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About Us

The Disability Health Research Network (DHRN) was a non-profit organization supported through the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) from January 2005 – March 2010. Although DHRN ended on March 31, 2010, this legacy website is intended to continue to link individuals affiliated with disability health research through its Directory of Experts, and to document the history and activities of the DHRN.

MSFHR funded eight Health of Population Networks (HoPN) during this period. (more on the MSFHR) Operating in British Columbia, Canada, the DHRN was an integrated, multidisciplinary, and BC-based network that fostered collaboration for high quality research to better the lives of Canadians with disability.

Through facilitating linkages, fostering innovative initiatives and increasing research scope and quality, the network promoted research that solved real problems for persons with disability, improved clinical practices of relevance to the health of persons with disability, and led to improved policies of relevance to persons with disability.

The mission of the DHRN was to increase knowledge about biological, psycho-social, and community-related factors in order to minimize further impairment, improve levels of ability, and enhance community participation of persons with disability.

The specific goals of the Network were to:

  • facilitate the links and interactions of BC, Canadian, and international researchers, academics, health professionals, community organizations, and advocates whose work affects the lives of persons with disability;
  • foster innovative Network initiatives that would result in more students and junior researchers joining the disability research community, and conducting research on disabilities;
  • increase disability health related knowledge as well as the scope and quality of research for persons with disability and nurture the development of aspiring, original research in disabilities;
  • promote a network that was closely tied to the disability community and sought direction from those community partners to produce research that had utility to community partners;
  • link and promote disability researchers throughout the challenging geography of BC (urban with non-urban);
  • develop and/or enhance common research themes in which Network members were willing to invest.