Heroes in Mind Advocacy and Research Consortium (HiMARC) / Consortium de recherche sur le suport et defense des heros (CRSDH)

About Us


Over the last five years, several initiatives and partnerships related to the military have been launched. To broaden a more intentional collaboration, the Heroes in Mind Advocacy and Research Consortium (HiMARC) has been established with the aim of leveraging interest across multiple sectors, institutions, and researchers initially in Alberta and subsequently Western Canada. HiMARC will allow for a coordinated approach to research funding through both grants and donors to advance research, education, and service. Canadian military, veterans, public safety personnel, and their families’ health and well-being will benefit from HiMARC research, education, and knowledge translation activities. 

HiMARC Powerpoint

  • Founding Members
    University of Alberta, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
    The Royal Canadian Legion Alberta - NWT Command 
    Northern Alberta Institute of Technology 
    Canadian Armed Forces - 3rd Division
    Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital 
    Department of National Defense 
    Veterans Affairs Canada
    Alberta Health Services
    Covenant Health
     
  • Objectives

    Research
    - Stimulate innovative, ethical, and clinically relevant research across Western Canada that is consistent with the priorities of the national and international military, veteran, public safety personnel, and their families’ research directorates. 
    - Contribute to the body of knowledge regarding military, veteran, public safety personnel, and their families’ research.

    Education
    - Advance knowledge and skill development through professional and academic programming.

    Service
    - Identify priority needs and advocate for research, education and advancing services for military, veteran, public safety personnel, and their families. 

  • Steering Committee Members
    Dr. Bob Haennel, Chair
    Dr. Suzette Bremault-Phillips, HiMARC Lead
    Chelsea Jones, HiMARC Coordinator
    LCol Dr. Adrian Norbash
    Jim Raso
    Dallas Smith
    Chris McIntosh
    Roza Parlin
    Kelsey Clelland
    Shaffina Jiwa
    Donna Tchida
    Tammy Wheeler
     

 

Highlight on Veteran-Friendly Campuses in Alberta: Supporting Veteran Military to Civilian Transition 

Upon release from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), many military members pursue post-secondary training. In an effort to support military to civilian transition, the Government of Canada announced a Veterans Education and Training Benefit for Canadian Armed Forces veterans that will go toward the cost of college, university or technical education. This benefit aims to enhance transferable skills and position veterans to be competitive in the civilian workforce. This first exploratory phase of a five-year evidence-based practice implementation research project will build upon efforts to support veterans in their academic pursuits and co-create a strategy for fostering Veteran Friendly Campuses (VFC) and cultures across post-secondary institutions in Alberta (polytechnics, colleges and universities). The overall aim is to enable:

  • veterans to successfully navigate into and through post secondary institutions, and
  • post-secondary institutions in Alberta to implement and facilitate VFCs.

This project, guided by the National Implementation Research Network’s four-stage implementation model, employs an exploratory mixed-methods, multiple case study design. The project will lay the foundation for collaboration across key stakeholders and the co-creation of a vision, principles and strategies for establishing VFCs across post-secondary institutions in Alberta.

Based on preliminary interviews and environmental scan and literature review findings, it is anticipated that post-secondary institutions will need to initiate ways to identify veterans upon admission, make recruitment and career counsellors available, enhance mental health services for veterans, offer residential and financial supports, establish a veteran support hub and train faculty and students in VFC culture. Further, veterans will benefit from flexible admission options, access to an education and training inventory, and support from a veteran-on-campus liaison, student navigator and transition modules. Findings will inform post-secondary institutions of tangible steps needed to serve the educational needs of veteran students.

HiMARC is proud to be engaging with Campus Alberta and other universities, such as the University of British Columbia, on this exciting and necessary initiative to help Canada’s veterans in their transition from military life and into new educational and vocational pursuits.