Queen’s participates in international collaboration to improve Indigenous health


Queen’s is taking part in a new major international initiative aimed at improving chronic disease care for Indigenous patients.

Michael Green of the Department of Family Medicine is one of the researchers who will investigate similarities among the health issues of Indigenous peoples in Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Diabetes and its prevalence in Indigenous communities is one disease that will be studied to help improve health in aboriginal populations.“We know that Indigenous peoples in all three countries experience a greater burden of chronic diseases such as diabetes than their non-Indigenous counterparts. We think that this may be due in part to issues of limited access to high quality care,” says Dr. Green. “This project will address gaps in our understanding of how differences in health professionals’ clinical decision-making, communication and engagement with patients and families might impact health outcomes for Indigenous patients.”

The project is supported by the International Collaborative Indigenous Health Research Program. The program was developed and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Health Research Council of New Zealand, and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.

CIHR is providing $1.25 million to support the Canadian contributions to this project.

“I am very pleased that researchers at four Canadian universities have partnered with their Australian and New Zealand colleagues to tackle the question of clinician education in such a broad way, and with such a strong emphasis on culturally sensitive engagement,” said Dr. Malcolm King, Scientific Director of CIHR’s Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health (IAPH).

The other Canadian researchers include Lindsay Crowshoe (University of Calgary), Betty Calam, Leah Walker, and Kendall Ho (University of British Columbia), and Kristen Jacklin (Northern Ontario School of Medicine).

The international aspects of the project will be led by the University of Auckland and the University of Western Australia. Each country will explore a different aspect of medical education. The teams will meet regularly over the next five years to share their expertise and compare findings.

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