Chronic Disease Research Team Earns Excellence Award and publishes in high-impact journals

(Left to right) Drs. Marcello Tonelli, Brenda Hemmelgarn and Braden Manns earned the President’s Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievements in Research. Photo by Trudie Lee, courtesy of Alberta Innovates Health Solutions.

On May 7, the inaugural Alberta Health Services (AHS) President’s Excellence Awards recognized the work of three Alberta medical researchers for Outstanding Achievements in Research.
Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn, Dr. Braden Manns and Dr. Marcello Tonelli, were awarded for their work leading the Interdisciplinary Chronic Disease Collaboration (ICDC), which is aimed towards improving the health of patients living with or at risk of chronic disease.

The province-wide research team includes health care decision-makers and government policy makers and is supported by Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions (AIHS) and Alberta Health and Wellness.

These clinical researchers have contributed significantly to improving the care of Alberta Health Services patients facing various illnesses, including diabetes and kidney disease. The team is working with front-line staff and physicians to identify problems, conduct intensive research and to recommend changes to improve patient care.

“I was extremely honored to receive this award,” says Hemmelgarn, a Libin member who holds a PhD in epidemiology and biostatistics. She is also an associate professor in the departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary.

“Our research team has worked closely with decision makers to ensure the research we undertake is of relevance, and of direct impact to patient care and for Albertans living with chronic disease.”

The President’s Excellence Awards was established to recognize the work of AHS staff and physicians in improving the quality of care for Albertans and safeguarding patient and staff safety.

In June, the ICDC group published papers in both The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on “Rates of Treated and Untreated Kidney Failure in Older vs Younger Adults” and in The Lancet on “Risk of coronary events in people with chronic kidney disease compared with those with diabetes: a population-level cohort study”

What does ICDC do?

  • Improve the care and health outcomes of patients with chronic diseases
  • Help AHS guide the multi-disciplinary Primary Care Networks (PCN)
  • Conducts research directed to improving care for patients with chronic diseases living in rural areas
  • Study the risk of adverse health outcomes for particular population groups, including Aboriginal people and the elderly

For more info, visit;—Ingrid Oliveira


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