment options, and patient quality of life. Over 40 on-going clinical research studies (local and multi-centre trials) are being conducted with enrolment of more than 250 patients. The majority of studies involve the development, improvement, and validation of surgical techniques and outcomes. Research topics range from optimal incision angle to cartilage repair and regeneration. Other studies include assessing the need for MRI in diagnosing certain conditions and evaluating new programs to expedite patient’s navigation through the health system. Knowledge gained from these studies provides insight into maintaining, restoring or improving patient quality of life. These research studies will result in improvements to the delivery of health care.
The Pan Am Clinic Foundation also recognizes that research is paramount to physician recruitment, retention and education of staff and members of the community. Currently, research conducted at the clinic is funded primarily through project-based grants.
At the Pan Am Clinic, researchers have a unique opportunity to follow patients from their first visit through their follow-up visits documenting outcomes of their diagnostic tests, surgical procedures, even rehabilitation. This approach gives the researchers the opportunity to conduct comprehensive studies to evaluate and monitor patient quality of life with the aim of providing the best possible care according to objective and subjective performance measures.
Subjective and objective data are both critical components in answering medical research questions. In research conducted at Pan Am Clinic, subjective information is gathered, for the most part, using questionnaires that ask the patient to report on their own perceptions of their condition and how it is affecting their lives. In the past, the Pan Am Clinic had limited facilities to perform objective data collection; therefore, an initiative of the Pan Am Clinic Foundation was to establish the Pan Am Clinic Biomechanics Research Centre. This includes the purchase of equipment that will allow for this type of research. Studies of this nature, combined with subjective patient assessment, will give the investigators insight into the extent of the patient’s disability, the effectiveness of the surgical procedure and possible areas of improvement or further intervention.
The Pan Am Clinic Foundation will continue to support clinical research, focusing on patient-based outcomes and addressing pressing patient needs. These important activities will ensure a stimulating multi-disciplinary environment of continuous learning for practitioners and provide patients with access to leading edge treatments.