PHIRN: Population Health Improvement Research Network

Population Health Interventions Research Program

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Population Health Interventions Research Program

Key Issues

  • How can we most effectively improve the health of Ontarians?
  • How can we mitigate risk among vulnerable populations?
  • What policy levers are most likely to optimize population health improvements and reduce health disparities?
  • What have the population health impacts been of newly introduced policies and programs?
  • What are the priorities?
  • How can we quickly adapt effective policies and programs from other jurisdictions to the Ontario context?

Approaches and areas of investigation

  • Build capacity to perform more and better intervention studies;
  • Use of innovative evaluation methods that include real life evaluation of new and existing programs;
  • Conduct systematic reviews, narrative syntheses, and realist syntheses of programs and policies from elsewhere;
  • Use mixed methods to examine the health impacts complex, multi-pronged interventions, from a variety of policy sectors.

Building Partnerships

  • Organizations that make policy and delivery programs that impact health including many provincial government ministries, municipalities, public health departments, Local Health Integration Networks and Schools;
  • The pan-Canadian inter-agency initiative PHIRIC (Population Health Intervention Research Initiative of Canada) which has a mandate of coordinating national efforts and resources with the aim of increasing the quantity, quality, and use of population health intervention research;
  • The recently awarded CIHR Pan-Canadian Strategic Training program in Population Health Intervention Research with partnerships at the Université de Montréal, Universities of Ottawa, Calgary, Manitoba, Toronto, Dalhousie, and UBC;
  • The recently awarded CIHR Strategic Training Program (ACHIEVE) in interventions for health equity at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health, St. Michael’s Hospital;
  • The new Ontario Agency for Health Promotion and Protection;
  • Universities and colleges across Ontario;
  • Non-governmental health organizations like Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario


Jim DunnJim Dunn holds a Chair in Applied Public Health from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Health Agency of Canada on ‘Interventions in Residential Neighbourhoods and Population Health’. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health, Aging and Society at McMaster University and a Scientist at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health (CRICH) at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto. His research program focuses on the social determinants of health and the influence of economic and social policies on inequalities in health.






Douglas Manuel is a Senior Scientist of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at University of Ottawa, a Scientist at Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and a Senior Medical Advisor for Statistics Canada. He holds a Canadian Institute for Health Research Chair in Applied Public Health. His research interest is the population health impact assessment of health care and the assessment of population health status.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 July 2011 13:15 )