4th Annual Pre-CAHR Meeting

The Engage Study national team met for our 4thannual team meeting on April 26th in the Marine Room at the Westin Bayshore Hotel. 53 people in total participated, including members of the Engage research study team (principal investigators, post-doctoral fellows, students and research coordinators/assistants), members of the gbMSM (gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men) community and representatives from community organizations that serve gbMSM.

In the morning, the principal investigators updated attendees on the progress of the Engage Study and shared reflections on the first year of data collection. It was highlighted that the Engage study is a platform for truly national collaboration towards a common goal and will hopefully be a key part of a larger movement to support services and change in gbMSM health across the nation. The chairpersons of the Community Engagement Committees highlighted community focused knowledge translation (KT) events that have been held in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, and discussed the importance of making KT interesting and more accessible. Everyone in attendance was also re-oriented to the scope of the data collected by the study and existing analyses (by way of 1-minute presentations of abstracts accepted to CAHR 2018), and developed plans for future projects. The morning ended with presentations giving updates on the Engage-HPV, qualitative mental health, and the more recent Canadian Blood Services sub-studies.

After lunch, attendees broke into concurrent sessions, which included discussions on knowledge translation and community engagement, HIV prevention interventions and analysis development. During the analysis development session, attendees highlighted analyses and sub-populations of interest. They also discussed how to best approach our data and the process by which analysis ideas could become a reality. The purpose of the interventions session was to build stronger collaboration between researchers and community workers to support intervention development. We discussed the application process for the Engage study intervention fund and shared ideas for interventions. The final breakout focused on knowledge translation where participants discussed what constitutes great KT, critiqued existing KT materials for gbMSM and highlighted analyses and findings from Engage data that need to be translated to the community in the near future.

In the evening, we hosted a social at a local bar for team members, community partners and friend and a fun time was had by all in attendance.

The meeting was a great success and the team left with many action items that will contribute to the fulfilment of the objectives of the Engage study grant. Thanks go the planners, Engage team and attendees for an engaging meeting. More photos below.

Gbolahan Olarewaju
May 20th, 2018