Richard J. Riopelle, MD, FRCPC, FCAHS is a neurologist clinician scientist currently active within the portfolio of activities embraced by the Civic Academy for Personhood Functional Inclusivity focused on addressing needs of persons with neurotrauma and their caregivers/families in alliances with provincial – territorial associations, their linked services organizations, and academic organizations. Strategically positioned towards these stated directions, Riopelle is;
- Chief Research Officer, Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation,
- Co-Chair, Board of Directors, Brain Injury Canada,
- Member, Advisory Council, University of Toronto Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Early Career Professorship, Community Brain Injury Services
- Chair, Advocacy Committee, Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation (CNSF),
- an independent consultant for the insurance industry (auto, workplace), and Personal Injury Law firms via intermediary organizations in the area of neurotrauma,
- an academic (Queen’s University) ambulatory services consultant with a priority focus on referrals of persons with concussion with persistent symptoms,
- certified by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and
- a member in good standing of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
These positions, and his grounded clinical experience have translated to Riopelle’s scientific oversight of the pan-Canadian Spinal Cord Injury Knowledge Mobilization Network currently active on seven academic rehabilitation sites in five provinces co-funded by ONF, Rick Hansen Institute, and Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation directed to care standardization. In the 2011-2015 period SCI KMN has achieved Accreditation Canada Required Organizational Practice thresholds for contemporary best practice guidelines in spinal cord injury. These activities have been informed by Riopelle’s earlier activities directed to implementing Canada’s first Regional Acute Stroke Protocol in South Eastern Ontario that was instrumental in the policy arena giving rise to the Ontario Stroke Strategy, and in Kingston General Hospital achieving Accreditation Canada Stroke Distinction status.
These experiences represent the backdrop to Riopelle’s current contributions to applied research applications within a knowledge mobilization portfolio by creating meaningful engagement between and across healthcare sectors including academia, service providers, decision-makers, and patients/consumers through research driving a process towards innovation. These activities are directed to a value proposition of optimal functionality of persons with, and at risk for, the lived experience of brain injury as a co-investigator and advisor to the Canadian Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium. To achieve this goal, and building on the SCI KMN experience, a feasible validated participatory action research/collective impact approach with Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation in a Knowledge Hub/backbone role will direct itself to the objectives of such applied research application. The logic model of sequenced pre-exploratory, exploratory, installation, initial implementation, and full implementation nested cause contributions informing Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) narrative cycles will link to standardized, psychometrically robust measures applied to these narrative cycles focused on individual and organizational readiness for implementing change. Specifically, these measures are brief, reliable, valid and theory-based targeting key facets of readiness – change commitment, and change efficacy focused on resources, capacity, and values.
With respect to engagement and empowerment of persons and caregivers, Riopelle and his Brain Injury Canada colleagues in partnership with March of Dimes Canada have crafted (2015), and are positioned to engage, a provincial-territorial alliance in training of these individuals in design, participation, and analysis of results of research directions consistent with objectives of the CIHR Strategy for Patient Oriented Research and directed to a Personhood Inclusivity Research Centre of Excellence for innovation driving continuous quality improvement.