CBPHC Innovation team: Kue Young

Project title

Transforming primary healthcare in remote northern communities: The circumpolar health system innovation team [CIRCHSIT]

Principal investigators

  • Kue Young (University of Alberta)
  • Michael Jong (Labrador–Grenfell Regional Health Authority)
  • James D Ford (Mcgill University)
  • Josée G Lavoie (University of Manitoba, Centre for Aboriginal Health Research)
  • Arto E Ohinmaa (University of Alberta)
  • Mason White (University of Toronto)


Health care in Canada’s north faces considerable challenges with its remote and widely dispersed population, harsh environmental conditions, and thinly deployed health professionals. Despite per capita expenditures that are among the highest in the world, health outcomes continue to lag behind the rest of Canada, and health disparities between the aboriginal and non-aboriginal population within the north continue to persist. Our circumpolar health system innovation team [CIRCHSIT] builds on substantial prior international research collaboration and responds to recent renewed interest in arctic issues by the federal government and among Canadians. CIRCHSIT is designed to provide research evidence to enable the transformation of CBPHC in remote northern communities in Canada, through the design, implementation, and evaluation of health systems interventions and technology innovations. Our projects encompass needs assessment, policy review, program evaluation, and intervention trials, and at every stage there will be feedback through the decision makers on our team to our partner agencies. Our research program will be conducted in four regions: Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Labrador and Greenland. Additional circumpolar regions will be covered in comparative policy reviews. Overall, the lessons learned from our research program will provide decision makers the evidence and tools to improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction while reducing costs.

Partners, Collaborators and Supporters

  • Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services
  • Nunavut Department of Health
  • Yellowknife Health and Social Services Authority
  • Stanton Territorial Health Authority
  • Labrador-Grenfell Regional Health Authority
  • Government of Greenland Ministry of Health
  • Nunatsiavut Department of Health and Social Development
  • Dene Nation
  • Institute for Circumpolar Health Research
  • Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre
  • Telus Physician Solutions

Funded by the CIHR Signature Initiative in Community-Based Primary Health Care.

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