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The Unit

A benchmark for Quebec’s Learning Health System.

The Unité de soutien au système de santé apprenant (SSA) Québec is a provincial unit of the national strategy for patient-oriented research (SPOR) network of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).



Our Unit strives to play a key role in the continuous improvement of Quebec’s health care system and care trajectories.


For whom

The Unit provides support to any person or organization working in health care and social services in Quebec as well as the population.



The unit’s teams work across Quebec and deploy their expertise by offering training, consultation services and tools which can be requested through the LHS portal.

  • It supports patient-oriented projects that contribute to the learning health system.
  • It supports teams in improving care and service trajectories through targeted grants.

Presentation of the Unité de soutien SSA Québec by

  • Antoine Groulx, scientific codirector
  • Catherine Wilhelmy, patient partner codirector

Why the Unit?

  • The Unit supports the continuous improvement of Quebec’s health care system
  • It acts as a bridge between science and practice
    • To keep research results off the shelf
    • To ensure that projects are patient-oriented and that the public is part of the solution
  • It is supported by the Canada-wide SPOR program
    • CIHR funding benefits Quebec
    • The Unit supports the integration of patient oriented research (POR) since 2014
  • It aspires to put POR into action for the benefit of a learning health system (LHS) and relies on implementation science
    • It completes the learning cycle
  • A single organization is responsible for the entire SSA cycle, which turns out to be:
    • More effective
    • More cost effective
    • More unifying (RUISSS collaboration)
  • The Unit holds the expertise required to enable the Québec health system to continuously improve in partnership
    • Training, consultation and tools
    • Partnership, Data management, Data to knowledge, Change management and Capacity development
    • It prevents working in isolation and improves targeted care trajectories at the professional and organizational levels
  • It acts as a broker, offering nine areas of expertise in four RUISSSs. It:
    • Ensures that project managers have access to expertise relevant for Quebec
    • Prevents redundant efforts and provides LHS value to all supported projects
    • Makes unequalled return on investments possible, responding to the requester’s needs and criteria

Our expertises