Centre Initiatives

The Centre leads many innovative projects under the umbrella of healthy communities.

Four of our current initiatives are:

Public Health Response to COVID-19: Addressing Financial Strain-related Health Impacts of the Pandemic 

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating effect that goes beyond the direct impact of the disease. Many people are facing unprecedented levels of financial strain related to economic market collapse, loss of livelihoods, social isolation, illness, and increased caring duties. Financial strain is the feeling of being unable to make ends meet. It occurs when people cannot pay their bills, feel worried about money, and experience negative impacts on their quality of life and health. Financial strain also impacts families.

The Centre for Healthy Communities (CHC) and our research partner Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (CHETRE) were awarded a Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) operating grant for rapid research in response to COVID-19. Our team will develop a public health framework on financial strain, as well as an indicator tool-kit relevant to diverse settings and groups. Our findings could also help address financial strain during other public health emergencies.

Our work will build off of previous partnered work on financial strain (see the CHC partnered project Reducing the Impacts of Financial Strain). The current project will occur in Canada and Australia.

Dr. Candace Nykiforuk (Co-Principal Investigator), CHC
Dr. Evelyne de Leeuw (Co-Principal Investigator), CHETRE
Dr. Lisa Allen-Scott (Co-Investigator), AHS (CHC partnered project Reducing the Impacts of Financial Strain)
Dr. Patrick Harris (Co-Investigator), CHETRE
Dr. Elaine Hyshka (Co-Investigator), CHC
Dr. Stephanie Montesanti (Co-Investigator), CHC
Dr. Roman Pabayo (Co-Investigator), CHC
Dr. Jane Springett (Co-Investigator), CHC 

Centre for Healthy Communities Innovation Forum - 2019

On November 4, 2019, we connected with citizens, practitioners, industry professionals, Indigenous organizations, and researchers from across Alberta to discuss how we can tangibly support Alberta's communities to reach their healthiest possible future. Throughout the day we had an opportunity to explore ideas, challenges, and questions from the group. The community-centered conversations sparked discussion and collaboration and it was a wonderful chance to come together to practice the future as a sustainable and healthy community.

See the report

Healthy Edmonton Metropolitan Region 'Living Lab'

The Centre for Healthy Communities is home to the Healthy Edmonton Metropolitan Region Living Lab, a collaboration of researchers, municipalities and other regional and provincial partners. We systematically study how municipal initiatives impact health and health equity.

The Living Lab will enhance the region's capacity to better understand the health, social connectivity, quality of life, economic and environmental/sustainability impacts of community design, citizen services and program supports, transportation and smart city initiatives undertaken by the region's municipalities.

The Living Lab will generate valuable implementation and outcome evidence about these factors that will inform healthy city building in the region and beyond.

Measuring Universal Accessibility in Urban Environments Project

The Centre for Healthy Communities is currently conducting a community-based participatory research project on measuring accessibility in urban environments. In collaboration with our partners, the City of Edmonton and the Accessibility Advisory Committee, our aim is to better understand how accessibility can impact the health and well-being of residents living within an urban context.

We also focus on the connection to Healthy Cities and Universal Design principles and the broader implications for health equity.

See the infographic