Geographers awarded $2.3 million for health studies


Susan Elliott, an associate geography professor and associate director of the School of Geography & Geology, will lead a research study, on “Dissemination Research: Learnings from the Canadian Heart Health

Health Canada, under the National Health Research and Development Program, has awarded $1,812,600 over four years for the study.
Cardiovascular disease is the principal cause of death and disease in
Canada. Community-based heart health promotion is viewed as an effective means of reducing cardiovascular disease risk. Public health agencies play a central role in the implementation and dissemination of heart health promotion programs.

The primary purpose of this research is the investigation of nine provincial projects related to the dissemination of community-based heart health promotion activities in order to determine the nature of the relationships between dissemination and organizational capacity building.

John Eyles, a geography professor and director of the McMaster
Institute of Environment and Health, will be a co-investigator. They will be joined by Jennifer O'Loughlin, McGill University, Roy Cameron, University of Waterloo, and Dexter Harvey, University of Manitoba.

Eyles was also recently awarded $565,000 over three years from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for a study, titled “Deconstructing the Determinants of Health at the Local Level.”

The objective of the multi-disciplinary project is to enhance understanding of the determinants of health, such as income, social support, and environmental exposure, in the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth in policy-informed and relevant ways.
Currently, the health of populations is a concern of every jurisdiction in Canada.

Federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments are interested in enacting policy, based on strong scientific evidence, that will enhance the health and well-being of their citizens.
Yet little is known about the conditions that affect the health status of local populations.

The project team includes 12 University researchers from seven disciplines and 11 community partners from health, First Nations, planning, social sciences and technology agencies.