Circumpolar regions and their respective nations have garnered international attention due to pressing public policy issues like climate change, resource development, endangered wildlife, and sovereignty disputes. Health sectors are also taking notice of these regions and their need for health systems to accommodate and respond to an environment with significant health disparities, Indigenous populations, and the logistical challenges inherent in providing equitable services in geographically dispersed regions with a harsh and rapidly changing climate. This complex environment influences health systems performance, yet no measures have been described or developed to highlight performance and provide guidance improvements.

The first aim of this project is to describe the consistency and completeness of health systems stewardship within circumpolar states so we understand the foundation and guiding forces at play. Secondly, this project will identify quality indicators and develop frameworks that will measure performance and aid in the direction of health systems improvements in this unique and challenging environment.

Many of these quality indicators will be identified in related programs and projects such as:

  • Mental health/suicide programs
  • Dartmouth
  • Maternal child health systems performance in Arctic regions
  • Values
  • CIHR suicide prevention
  • Elders council – Aboriginal wellness


ICHR Lead: 

Susan Chatwood, Institute for Circumpolar Health Research, Fulbright Arctic Initiative & Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto