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RCCbc Research 

Rural health research contributes to a collective understanding of rural healthcare challenges and solutions. It’s important for rural research to be conducted by rural researchers because they understand the rural context and ask the right questions. RCCbc partners with universities and health authorities to support research by rural doctors, residents and medical trainees. We offer grants, along with assistance in developing research proposals, methodologies and dissemination plans. 


Hosted the third annual BC Rural Health Research Exchange

In November 2022, RCCbc hosted a virtual research symposium, welcoming approximately 200 participants. The annual BC Rural Health Research Exchange (BCRHRx) featured around 30 presenters who spoke about subjects important to rural communities, including virtual care, transport, access to healthcare, equitable health services and COVID-19.

The BCRHRx provides a unique platform that highlights the innovative quality improvement initiatives and research work happening in the small communities throughout British Columbia. The BCRHRx also links with important stakeholders, including (this year) the BC Emergency Medicine Network and UBC Continuing Professional Development (UBC CPD).

Funded published research

On Christmas Eve 2022, a publication by Dr. Adam Watchorn of Golden, BC, was published in the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (link below). The work relates to testing the feasibility of the practical, innovative use of patient controlled analgesic (PCA) pumps for inter-facility transfers in rural environments.

The work, funded by RCCbc, has great merit for many rural communities, with direct benefits to patients and paramedics. Furthermore, a second-year Island Medical Program student embarked on a knowledge translation project to identify other communities where PCA in ambulance could work, survey stakeholders, and scale and spread the innovation. To date, 15 communities have been identified as possible locations where PCA could be employed.

Explore the Numbers

200 BCRHRx Participants

200 BCRHRx Participants

Attended the third annual virtual symposium was hosted in late 2022, welcoming around 30 presenters.

24 BCRHRx Presentations

24 BCRHRx Presentations

Topics included mental health, rural transport, health technologies and COVID-19. The unique format saw each presenter speak to their research for 10 minutes, followed by a Q&A.

Published Research

Publications resulting from funding from RCCbc’s rural research grant program:   

READ: Feasibility of patient-controlled analgesia for rural and remote transfers

READ: Utility of hashing and salting algorithms in quality improvement studies

Making a Difference

As the Scientific Directors of RCCbc, Drs. Oelke and Taylor are strong advocates for rural health and health services research. They have contributed to the academic rural research landscape in BC through their roles as Principal Investigators and Co-Investigators. In addition, they have engaged RCCbc in other peer-reviewed grants as knowledge users.  

Through their dual positions with RCCbc and UBC Okanagan and Interior Health, Drs. Oelke and Taylor lead and participate in rural research to improve health outcomes for community members, providers in rural and remote communities, and the health system overall. They are both active proponents for patient-oriented research.  

Of note, the Scientific Directors have been critical in applying rigorous methodological support for RCCbc projects and initiatives. Dr. Taylor has additionally supported evaluation research around Virtual Care, and Dr. Oelke has supported research into Rural Emergency Transport. 

The co-Scientific Directors are an additional bridge within the RCCbc Network that brings attention to the incredible innovativeness of the people living in rural and remote places in BC where their activities and impact are shared more broadly. Conversely, the Scientific Directors have also been able to reframe some of the historical thinking about research as an activity on a community and have worked to resituate research working in partnership and in service to community. 

Plans for the Future

In the coming year, the Rural Health Learning Collaborative will continue to strengthen the voice and reach of the perspective groups, including the development of a Rural Academia Group. The RCCbc Scientific Directors will advance the development of a comprehensive rural research strategy. The Collaborative will continue to develop partnerships and the vision of the rural learning health ecosystem.

Team Members

Click on a team member to explore which other projects they have contributed to in the past year.

Robyn Ellsworth

Administrative Assistant, Rural Research

Bree Loeffler

Administrative Assistant

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