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Source: University of Regina

Health studies program goes to the community

November 6, 2006

Release: November 6, 2006 Contact: Stephen King, External Relations E-mail: Phone: (306) 585.5439 Mobile: (306) 536.4312 Fax: (306) 585.4997

Health studies program goes to the community The University of Regina and First Nations University of Canada are launching an extensive consultation of health agencies and stakeholders to connect health studies students with knowledge and expertise in the health community.

Health Canada is contributing $137,000 over three years toward developing curriculum for five new courses in the recently launched Bachelor of Health Studies program, including one course in Indigenous health studies. The funding will be used to hire a new faculty member to develop the five new courses in the undergraduate program, including leading a consultation with members of the health community to ensure students benefit from the most up-to-date health information and expertise available.

The five new courses are: • Understanding Health and Illness; • Health in Canada; • Health Issues; • Health Studies Inquiry; and, • Community-based Indigenous Health Research Methods.

A curriculum review of four existing Indigenous health studies courses will also be undertaken.

"University of Regina graduates of health studies will be the health leaders of tomorrow," said University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor Robert Hawkins. "Their decisions will better prepare society to plan and respond to new and emerging needs in health care. This consultation will ensure students benefit from the most current health knowledge and expertise available in communities across Saskatchewan, including Aboriginal communities, and from stakeholders outside the province."

The consultation will include health professionals in government, Aboriginal communities, community organizations, and regional health authorities, among others.

First Nations University of Canada President Charles Pratt says the program’s collaborative approach will be key to addressing the diverse and complex health care needs of Aboriginal people.

"By way of scientific leadership and community partnership, the community-based approach will facilitate and sustain greater capacities in the health sector. The program will assist students in developing problem solving skills so they can begin to find solutions to the many diverse and complex health issues in our various communities," Pratt said.

"The Bachelor of Health Studies program, with its innovative concentration on Aboriginal health needs, will ultimately result in better health for First Nations and other Aboriginal people," said Health Minister Tony Clement. "This is a priority for the Government of Canada, and I am pleased that the funding we are providing under the Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative will support this goal."

The BHS program is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Regina, and the First Nations University of Canada. The program prepares students to look beyond the medical system to understand and address the complex health issues facing the country from a broad social, economic and cultural perspective. A unique feature of the program is its emphasis on understanding Indigenous health needs. Over the four-year program, students take five required Indigenous health courses of their total 35 courses; in addition, students may choose an optional four-course concentration in Indigenous health. The program includes one semester of fieldwork.

The first 17 students in the undergraduate degree program started classes in fall of 2006. Students gain a solid foundation for careers in health-related professions, health policy or analysis, advanced research on health issues, or further education in health fields such as nursing, social work and medicine.




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