Healthy People & Health Care Systems

We envision a society and health care system that supports Nova Scotians to remain healthy throughout their lives, and cares for them when they are not.

Nova Scotia’s health care systems work to deliver health care services to people and communities through the Health Authorities. The health and life sciences ecosystem encompasses more than primary care: health research organizations, postsecondary institutions, life sciences companies and associations, child care and aging care all contribute to the health of Nova Scotians. If you have any questions regarding the healthy people and health care systems missions, please contact us.

Mission in Action

Dr. Kyly Whitfield

Dr. Whitfield, an Assistant Professor of Applied Human Nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University, is working on a cross-cultural analysis of breastfeeding in Nova Scotia and Cambodia that goes beyond “breast is best” to focus on the supports required to achieve optimal health in both mama and baby.

“What we overwhelmingly found was that people know breast is best, that public health message is loud and clear. What seems to be missing is the supports to actually allow for breastfeeding to happen.”

How can research help?

Issues facing the Nova Scotia health system are similar to those in other regions of Canada: physician recruitment, particularly to rural regions; access to primary care; an aging population; infrastructure, equipment and facilities renewal; and increased costs for health care research and delivery are some of the challenges impacting a healthier population. Alternate methods to service delivery such as virtual visits could alleviate rural access concerns, while a growing intersection between environmental and life sciences research points to systemic environmental influences on a region’s health. While this mission area focuses strongly on life sciences and clinical research, it also includes other sciences, social sciences and public policy.

Possible Research Areas

  • Aging, particularly aging in place and improving care and quality of life for seniors
  • Infectious diseases, pandemics, epidemiology, immunology and disease modelling
  • Cancers, heart disease, diabetes, brain disease
  • Genetics, biochemistry and microbiology
  • Engineering, design, big data and technology development
  • Healthcare delivery, including technologies, materials and spatial design, policy and systems
  • The role of community, relationships and mental health in wellbeing; this would include poverty, childhood development, and social isolation
  • Fundamental research that improves understanding of the human body

Working Together

Researcher projects are to contribute to healthy people and health care systems for Nova Scotians by generating evidence, outcomes and/or knowledge in support of one of the above four missions. Each mission will include opportunities identified by the researchers and their post-secondary institutions, such as Canada Foundation for Innovation match funding, as well as capacity-building initiatives such as student grants or partnership funding. These opportunities, as well as traditional funding calls, will be reviewed with the mission-oriented lens by Research Nova Scotia. Moving forward, we encourage post-secondary institutions and their researchers to shape their applications early in the process to align with one or more of our total 16 missions.

Have an idea about how we could work together to support Healthy People and Health Care Systems?

Latest news in Healthy People Health Care Systems

Research Nova Scotia grants support new perspectives for a healthier future
The following article was originally posted by Dalhousie News. To kickstart research innovation with the potential to improve health care in the province, Research Nova Scotia (RNS) has awarded close to $1 million …
New study may lead to better health for young people with disabilities
Nearly one in three Nova Scotians 15 years of age and older experience at least one disability, and nearly one in five Nova Scotian children and youth experience functional difficulties …
Research Nova Scotia supports early-career health researchers with $1.22 million in funding
Thirteen early-career health researchers in Nova Scotia have received a New Health Investigator Grant to support work that aligns with the province’s health research priorities.