SIIReN - System Integration & Innovation Research Network

Primary Health Care System


TransFORmation of IndiGEnous PrimAry HEAlthcare Delivery: Community-driven Innovations and Scale-up Toolkits
Principal Investigator: Dr. Stewart Harris
CoIs: Barre, Ed; Bhattacharyya, Onil; Collins, Kayla; Dannenbaum, David; Dawson, Deidre; Dyck, Roland; Hanley, Anthony; Lavallee, Barry; Macauley, Ann; Tobe, Sheldon; Toth, Ellen; Yeates, Karen ; Zwarenstein, Merrick.

Given the dramatic rise and impact of chronic disease and related complications in Indigenous communities in Canada, it is necessary to shift the existing healthcare model common to most of these communities from an acute and episodic care focus to one that integrates prevention and management with an emphasis on chronic disease care. Funding was granted to support the formation of a national interdisciplinary research team consisting of First Nation communities and academic investigators and policy/decision makers with expertise in First Nations health, health services research, and diabetes management to develop a program of research addressing this challenge for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Team Grant in Community-Based Primary Healthcare.

A series of teleconferences facilitated the building of partnerships within a framework of mutual trust and cooperation that fosters the participatory nature of the initiative by enabling community feedback and shared decision-making from the initial stages of the study design. Fifteen communities expressed interest in joining with 20 investigators, 7 policy and knowledge users, and 6 collaborators to form a team. Together, team members established objectives for the program of research, a series of projects to meet the objectives all with outcomes that aligned with the CIHR call for proposals. The Letter of Intent, submitted in May 2012, was approved to proceed to a full proposal due in October.

Key Messages:

  • There is a large chronic disease burden in Indigenous communities
  • There is a need to shift the healthcare model in Indigenous communities from acute care to integrate chronic care
  • Indigenous communities are aware of this need and are willing to participate in the development of innovative healthcare models
  • Team members were satisfied with the teleconference format supported by previously circulated agendas, inclusive meeting discussions and meeting summaries
  • It is feasible, with commitment of all team members, for a large team to develop a successful grant proposal

For further information, please contact:
Dr. Stewart Harris
Centre for Studies in Family Medicine
245-100 Collip Circle, London
Western University



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