Federal Minister of Public Services, Procurement and Accessibility Carla Qualtrough and Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr joined UBC Okanagan officials to cut the ribbon for new research facility at university. (contributed)

UBC Okanagan opens new spaces for community-engaged research

Nearly $1 million in funding led to the new facilities

The research into people living with chronic disease, physical disability and obesity is set to get a boost with the opening of two new community-focused research spaces at UBC Okanagan.

The new facilities, which were made possible with funding in part from the federal government, were opened along side Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility.

“By investing in institutions like UBC Okanagan, our government is giving Canadians the necessary spaces to train the new generation and bring together researchers and entrepreneurs who turn bold ideas into reality,” said Qualtrough.

“We’re giving science, and specifically data, the opportunity to inform policy on issues of significant importance such as disability and accessibility.

“This investment in science will allow the health and well-being of the local community and beyond to improve for generations to come.”

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Located in UBC Okanagan’s Upper Campus Health Building, the research spaces were made possible by nearly $1 million in new funding; $723,567 from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, $123,567 from the BC Knowledge Development Fund and $60,000 from the Frank C. Diener Foundation.

READ MORE: UBC Okanagan study suggests ditching cheat days on diet

“Researchers at UBC Okanagan are undertaking meaningful and innovative work that will help make a difference in people’s lives,” said Bruce Ralston, provincial minister of jobs, trade and technology.

“The research done at the university will help develop new methods in health care and bring important benefits to British Columbians and Canadians alike.”

READ MORE: UBC Okanagan medical student makes difference for breast cancer patients

The research will be led by professor Kathleen Martin Ginis, associate professor Mary Jung and assistant professor Heather Gainforth from the School of Health and Exercise Sciences, and by Lesley Lutes, associate professor of psychology at UBC Okanagan.

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