Atlantic RURAL Centre Circa 2004 -2010


Formed in 2004 and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Atlantic RURAL Centre promotes research development, collaboration, and knowledge translation between researchers, government agencies, concerned citizens and rural Atlantic Canadians.
This was their website.
Content is from the site's 2004 - 2010 archived pages providing just a glimpse of what this site offered.

Contact Us
Atlantic RURAL Centre
Department of Community Health & Epidemiology
Dalhousie University
5790 University Avenue, Rm. 408
Halifax, NS B3H 1V7


Welcome to the Atlantic RURAL Centre!

Through research and other initiatives, the Atlantic RURAL Centre seeks to make a positive impact on the lives of rural Atlantic Canadians.

Our Mission:

To enhance our understanding of physical and socioeconomic environmental influences on health and the capacity of rural Atlantic Canadians to respond to these challenges.


The RURAL Centre is a mutually-supportive collaborative research network and resource centre that aims to:

  1. To provide a locus for exchange of ideas between researchers, government agencies, concerned citizens, and rural Atlantic Canadians.
  2. To foster trans-disciplinary research interactions and initiatives in Atlantic Canada
  3. To create enhanced training opportunities for students and rural health professionals in Atlantic Canada.
  4. To include research on innovation uptake and implementation by policy makers and health service providers in Atlantic Canada

Research Themes:

Resource Reliant Communities
Prominent sources of employment in rural Atlantic Canada are the forestry, mining, agriculture, and fishing industries. Our Centre will look at both the direct effects of living and working or being exposed via environmental factors (eg. pesticides and occupational risks), as well as the indirect effects of living in resource reliant communities (eg. fluctuating economies, changes in service infrastructure and access, demographic mobility, and life course issues).

Social Cohesion and Community Resiliency
Are resilient communities healthier? If this is indeed the case, then community resiliency and health status should be linked. Our Centre will build on current research on individuals and communities who, despite being at risk through the presence of risk factors, nonetheless have favourable outcomes (are resilient). Studies are needed to understand the role of social capital, social and economic changes, and other issues in order to determine how these impact community resiliency (both positively and negatively), as well as how these affect individual physical or mental health status.

Rural Occupational and Environmental Hazards and Health
Our Centre will support research on new questions and technological approaches on occupational and environmental hazards found in rural Atlantic Canada. We will also seek to examine previously identified hazards within a social context in order to understand the policy implications and to develop appropriate prevention initiatives (eg. contamination and remediation of groundwater supplies, repetitive strain injuries associated with fish plant packing, agricultural safety and health, issues of rural climate, etc).

Special Rural Populations
The crucial health needs of special rural populations (eg. rural youth and older adults, rural indigenous black populations, First Nations people, immigrants, etc) in Atlantic Canada have not been extensively examined. Research themes include access to primary health care, disease and injury prevention, contextual examination of health challenges (eg. teen pregnancy, racism, cultural issues of care, determinants of accessing the health system), and social isolation.

What We're Doing:

Infrastructure and Technology Development

The development of Atlantic health research infrastructure is an important component of The RURAL Centre’s mandate. Infrastructure relating to fields of study such as survey research, geospatial analysis, socio-demographic and socio-economic mapping, new technologies for environmental monitoring, and exposure assessment will all be enhanced and shared between Atlantic institutions.


The development, maintenance, and application of health databases are key aspects of The RURAL Centre’s research mission. The Centre will build on existing Atlantic databases and support systems, and work towards making unique research data sets available to a broad spectrum of investigators. These data will in turn be used to advance our collective understanding of rural health issues relating to The Centre’s research themes.

Student Fellowships

A limited number of fellowships will be awarded each year to graduate students for research to be performed with one or more RURAL Centre investigators. Graduate work supported by these fellowships will be related to The RURAL Centre’s research themes and carried out at one or more of The Centre’s collaborating institutions. Some additional support for undergraduate research may also be provided through allocations to individual institutions.

Knowledge Translation and Exchange

In addition to the print publication of its research results, The RURAL Centre will develop and support forums for knowledge translation and dissemination. These will include an Atlantic Rural Health Summit (to be held at regular intervals over a period of years), the Institute for Population and Public Health Summer School in 2005, and the creation of a Centre website that will make information available to the public.

Partnership Development

An active partner is the Atlantic Environmental Sciences Network coordinated by Environment Canada, Atlantic Region. We will be looking to enhance this important linkage and other key relationships with health authorities in Atlantic Canada.


