$2.6M boost Indigenous health research

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(From left to right): Mr. Chirfi Guindo, President and Managing Director, Merck Canada Inc.; Ms. Jennifer Chan, Vice-President, Policy and Communications, Merck Canada Inc.; Ms. Sara Wolfe, Partner, Seventh Generation Midwives Toronto and Community Research Associate, Well Living House Action Research Centre for Indigenous Infant, Child and Family Health and Wellbeing, St. Michael’s Hospital; Dr. Suzanne Stewart, Director, Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health; Ms. Theresa Burning, Tenant Relations Worker, Nishwabe Homes Inc.; Dr. Janet Smylie, Associate Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Director, Well Living House Action Research Centre for Indigenous Infant, Child and Family Health and Wellbeing and Research Scientist, Centre for Urban Health Solutions, St. Michael's Hospital; Dr. Howard Hu, Dean, Dalla Lana School of Public Health; Summer Faith Garcia, Indigenous mother; and Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet, Executive Director, Merck for Mothers. (CNW Group/Merck Canada Inc.)

An Indigenous-led, community-hospital-university-private sector partnership to enhance Indigenous maternal and child health will address some of the underlying causes of health inequity through an innovative new action-research project.

The “Kind Faces Sharing Places” project aims to address some of the social determinants of health and break the multi-generational impacts of family disruption in Toronto. The project is supported by $2.6 million in funding from Merck Canada Inc. provided in part through Merck for Mothers, a 10-year, US $500-million initiative of Merck & Co., Inc. to help create a world where no woman dies giving life.

“We must break the unacceptable cycle of Indigenous family disruption using Indigenous values and practice to deliver family and community-centred, culturally-appropriate care to Indigenous families,” said Dr. Janet Smylie, director of the Well Living House Action Research Centre for Indigenous Infant, Child and Family Health and Wellbeing at St. Michael’s Hospital.

The team research will draw on the success of the Australian Stronger Families Program, which supports Indigenous families in Brisbane to keep children safely at home and cope with challenges.

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