Call for Collaborators:
CASCADES Innovation RFP

CASCADES is seeking service delivery or system design innovations that reduce the climate impact of healthcare or the healthcare system or that increase climate resilience in their settings.

Expression of Interest form active: Oct 6, 2022 – Jan 31, 2023

Expression of Interest Deadline: Jan 31, 2023

Anticipated notice of decision: Mar 31, 2023

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Call for Collaborators: All about the CASCADES RFP: French slide deckEnglish slide deck

Request for Proposals

CASCADES is seeking proposals from teams of health professionals, administrators, and/or leaders in the Canadian healthcare system who wish to collaborate with CASCADES on service delivery or system design innovations that reduce the climate impact of healthcare or the healthcare system or increase climate resilience in their settings. Submissions are divided into the following two categories:

  • Innovation prototypes: Innovation partnerships to develop and implement sustainable healthcare projects to produce a playbook, which provides ideas, examples and resources as a step-by-step guide for innovation implementation and assessment of innovations aimed at reducing carbon impacts of care; financial support can range between $5,000 to $25,000. Selected innovation prototypes will be feasible, impactful, and have the potential for spread to other settings across the country.
  • Innovation sparks: Smaller innovation partnerships that create tools and resources that could contribute to playbooks and be utilized by other health teams to create awareness and interest in healthcare sustainability and/or to inform changes in their setting. The financial support for an innovation spark will be less than $5,000.

 

For example:

  • Small tests of change based on examples from local settings that lead to the creation of case reports (i.e., Cases & Faces) and completion of the CASCADES Project Charter; a quality improvement poster or video-clips; and/or a business case for change.
  • Policy or literature reviews that leads to the creation of a primer; infographic; a quality improvement poster; and/or a business case for change.
  • Sharing experiences and efforts by producing toolkits and templates with a set of workplans, details on meeting environmental stewardship requirements, or a strategy for creating a sustainability committee.

 

These innovation prototypes or innovation sparks can be service delivery innovations (e.g., Sustainable Inhalers in Primary Care playbook) or system design innovations (e.g., Organizational Readiness for Sustainability playbook).

Forms of Support

Successful teams will receive one or more of the following services to support their innovation project. Innovation prototype budgets may be up to $25,000. Innovation sparks budgets may be up to $5,000. All budget expenses must be paid for directly by CASCADES. CASCADES cannot provide direct funding to other organizations.

  • Administrative/logistical support (provided by the CASCADES Regional Leads)
  • Part-time Project Assistant or Trainee salary
  • Professional Services (ex. expert mentorship/guidance to advise on strategy, content, implementation, evaluation; translation; graphic design; software development)

Eligibility Criteria

Innovation prototypes:

  • For an application to be eligible:

    • The applicants must have a team consisting of the following:
      • Health professionals, administrators, and/or leaders in healthcare settings (health authorities, hospitals, primary care clinics, community service providers)
    • The primary outcome of the project is not the collection of data for a life cycle analysis
    • Developed, initiated, and produce prototype outcomes that can be used to inform spread to other settings within a one-year time frame, including publication of a playbook on the CASCADES website by March 31, 2024
    • Relevant organizational support (CASCADES will seek a collaboration agreement with successful teams)
    • Have the potential to spread to other healthcare settings within Canada
    • CASCADES funding does not exceed $25,000

Innovation sparks:

For an application to be eligible:

  • The applicants must be an individual or team consisting of the following:
    • Health professionals, administrators, and/or leaders in healthcare settings (health authorities, hospitals, primary care clinics, community service providers), and their teams
  • Can be developed and produce resources or tools that can be published within a one-year time frame (publication on the CASCADES website and, if relevant, other online resources)
  • Produces a tool or resource that can be utilized by other innovation champions to increase awareness or interest in healthcare sustainability or support their efforts to create change in their setting.
  • CASCADES funding does not exceed $5,000.

Submission Timeline

There is a two-step submission process:  

  1. Step 1: Interested teams should submit an expression of interest summarizing their proposed innovation or innovation spark. An external Scientific Evaluation Committee will review all submissions. Applicants will be notified on the status of the application by no later than March 31, 2023.
  2. Step 2: Applications that are of potential interest will be invited to provide additional information detailing their proposed innovation prototype or innovation spark.

If you do not believe your idea is ready to be implemented this year, please email us at [email protected] to see how CASCADES’ can help you prepare to apply for collaboration opportunities in future years.

Step 1: Expressions of Interest

Please submit an expression of interest using the online form by Jan 31, 2023.

