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LU researcher receives $2 million for Aboriginal kids’ health study

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University researcher Nancy Young has received a $2 million Health System Research Fund (HSRF) grant for Health Promotion from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

reprinted from sudbury.com

University researcher Nancy Young has received a $2 million Health System Research Fund (HSRF) grant for Health Promotion from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

This grant is in support of Young’s project Evaluation to Action: Integrating the Voices of Aboriginal Children (ETA), which examines a tailored evaluation model in partnership with eight Aboriginal communities.

Young is Laurentian’s Research Chair in Rural and Northern Children’s Health.

Roughly 40 per cent of the Canadian Aboriginal population is made up of children and youth.

Many of these children — particularly those living on reserves and in remote communities — face health-care inequities when compared to others their age living in more accessible locations.

Part of this is due to a lack of information — in many places, there is a lack of sufficient evidence with which to guide community policies and health services.

The Evaluation to Action project is meant to improve this situation, gathering information that can be used to support future action.

Co-leading the project is Mary Jo Wabano, Health Services Director for Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory.

Together, Young and Wabano will lead a team of child health researchers and Aboriginal health leaders in profiling the health of children in the eight communities and learning how this information effects decision-making.

“I’m extremely grateful to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for this grant,” Young said.

“This research is very important for children living in remote communities where health services are locally planned and delivered. We hope that strengthening the capacity to generate information locally will improve children’s health in these communities.”

The project will also evaluate the effectiveness of the Holistic Arts-based mindfulness program, and the Right to Play program Promoting Life-skills in Aboriginal Youth (PLAY). These programs promote physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. If effective, the ETA model will later be rolled out for use across the province.

“We congratulate Dr. Young’s research achievement and commend her dedication and commitment to improving the lives of children in underserved regions,” said Dr. Rui Wang, Vice President of Research at Laurentian University.

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