Clinicians at The Ottawa Hospital launch 14 innovative projects to improve health-care delivery, thanks to funding from TOHAMO and The Ottawa Hospital’s Research Institute

March 22, 2019

Surgeon reaching for a toolThe Ottawa Hospital Academic Medical Organization (TOHAMO) has awarded $1.169 million in Innovation Grants to 14 teams, with supporting funds provided by the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

The successful projects (listed below) are expected to improve quality, safety and efficiency of care for patients with conditions such as heart failure, cancer, syncope and hip fracture. Several of the projects also focus on improving communication with patients and families and enhancing surgical processes and recovery.

“Innovation Funds are awarded to physicians at The Ottawa Hospital to support the development of new and innovative approaches to health-care delivery and to provide leadership in the dissemination of new knowledge across the health-care system,” said Connie Colasante, Executive Director of TOHAMO.

TOHAMO’s Innovation Grants Competition is possible because of the Alternate Funding Plan negotiated between the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Medical Association to support physicians at academic health sciences centres.

Each Innovation Grant application is judged by a panel of experts. Fifty-four applications were received in the most recent competition.

“Thanks to fundraising events such as THE RIDE and unrestricted donations to The Ottawa Hospital Foundation, we’ve been able to contribute $160,000 in matching funds for TOHAMO Innovation Grants over the last four years,” said Dr. Duncan Stewart, CEO and Scientific Director, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Executive Vice-President of Research at The Ottawa Hospital and professor at the University of Ottawa. “We’ve also provided matching funds for the Department of Medicine Translational Grants, the Faculty of Medicine Translational Grants and many other peer-reviewed grants available to researchers at The Ottawa Hospital.”

The Ottawa Hospital’s Ottawa Methods Centre provided initial methodological support to all of the TOHAMO Innovation Grant applications and will actively support eight of the funded projects.  

One versus Two Unit Transfusions in Oncology Patients- the OTTOP trial: A randomized open-label pragmatic controlled trial

  • Lead Principal Investigator(s): Elianna Saidenberg, Garth Nicholas
  • Team Members: Dean Fergusson

Interdepartmental Program to Improve Outcomes for Acute Heart Failure Patients Seen in the Emergency Department

  • Lead Principal Investigator(s): Ian Stiell
  • Team Members: Alan Forster, Lisa Mielniczuk, George Wells, Guy Hebert, Heather Clark, Jeff Perry

ICU BEREAVE - Feasibility of a Multi-Component Bereavement Support Intervention to Prevent Severe Grief Reaction

  • Lead Principal Investigator(s): James Downar
  • Team Members: Brandi Vanderspank, Pamela Grassau, Aimee Sarti, Michael Hartwick, Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, Amber Barnato, Sarah Hales, Nik Efstathiou, Patient / family advisors

Comparison of a Novel Transperineal (TP) Targeted Biopsy System to Conventional Transrectal (TR) Targeted Biopsy for Diagnosis of Clinically Significant Prostate Cancers and to Eliminate of Post-Procedure Related Infections: A Randomized Control Trial

  • Lead Principal Investigator(s): Nicola Schieda (Medical Imaging), Chris Morash (Surgery)
  • Team Members: Wael Shabana, Betty Ann Schwarz

PREPARE Trial: A Parallel Arm Randomized Trial of Frailty-Focused Preoperative Exercise to Decrease PostoperAtive Disability ScoREs

  • Lead Principal Investigator(s): Daniel McIsaac
  • Team Members: Dean Fergusson, Monica Taljaard,  Rodney Breau, Husein Moloo, Luke Lavalle, Sudhir Nagpal, Tien Le, Allen Huang, Barbara Power, Gregory Bryson, Sylvain Boet, Colin McCartney, Manoj Lalu, Laura Boland, Alan Forster, Carl van Walraven, Kednapa Thavorn, Daniel Trottier, Jean-Michel Aubin, Rachel Khadaroo, John Muscedere, Patient / family advisors

Implementation of the Canadian Syncope Risk Score: Phase-1

  • Lead Principal Investigator(s): Venkatesh Thiruganasambandamoorthy
  • Team Members: Christian Vaillancourt, Justin Presseau, Jamie Brehaut, Monica Taljaard, Ian Graham

