The Canadian Health Adaptations, Innovations, & Mobilization (CHAIM) Centre brings to the forefront the need to adapt the evidence and discourse regarding human health to meet the unique political, social and environmental conditions that exist in Canada.

In many cases health research findings regarding the causes, prevention, and treatment strategies associated with disease and illnesses generalize across populations. In some instances, however, public and population health is better served by interventions framed by an understanding of the political, cultural, social, and environmental context, along with the Canadian health legislation, policies, regulations, and health funding structures.

Canada’s social demographic is changing, with Indigenous peoples and immigrants being the fastest growing populations. Canada’s socio-cultural context means that particular populations are differentially treated within the health care system, and their issues are differentially attended to.

The World Health Organization has indicated that climate change is the biggest public health issue facing the world today. Canada’s unique geography affects the environmental conditions in which we live and the resources available to support healthy living. The vast breadth of Canada results in important differences in exposure to environmental contaminants from soil, land and water and housing quality, along with variations in viable solutions. In addition, the availability of affordable nutritious food varies greatly. In some parts of Canada, environmental conditions are changing with shifts in climate and development activities (resource extraction).

Taken together, the distinctive Canadian context points to a need for research to evaluate the applicability of health research, knowledge, technologies, and strategies, and to create innovative and equitable approaches that adapt to the needs of all Canadians.

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