October 1-3, 2016 we attended the NUNA MED conference and Fulbright Arctic Health and Infrastructure workshop in Nuuk, Greenland.

These three days included presentations concerning circumpolar health with a focus on Greenlandic and circumpolar health research. Presentations were available in Danish, Greenlandic and English. Recurring themes of the conference included increasing creating opportunities for northerners, education in communities, technology that can improve remote health care, and how to intersect health with other disciplines.

This weekend also included a Fulbright Arctic Initiative workshop. The Fulbright Arctic Initiative aims to bring together a network of applied researchers from different disciplines to make change in the arctic. At present, not a great deal of interdisciplinary work is being done in the north, as it is difficult to break down barriers and communicate across different sectors. This day-long workshop aimed to compile the experience of experts in the room to create an inclusive list of the determinants of wellbeing in the Arctic. These determinants of health were organized into four categories:

  1. Social infrastructure/Family, friends & relations
  2. Physical Infrastructure/built environment
  3. Environment
  4. Culture & traditions

Participants brought a diversity of opinions and issues to the table from their different communities and areas of expertise. Addressing the determinants of wellbeing will provide direction when addressing vulnerabilities affecting the sustainability of northern communities. Further information on the workshop findings and upcoming report can be obtained from Anne Merrild Hansen merrild@plan.aau.dk or Asli Tepecik Dis asli.tepecik.dis@nordregio.se