The Research Exchange Group on Rural Health facilitates networking amongst researchers, graduate students, and policy makers who are interested in this particular area of applied health research. The group meets monthly to exchange information and ideas about research projects and proposals, potential sources of funding, and opportunities for training and knowledge exchange. Although they are based in Newfoundland and Labrador, they welcome participants with an interest in #RuralMed from across Canada and globally.
Research Exchange Groups on Rural Health/ Indigenous Health
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 7:00pm NST
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COVID-19 Research in Tlicho Region
with Katherine Fleury and Tyanna Steinwand
The quick onset of COVID-19 left countries and communities in need of emergency management procedures. Health policies and programs were implemented quickly and continuously updated as we learned more about the disease. However, to best serve a population, decision-makers must evaluate implemented health policies to recognize potential impacts on community members. This is especially true in northern and Indigenous communities where health systems have unique features to which they must adapt, including experiences relating to remote geographies, Indigenous values, and health equity. Beneficial policy recommendations can be developed in the future by engaging in conversation with those affected by adaptations to health services. The Tlicho community of Behchoko in the NWT was identified through research partnership as a community where a qualitative case study to understand these effects could be conducted safely. This project involved in-depth, semi-structured interviews with Elders, community members, and local Tlicho policy and service delivery staff. Audio-recorded interviews were transcribed and analyzed to understand the scope of public engagement related to pandemic response, the perception of public health policies and how they were implemented, and how to improve policy and programs in the future. Primary content analysis revealed three themes, including:
1. A discrepancy between policy and Tlicho way of life.
2. Uncertainty in the uptake of public health recommendations.
3. The strength and resiliency of community connection.
Current policy development has utilized a top-down approach, with implementation being altered to ensure cultural relevancy. Moving forward, we must ensure that traditions are built into health policy.
About our presenters:
Katherine Fleury is a proud member of the Manitoba Metis Federation. She earned her B.Sc (Hons). in biology at Mount Allison University and is now completing her M.Sc in Public Health Policy at the University of Alberta. Her research focuses on understanding health policy and program changes that have occurred in Canada’s North in response to COVID-19. With a concentration in the Tlicho region, Katherine is working to understand community perspectives of COVID-19 and the impacts changes to health services have had on community members.
Tyanna Steinwand is the Manager of Research Operations, Behchoko NT, Tlicho Government. Tyanna coordinates research and language programs and projects for the Tlicho Government.
ROCHELLE BAKER | MANAGER, COMMUNICATIONS, PARTNERSHIPS & RESEARCH EXCHANGE
Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research
Putting Research in Place for Newfoundland & Labrador
Faculty of Medicine
Memorial University of Newfoundland
T 709 777 8990 | Rochelle.Baker@med.mun.ca