Nasal Packing Following Endoscopic Endonasal Pituitary Tumor Resection: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

  • Lead Principal Investigator(s): Shaun Kilty
  • Team Members: Corliss Best, Andrea Lasso, Charles Agbi, Fahad AlKherayf, Andre Lamothe, Kednapa Thavorn, Tim Ramsay

Creation and Implementation of a Risk-Stratified Patient Decision Aid to Improve the Appropriateness of Postoperative Extended Thromboprophylaxis in Patients Undergoing Abdominal Surgery for Cancer

  • Lead Principal Investigator(s): Marc Carrier, Rebecca Auer
  • Team Members: Dawn Stacey

Improving Goals of Care Discussions for Inpatients with an Interactive Decision Support Tool

  • Lead Principal Investigator(s): Daniel Kobewka
  • Team Members: Pete Wegier, Tammy Latner, Kumanan Wilson, James Downar, Alan Forster, Russell Goldman, Jeff Myers, Victoria Shaffer, Carolyn Steele Gray, Leah Steinberg

From teamwork to “Lean” work: Applying industry production principles to enhance quality and safety in the operating room

  • Lead Principal Investigator(s): Sylvain Boet
  • Team Members: Agnes Crnick, Meghan Britton, Julie Kenna, Suzanne Madore, Chris Pysyk, Sukhbir Singh, Mark Walker, Jamie Brehaut, Nicole Etherington, Ian Graham, Jeremy Grimshaw, Nicola McCleary, Justin Presseau, Monica Taljaard

Improving access to rehabilitative care for Hip Fracture Patients: Bridging acute inpatient care at TOH to Geriatric Rehabilitation Services at Bruyère Hospital

  • Lead Principal Investigator(s): Steve Papp
  • Team Members: Anne Harley, Chantal Backman, Veronique French-Merkley, Stéphane Poitras, Paul E. Beaulé, Janet Squires

Inuit Perioperative Outcomes

  • Lead Principal Investigator(s): Jason McVicar, Daniel McIsaac
  • Team Members: Nadine Caron, Donna May Kimmaliardjuk, Kim Barker, Alan Forster, Sukhbir Singh

Enhanced recovery for gynecologic oncology (ERGO): A prospective trial with interrupted time series analysis for a fast track surgical pathway

  • Lead Principal Investigator(s): Innie Chen, Laura Hopkins
  • Team Members: Daniel McIsaac, Chris Pysyk, Yvette Goddard, Suzanne Madore, Shi-Wu Wen, Kednapa Thavorn

Enhancing patient-centered communication through the implementation of the Serious Illness Conversation Program for seriously ill, hospitalized patients.

  • Lead Principal Investigator(s): Peter Munene, Daniel Kobewka
  • Team Members: Krista Wooller, Jerry Maniate, Alison Dugan

The Ottawa Hospital: Inspired by research. Driven by compassion 

The Ottawa Hospital is one of Canada’s largest learning and research hospitals with over 1,100 beds, approximately 12,000 staff and an annual budget of over $1.2 billion. Our focus on research and learning helps us develop new and innovative ways to treat patients and improve care. As a multi-campus hospital, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, we deliver specialized care to the Eastern Ontario region, but our techniques and research discoveries are adopted around the world. We engage the community at all levels to support our vision for better patient care. See for more information about research at The Ottawa Hospital.


The Ottawa Hospital Academic Medical Organization (TOHAMO) promotes a vibrant clinical and academic engaged medical community within The Ottawa Hospital. TOHAMO is an unincorporated association whose members include the medical staff of The Ottawa Hospital, as represented by the Ottawa Hospital Physician Associates Inc.

University of Ottawa: —A crossroads of cultures and ideas

The University of Ottawa is home to over 50,000 students, faculty and staff, who live, work and study in both French and English. Our campus is a crossroads of cultures and ideas, where bold minds come together to inspire game-changing ideas. We are one of Canada’s top 10 research universities—our professors and researchers explore new approaches to today’s challenges. One of a handful of Canadian universities ranked among the top 200 in the world, we attract exceptional thinkers and welcome diverse perspectives from across the globe.

Media Contact

Jennifer Ganton
Director, Communications and Public Relations
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Office: 613-798-5555 x 73325
Cell: 613-614-5253