This past July, Arthritis Research Canada proudly announced that Dr. Diane Lacaille was stepping into the position of Scientific Director – taking over the reins from retiring Scientific Director, Dr. John Esdaile. Dr. Lacaille, a rheumatologist and a professor at the University of British Columbia, has been with Arthritis Research Canada since its inception.
Since entering the field of Rheumatology over two decades ago, Dr. Lacaille has seen important advances in new medications and the delivery of care for people with arthritis. However, Dr. Lacaille notes there is still much to do to ensure all people living with arthritis have access to the medications they need and at the right time. Doctors need to empower patients to be actively involved in their own care and treatment decisions in order to help manage their disease effectively and lead healthy and fulfilling lives.
Dr. Lacaille has developed research evaluating the healthcare of people with arthritis in order to develop innovative solutions to address the gaps in care, to improve health outcomes, and to reduce health inequities.
“I was struck by how arthritis affects many facets of a person’s life. As a doctor, we tend to deal mostly with the medical aspect. But arthritis impacts people emotionally and socially in so many ways, particularly when it comes to their employment,” says Dr. Lacaille.
As a result, Dr. Lacaille began studying the impact of arthritis on work and developed Making it Work™, a unique online program that helps people with arthritis remain employed.
“One of the most rewarding moments was hearing firsthand from a patient about how our Making it Work™ program had made a difference in their life and how much that meant to them. Stories like these inspire me to drive research forward and make a positive lasting impact on the lives of people with arthritis,” says Lacaille.
Dr. Lacaille is driven by a passion and vision to see people with arthritis live their lives to the fullest – free of pain and disability. She is deeply committed to the innovative research being conducted at Arthritis Research Canada and to supporting the stellar team of researcher scientists that hold a breadth of expertise that spans the many disciplines relevant to arthritis. Under Dr. Lacaille’s leadership Arthritis Research Canada will continue to grow their diverse expertise and respond to the evolving needs of arthritis patients by staying at the cutting edge of science.
“I think that the biggest game-changers, over the next decade, will be technology and big data. Our research can harness the vast amount of data available – Arthritis Research Canada has the expertise and track record to do this effectively,” says Lacaille.
Arthritis Research Canada will continue to invest in the future of arthritis research by training the next generation of arthritis researchers. Dr. Lacaille is thrilled to have Dr. Esdaile stay involved to help with the mentoring of new scientists.
“I look forward to the future of Arthritis Research Canada with confidence and excitement. I’m excited for the discoveries that lay ahead,” says Lacaille.