Integrating Health Living for New Canadians/CHANGE McDougall Family Program

Emerging Leaders in Health Promotion grant program

Dr. Finola Hackett (R) learned that collaborating with a community, with individuals and families directly, is a very rewarding approach to health promotion.

Health promotion: One family, one community, at a time

With her 2017-18, multi-partner/collaborator Emerging Leaders in Health Promotion project (“Integrating Healthy Living for New Canadians/CHANGE McDougall Family Program”), Dr. Finola Hackett learned that “collaborating with a community, with individuals and families directly, is a very rewarding approach to health promotion: it need not be grandiose, on a society-wide scale, but rather can be incremental, in the forging of joyful and warm relationships …”

Building on the foundation of the successful concept of CHANGE Adventure Camp (CHANGE Health Alberta), which “builds life skills in families through meal preparation, physical activity and connecting with nature,” Dr. Hackett wanted to provide a program “to meet the healthy living needs of inner city, low-income, new immigrant families,” specifically in the Central McDougall area of Edmonton’s inner city.

“Newcomers to Canada face the competing concerns of feeding their families with nutritious meals, learning English to improve educational and working opportunities, and staying healthy and active with physical activity and leisure time,” she explains. That’s a lot of needs and often-competing goals for families, many with both parents employed outside the home, in multiple jobs and/or evening shifts.

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