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During the DOH V Research Quarterly Meeting, BCHRD director, Prof. Michael Montealegre was invited to present the Regional Unified Health Research Agenda (RUHRA) of Region V. The said meeting was attended by members of DOH-V research committee members and BCHRD director and staff last September 15, 2017 at the 7 degrees Grill and Restaurant, Legazpi City. 

The said meeting was conducted to create a venue for collaboration and partnership with the regional consortium and DOH V in strengthening the health researches in the region. The BCHRD represented by Director Montealegre shared to the DOH members the new program strategies such as the Bicol HeaRT and B1oSHARE.  He further presented a proposal to the DOH V entitled, " Bicol HeaRT: Bicol Regional Health Research Systems Fund Initiative" wherein BCHRD shall be calling for proposals on health services (based on RUHRA 2017-2022) while the DOH V shall provide funding of the approved proposals. 

As a strategy to encourage regional researchers and stakeholders to support health R & D activities in the region, the DOH Regional Office V provides support for regional research projects through a mechanism called the Bicol HeaRT: Bicol Health Research Training and Development Program. This initiative is recognized as a strategy to encourage and inspire researchers in the region to be actively involved in research projects involving health financing, health service delivery, and DOH programs and projects (operational research projects) while being mentored by research gurus in the field of biostatistics, research methodologies, research ethics, among others. The experience obtained from implementing simple yet relevant health research projects is expected to build up capabilities of individual researchers in designing, implementing and managing health research projects.  Once the researcher has been able to develop a track record, and given the availability of facilities, the researcher will be encouraged to apply for the larger scale research project/program grant initiative also available in DOST-PCHRD (through its Research and Development Management Division), DOST, DOH, CHED, as well as other national and international funding agencies.