Muhajarine receives SHRF Award
December 3, 2009
SPHERU researcher Nazeem Muhajarine has been honoured with the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation’s 2009 Achievement Award, for his leadership in turning research results into policies and programs that help Saskatchewan’s children. The award was presented on Dec. 3 at Santé, the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation’s awards dinner.
Muhajarine is a professor and head of the department of community health and epidemiology in the College of Medicine and a research faculty member of the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit, where he works closely with community decision makers in the Healthy Children research program.
Muhajarine has worked tirelessly to build the trust and respect of people both inside and outside the academic community, and to break down barriers between people at the university, in government, and in communities across the province. His leadership on linking research on children with policy-making and practice has made a significant impact in the province, fostering improvements in policy and practice for young children, their families and communities. In 2006, he was recognized nationally for the impact of his work with the Canadian Instititues of Health Research's Regional Knowledge Translation Award.
“Working with Nazeem and his research team for the past ten years has been a great opportunity for Communities for Children to learn how to use research to further our program development and advocacy work for children in Saskatoon,” said Sue Delanoy, executive director of Communities for Children, Saskatoon’s planning council for a child and youth friendly community.
Muhajarine and Delanoy partnered on the Understanding the Early Years in Saskatoon study from 2000 to 2007 that provided the impetus for initiatives such as Saskatoon Public Schools' Literacy for Life program and a pilot program to integrate child care facilities into schools.
As this study wrapped up, they gathered together people from across the province with an interest in early childhood development into a provincial network, kidSKAN, the Saskatchewan Knowledge to Action Network for early childhood development. This network was awarded $200,000 of funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research under their “knowledge to action” initiative.
As part of this network, his team has launched an online community at http://www.kidskan.ca/ to connect with people throughout the province. “Saskatchewan is a large province, in terms of geography, with a small, widely dispersed population,” Muhajarine said. “We are taking advantage of social networking technologies to connect with people throughout the province, as we can’t always be in the same place at the same time.”