June 21, 2018

Translating research into tools for all audiences

Shannon Scott and Lisa Hartling

Shannon Scott and Lisa Hartling

Innovative health research is happening all over the world. Unfortunately often times, once research is published in an academic setting, it could take years, if ever for it to be translated into practice. Lisa Hartling and Shannon Scott, codirectors of Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK), are trying to tackle this problem one resource at a time.

It can be overwhelming for parents trying to find health information on the internet and to know which resources are both legitimate and useful. That’s why Hartling and Scott are creating trusted, accurate health information for families that are based on evidence and that resonate with families’ needs and experiences. “We want to ensure that what we are putting out there is really substantiated from the scientific end in terms of best evidence,” noted Hartling. TREKK is not only engaging healthcare professionals as a catalyst for change, but also empowering parents to be a part of that process.

The end goal is to “decrease that 17 year gap between what we know and what we do,” said Hartling. “From a pediatric point of view, we shouldn’t be waiting 17 years, an entire childhood, to get something translated that was proven by research ages ago.”

So far, 13 different resources, from audio books, videos to eBooks, have been created with parents involved throughout the process and based on corresponding resources for healthcare practitioners. The resources can take years to produce in order to be usable, understandable and trustworthy for different audiences.

The TREKK team is supported through a Partnership grant from WCHRI through funding provided by the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. “As a researcher, and as a mother who takes their kids to the Stollery, to be able to give something back to the Stollery means a lot to me personally,” said Scott. “To know that these dollars are actually affecting families and affecting healthcare in other parts of the country and the globe is very meaningful to me.”

TREKK received partnership funding from WCHRI through the generosity of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.