Government of Canada is committed to improving health equity in Canada and around the world

For immediate release - 2011-25
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announcing funding for 11 research programs in health equity (Winnipeg, Manitoba).

Winnipeg (August 30, 2011) – The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced that 11 new research programs will benefit from more than $21 million investment from the Government of Canada.

Speaking today at the University of Manitoba, Aglukkaq announced projects which will help improve what is known as "health equity". Health equity is a term that refers to individuals being able to attain their optimum level of health, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, social class, or other circumstances.

"Our government understands that social and economic factors make some people less healthy than others," said Minister Aglukkaq. "By supporting research that deepens our understanding of these factors, we can work more effectively to create a healthier future for all Canadians, and for many people around the world."

Situations of health inequities are observed between and within countries and solving them requires the collaboration of researchers and knowledge-users from multiple disciplines. Research done in Canada will be useful for a number of researchers in the international community.

Federal funding for the projects will come from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

"CIHR and its partners launched this initiative to address complex health challenges," explained
Dr. Nancy Edwards, Scientific Director of CIHR's Institute of Population and Public Health. "These new comprehensive research programs will help us find new ways to respond to these challenges in Canada and globally."

Today's announcement in Winnipeg highlighted support for a research program led by Dr. Patricia Martens at the University of Manitoba. Her team will study the impact of programs and policies on health and social inequities of Manitoba's children. This research project will be supported by co-investments from CIHR and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

"We know that an individual's social and economic circumstances, among other factors, play a role in the heart health of Canadians," added Debbie Brown, President of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba. "This research will help identify programs and policies that minimize health inequities and have the greatest impact on the health of children, men, and women from all walks of life."

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The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

Backgrounder on funded projects

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Further information:

Cailin Rodgers, Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, 613-957-0200

David Coulombe, Media Relations, CIHR, 613-941-4563