First-in-Canada Virtual Health Library established


To serve and support Canadian health professionals through coordinated resource sharing

The Canadian Health Libraries Association is pleased to announce, in conjunction with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the development of the groundbreaking Canadian Virtual Health Library (CVHL). The CVHL, which is funded by CIHR through its Knowledge Synthesis and Exchange Branch for $800,000 over three years, aims to provide all Canadian health professionals - administrators, policy and program planners, researchers and public health workers as well as doctors nurses and other clinicians - easy access to current, authoritative information and expert support from the network of libraries contributing to CVHL.

Patrick Ellis, Head of the W.K. Kellogg Library at Dalhousie University will serve as the CVHL's Principal Investigator. Co-investigators are Jim Henderson, Liaison Librarian at McGill University and Jessie McGowan, Senior Information Scientist, Centre for Global Health and Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Medicine and Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa.

"This is, to my mind, the most important undertaking in knowledge transfer and translation on the national level," said Abraham Fuks, McGill professor of Biomedical Ethics and a key player in bringing the project to light.

The CVHL will build a pan-Canadian virtual client-centric network to link local, regional and provincial health library services and maximize resources through coordinated resource sharing and licensing. A bilingual web portal will provide an easy entry point to these resources and to library expertise.  The result will be a tailored, rapid response to health professionals' requirements for evidence-based information to support patient care decisions, health promotion and public health programming.

"Supporting excellence in knowledge translation and synthesis is a cornerstone priority for CIHR," said Dr. Ian Graham, Vice President, Knowledge Translation at CIHR. "Because healthcare decisions need to be based on the latest and most authoritative information, the Canadian Virtual Health Library will dramatically increase the amount of information accessible to those in the medical community."

The CVHL will be rolled out over a three-year period beginning in 2010 and is already being warmly received by individuals in the health research and medical service community.

For more information:

Contact Information

David Coulombe
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
mediarelations [at]
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