PHIRN: Population Health Improvement Research Network

Population Health Interventions co-lead Research Initiatives

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jim-dunnJim Dunn Named Harvard Visiting Chair

Dr. Jim Dunn has been named the 2011-2012 William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Chair in Canadian Studies at Harvard University. Jim will join the Harvard faculty from July 2011 to June 2012, teaching courses and chairing the “Canada Seminar”—a Harvard tradition and forum for lively debate featuring Canadian guest speakers on a wide range of issues.


Expanding discussions in the community

Through his Chair in Research on Urban Neighbourhoods, Community Health & Housing (CRUNCH) at McMaster, Dr. Dunn is coordinating the Code Red Rx: Prescription for Healthy Neighbourhoods Speaker Series. The series features insights from both local and international authorities on options to improve health and well-being in Hamilton’s neighbourhoods.

presentation-peopleDr. Dunn kicked off the series on January 25 with a powerful presentation on the potentials and pitfalls of place-based policy for Hamilton; it was a standing room only crowd in the 200-seat Hamilton Spectator auditorium. On March 8, Dr. Neil Bradford of the University of Western Ontario spoke on the potential of urban development agreements to improve the prospects of some of Hamilton’s poorest neighbourhoods. More than 130 people attended.

 Future presentations are planned for May and June.


people-street1Health Canada Execs Tour Toronto’s Regent Park

On January 18, Dr. Dunn and partners at Toronto Community Housing hosted members of the Health Canada Executive Committee for a half-day talk ‘n’ tour of Regent Park, site of an extensive multi-phase community housing redevelopment project. Eight Regional Directors General and Associate Deputy Ministers listened to presentations from Dr. Dunn and others, then braved the chill to see the revitalization first-hand and learn from interactive discussions with project leaders along the tour route.


Workshop Test Drives New Ontario Marginalization Index

The Ontario Marginalization Index, developed by Dr. Jim Dunn and a team of researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto with support from PHIRN, was featured in the April 5, 2011 at an Ontario Public Health Convention pre-conference workshop.


Population Health Research that Touches Communities

PHIRN-supported research is making a difference in Hamilton.

Hamilton’s story is a tale of two cities--one comfortably affluent and the other shockingly poor--that has been compellingly told in an award-winning April 2010 series in the Hamilton Spectator called Code Red: Where You Live Affects Your Health.

Dr. Dunn—with funding from PHIRN—is helping to both expand and focus discussions on the importance of neighbourhood-based approaches to the complex problem of urban poverty, by bringing expert perspectives to the community and encouraging open dialogue with important stakeholders.

The efforts are strengthened by key partnerships with the Hamilton Community Foundation, City of Hamilton and the McMaster-Community Poverty Initiative.


Focusing discussions among stakeholders

Dr. Dunn and community partners are also co-sponsoring a McMaster Health Forum “stakeholder dialogue” titled “Supporting Neighbourhood-Based Approaches to Addressing Poverty Concentration and its Impacts on Health.” The invitation-only dialogue will bring together key leaders in Hamilton’s health, business, and community sectors with policymakers and influential doers and thinkers from outside the community for frank, facilitated discussions about ways to take action on concentrated poverty in the city.

The McMaster Health Forum ( has been internationally recognized for its work to convene stakeholders and prepare action-oriented leaders to meet pressing health issues with creativity and commitment. The Hamilton neighbourhoods stakeholder dialogue will be the first time the McMaster Health Forum has worked in its own backyard.

The big day is May 16, 2011. An issue brief--prepared in advance of the dialogue--a summary of dialogue outcomes and video clips from participants will be posted on the forum website shortly after the event


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 10 May 2011 09:07 )