Documentation 2004


Centre Technical Papers

Social Cohesion and Community Resilience:
A Multi-Disciplinary Review of Literature for Rural Health Research

Challenges and Opportunities for Using Data in Rural Community Research, With a Focus on Health: A Brief Literature Review

Select Papers/Articles from Researchers

Differences in Health for Rural and Urban Canadians - Canadian Population Health Initiative

Other Papers/Articles

The Health of Rural Canadians: A Rural-Urban Comparison of Health Indicators
Rural and Small Town Canada Analysis Bulletin, October 2003)

Definitions of Rural
Rural and Small Town Canada Analysis Bulletin, November 2001

How Far to the Nearest Physician?
Rural and Small Town Canada Analysis Bulletin, March 1999

CPHI Notable Releases

#38 - Healthy Weight
#40 - Healthy Transition to Adulthood
#41 - Place & Health
#42 - Healthy Weight
#43 - Other



NEWS 2010

The RURAL Centre is now on Youtube


One-way Bridge to Rural and Urban Canada - Part 1 of 7
Rob Greenwood on municipalities and rural and regional development

Abstract: Much is written about the role of large urban centres and creative cities as the driving forces in an increasingly urbanized Canada. This presentation draws upon twenty years of comparative research around the North Atlantic Rim and across Canada, as well as experience working with community development organizations, governments and universities in trying to apply lessons. It also draws upon recent research on the Social Foundations of Innovation in City Regions and on the Governance of Rural-Urban Interaction. It suggests that stronger longer government, within a context of sub-provincial regional cooperation, is essential for successful rural and urban development in Canada. Whether the current distribution of powers in Canada, and the increasing urban bias of policy makers, will allow these lessons to be applied, is a very different matter! Bio: Rob is the founding director of The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional

Policy and Development at Memorial University, is currently serving as Acting Director of Memorials International Centre and is cross-appointed with the Universitys Faculty of Business Administration. He has operated his own consulting business and has served as a Director and Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy in Economic Development departments in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Saskatchewan. In Saskatchewan, he led the development of the provincial economic strategy. In Newfoundland and Labrador, he was Director or Research, authoring the 1995 Report of the Newfoundland Task Force on Community Economic Development. Rob holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Business Studies from the University of Warwick, England, which he attended as a Commonwealth Scholar and an Institute of Social and Economic Research Doctoral Fellow.



March 26 – “Climate Change – an Australian framework for local action”


For the second time this month, the centre will be hosting a lunch seminar series. Rosie Rowe, director of Community Services and Allied Health at Western District Health Service in Australia, will be discussing a strategic framework developed by a primary health partnership in rural Australia to guide local climate change planning and action. This should be a very interesting talk from someone who does not often step on Canadian soil, so please join us at the Tupper MedicalBuilding on March 26th.



Public Health and the Agricultural Rural Ecosystem (PHARE) Graduate Training Scholarships


Funding Opportunities, Post Doc

PHARE is extending a call for Applications for Masters, PhD, and Post-doc scholarships.

Application Deadline: MAY 31st


Accepted to or enrolled in a graduate program in a Canadian university. The trainee must have a research program and a supervisor with a focus related to the PHARE objectives. Research questions should pertain to one of four theme areas: (1) What we eat and drink, (2) What we breathe, (3) How we live, or (4) How we work.

Value: (maximum)

Masters                            $18,000 for one year

PhD                                   $21,000 for two years

Post Doctoral                  $37,500 for one year


March 12 – Seminar Series


Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino will be presenting at the next Rural Centre Seminar Series about the striking similarities between Island Studies and Rural Studies. The seminar can be best summarized in his wonderfully written abstract:

Both are seen as geographically isolated, transportation challenged and peripheral regions, risking a drain of skills, population and capital, basking in naive and stifling parochialism. Both are experienced by their residents as political backwaters, out of sight and out of mind of policy makers in distant, densely populated urbanized metropoles. Strange therefore that a conceptual connection between the study of islands and rural regions has not yet been seriously investigated. This presentation hopes to kick start this process by presenting ongoing theoretical work in island development, and the challenges that this analysis poses to and for concerned communities and policy makers.

The seminar will be held at the Tupper Medical Building on March 12th.


February 26th – Seminar Series


The RURAL Centre Seminar Series is back again, this time with Emily Wilson, who will be discussing Physician Services in Rural Canada at the Tupper Medical Building (5850 College St) basement floor and SafetyNet IncoInnovation Centre in Newfoundland. Details are listed below. Please RSVP by February 24th.



Funding for 2010/2011

Both fellowship and pilot project funding has been issued for the coming fiscal year. Details to follow.


Rural Research Internship Programs Database

The Rural Communities Impacting Policy (RCIP) Project has launched a database page on its website that will centralize information about the different types of research internship-type programs that exist in Nova Scotia – specifically focused on rural areas. The database page is not an internship program. It is simply a way of connecting community members with EXISTING internship-type programs.




The RURAL Centre is a collaborative initiative of:

Dalhousie University, Memorial University, Mount Allison University, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, NSCC Centre of Geographic Sciences, Saint Mary's University, University of New Brunswick, and University of Prince Edward Island

The Atlantic RURAL Centre is financed by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)- Institute of Population and Public Health (IPPH)