The Evolution of Integrated Chronic Disease Prevention in Alberta, Canada
Published Date:Jun 15 2006
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 2006; 3(3).
Recognition of the common risk factors for leading chronic diseases in Canada has contributed to the development of integrated chronic disease prevention and health promotion approaches. The Alberta Heart Health Project studied the capacity of health organizations in Alberta, Canada, to engage in heart health promotion. This article describes how the Alberta Heart Health Project acted on emerging research findings describing the preliminary stages of integrated chronic disease prevention in Alberta to provide leadership to encourage provincial chronic disease prevention efforts.
Political support for integrated chronic disease prevention was evident at the provincial and federal levels in Canada. As a result of organizational restructuring, loss of key health promotion champions, and decreased funding allocations, Alberta's regional health authorities sought increased efficiency in their chronic disease prevention efforts.
Descriptive data were derived from a brief questionnaire on regional health authorities' chronic disease prevention priorities and activities, an inventory of regional health authority health promotion programs and services, content analysis of key regional health authority documents, and focus groups with regional health authority staff, management, and policymakers.
In 2002, the Alberta Heart Health Project data revealed that many regional health authorities were beginning to engage in integrated chronic disease prevention. However, little collaboration occurred across the health organizations; provincial leadership to facilitate collaboration and networking for integrated chronic disease prevention was needed..
Results supported the growing momentum for provincial leadership to enhance collaboration for integrated chronic disease prevention, which contributed to the development of the Alberta Healthy Living Network. The government's assistance is also needed to support the intersectoral collaborations essential for integrated chronic disease prevention.
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