From left to right: Dr. David Pedlar, Dr. Stéphanie Bélanger and Major (Retd) Yvonne Cooper

This past year has been one of growth and opportunity for our many stakeholders who have been working to improve the health and well-being of serving military, Veterans and their families. CIMVHR continues to feel privileged to support these researchers, government officials, not-for-profit agencies and industry as they work to create real and sustainable impacts on the health and well-being of so many Canadians.

In its Budget released in March 2019, the Government of Canada announced generous core funding of $25 million over 10 years to CIMVHR through Veterans Affairs Canada, in order to support on-going operations. This core funding allows CIMVHR to leverage ten years of groundwork and effectively increase its impact by supporting and engaging with an even greater number of researchers in Canada and abroad, as well as with other institutes, networks and Centres of Excellence (CoE).

For instance, CIMVHR is engaged in collaborating with the Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans, led by Dr. Ramesh Zacharias, as well as with the Centre of Excellence on PTSD and related mental health conditions, led by Dr. Patrick Smith. CIMVHR welcomes this opportunity to engage with and support these newly funded CoEs as they build their networks and engage with researchers who are working on some important issues affecting military, Veterans and their families.

This past year also saw the maturing of a valued and on-going collaboration with the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT). Since 2018, CIPSIRT has been working to build a research network that supports public safety personnel. This year, CIMVHR received a record number of applications to present research specific to this population, resulting in over 30 of them being featured at CIMVHR Forum 2019. CIMVHR looks forward to an ongoing collaborative partnership with CIPSIRT and to supporting the research impacting these essential workers.

CIMVHR's fiscal year ended just as the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold in Canada. As a team, CIMVHR quickly began discussions on how to adapt in the face of this unprecedented health crisis. One of the first steps was to publish a special issue on COVID-specific research articles in the Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health (JMVFH) on topics that include: mental health treatment during COVID-19, telehealth implementation for military and Veterans, and what military families can teach the families of essential workers during COVID-19. As a result of the rapidly evolving situation, the articles were posted as pre-publication versions with peer-reviewed versions to follow. This is just one example of CIMVHR's ongoing commitment to finding new and innovative ways to disseminate research that best supports evolving needs.

On behalf of the entire CIMVHR team, we thank our committed stakeholders with whom we have the privilege to work alongside. We look forward to another year of serving those who serve us – together.

David Pedlar, PhD, Scientific Director
Stéphanie Bélanger, CD, PhD, Associate Scientific Director
Major (Retd) Yvonne Cooper, CD