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A holiday message from Dr. Darryl Knight

Dear Colleagues,

This year, like last year, has been full of challenges and curveballs for us all. It has definitely been a testing 12 months. However, just like last year, I continue to be amazed at the resiliency, productivity, camaraderie and generally good spirits that have been shown this year. A heart-felt thank you.

Together, we have achieved much and taken Providence Research to new heights. We have completed, or are implementing, every recommendation from the External Review. Personally, some highlights include launching the refreshed Providence Research brand and new Discovery Forward strategic plan; completing the Biobank/Registry External Review; hosting the Hacking Pain skunkworks event; and launching PHIR+E (Providence Health Innovation, Research and Engagement).

There have also been several notable recruitments: Executive Director of PHIR+E, Ivone Martins; our new Research Director, Dr. Mari DeMarco; the appointment of Jo-Lynn Mervyn as Director of Operations; and Josephine Jung as Manager of Strategic Projects. All have been instrumental to the achievements noted above.

Looking forward to a new year

As we look ahead to 2022, the “big ticket” item is the Clinical Support and Research Centre (CSRC) on the new St. Paul’s Hospital and health campus. We have narrowed our search for a development partner to three candidates, and these companies will be invited to respond to a Request for Proposal (RFP) that will be sent to them by mid-February. We aim to have signed a contract with our preferred partner sometime in late summer. Once the contract is signed, the fun really begins as building design then starts in earnest. With the support of the project team, several engagement sessions and activities will be set for 2022 to help us define how we want to work in the future so we can design what we anticipate to be a game-changing Research and Innovation facility to complement the new St. Paul’s Hospital. 

We have started developing the deliverables for our five-year strategic plan and look forward to sharing these with you and gathering your feedback throughout the early part of next year. We have also started to consolidate research administrative support at the Hornby Street office, and by all accounts so far, this is working well. Administrative restructuring will continue in 2022 with the goal of maximizing support for our researchers across the organization. 

In 2022, we anticipate (and hope) that the pandemic will be less of an issue than it is now, but like 2020 and 2021, we can’t let it slow us down, as we have much to do. That being said, please look after yourselves and each other. Be mindful of your mental health. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t be afraid to ask others how they are doing.

On behalf of Providence Research, I’d like to wish a safe and happy holiday season to you and your loved ones. Stay safe and well and enjoy a well-earned break. We are looking forward to seeing you all in 2022.


Darryl Knight, PhD
President, Providence Research
Vice-President, Research & Academic Affairs, Providence Health Care
Associate Dean, Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia