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Incorporating Indigenous community expertise into health research

The first Indigenous PhD graduate from Simon Fraser University’s faculty of health sciences has been awarded a grant to research the COVID-19 response within Vancouver’s urban Indigenous population.
By: Heather Marie Connors
August 21, 2020
Photo provided by SFU.

Brittany Bingham of the shíshálh Nation recently completed her PhD in health sciences at SFU. Her PhD research involved drawing on Indigenous culture to formulate approaches to community health.

Bingham has just been awarded a grant from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research to examine patient data and work with community organizations in Vancouver to identify gaps or potential areas of risk, and then make recommendations that will influence policies and procedures moving forward into the fall and winter.

“There are approaches to research where the researchers just examine the data, and then put out the information,” said Bingham. “We're going to get advice from the community experts on what data is important, what should we be looking at and what they need to inform their work with the community.”

Although the project will focus on Vancouver’s urban Indigenous population, the results will be applicable to more remote communities. The key, according to Bingham, is that community expertise is infused in the research, because “...there may be unique context to Indigenous communities that needs to be taken into consideration in a COVID response.”

Source: Bowen Island Undercurrent

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