20 years of global collaboration

PHRI played host to more than 140 delegates at a special 20-year anniversary global research collaboration retreat. Preceded by a two-day World Heart Federation Conference, a 12-hour- uber-power PURE meeting, and a number of break-away meetings, the event drew participants from 40 countries as well as notable keynote speakers from across the sectors. Presenters included, Prof. Dr. Andreas Barner, CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany; Dr. Vasanthi Srinivasan, Assistant Deputy Minister, Health System Strategy and Policy Division, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care; as well as our own network collaborators.

A recurring theme throughout the event was the importance of the network. Collaboration and team work were acknowledged as the main factors in the success of large global trials. Simply put, the breadth and scale of PHRI’s studies would not be possible without the skill, hard work and dedication of many individuals, each of whom contributes to the success of the entire team.

It’s safe to say that all teams have their star players, and the PHRI’s Global Network team is no exception. On June 24, at the conclusion of the retreat, six such individuals were recognized for “Extraordinary Contribution to Global Collaboration.”

“The retreat was organized to acknowledge and celebrate more than 20 years of international collaborations on a wide variety of important health problems affecting many millions of people worldwide,” says Dr. Salim Yusuf, Executive Director, PHRI. “As we were planning this event, we were constantly reminded how so many people worldwide have contributed to the success of this collaboration. It also became very clear that a select few individuals have made extraordinary contributions to this collaboration, without which these successes may not have been possible at all.”

Deputy Director, Dr. Hertzel Gerstein explains, “These individuals did not get these awards for their studies or their scientific papers, rather, they’re being recognized because they have been important ‘enablers’ of the collaborative group that is the PHRI globally. Their selflessness, their team-playing spirit, their ability to create the environment in which collaboration occurs, and above all else, their understanding and appreciation of the value of global research — this is what separates these people from the rest of the team.”

Recognized for their Extraordinary Contribution are, Dr. John Cairns, Dr. Rafael Diaz, Dr. Prem Pais, Dr. Gilles Dagenais, Dr. Jeff Probtsfield and PHRI’s own Jackie Bosch.