Asif Khowaja

Assistant Professor, Health Sciences
Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

Assistant Professor of Health Sciences Asif Khowaja’s work focuses on the application of health economics modelling and mixed-methods research to inform policy decisions about resource allocation in health care. Specific areas he has researched include the economic impact of quality improvement initiatives in acute care facilities and long-term care homes, the cost-effectiveness of community-based interventions for maternal and newborn health, cost-efficacy of newborn screening, vaccine effectiveness and patient-oriented research for measuring societal costs.

Please give a brief overview of your research project

This is a multidisciplinary research project in the areas of health, economics, kinesiology and epidemiology. Using Canada Games’ data from the past 10 years and input from past medical volunteers, our research project seeks to determine how much it costs to treat major injuries in athletes, taking into consideration the resources used to do so and the time spent to treat these injuries. To date, there are no published studies that assess the economic burden of elite sports injuries in Canada. To investigate this issue, we will answer the research question: What is the economic impact of injuries in Canada Games competitions? 

What do you expect will be the outcome of your research?

Our research project will provide new economic data to the Canada Games. With this increased understanding of the financial burden of injuries, this fresh information is expected to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of program planning and timely resource allocation decisions for injury treatment and prevention programs.

How will this contribute to knowledge or understanding of the Canada Summer Games?

Canada Summer Games program planners and administrators will have a greater awareness of the economic burden imposed by major injuries, which will help organizers to accurately forecast how their resources should be allocated to care for injured athletes more efficiently. Lastly, studying significant injuries and related financial costs will allow for better economic planning prior to, during and after the Canada Summer Games.

How did you become interested in this research?

I attended a webinar in which previous Canada Games research projects were presented. It was interesting to learn about the magnitude of injuries reported in the Canada Games from the research work done by Associate Professor of Kinesiology Nicole Chimera. Our project idea was conceived after a series of conversations with Nicole and Associate Professor of Economics Lester Kwong. Subsequently, Associate Professor of Health Sciences William Pickett joined our research team, and we have taken on board an amazing student, Matthew Sudiyono, who is working on his master’s thesis on this topic. I’m glad to be surrounded by folks who are highly supportive of this research and promoting the health economics agenda at Brock University.

How do you plan on sharing your research?

We will share research findings with stakeholders at the Canada Games and the broader community of elite athletes through webinars and online stories posted on The Brock News. The scholarly results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and scientific meetings and conferences. This project has the potential to expand the scope to be able to investigate a broader health system impact, such as resource utilization at acute care facilities and long-term rehabilitation, and will open up an opportunity for a PhD student in the near future.

Do you have any advice or tips on how colleagues in your Faculty can incorporate the Canada Games into their research?

I believe there is so much we can do together with other faculty members, researchers and trainees to advance research pertinent to Canada Games. For example, it is not just the numbers of injuries but the perspectives and experiences of elite athletes when they participate in these Games. It would be great if we could engage our trainees and integrate Canada Games research into our courses and seminars.