On December 4 and 5, 2017, representatives from the SPOR Networks in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island met in Halifax, Nova Scotia for the inaugural Maritime SPOR Summit. Led by the MSSU, this event marked the first time representatives from SPOR Networks across the Maritimes gathered under one roof for the purpose of increasing knowledge of the individual networks and identifying areas for future collaboration.
The one and a half day event opened with an introduction of each network present at the Summit. Seven groups, representing five SPOR Networks, presented introductions on their research priorities, structure and progress thus far. The second day provided opportunities to hear from a number of dynamic speakers and participate in interactive activities including both facilitated and free-flowing discussions. Many of the activities and presentations were focused on patient engagement, as it is a commonality between all SPOR Networks and the SPOR SUPPORT Unit. Feedback provided in the pre-event evaluation, identified patient engagement as a high priority area for increased learning. The Summit concluded with an opportunity for participants to suggest and weigh-in on ideas for future collaboration.
The theme of the Summit, “Together We Can,” was selected to remind participants that each network and SUPPORT Unit are part of the larger SPOR family. Although we often work in silos, together we can be much stronger and more successful if we work together. This Summit was the first step in strengthening our collaboration and it demonstrates the MSSU’s commitment to supporting the networks. Beyond the Summit, we hope the networks and MSSU collectively move forward as part of the SPOR initiative as we work towards our goal of improving health outcomes in the Maritimes.