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Sheridan aims to accelerate community health with nine new research projects

Newsroom authorby Debbie SilvaApr 4, 2024
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Nine new research projects from Sheridan will advance solutions to modern-day issues such as food insecurity, mental health access, and social programming for newcomers to Canada.

These applied solutions-driven research and innovation projects directly address challenges identified by partner organizations and reflect topic areas from Sheridan’s Mobilize grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC): individual physical and mental health, vibrant and inclusive communities, and future-ready technologies for individual and community well-being.

As society navigates a spectrum of health and well-being challenges, including increasing demand for mental health supports, access to healthcare, an aging population, rising rates of chronic disease, and community barriers to equity, diversity and inclusion, the importance of developing solutions leading to healthier communities is growing.

The researchers, innovators and changemakers who make up Generator at Sheridan play a vital role in not only conducting leading applied research, but also getting it into the hands of those who need it most: the communities Sheridan serves. They do so by working collaboratively with community and industry partners across many sectors to spark ideas and provide innovative solutions to the issues that matter most.

In fall 2022, Sheridan was awarded a five-year $3.25 million Mobilize Grant from NSERC that recognizes Generator’s work in driving meaningful and impactful change in communities.

This award provides colleges with the support to build and enhance their programs of research and enhances campus-community partnerships, and specifically researchers and innovators at the college.

An important component of the grant for Sheridan is the Mobilize Seed Fund, which was developed to support collaborative projects between Sheridan researchers and industry and community partners with a common theme of accelerating community health and well-being.

Generator at Sheridan is thrilled to showcase nine newly awarded projects from its Mobilize Seed Fund that accelerate and enhance the vitality and wellness of communities.

“Mapping of Safe Supply Programs in Ontario, Canada” 
Farihah Ali, Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies  
Maryam Niapour, Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies 
Partner: The Ontario CRISM Node Team (OCRINT), within the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

By using provincial public databases, Safe Supply Programs (SSPs), which provide legal prescriptions for pharmaceutical opioids, stimulants, or benzodiazepines to people who use drugs, will be mapped for opioid-related harm data, including hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and deaths. An analysis is to follow on potential links between SSP provision and opioid-related harm metrics. The results will inform a larger national project on harm reduction and service data monitoring that the partner is undertaking.

“Understanding Canadian Culture as a Life Skill” 
Sara Cumming, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences  
Julianne DiSanto, Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies 
Andrea Seepersad, SPARK: The Sheridan Centre for Academic ExcellencePartner: Halton Multicultural Council

This project addresses the need for social programming for newcomers to Canada. The comprehensive, lived-experience and equity, diversity and inclusion-informed program will focus on understanding Canadian Cultural nuance and interactive applications which allow the learner to practice the skills being taught in a virtual setting.

“The Impact of the Mastering My Mental Fitness-Nurses Program on Practical Nursing Students’ Perceived Burnout and Psychological Capital: An Embedded Mixed Methods Study” 
Linda Frost, Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies
Lindsay Anderson, Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies
Partner: Let It Begin with Me Inc.

This research will look at using the Mastering My Mental Fitness™-Nurses (MMMF-N) program, designed to strengthen the psychological capital of nurses by building resilience, for practical nursing students at Sheridan College entering their final semester.

"Animation Filtering for Controlled Artistic Expression” 
Spencer Idenouye, Screen Industries Research and Training Centre 
Partner: Art of Time Ensemble

The Art of Time project “From Jazz to Jackboots” explores the effects of totalitarian and ideological censorship on artistic expression. A captured piece of music with accompanying dance choreography is presented to the viewer beginning as a sensual piece which evolves over time as restrictions transform it, making it more stilted, mechanical and lifeless. The study will explore music and dance with innovative technologies from the screening industry.

“Experiencing End-of-Life – Stories from the Patient Perspective” 
Karen Slonim, Centre for Elder Research 
Lia Tsotsos, Centre for Elder Research 
Partner: Cambridge North Dumfries Ontario Health Team

This research will create an opportunity for patients in the later stages of terminal illness to share their insights. Including videos of patients sharing their insights about end-of-life in training, advocacy, and education will help increase proficiency with end-of-life conversations and care in community-dwelling older adults.

“Virtual Reality for Social Impact” 
Kevin Santos and Valentina Bachkarova, Screen Industries Research and Training Centre 
Partner: Oakville Community Foundation

This research will identify the ways that digital media technology, like virtual reality, can be used to support the Oakville Community Foundation’s capacity to address climate change in the Halton Region, and to enhance their ability to guide philanthropy in the community. This research would include virtual reality prototype development, comparing the prototype with a less immersive digital media tool containing the same content.

“Improving Population Health and Wellness in a Rural Community through Technology and Knowledge Discovery” 
Syed Tanbeer, Faculty of Applied Science and Technology  
Partner: Brightshores Health System 

This research will provide an innovative approach to analyzing health and wellness care pathways in the rural communities of Grey and Bruce that have health inequities including limited access to care. This project will involve utilization of novel technology that enables the analysis of health information in an always-encrypted state. This cutting-edge approach allows for the secure analysis of data from multiple partners, while ensuring private health information is always protected. By leveraging this technology along with artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, Brightshores Health System and Sheridan are seeking to derive actionable insights from vast datasets, that will provide new knowledge and better inform patient care decisions and health care needs of the region.

“Power WearHouse Weighted Vest Study” 
Lia Tsotsos, Centre for Elder Research 
Isabel Paniak, Centre for Elder Research 
Partner: Power WearHouse Inc. 

This study will investigate the impact of wearing the Power Weighted Vest during walking, pinpointing the minimum weight required to improve quality of life, boost confidence in stability, and improve balance in older adults aged 50+.

“AirSpace Monitor”  
Peter Wheeler, Faculty of Applied Science and Technology 
James Soobrian, Student Affairs 
Partner: Gradiant Developments Inc.

By providing the ability to monitor noise levels and occupancy from anywhere in the world, this remote technology will be used by rental and hotel organizations to ensure occupancy limits and resulting safety concerns are followed.

About Generator at Sheridan 
Generator at Sheridan is where purpose and passion unite the extraordinary research, innovation and entrepreneurship undertaken by Sheridan’s faculty, staff and students, working across disciplines and sectors, to drive meaningful impact for an everchanging world. For more information, visit sheridancollege.ca/generator.

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