Research Day: Supporting primary & community care – the backbone of health care

If we don’t have the proper supports in place in primary and community care, we are putting the whole health care system at risk.

Sound a bit drastic? Let’s take primary care, for example, it includes family practice offices, and community health clinics. It is often the first point of contact that patients have with the health care system. Primary health care works well when it’s easy to find a primary care provider (family physician or nurse practitioner), when services are easily accessible for all groups of individuals, and the quality of care is high. Excellent primary care also includes disease prevention and health promotion.

A well-functioning health care system has strong primary care that supports the health of the population throughout their life. This leads to better health for individuals and also reduces the burden on the acute care system. Hospital care is the most expensive service within the health care system and reducing the need for acute services is critical to ensuring that the health care system is sustainable. This is why we talk about primary care as the backbone of the health care system.

The same is true for community care. Community care includes services such as residential care, home care and home supports, end of life care, substance use and mental health services. If the proper structures aren’t in place so providers and patients can easily access these services then people are also at high risk of ending up in hospital when health status changes occur.  A robust community care system can keep people out of the hospital, providing them care in the community or in their homes.

This is clearly better for patient health and again overall healthcare costs are reduced. So building a strong primary and community care system is critically important, especially now as we are faced with an ageing population and a substantial increase in chronic conditions is expected over the coming years.

When, Where, Who, What and Why

Join us on November 15 for Vancouver Community Research Day – Showcasing research projects that support the backbone of the health care system. It will be held in the UBC Medical Student & Alumni Centre at 2750 Heather Street beside the VGH campus. There will be keynote speakers, a poster session, a research skills development opportunity, and other exciting activities over the course of the day. You will have opportunities to learn about research at Vancouver Community, connect with researchers and learn about VCHRI* resources for starting your own research project.


Registration for this event will be required and an invitation to Vancouver Community staff will be forthcoming shortly. Watch this space and the Vancouver Community website for more information. You can also contact the Vancouver Community Research Support Office at