Governments of Canada and Yukon announce significant investment to improve patient care

Canadians benefit from a health care system that is informed by research evidence—and by the voices of patients and caregivers. That is why it is essential that the government invest in patient-oriented research, which engages patients as partners throughout the research process.

Today, the Honourable Pauline Frost, Yukon’s Minister of Health, and the Honourable Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Health, announced a combined investment of $10.4 million in funding and in-kind contributions to establish a Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Unit in the Yukon.

With this important investment, the first of its kind in Yukon, the SPOR SUPPORT Unit will create and nurture an environment for research that incorporates patients, communities, researchers, care providers and decision-makers. Both Indigenous and Western ways of knowing will be combined to help build a sustainable, accessible and equitable health care system and bring positive changes in the health of people living in the North.

Patients in Yukon will benefit, as the SPOR SUPPORT Unit will ensure that research has direct impacts on their lives in ways that are important to them by making them partners in research and giving them a say in which topics are researched. Yukon University will host the Unit, and will bring together all partners to support and facilitate patient-oriented research initiatives throughout the territory.

The Yukon SUPPORT Unit is funded through Canada's Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR), a pan-Canadian initiative dedicated to integrating research into patient care. SPOR is led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in collaboration with a variety of partners.


 “This research initiative will integrate the lived experience of patients, their caregivers and families and Indigenous and Western knowledge within health research discussions, which are essential elements in supporting a strong health care system in the territory. I am pleased that our investment will have a direct impact on the health of people living in Yukon.”

The Honourable Minister Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health, Government of Canada

“Working with Yukon patients and caregivers who can share their experiences is a priority for our government. This new Yukon SPOR SUPPORT Unit will support this work, and feed into our overall vision to improve patient experiences, health outcomes and the health system. We are delighted to bring this new research initiative by Yukoners, for Yukoners, to life with Yukon University. By incorporating, and equally valuing, Indigenous and Western knowledge, this unit’s work can further reconciliation and cultural safety in the territory.”

The Honourable Pauline Frost
Minister of Health and Social Services, Government of Yukon

“The new Yukon SPOR SUPPORT Unit maintains our government’s commitment to providing high-quality care for Canadians. The territory will benefit greatly from collaborations among all patients and health stakeholders in improving research that addresses the specific needs of Yukoners.” 

The Honourable Larry Bagnell
Member of Parliament for Yukon

"CIHR is seeing first-hand how privileging the perspectives of patients and caregivers makes the health care system more responsive to their needs and more sustainable. We are pleased to partner with the Yukon Government, Yukon University, Indigenous communities, hospitals, and other stakeholders on this important initiative, which will lead to improved patient care in Yukon."

Dr. Michael Strong
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

We are thrilled to play a role in strengthening health and wellness research capacity and coordination in the Yukon. As the host organization for the SPOR SUPPORT Unit, Yukon University is looking forward to working with Unit partners and collaborators in this new initiative. The values and principles that underlie the SPOR SUPPORT Unit align closely with Yukon University’s commitment to indigenization, and we anticipate many opportunities to support research that fosters learning from different ways of knowing through the activities of the SPOR SUPPORT Unit.”

Dr. Maggie Matear
Interim President and Vice Chancellor, Yukon University

Quick Facts

  • Yukon is the second territory, following the Northwest Territories, to join Canada’s 10 provinces in the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Units, which provide a pan-Canadian platform for supporting patient-oriented research through the sharing of information and best practices.
  • SPOR SUPPORT Units bring all the right players to the table to address pressing health care issues, and provide patients with training to participate in research as true partners rather than as passive participants.
  • SPOR is a pan-Canadian coalition of the federal government, provinces, territories, philanthropic organizations, academic institutions and health charities with the goal of achieving better patient outcomes.

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.



For more information, please contact

Dr. Bronwyn Hancock

Vice-Provost, Academic and Research

Academic and Student Services

Cole Davidson
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research