Loyalist College secures $2.1M grant to pursue health equity research

Photo via Loyalist College

The federal government’s recent announcement of a substantial $2,108,000 Mobilize grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has positioned Loyalist College at the forefront of pioneering research in health equity. The grant, spanning five years, is earmarked for the establishment of the Centre for Healthy Communities (CFHC), a novel applied research hub aimed at addressing critical challenges in healthcare, social services, and community welfare.

Mark Kirkpatrick, President and CEO of Loyalist College, emphasized the transformative nature of the CFHC, stating, “The CFHC is much more than a conventional research centre—it’s a dynamic, interdisciplinary entity that will adapt and evolve with the communities it serves.”

Kirkpatrick further outlined the centre’s alignment with the institution’s values and commitment to integrating the UN Sustainable Development Goals into its operations. He highlighted the CFHC’s role in mitigating poverty, promoting collective health and well-being, facilitating quality education, and confronting socioeconomic and health inequalities that significantly impact regional prosperity and unity.

The Centre for Healthy Communities, labelled as a “centre without walls,” will serve as a nexus, linking non-profit organizations, community services, and government agencies with the expertise and capabilities of Loyalist College researchers, faculty, and students. The CFHC’s primary focus lies in supporting community-based research initiatives, leveraging its embedded presence within localities to address the intricate interplay between health and social determinants. This approach seamlessly aligns with Loyalist’s overarching vision to champion sustainability across ecological, human, and economic facets through applied research.

Moreover, the CFHC is envisioned to provide a fertile ground for Loyalist College students to acquire hands-on experiences, collaborating with potential employers and effecting tangible change while honing their skills.

Jeremy Laurin, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Transformation, shed light on the pressing challenges faced by local community entities, citing inequities, workforce shortages, and systemic gaps in healthcare. He underscored the vital role of Loyalist’s CFHC in bridging this gap, emphasizing its capacity to offer expertise, state-of-the-art equipment, funding, and talent to instigate substantial and meaningful transformations.

For more information on Loyalist College’s strides in applied research, visit their website.

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