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$4M funding supports new centre for determinants of health (September 18, 2006)


Antigonish, NS – St Francis Xavier University (StFX) will receive more than $4 million over the next three years from the Public Health Agency of Canada to host the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health.

The health of Canadians varies widely from region to region, and population to population, and is influenced by a number of factors. Determinants like mental health, income levels, employment rates, and risk behaviours such as smoking and lack of physical activity can all have negative effects on health.

The centre is intended to help address the root pressures on Canada’s health care system. The information gathered and tools developed there will allow for better decision making when it comes to developing disease control strategies for such health care issues as cancer and diabetes, and for developing successful health promotion programs.

The centre will build partnerships with governments, academic institutions, international experts, non-government organizations, researchers, and health professionals. Working together in collaboration, these partners will convert research into usable information.

“This is a major step in building collaborative health research and knowledge translation in Atlantic Canada in a way that will benefit all Canadians.” said Dr Sean Riley, president of StFX. “Although the centre will be housed at StFX, it is the result of a long process of collaboration and partnership with other academic and health institutions. The importance of the consortium in making this successful cannot be understated.”

StFX is partnering with Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority, Cape Breton University, Cape Breton District Health Authority, University of New Brunswick (Saint John campus), Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation, the PEI Health Research Institute, the Government of Prince Edward Island (Population Health), the Western Regional Integrated Health Authority (NL), and Grenfell College.

To ensure that the country’s research is shared with international partners, and in turn that Canada can access a global pool of knowledge, the centre will participate in the Canadian Reference Group to the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health.