Building on the Healthy Foundations of Life

July, 2018

CIHR Institute presents new directions and activities supporting maternal, reproductive, child and youth health

Dr. Shoo Lee, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Human Development Child, and Youth Health (CIHR-IHDCYH) today announced the release of his Institute’s Refreshed Strategic Plan for 2018 to 2020.

As one of CIHR’s 13 Institutes, CIHR-IHDCYH supports research that ensures the best start in life for all Canadians and the achievement of their potential for optimal growth and development.

For the past five years, CIHR-IHDCYH has been guided by its strategic plan — Healthy Foundations of Life. This plan focuses on three themes: Healthy Developmental Trajectories; Healthy Reproduction, Pregnancy, Childhood, and Youth; and Healthy Public Policy and Systems Integration. It has led to significant investments in research in healthy pregnancy, preterm birth, integrated health services for children and youth, environmental exposures, and mental health outcomes and care, as well as capacity building programs. A major achievement was the development and implementation of the Healthy Life Trajectories Initiative, or HeLTI, a national and international initiative that seeks to prevent later life chronic diseases through understanding influences during the earliest stages of life.

The refreshed plan retains the three strategic themes, and addresses gaps and opportunities identified in consultation with researchers, partners and stakeholders. While continuing to support existing programs, the refreshed plan outlines new directions and activities for 2018 to 2020.

CIHR-IHDCYH will engage researchers and partners in pursuing research priorities such as ensuring effective transitions in care for children and youth, how artificial intelligence can be used to tackle complex questions in health care research, and the impact of cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding and on child and youth mental health. At the same time the Institute will continue to support capacity building—particularly among early career investigators.

“As we move forward, we will continue to support and strengthen CIHR-IHDCYH’s existing programs. We will address our strategic priorities through a collaborative approach to investing in research. We will also continue to build capacity and foster collaborations that strengthen our community, and drive creativity and innovation in research.”

Dr. Lee, Scientific Director, CIHR-Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health

“As a participant in the consultation process that informed CIHR-IHDCYH’s Refreshed Strategic Plan 2018-2020, I am pleased that the plan is now available for all to read. The continued strategic approach and new initiatives that the institute will be launching build on the work that has been done in the last five years and offer some exciting opportunities for the child and youth health research community.”

Dr. Erik D Skarsgard, Chair of CIHR-IHDCYH’s IAB and member since 2012

“As CAPHC enters its 50th year and engages in a similar process of strategic renewal it is validating to see so much alignment with this new strategic plan from CIHR-IHDCYH. CAPHC's community will benefit greatly from continued research funding in the areas of Indigenous health, mental health, system integration and others, but in particular we applaud the continued efforts to maintain a long-term, forward thinking life trajectories approach. CIHR-IHDCYH has an exciting vision for the future of child health research and we look forward to continuing our partnerships with CIHR-IHDCYH and the child and youth health researchers from across Canada.”

Emily Gruenwoldt, CEO, CAPHC and Executive Director, PCC
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