– I was very happy and honored. Improvement work is very important. The health service has two missions, the daily work and also to continually improve care and rehabilitation for the patients. I hope that this inspires others to conduct more improvement work, but it requires a structure, strategic leadership and collaboration between colleagues, professionals, system levels, academy and practice, says Marianne Sirkka, active in the occupational therapy unit at Sunderby hospital.
In June 2016, Marianne Sirkka defended her thesis in Occupational therapy at Luleå University of Technology. With employment at Norrbotten County Council and as a PhD student at Luleå University, she studied the processes that aim to increase knowledge on long-term change.
– It has been very instructive and inspiring to have been able to implement near-clinical studies. It has been particularly valuable with supportive supervisors from both the University and the County Council. The collaboration has worked well and is completely in line with my desire to reduce the gap between research and practice, says Marianne Sirkka.
Building bridges between the academy and the County Council
During the award ceremony at Vetenskapens hus, people who in various ways in the last year promoted the development of knowledge, education and training got attention. Together, the County Council and Luleå University of Technology, assigned an annual scholarship in memory of the County Council Director Elizabeth Holmgren, who worked to build bridges between the academy´s and the County Council's activities in the areas of improvement of knowledge, education and research. The purpose of this scholarship is to stimulate knowledge development in collaboration between the County Council of Norrbotten and Luleå University of Technology. The scholarship is SEK 25 000.
Marianne has in her research studied two long-term improvement work in the Norrbotten County Council. She has described a process of improvement with different approaches to reorientation, establishment and sustainability. The research revealed a strategic leadership and a single-minded pursuit of common culture conditions for sustainable improvement. The success factors were distinct procedures for dealing with professional knowledge, an integrated structure for improvement, a reflective attitude and a clearly designated function with the mission to facilitate. The results show the importance of near-clinical research based on person-centered work. The research project was conducted in collaboration between the County Council of Norrbotten and Luleå University of Technology and is a clear example of how cooperation between the academy and the clinic may be beneficial for both citizens and employees in health care.