MICRORESEARCH, 5850 UNIVERSITY AVENUE, HALIFAX, NS, B3K 6R8, CANADA MICRORESEARCHNS@DAL.CA
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Nova Scotia has one of the highest rates of poor health behaviors and poor health of any province. Our provincial finances are strained by devoting close to half our budget to health care. With an aging population the challenges will become even bigger. There is widespread agreement that improvements in the health of Nova Scotians will require changes that go beyond the health care system. We need innovative solutions that are developed and implemented with sensitivity to local community circumstances and are driven by the best research evidence.
African countries have even more daunting health problems. Since 2008 MicroResearch has used an approach that parallels some microfinance principles to train local health care professionals to find sustainable solutions to local health problems using community focused research developed through three stages:
• Research training workshops
• Coaching to prepare proposals
• Funding and translating projects
MicroResearch ensures the small community focused research projects have a real impact on health. Training research skills across the entire health-care provider spectrum also unleashes a local culture of inquiry to identify and solve new problems. MicroResearch in Africa was founded by two Nova Scotia physicians, Noni MacDonald and Robert Bortolussi.
MicroResearch strategies fit well with the NSHA and the IWK strategic priorities including population health, improving the experience of care, using resources wisely and engaging the health workforce.
MicroResearch is being introduced in Nova Scotia to position our health authorities at the forefront of using evidence based methods, involving the community and moving forward the well-being of Nova Scotia. We will foster links to existing/appropriate provincial and local resources and supports (e.g. NS Dept Health and Wellness, Community Heath Boards, Zone Administration, Primary Care, Public Health, Hospital Foundations). The program will start in the Northern Zone with Ryan Sommers as the local lead. The plan is to have 2 cohorts of MicroResearch in each of the 4 zones over the next 2-3 years.
MICRORESEARCH IN NOVA SCOTIA
1. Teaches basic community focused research skills to
professionals and community members.
2. Engages local communities and members of the health
authority in developing methods to improve the health
of their communities using context appropriate strategies.
3. Develops champions for health improvement in
communities across Nova Scotia.
4. Develops leadership inside and outside the health system
for programs of change.