Dr. Sara Kirk

Collaboration Means Big Changes for Nova Scotian Schools

Changing the Trajectory of Youth Health in Nova Scotia

Over the upcoming year, with the support of DMRF, the Public Health Agency of Canada is set to commit up to $5 million in matched funding for the Recipe for Health and Learning project (R4HL), aimed at addressing poor youth health in Nova Scotia.

With rising rates among Nova Scotia’s youth of conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, joint problems, depression and anxiety, the R4HL project represents a large-scale educational and systematic effort to improve youth health through effecting change in school policies, families and communities.

Bringing together students, regional education centres, parents and key stakeholders from across the province, including the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD), the Nova Scotia Health Authority, the Department of Health and Wellness (DHW), and a fundraising consortium consisting of the IWK Health Centre, Dalhousie University and DMRF, the R4HL project has the power to transform youth health in Nova Scotia.

Thanks to the combined efforts of the fundraising consortium, the R4HL project has now become a reality. With DMRF donors contributing $650,000 in private funding since the fall of 2017, and with the Public Health Agency of Canada’s commitment to matching funds, the R4HL project now has a working budget of $1.3 million, and will aim to launch in schools this coming September.

With an overall fundraising goal of $10 million over the next five years — a responsibility shared between private investors and the Public Health Agency of Canada — DMRF will continue to play an integral role in raising capital for this critical project. We thank you for your tremendous support thus far, and look forward to continuing to build a healthier future for youth across Nova Scotia.

“Our goal is to change the trajectory of health in this province, to promote better learning in school, reduce chronic disease and allow our youth to reach their full potential as healthy, productive members of society.”

- Dr. Sara Kirk, R4HL project co-lead; Scientific Director, Healthy Populations Institute, Dalhousie University