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NCC Unveils Health Needs Assessment

For Immediate Release – December 12, 2012

NunatuKavut Launches Extensive Community Health Needs Assessment

Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL – The NunatuKavut Community Council (‘NCC’) is unveiling the NunatuKavut Community Health Needs Assessment (‘NCHNA’). The assessment provides a comprehensive and thorough review of the health of NunatuKavut residents on the south coast of Labrador. It identifies factors that influence health, determines gaps in health-related services and the appropriate ways to address them.

The assessment is the result of years of research, commitment, collaboration and community involvement. NCC, the Labrador-Grenfell Health Authority, Government, community members, non-profit organizations, Dalhousie University and Memorial University of Newfoundland teamed up for this extraordinary undertaking.

“Our hope from the outset of this project was to help inform Labrador-Grenfell Regional Health Authority how it can adapt its services to better meet the needs of our people. In order to start this process we needed to identify what some of our health needs included,” says NCC Health & Social Sector Manager, Darlene Wall. “This collaborative approach with community and academia has given us vital baseline data and recommendations that give greater insight into our people’s health status.”

It is the first time that NCC has worked with universities to conduct health research within their lands. MUN and Dalhousie universities did not hesitate to sign on for the extensive research.

“The NunatuKavut Community Health Needs Assessment provided a great opportunity to engage the community in research.” said James Valcour, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the MUN Faculty of Medicine. “We had members and leaders of the community involved in every aspect of the research. I really believe it was because of that involvement that we were able to achieve such a well-rounded picture of the health needs, and why this assessment was such a success.”

The research began in 2009. NCC Community Health Worker & NCHNA Project Co-ordinator, Melita Paul, was part of the research team. “I am very proud of this project and it was a great learning experience for me!” Paul continues, “It has sparked my interest in research and I have seen that we can do great research as an Aboriginal group.”

NCC President, Todd Russell commends NCC and all the partners for undertaking such an important project. “I hope that the valuable work that has been done on this assessment will help bring about some positive changes in the health of our members, as well as the health-related services offered on the south coast of Labrador.”

The next phase of the project will be striking up a steering committee to implement the assessment’s recommendations. Along with the findings, the NCHNA contains background information to understand the communities and their challenges, as well as recommendations to help shape the model for health care in the future. The NCHNA is a deliverable from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Aboriginal Health Transition Fund Project, through the Adaptation funding envelope.

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Media Contact:
Tara McLean
Executive Assistant to the President
NunatuKavut Community Council
(709) 896-0592 ext. 225
(709) 899-2831 (cell)
[email protected]

NT5