By Carrielynn Lund
Our DRUM project (), working in partnership with the University of Victoria is led by three First Nation communities in Alberta. It is focused on developing a community-specific shared care model that pulls together local, regional and provincial health services and looks at ways of providing them to people living with and affected by HIV and/or Hep C and their families who are living on-reserve. Our team includes Indigenous people living with HIV and/or Hep C, Indigenous and non-Indigenous clinicians who specialize in HIV and Hep C from B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan, FN Health Directors and their CHRs, the Regional FNIHB Blood Borne Pathogens/Sexually Transmitted Infections Prevention Program Coordinator and CAAN staff members. Community members – including some Health Centre staff, are working with the project as Community-based Researchers (CBRs).
To date we have completed the “Community Readiness” process and community CBRs are focused on developing interventions to raise awareness about HIV and Hep C with a prevention focus. We met in Edmonton in May to pull together the preliminary community-specific shared care models and to discuss ways of moving forward to finalize them. DRUM is Component 1 of an Implementation Science grant from CIHR with additional funding from the CTN. The proposal for Component 2 is due mid-August and discussion and plans for submitting are in progress.
The Family Matters project report is in its final editing stage and will be made available as soon as possible. We are looking for ways to work with existing organizations to implement the recommendations that came out of the research. We will also look at building on the findings with additional research when the funding opportunities arise.
CAAN has formed an important partnership with the Canadian Hepatitis C Network (CanHepC). Partnership development between CAAN and the CanHepC Network is essential to increase awareness of Hep C in general and to advance research engagement and leadership specifically within the Indigenous community in Canada. We are working within this partnership to develop a national Indigenous response to Hep C. We are also working with affiliated researchers to partner and inform their work with Indigenous Peoples so research can be conducted in a culturally responsive and ethical way that includes involving Indigenous Peoples with lived experience (living experience) in all aspects of the research from the development of the research question to the knowledge translation and implementation process.