I have chosen the path of being a community-based, practice-oriented researcher. Relentless curiosity about problems affecting my patients, my practice, my colleagues’ practices and our broader primary care context is my core driver. I have organized this curiosity into a body of work that uses research to improve daily care and bring evidence into practice and I have created practical tools used to improve the quality of care provided to patients.
My research has concentrated on meaningful use of electronic data to support the development of primary health care, through increasing research capacity and translating the use of data into better care. I was a founding member of the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN), Canada’s multi-EMR chronic disease surveillance system, and continue to be the director of its Toronto network. The Toronto network is the largest single contributor of data at CPCSSN, with over 400,000 EMR records, and has the largest number of publications. It was the site of the first collaboration between CPCSSN and Canada Health Infoway.
I have contributed to building community-based Practice Based Research Networks, through NorTReN (both as a founding member and lead for some years) and UTOPIAN, the University of Toronto Practice Based Research Network (as one of the founders and an executive committee member). UTOPIAN is the largest PBRN in Canada; it includes all 14 academic units at the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, and its affiliated teaching practices, about 1,400 clinicians. I am UTOPIAN's Deputy Director. I have mentored others within the PBRN: two of the first three UTOPIAN seed studies were led by local investigators at North York. Locally, PBRN research has been an integral part of Family Medicine at North York for years.