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Paul Hébert’s call for the pursuit of excellence in health care, health education and health research in the interests of innovations for better health outcomes1 is timely and welcome. Innovation in health will only come about by an explicit determination to integrate the scientific foundations of innovation; discovery, clinical, services, health behavior and promotion, and implementation. Hébert correctly identifies systems challenges as particular barriers to the pursuit of these laudable goals. Moreover, the evidence base for the necessary integrative approaches is penurious.2 This begs the following observation: While health professional pursuits in care, education, and research are necessary, they are not sufficient. Required is a focus on systems strengthening through an engagement with policy professionals within Canada’s health and social services jurisdictions.
For the full letter, go to: www.cmaj.ca/cgi/eletters/182/2/121#275616