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Anne SnowdonBusiness professor Anne Snowdon has received nearly $1.4 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to identify processes critical to managing COVID-19.

UWindsor researcher leads nationwide study on healthcare supply chain

A UWindsor professor has been awarded nearly $1.4 million to research Canada’s healthcare supply chain to identify ways to improve the processes critical to managing COVID-19 and similar crises in the future.

Anne Snowdon, a professor in the Odette School of Business, is leading a team of 18 other researchers from across the nation in the one-year study funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the federal agency responsible for funding health and medical research in Canada.

“The purpose of this research is to examine supply chain processes and infrastructure to ensure products are available to public health teams and health care professionals to protect the health of every Canadian citizen,” said Dr. Snowdon.

“This research will inform strategies to ensure Canadians have access to data to inform and enable public health prevention initiatives and to ensure Canadians can access safe, timely, and quality care when and where it is needed if they become infected with COVID-19.”

Snowdon’s team will study ways to ensure health teams have safe and effective products that are of high quality and available when needed. It will study the processes involved in the procurement and distribution of health products in seven provinces, to improve planning and co-ordination across provincial, federal, and global health systems for effective pandemic management.

Snowdon said the current pandemic has exposed gaps in the supply chain, with healthcare workers struggling to access the products and equipment they need to safely care for Canadians. Her research will focus on how supply chain processes influence patient health outcomes, and how data, digital tools, and analytics can strengthen management of the pandemic.

Snowdon, who specializes in business strategy and entrepreneurship, is a leading expert on health supply chains. She is the scientific director and CEO of the Supply Chain Advancement Network in Health, and academic chair of the World Health Innovation Network.

K.W. Michael Siu, UWindsor’s vice-president, research and innovation, said he was both delighted and thankful CIHR selected the project for funding.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the shortcomings of the Canadian medical supply chain system,” Dr. Siu said. “I am confident that the outcomes of Anne and her collaborating team’s research will enable Canada to develop the best strategy and practice to safeguard the health and safety of all Canadians.”

—Sarah Sacheli

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