Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo

Vulnerable Individuals in Primary Care (VIP) Research Lab

The Vulnerable Individuals in Primary Care (VIP) Research Lab aims to improve health by facilitating equitable access and linkage to primary care for vulnerable populations in Canada and internationally. VIP health equity research projects focus on improving inclusion and equity for those with social, economic, and cultural challenges due to income or race and work towards global justice through global health research leadership. The VIP Research Lab regularly welcomes graduate students from the Public Health and Health Research Methodology programs at McMaster University.

Community Paramedicine at Clinic (CP@clinic) and Community Paramedicine at Home (CP@home)

The lab has established a standardized community paramedicine program that partners with paramedic services to provide accessible, preventative healthcare to vulnerable populations.

The CP@clinic Program has undergone a complete research cycle from a pilot study to multi-site cluster randomized controlled trial with an economic analysis (funded by CIHR), and is being scaled-up nationally (funded by Health Canada) and internationally. Dr. Gina Agarwal and the McMaster Community Paramedicine Research Team are actively researching its adaptations: contexts, population, and delivery systems.

CP@clinic was further developed into a home-based program for older adults who don’t live in housing buildings but would benefit from the preventative care provided by the program. This development, called Community Paramedicine at home (CP@home) is a research intervention delivered by community paramedics in the homes of frequent Emergency Medical Services (EMS) callers with multimorbidity.

Social Housing Research

VIP Research Lab has several pan Ontario studies focusing on social housing associated with administrative data (with ICES) researching a variety of epidemiological and health service outcomes

Community Health Assessment Program In The Philippines (CHAP-P)

CHAP-P is a cardiometabolic health assessment and health promotion program that is delivered by volunteers in the community setting. This research is in collaboration with Dr. Fortunato Cristobal (Ateneo de Zamboanga University). CHAP-P has received funding from CIHR for the 5-year Community Cluster RCT (completed with evidence of positive impact) and the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) for the scale-up to a whole province in the Philippines.

Enhanced Community Health Education And Communication (eCHEC): Thailand Cancer Prevention Research

This is a collaborative research project led by Dr. Gina Agarwal (McMaster University, Canada) and Dr. Pattapong Kessomboon (Khon Khaen University, Thailand). The aim of the research is to evaluate the eCHEC intervention in decreasing risk factors for developing cholangiocarcinoma among community residents in the province of Khon Khaen, Thailand.

UK-Canada Emergency Calls Data Analysis And GEospatial Mapping (EDGE) Consortium

This is a collaborative project between Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU), University of Lincoln, UK, East Midlands,Yorkshire Ambulance Services, and the VIP Research Lab. The aim of the consortium is to analyze and compare Emergency Call Data in the UK and Canada, review patterns of Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions among vulnerable populations, identify factors, and develop/propose solutions to improve the health of populations through appropriate primary healthcare use.

Program Lead

Gina Agarwal

Program Team

Ricardo Angeles, Jasdeep Brar, Patricia Habran-Dietrich, Christie Koester, Francine Marzanek, Melissa Pirrie, Mikayla Plishka 

Information Box Group