File - Establishment of MCHP (1991-2011)

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Establishment of MCHP (1991-2011)

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Biographical history

Patricia Joan Martens was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1952 to Howard and Hazel Weber. Patricia began her career in education, teaching chemistry and mathematics at St. Mary’s Academy in Winnipeg from 1973 to 1978.

Patricia met Gary Martens during their undergraduate degrees at the University of Manitoba in the early seventies. They were married in 1974 and moved to Kleefeld, Manitoba in 1978. Their first son, John, was born the same year. A few years later, they had a daughter, Rebecca. In Kleefeld, Patricia cultivated her interest in breastfeeding. Beginning in 1978, she led the local chapter of La Leche League, a nonprofit organization that supports breastfeeding. She obtained her IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) designation in 1987, and re-certified every five years.

Patricia received her Masters degree in Community Health Sciences from the University of Manitoba on October 20, 1994. Her thesis is entitled Breastfeeding Choice and Duration: A Prospective Study of Women and Infants in Four Southern Manitoba First Nations Communities. In it, she concludes that “[i]ntervention at a community level could target breastfeeding confidence, referent support, and beliefs. Intervention by health care providers may decrease early weaning due to preventable problems” (p. ii).

She received her Ph.D five years later, also from the University of Manitoba. Her dissertation is entitled Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Breastfeeding Promotion Community Strategy in Sagkeeng First Nation. She concludes by writing, “[b]ut most important of all, it [a breastfeeding promotion strategy] requires commitment, especially by the women of the community, as they make the journey from forgotten traditions to remembered, shared experiences” (p. 263).

Patricia began work at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy in January 1999 as a research associate. The Centre is a research unit in the University of Manitoba, partially funded by the Province of Manitoba to publish a certain number of health policy-related reports each year. The Centre is concerned with the health of Manitobans and strives to answer the question, "What makes people healthy?"

Originally succeeding the Centre's Director Noralou Roos in the position of Acting Director in June 2004, she was made Director and Senior Researcher of the Centre in June 2005, a position she held for ten years. Concurrently, she held the position of Associate Professor, and later full Professor, in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba.

She was integral in forming The Need to Know Team, a collaboration between the RHAs (Regional Health Authorities), Manitoba Health, and researchers at the Centre. The Need to Know Team was originally funded by a CIHR (Canadian Institute of Health Research) grant, from 2001-2006. Patricia was a vibrant speaker and during her time at the Centre, she traveled extensively to speak on deliverables (reports published by the Centre) and other health-related topics.

Patricia is the author of over 300 publications. A partial list of her publications is available. She is also very well decorated, as she is recognized as a leader in her field. Among her awards are the 2005 CIHR Knowledge Translation Award for Regional Impact, the 2010 Manitoba YM/YWCA Woman of Distinction for Health & Wellness, the Order of Canada (2013), the 2013 R.D. Defries Award, the 2014 Justice Emmett Hall Laureate Award, and she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2013.

In 2013, Patricia was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Patricia passed away on January 10, 2015. She will be remembered for her generous spirit, her way of cultivating a strong sense of community, and turning dry topics into stimulating discussions.

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Includes contracts between the University of Manitoba and the Government of Manitoba, the original proposal for the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation, material of the development of Community Health Sciences department at the University of Manitoba (including a history written by Brian D. Postl and D.G. Fish), invitation to open house in honour of opening of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation, a copy of Healthcare Policy (vol. 6, Special Issue: "'Going for Gold': Celebrating 20 Years of Experience in Population-Based Research in Manitoba and Beyond," MCHP Strategic Plan (December 2011), Patricia Martens' business card, and various MCHP brochures.

-Original agreement for establishing Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation (February 4, 1991) - between the Government of Manitoba (represented by the Minister of Health) and the University of Manitoba

-Invitation to open house in honour of the opening of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation

-Draft letter dated July 30, 1991, from Noralou Roos to W.A. Simms, Vice-President of Administration (U of M), requesting accounts to be set up so that contracts can be offered "to permit our beginning operations by Aug. 15, 1990."

-Draft letter dated July 30, 1990, from Noralou Roos to Frank Maynard, Deputy Minister, Manitoba Health indicating signing of contract authorized by John Wade, with funding to cover start-up from April 1990.

-Noralou Roos' notes following October 12, 1989 meeting with Don Orchard, Fraser Mustard, Frank Maynard, Ted Marmer, and Les and Noralou Roos.

-Agenda for November 3, 1989 meeting re: A Centre of Excellence Proposal with Frank Maynard, Dr. John Wade, Dr. Brian Postl, Les and Noralou Roos, Dr. Larry Wiser, and Jody Jones.

-Manitoba Centre for Health Policy & Evaluation: A Proposal of the University of Manitoba (December 1989)

-Proposal for Evaluation of MCHPE and related material, January 31, 1994

-"The Development of the Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba" by Brian D. Postl and D.G. Fish.

-In Loving Memory of the Mainframe (aka. IMS), October 22, 2007.

-Meetings with Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Health. CIAR Program in Population Health: 5 Year Review. September 1992. CIAR, pp. 40-41.

-A visual history of MCHP and reflection on trends, lessons learned, and future opportunities from 2002 strategic planning meeting.

-Invitation to MCHPE Official Opening, April 4, 1991.

-Consultation Paper: A Centre of Excellence Proposal by Partners for Health, Manitoba Health, November 1989. (Five page document containing early version of organization chart, goals, status, resources, financing (sources), implementation considerations, and timing of deliverables.

-Quality Health for Manitobans: The Action Plan. A strategy to assure the future of Manitoba's health services system. According to Frank Maynard, a key paper by Manitoba Government in 1992, including a central role for Centre-based research.

-Manitoba Centre for Health Policy: Strategic Plan, December 2011.

-Newspaper articles re: establishment of MCHPE.

-Healthcare Policy (vol. 6, Special Issue: "'Going for Gold': Celebrating 20 Years of Experience in Population-Based Research in Manitoba and Beyond," MCHP Strategic Plan (December 2011).

-MCHP brochures.

-Patricia Martens' business card.

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