DLSPH Open: CPTP Transition & Increasing Equity and Inclusion

April 4/2019

Dear colleagues,

I’m pleased to provide updates on two important priorities for our community: the completed transition of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project into the DLSPH and the launch of an equity and inclusion climate review for the School.

As of April 1, 2019, the DLSPH has assumed all operational and scientific responsibilities for the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP), Canada’s largest population health research study that allows researchers to explore how genetics, environment, lifestyle and behaviour interact and contribute to the development of cancer and other chronic diseases.

The transition process began in March 2018 when the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) announced its selection of the DLSPH as the new national scientific home for the CPTP, along with its strategic partner, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). Professors John McLaughlin, CPTP’s Executive Director, and Philip Awadalla, CPTP’s National Scientific Director, in partnership with CPAC, have finalized the agreement for the full transfer of the host function and associated operational leadership responsibilities.

The CPTP is a living population laboratory containing a wealth of data from more than 300,000 Canadians — the largest data collection of its kind in Canadian history — who are voluntarily sharing their health and biological information over several decades. These data are studied by researchers — including a number of scientists at DLSPH and U of T — to better understand disease risk factors to help uncover the complex causes of cancer and other chronic diseases.

The DLSPH is taking over CPTP at a critical point in its history: this year is CPTP’s 10th anniversary. In the last decade, more than 300,000 Canadians from eight provinces have volunteered to participate in Canada’s largest population-based cohort, and this number is growing. With a decade of progress, the benefits and insights generated by CPTP data are just starting to be realized and the future is rich with possibilities.

I’d like to thank Professors McLaughlin and Awadalla as well as Professor France Gagnon for their leadership, CPTP staff Kelly McDonald and Tedd Konya, and many other DLSPH staff members who have been instrumental in the successful transition of important CPTP assets and relationships to the university, and ensuring strong continuity for the future.

For researchers with access-related questions, please contact access@partnershipfortomorrow.ca and visit the website for more information. As a critical part of the University research ecosystem, I look forward to seeing the full potential of this landmark scientific study improve health at a population level and health care at a system level.

The second important update is an announcement of the work that we are undertaking to advance one of the DLSPH’s high-level strategic priorities: increasing equity and inclusion in our community.

We are developing an equity and inclusion climate review for the DLSPH which will identify our current strengths and areas for improvement. An additional objective for the review is to generate DLSPH-wide engagement around equity and inclusion.

The review will be coordinated by Marylin Kanee, who has experience in human rights and health equity in both health care and academic settings, most recently as Director of Human Rights and Health Equity at Sinai Health System.  She has begun meeting with students and staff to identify the key elements of the review. Professor Arjumand Siddiqi is supporting the review as the lead researcher and will collaborate with the UNC – Chapel Hill on research related to the climate review.

On April 17, Professor Siddiqi and Marylin and will attend the School Council meeting to provide more information about the climate review and solicit your input. I look forward to your involvement in this project.

For further information, you can reach Marylin at marylin.kanee@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

Adalsteinn Brown
Professor and Dean
Dalla Lana School of Public Health