Driving Transformative Change

Boehringer Ingelheim Invests in the Health of Albertans

Boehringer Ingelheim Canada Ltd. (Boehringer Ingelheim), a family-owned research-driven pharmaceutical company, is committed to improving the lives of Canadians living with Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)—and accompanying comorbidities—with three major investments with the University Hospital Foundation.

Through the power of these partnerships, we can accelerate the delivery of the next medical breakthrough that will transform the lives of countless patients now, and in the future.

Current investments include:

Alberta Boehringer Ingelheim Collaboration (ABIC)

Alberta Boehringer Ingelheim Interstitial Lung Diseases Collaboration (ABILD)

Alberta Boehringer Ingelheim Collaboration for Oxygen Outcomes (ABILD 02)

Discover how our strategic partnership improves care

Partnership Objectives

Alberta Boehringer Ingelheim Collaboration (ABIC) 

In November 2018, a partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim, the University Hospital Foundation and the Government of Alberta was established. The collaborative is a public-private philanthropic partnership created to focus on developing solutions to address treatment gaps in the area of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) care and its associated comorbidities including diabetes, obesity and heart failure.

Primary objectives of the partnership are:

  • Prevention of progression of patients with COPD
  • Management of COPD related comorbidities including diabetes and heart failure, and keeping patients in their communities
  • Improve COPD for patients within Alberta’s vulnerable populations and design innovations to address these challenges

Alberta Boehringer Ingelheim Interstitial Lung Diseases Collaboration (ABILD)

On September 2020, World Lung Day, the University Hospital Foundation and Boehringer Ingelheim announced another investment into progressive fibrosing interstitial lung disease (PF-ILD).

Interstitial lung diseases encompass more than 200 disorders that can lead to irreversible scarring of lung tissue, negatively impacting lung function. ABILD aims to advance health innovation projects to gain a better understanding of care gaps in diagnosis, patient care, and access to treatment for Albertans living with PF-ILD.

Alberta Boehringer Ingelheim Collaboration for Oxygen Outcomes (ABILD 02)
On September 30, 2021, the University Hospital Foundation and Boehringer Ingelheim announced a third investment partnership. The goal of this partnership is aimed at advancing health innovation projects to gain a better understanding of oxygen need for ILD patients in Alberta and improve access to oxygen.


There are more than 200 different interstitial lung diseases (ILD)


An estimated 30,000 Canadians are living with Pulmonary Fibrosis


Boehringer Ingelheim has 100 years of heritage in treating respiratory disease

ABIC Research Competition Winners

ABIC, in partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim, the University Hospital Foundation, and Government of Alberta Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, is pleased to invite proposals from Alberta-based investigators or teams of investigators for funding to address the management of COPD related co-morbidities (specifically diabetes and heart failure) and keeping patients in their communities.

The 2021 ABIC Research Competition is now closed.

Dr. Michael K. Stickland
Project Title: Breathe Easy Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary ambulatory intervention that includes assessment, exercise training, self-management education, and psychosocial support. The project will provide pulmonary rehabilitation program resources to patients/families and health care professionals in order to improve shortness of breath, exercise tolerance and quality of life in patients with COPD, with the potential of reducing the consequent increase in acute care demand for this population.

This project has been completed and findings are being analyzed.

Etruw In-Press

Huynh Chest 2023


Dr. Heather Sharpe
Project Title: Identifying Early COPD Using Health Administrative Data

This innovative project will use machine learning to identify trends in health care that will eventually lead to earlier diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Machine learning gives doctors critical insights from mountains of data and the partners are grateful for AltaML’s AltaML’s — a leading North American applied AI company — investment into the project. This has the potential to improve quality of life for patients living with COPD and delay the need for prolonged hospitalizations and frequent emergency department visits.

This project has been completed and a final report is due summer 2022.

Dr. Doug Klein
Project Title: Utilizing Canadian Digital Technology to Prevent and Manage Diabetes, Obesity, and Heart Disease in Patients Living with Congestive Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

This project seeks to evaluate the clinical impact of integrating the CHANGE (Canadian Health Advanced by Nutrition and Graded Exercise) program (in partnership with My Viva Plan®) on reducing or reversing Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) for individuals living with COPD. Alongside providing care for this patient population, a clinical care journey will be developed to digitally support patients.

Dr. Michelle Grinman
Project Title: Aiding COPD and CHF Ultrasound-guided Management through Enhanced Point-of-Care UltraSound (ACCUMEN-POCUS)

The objective of this project is multifold, including: the validation of PRESUNA, new software solution, that provides a longitudinal visual record of POCUS assessments and clinical alerts to support clinical decision making for the management of patients with COPD and congestive heart failure (CHF) in Alberta; the performance of a randomized control trial to study the impact of POCUS and PRESUNA-enhanced care on hospital-at-home for patients with COPD and CHF; and laying the foundation for the development of Artificial Intelligence models within PRESUNA to detect findings on imaging, leading to quality assurance for novel POCUS users.

Dr. Michael Stickland
Project Title: Enhanced Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Individuals Living with COPD and Comorbidities

Through identifying the core elements and outcome measures of best practice pulmonary, cardiac, diabetes, liver and renal rehabilitation and community management programs, this project hopes to improve the rehabilitation and disease management experience for healthcare providers and patients.

Donna Matier
Project Title: Improving Emergency Medical Capability in Metis Settlements of Alberta

In collaboration with the Alberta Health Services’ Indigenous Wellness Core.

The Alberta Boehringer Ingelheim Collaborative (ABIC) Pillar 3 project aims to improve primary care and associated health outcomes in Alberta’s Indigenous populations. This project is part of the overall Metis Settlements Primary Care Initiative in the Metis Settlements. In partnership with the Metis Settlements Health Board, the project is led by Alberta Health Services (AHS) North Zone Operations with support from the AHS Indigenous Wellness Core, Innovation Evidence Evaluation & Impact, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and Indigenous Talent Acquisition teams. The program strives for health equity by improving emergency medical capability through the provision of certified training programs at no cost to Metis Settlements in Alberta (members of Buffalo Lake, East, Prairie, Elizabeth, Fishing Lake, Gift Lake, Kikino, Paddle Prairie and Peavine). 

ABILD Projects

Dr. Kerri Johannson & Dr. Meena Kalluri
Project Title: Improving the Interstitial Lung Disease Patient Journey in Alberta: Addressing Access and Optimizing Care

ILD can be difficult to identify and accurately diagnose, yet early diagnosis and treatment is required to improve patient care outcomes. The aim of this project is to gain an understanding of the diagnostic pathway in Alberta and to identify barriers to early ILD diagnosis. This kind of knowledge is foundational to developing a care pathway for ILD and improving ILD care in Alberta.

Dr. Michael Stickland
Project title: Understanding the Needs and Impact of Oxygen Therapy for Individuals with Interstitial Lung Disease

Pan-provincial in scope, this project aims to understand the patient population with ILD that uses oxygen therapy in Alberta, identify facilitators and barriers to oxygen therapy use for the management of ILD and examine the impact of oxygen therapy for individuals with ILD and exertional hypoxemia.

Through strategic partnerships, we accelerate health innovation projects.

Dr. Jodi L. Abbott, President & CEO

Our Partners