Striving to develop and implement culturally sensitive dermatologic care with the focus on eczema and psoriasis in the Cree Territory of James Bay (Eeyou Istchee)

Grantee: Ivan Litvinov, Associate Professor, McGill University Health Centre

Amount: DKK 3,074,290

Grant category: Research Grants in open competition

Year: 2023

Geography: Canada

Ivan Litvinov’s project aims to co-create with Indigenous partners and implement a culturally sensitive dermatological care system in the Cree territories in Quebec, one of Canada’s First Nations. Dermatologic care for Canadian Indigenous populations is severely lacking currently. While many safe advanced treatments are available for debilitating diseases, including atopic dermatitis that affects ~15-20% of First Nations in Quebec, these treatments are not accessible in the Northern remote regions due to a lack of established care.

Ivan Litvinov’s proposed implementation science project will be centered on meaningful engagement of patients, health care providers (HCPs) and wider communities, continuous monitoring, analysis, and feedback based on collected data to the members of the steering committee and to the Cree Health Board/Elders overseeing the effort with the goal of achieving the Quintuple Aim (improved patient experience, better outcomes, lower costs, clinician well-being and health equity) for the region.

Ivan Litvinov’s project will leverage the existing RUISSS (Réseau Universitaire Intégré de Santé et de Services Sociaux) infrastructure to establish in-person care in 3 key Cree communities and will 1) establish a Learning Healthcare System (LHS); 2) collect quantitative and qualitative data on skin diseases, barriers and treatments; 3) recruit and support healthcare professionals to the region to foster a community of practice and promote a community of concern amongst patients through Patient and Public Involvement, knowledge mobilization and educational activities.

The impact of the project will be a co-creation of a culturally sensitive sustainable dermatologic care in the region. Results of this work will be shared with other specialties working in the region, other First Nation communities in Quebec in Canada and in other countries (e.g., Greenland).