On July 17th, 2019, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) named Emily Jenkins and Shelly Ben-David among “20 Outstanding BC Researchers” who will receive MSFHR Scholar awards for 2019!

“Our focus at MSFHR is talent development – supporting the recruitment, retention, and development of the research talent BC needs to support the health of British Columbians, an effective health system, and the province’s knowledge economy,” says Dr. Bev Holmes, MSFHR president and CEO. “Through these awards, we are providing the resources early career researchers need to establish themselves and begin the work that will improve BC health care for decades to come.”

Dr. Shelly Ben-David is an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in the department of Social Work.  Shelly’s research is focused on early intervention in mental health, and has partnered with Foundry to understand the decision-making process and barriers to access that youth and young adults living with mental health challenges and their families experience when accessing services. From these findings, Shelly hopes to develop interventions to increase mental health service use among BC youth. Shelly received a scholar award to support her role as principal investigator on research entitled: Understanding Service Use Decision-Making and Improving Engagement Among Youth and Young Adults with Mental Health Disorders.

Emily Jenkins is a registered nurse and assistant professor at the University of British Columbia in the School of Nursing. Her clinical training and experience inform her program of research, which aims to enhance mental health outcomes and reduce substance use harms for Canadians through mental health promotion strategies, health services and policy redesign, and knowledge translation approaches. Dr. Jenkins’ current research is characterized by an “upstream” focus and includes studies exploring strategies to facilitate citizen engagement in mental health and substance use policy and intervention design, and youth-engaged research to reduce harms of cannabis use, both of which include a partnership with Foundry. Emily’s  scholar award will support her role as principal investigator on research entitled: Promoting Mental Health and Addressing Substance Use in Canadian Youth Through Collaborative Research and Intervention and Developing Cannabis Education and Harm Reduction Messages with Youth: A qualitative youth engagement research project (TRACE V).

Drs. Ben-David and Jenkins join Dr. Skye Barbic as the third MSFHR scholar who are members of the Foundry Research and Innovation team. The team aims to close the gap between research and clinical implementation at Foundry, so that lessons learned within the network of centres can be rapidly disseminated and implemented to improve the outcomes of young people in BC.

Learn more about the MSFHR Scholar Awards.