Applicants will need to provide the following information in the Expression of Interest online form:

Innovation Prototypes:
  • The innovation project team members’ full names, professional roles, places of work, and affiliations and primary applicant’s email address
  • Project title
  • Type of innovation: system design or service delivery and innovation prototype or innovation spark
  • The innovation project, using the format of the CASCADES Project Charter, including goals, scope, problem/opportunity statement and the current conditions of the system. Reference evidence that the innovation will address healthcare’s role in the climate crisis (mitigating harms or improving resilience) and not negatively impact health outcomes (max 300 words)
  • If applicable, climate adaptation and resilience strategies (max 100 words)
  • Affirmation that the project can be developed, initiated, and produce a playbook within a one-year time frame
  • How the success of this innovation can be assessed
  • All the anticipated services that will be required to support the innovation project
  • An estimated budget range (<$25,000), plus, if applicable, in-kind support provided by your team and/or organization
  • Any relevant experience with this subject matter and undertaking projects of this nature.
  • Indication of the presence of organizational support (CASCADES will seek a collaboration agreement with successful teams)
Innovation Sparks:
  • The innovation spark individual applicant or project team members’ full name(s), professional role(s), place(s) of work, and affiliation(s) and primary applicant’s email address
  • Project title
  • Type of innovation: system design or service delivery and innovation prototype or innovation spark
  • The innovation project, using the format of the CASCADES Project Charter, including goals, scope, problem/opportunity statement and the current conditions of the system. Reference evidence that the innovation will address healthcare’s role in the climate crisis (mitigating harms or improving resilience) and not negatively
  • Impact health outcomes (max 300 words)
  • If applicable, climate adaptation and resilience strategies (max 100 words)
  • Affirmation that the spark can be produced within a one-year time frame
  • How you plan to validate the accuracy of the innovation spark
  • All the anticipated services that will be required to support the innovation project
  • An estimated budget range (<$5,000), plus, if applicable, in-kind support provided by your team and/or organization

If you have any questions, feedback or technical issues with the online form, please email [email protected].ca.

Step 2: Shortlisted applicants

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to provide a more detailed proposal (in consultation with a CASCADES Regional Lead).

What are service delivery innovations and system design innovations?

Service delivery innovations shift how care is provided by clinicians and administrators, with the potential for direct effects on GHG emissions. For example, dry powdered inhalers appropriately prescribed to patients instead of metered dose inhalers can reduce GHG emissions at a service delivery level (e.g., Sustainable Inhalers in Primary Care playbook).

Examples of service delivery innovations:

  • Regional anesthesia in breast surgery: Advancing sustainability in breast surgery through regional anesthesia.

Innovation prototypes or sparks could be in the following areas:

    • Innovations designed to change practices in other clinical areas.
    • Innovations in perioperative care.
    • Sharing experiences and efforts to advance sustainability in the perioperative setting.
    • Tools and resources to educate anesthesiologists on sustainable practices.
  • Sustainable inhalers: Facilitating provider awareness about climate impact of inhalers and foster understanding of how inhalers can be sustainably prescribed.

Innovation prototypes or sparks could be in the following areas:

    • Innovations designed to change practices in different healthcare settings or for different patient populations.
    • Sharing experiences and efforts to facilitate for the recovery and recycling of inhalers.
    • Tools and resources targeted toward educating and creating changes within pharmacies, family medicine practices and other healthcare settings.

 

System design innovations shift the conditions under which care is provided, with direct or indirect effects on GHG emissions and climate resilience. For example, real-time reporting and benchmarking tools that track healthcare product emissions (e.g., devices, disposables, etc.) can inform clinical decision-making and organizational planning, thereby facilitating change at a system design level (e.g., Organizational Readiness for Sustainability playbook).

Example of system design innovations:

  • Sustainable procurement: Purchasing practices that consider environmental impacts and social responsibilities in addition to economic factors.

Innovation prototypes or sparks could be in the following areas:

    • Innovations to implement policies and/or procedures in support of sustainable procurement in specific areas (e.g., within pharmacy departments, or for operating room supplies and equipment).
    • Review of sustainability policies and extended producer responsibility activities.
    • Business cases that leverage buying power through coordinated action across the health sector and broader public sector.
  • Organizational readiness for sustainability: Reducing healthcare’s contribution to climate change through strategy and partnerships.

Innovation prototypes or sparks could be in the following areas:

    • Innovations that prioritize partnerships across the health sector and social service sector to support population health and promote low carbon services and supports.
    • Small tests of change that explore ways to partner with communities, public health and health and social care organizations for community resilience to climate risks.
    • Business cases to engage senior leaders and governors to develop and deliver effective climate and sustainability strategies.
    • Sharing experiences and efforts to build cross organizational capacity to create practice changes (e.g., sustainability committee or task force).
    • Tools and resources to measure and track sustainability performance.

 

We expect that most proposals will identify opportunities to mitigate the climate harms of care. However, we also encourage teams to explore resilience and adaptation and recognize that climate adaptation and resilience may be important components of any innovation.

About CASCADES

CASCADES is a multi-year, capacity-building initiative to address healthcare’s role in the climate crisis. CASCADES will support Canada’s health care community to transition toward a sustainable (net-zero, resilient) health system. The initiative is funded for a five-year term by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Climate Action and Awareness Fund for Community-Based Climate Action Projects.

The initiative is led by the University of Toronto’s Centre for Sustainable Health Systems in partnership with the Healthy Populations Institute at Dalhousie University, the Planetary Healthcare Lab at the University of British Columbia, and the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care.

In addition to capacity-building through continuing professional development and community engagement, CASCADES seeks to collaborate with members of the healthcare community in the development of new – or the refinement of existing – tools, resources, and strategies that can improve the sustainability of health services and systems.

CASCADES is a quality improvement initiative, not a research project. Therefore, the focus of its collaborations with health teams are projects that effectively impact the sustainability of healthcare systems rather than research-specific activities.  

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