Close to 40 participants from across Canada gathered in Victoria, BC, in mid-July to sharpen their knowledge translation skills during a two-day workshop organized by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). The second annual Supporting the Promotion of Activated Research and Knowledge (SPARK) Training Institute drew on the expertise of knowledge exchange professionals and internationally respected experts to teach techniques for moving mental health and addictions research more quickly into practice.
Scott Mitchell, CMHA Ontario’s Director of Knowledge Transfer, delivered a lecture on evaluating knowledge translation plans, including a detailed review of the RE-AIM evaluation framework (http://www.re-aim.org). RE-AIM broadens the criteria used to evaluate programs and helps knowledge exchange specialists to anticipate and prepare for the challenges of translating research into real-world applications. Scott was joined by five other SPARK 2012 graduates who returned to share their expertise with this year’s participants via lectures, panel presentations and ongoing, small-group mentorship.
The SPARK 2013 keynote address was delivered by McMaster University professor John Lavis, Director of the McMaster Health Forum and Associate Director of the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis. Lavis led the creation and oversees the continuous updating of Health Systems Evidence, a free access point for high-quality evidence about how to strengthen or reform health systems. The full text of Lavis’s speech, “What Do We Know about Sharing Knowledge?” is available on the MHCC website.
The SPARK Training Institute is designed for anyone who works or volunteers in the field of mental health or addictions and who needs training and mentoring support to put their knowledge translation ideas into action. Workshop details and applications for next year’s SPARK Training Institute (July 2014) will be posted on the MHCC website in fall 2013.
For more information, contact SPARK coordinator Liz Wigfull at email@example.com or 1-613-683-3744, or visit the MHCC website.