As described in the Report on Stakeholder Consultations for Methods Cluster Development, the co-leads of the HESM Methods Cluster have sought input from members of the health economics and simulation modelling community regarding training needs and community-building activities.
Since 2011, Drs. Bansback and Whitehurst have organized a number of activities to bring together academics in the Lower Mainland who have an interest in health economics methodology. More specifically, these activities have focused on monthly journal clubs, seminars from visiting scholars and the annual VanHEM meeting (which attracts over 80 attendees from BC, Alberta and the University of Washington).
This work plan includes a proposal to use HESM Methods Cluster funds to expand opportunities for training and community building beyond the current levels. Importantly, a particular objective of the planned activities is to achieve province-wide reach.
Within the HESM Methods Cluster, stakeholder engagement to date has been dominated by interaction between the cluster co-leads and researchers (students, trainees, staff and faculty) affiliated with Simon Fraser University or the University of British Columbia. Low levels of uptake of engagement opportunities from individuals outside of these institutions was not unexpected. However, the HESM Methods Cluster co-leads remain committed to broadening the reach of training and networking opportunities across the province.
At the very least, such endeavors will plant the seed for future collaborations and provide opportunities for greater diversity in the identification of patient partners. Finally, while beyond the scope of the HESM Methods Cluster’s Phase 1 commitment, its leadership recognizes that initiatives are needed to address (i) health economics capacity issues across Canada and (ii) the lack of diversity in the white, male-dominated health economics community.