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In celebration of World Health Day (April 7th), let’s talk about health equity.

We are proud to announce the recipients of The DMRF Black Equity Health Research Grant.

Celebrated internationally, World Health Day was established to draw attention to specific health concerns that affect individuals and populations, globally. The date (April 7th) marks the founding of the World Health Organization in 1948.

This year's World Health Day campaign focuses on the global access to health care along with environmental and sociodemographic factors that affect global health - including pollution, air quality, food supply, accessibility to water, and affordability of health care, along with the countless connected health concerns such as cancer, asthma, heart disease, and malnutrition to name a few.

While basic science remains the crux of health research, DMRF has progressively shifted our funding priorities toward broader health related research over the last five years. Today, we are also focused on the social determinants of health, including access to care, diversity and vulnerable populations, women’s health, mental health, and more.

DMRF is committed to funding health research that is innovative, progressive, and most importantly is pursued to provide research outcomes that benefit all. In honour of 2022 World Health Day, we thought it a perfect time to highlight the recent partnership formed between the Black Atlantic Canadian research leaders, and Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation.

The DMRF Black Equity Health Research Grant is awarded to the Breast Cancer and Communities of African Descent in the Atlantic

In 2021 DMRF created The DMRF Black Equity Health Research Grant . This grant has been awarded to the Breast Cancer and Communities of African Descent in the Atlantic to provide funding that demonstrates the advancement of health research as it relates to fostering and developing knowledge, capacity, and programs that address the health disparities faced by Black people in Atlantic Canada. This grant supplements our effort and commitment to focusing on diversity, equity, community representation, and disrupting racism and colonialism in all its forms, and will lead to improved and more inclusive health care for all.

While Black people make up the 3rd largest racially visible group in Canada, little attention is given to Black women and breast cancer in the Canadian context. Historically, Black women are less likely to undergo genetic testing even when there is a family history of breast cancer; and are less likely to undergo breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomy. Black women and Black people experiencing breast cancer (Black men and trans people) are largely missing from the data, research, and educational supports for breast cancer screening, prevention and treatment, and most supports and initiatives are not tailored to address the unique experiences that Black women face along their cancer journey. However, over the past two years more information has been revealed.

Learning from the Pandemic

COVID-19 has revealed the importance of having specific data on the experiences of people of African descent in health care and with various diseases and illnesses. COVID has demonstrated the need and urgency to identify the unique social and structural determinants of health that serve to negatively impact the health of communities that have been marginalized, and to identify these determinants through an intersectional framework.

The focus of this research will center on the experiences of women of African descent in the Atlantic region; however, this project is unique in that it will also focus on the experiences of the Black community as a whole – Black women and men and Black LGBTQ people to gain the best perspective of the whole societal issue. The research will examine how sex and gender intersect with race, culture, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity, income, disability, age, and other social and structural determinants in relation to breast cancer in Black communities in the Atlantic region.

Meet the Principal Investigators

The Co-Principal investigators are situated in both the faculties of health and medicine at Dalhousie University, and combined have decades of experience working within, and conducting research with communities of African descent across the country, and specifically in the Atlantic region.

Dr Dryder

Dr. OmiSoore H. Dryden is the James R. Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies and has expertise in Black LGBTQI community-based research in Canada; and is the co-lead of Improving the Health Outcomes of People of African descent (HPI Flagship) and interim director of the newly founded Black Studies Research Institute which will focus on Black studies in STEM.

Dr Hamilton Hinch

Dr. Barbara-Ann Hamilton-Hinch, an indigenous African Nova Scotian who is from the historical African Nova Scotian communities of Beechville and Cherrybrook is currently the assistant Vice provost equity and inclusion, co-lead of Improving the Health Outcomes of People of African descent (HPI Flagship) and an expert in the social and structural determinants of health that impact and inform African Nova Scotian population health

Dr Watson Creed

Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed is the Associate Dean of Serving and Engaging Society, a public health specialist physician, and the former Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia.

Collectively, Drs. Dryden, Hamilton-Hinch, and Watson-Creed are founding members of the new national organization, the Black Health Education Collaborative.

Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation is proud to announce this funding opportunity and to continue fostering the discussions and the actions surrounding health equity in Atlantic Canada for all marginalized communities.

click here to learn more about the DMRF funding priorities

click here to learn more about Dr. OmiSoore Dryden 

click here to learn more about Dr. Barbara-Ann Hamilton-Hinch 

click here to learn more about Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed

click here to learn more about World Health Day 2022