Washington, D.C. March 24, 2010 (PAHO)—Health researchers and others working in the health field now have access to online learning opportunities to improve research skills and make the most of research evidence by integrating it into healthcare policy and clinical practice, through an agreement signed by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Canadian Cochrane Centre (CCC), of the Cochrane Collaboration.

PAHO and the CCC will work together to implement training initiatives for users and producers of systematic reviews of research evidence in the Americas. Cochrane Systematic Reviews, produced by the Cochrane Collaboration, meet the highest standards and provide valuable evidence to inform healthcare decisions. The reviews have expanded beyond the evaluation of medical treatments to now cover many aspects relevant to public health and primary care, including research on health policy and systems.

"This is an important initiative and we are proud to be in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization," says Dr. Jeremy Grimshaw, Director of the Canadian Cochrane Centre. "We are dedicated to furthering the use of evidence-based medicine to ensure that patients receive the best possible treatment. We are thrilled that we can offer valuable systematic review training to those in the Americas. Everyone at the Centre is eager to see what other initiatives will unfold through this partnership."

 "The Canadian Cochrane Center has excelled in building needed skills through innovative approaches allowing for research evidence to be better used in improving health and equity" says Dr. Luis Gabriel Cuervo, PAHO's Senior Advisor on Research Promotion and Development. "This agreement will help to better link research evidence with policy and practice. This is something our Members States have called for and made prominent in the regional Policy on Research for Health approved in 2008. PAHO is committed to supporting our policy makers and this opens a great opportunity to this region that benefits of also having universal access to The Cochrane Library in most of its Member States."

One initiative already under way is Cochrane Canada Live, a series of webinars (web seminars) now available on the Internet organized with speakers connected to the Cochrane Collaboration. These webinars are coordinated by the CCC and delivered through Internet-based platforms with the support of PAHO. Registration for the webinars and access to recorded sessions can be done through the CCC website. Additional resources can also be found at PAHO's Research Portal (, including case studies highlighting why research is a sound investment.

The new partnership will help the CCC further its mission of cultivating evidence-based decision-making by promoting the use and accessibility of Cochrane Systematic Reviews. The CCC supports and offers high-quality training to those interested in using and producing Cochrane Systematic Reviews. For PAHO this partnership helps to better respond to PAHO's Policy on Research for Health, improves the standards for research synthesis and use, builds on successful initiatives and partnerships, and builds capacities to support initiatives such as the Evidence Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet), a catalyst for strengthening national health research systems.

About The Pan American Health Organization:

PAHO is the oldest international public health agency with over 107 years of experience working to improve health and living standards of people in the Americas. It serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO) and is a member of the United Nations and Inter-American systems.

About the Canadian Cochrane Centre:

The Canadian Cochrane Centre (CCC), registered in August 1993, is one of 13 independent, not-for-profit Centres of The Cochrane Collaboration worldwide. The CCC is located at the Institute for Population Health at the University of Ottawa. We support the activities of over 1,600 members of The Cochrane Collaboration in Canada to promote the Collaboration, The Cochrane Library, and evidence-based health care in Canada. We collaborate with health professional organizations, health researchers, health technology assessment groups, national consumer associations, governments and other interested groups in order to achieve this goal.

For more information:

Canadian Cochrane Centre: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , communications specialist, 613-520-5800 ext. 2927,

Pan American Health Organization:

Press contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , Tel 202 974 3122.

Research: Luis Gabriel Cuervo: (, tel 202-974-3135.