The NWT SPOR network is funded through a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) with matching funds from the University of Alberta. In order to be a member of the pan-Canadian Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations Network, the NWT SPOR network is required to fulfill criteria set by the CIHR Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) program, including having tripartite leadership (science, policy, clinical) that reflects the continuum of care. BC-PHCRN aim to encourage, facilitate, and support collaborations between government, health authorities, health professionals, patients and researchers.

The pan-Canadian SPOR Network in Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations (PIHCI) is a key CIHR initiative under the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research and the Community-Based Primary Health Care Signature Initiative.

The pan-Canadian SPOR Network in Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations (herein called the pan-Canadian Network) is a Network of networks that builds on regional and national assets in community-based primary and integrated health care. It will foster a new alliance between research, policy and practice to create dynamic and responsive learning systems across the country that develop, evaluate and scale up new approaches to the delivery of horizontally and vertically integrated services within and across sectors of health care (e.g., public health, home and community care, primary, secondary, and tertiary care) as well as outside the health sector (e.g., education, social services, housing). The pan-Canadian Network will initially focus on individuals with complex health needs (a relatively small subgroup of the population with high health needs that accounts for a significant amount of health care utilization and costs) where integration of care along the continuum and where upstream approaches to prevention linked to integrated care delivery systems are critical to improve patient experience and health, health equity, and health system outcomes.


The vision of the northern network is to build capacity for primary care research in northern Canada, enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care, and improve clinical and population health outcomes.


Primary care research has been under represented in northern jurisdictions. Systems challenges are poorly documented and solutions developed in large urban centres do not translate well to the north. Thus some of Canada’s most vulnerable populations have consistent challenges in accessing responsive primary care services.

Objectives of the NWT SPOR PICHI network

  • Build capacity through training and development of primary care databases for research;
  • Evaluate integrated service delivery models;
  • Develop culturally appropriate frameworks for care;
  • Explore scope of practice of health professionals working in extended roles.

Learn More:

 Indigenous wellness and integration models for health services

With support from private donors and the NWT SPOR PICHI network, Indigenous elders gathered in Yellowknife to discuss a plan for Indigenous healing services in the NWT.

Health Services Data

Assessing health care in Canada’s north: What can we learn from national and regional surveys (published in International Journal of Circumpolar Health)

Operating Grant: SPOR PIHCI Network: Programmatic Grants

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) have announced an exciting funding opportunity for the NWT SPOR PICHI network and other Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations networks across the country.

This network is co-led by Susan Chatwood ICHR, Jim Martin (T’licho government), Lilliana Candiac (Territorial Health Authority). The network is co-ordinated by Kimberly Fairman.

University support is provided by the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto.