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Simon Fraser University - Faculty of Health Sciences

Exploring the health and social impacts of evictions among people who use drugs Co-lead researchers: Dr. Ryan McNeil, Postdoctoral Fellow, SFU; and Mr. Hugh Lampkin, President of Board of Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users

Over the past five years, people who use drugs (PWUD) living in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES) have increasingly experienced eviction due to urban redevelopment. A lack of understanding about the nature of evictions and how evictions shape health and social outcomes, such as drug-related risks (e.g., syringe-sharing), health access (e.g., HIV care) and drug scene engagement (e.g., drug dealing), remains a significant barrier to developing evidence-based housing policies and targeted public health interventions to address this issue. Building upon ongoing collaborations and community consultations, the Urban Health Research Initiative (UHRI) of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CFE), Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), and Pivot Legal Society have come together to propose this community-based participatory research (CBPR) study to examine evictions and how they influence health and social outcomes among PWUD in the DTES. This study will employ participatory methods, including peer-led qualitative interviews and innovative qualitative geographic information systems (GIS) data collection, to generate unique insights into the impacts of evictions, and will supplement these methods with legal analyses undertaken by Pivot Legal. In doing so, this study will generate public health and socio-legal evidence to inform the policy and programmatic response to evictions, while also equipping PWUD with legal advocacy tools to protect their rights. Research team: Ms. DJ Larkin, Pivot Legal Society; Dr. Will Small, SFU; Dr. Thomas Kerr, BC Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS; Dr. Lindsay Richardson, UBC

UBC - Department of Medicine Department of Medicine

Exploring Access to Health Information in Surrey's South Asian Community (Co-Lead Researchers: Dr. Kendall Ho and Mr. Paul Bains)

The proposed project addresses the question: What support do members of Surreys South Asian (SA) community need in order to use eHealth tools to manage and prevent chronic diseases? In BC, the SA community has higher than average rates of chronic diseases[1]. CINS and the eHSO have worked with the SA community to reduce health disparities by supporting chronic disease management (CDM) and prevention. The interCultural Online Health Project (iCON), an eHSO community outreach program led by Drs. Ho and Cheema, has conducted research on patient engagement, information needs, and CDM in BCs SA communities since 2008. Information from community participants suggests that eHealth literacy is an area in need of development[2]. Health literacy can be defined as the set of skills required to use eHealth to its full potential. Technical proficiency, language ability, and media literacy are among the components of eHealth literacy[3]. iCONs research also indicates that the SA community views eHealth as a valuable opportunity to optimize CDM through online resources, apps, and other technologies. eHealth also has potential to promote uptake of clinical prevention services, such as screening programs. Partnering with an extensive community network, we will develop capacity and infrastructure within Surrey's SA community to generate a deeper understanding of factors affecting the use of eHealth. Findings will inform future initiatives to support eHealth-enabled CDM and prevention. Research Team: Drs. Victoria Lee, Helen Lauscher, Ms. Sunita Kapoor, Dr. Arun Garg, and Mr. Jay Bains