CBPHC Researcher profile: Susan Chatwood

Researcher profiles

Project title

Sharing best practices to improve the health of remote northern communities


Susan Chatwood is the Executive and Scientific Director of the Institute for Circumpolar Health Research in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. She is an Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.


Current evidence demonstrates that there are substantial disparities in the health of people living across the circumpolar countries and regions. As well, the various countries and regions respond to their health challenges with different models of health care delivery for remote communities and indigenous people.


Improving health and health care in Canada's north first requires a reorientation toward circumpolar partnerships, to share best practices and build evidence-based policies. In an effort to build northern research capacity, the Institute for Circumpolar Health Research has created a space for northerners to meet, engage in health research, and create northern solutions in a circumpolar context. The initiative was supported by the federal government's Arctic Research Infrastructure Program, the Tri-Territorial Health Access Fund, and a CIHR team grant.


As a result, the Institute has helped spearhead the development of a set of guidelines on research ethics and policy for the North; a branch office of Statistics Canada's Research Data Center; the Web-based Circumpolar Health Observatory; and a research library on circumpolar health. It is hoped that these developments will lead to shared best practices among circumpolar countries and regions and, most importantly, improved health outcomes for northern people.

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