Strength In Numbers Project

About the Project

First Nations in Nova Scotia are working together with provincial and federal partners to improve access to reliable population health information that will help us better monitor the health of our communities.  Through the Strength in Numbers project, we have created the Nova Scotia First Nations Client Linkage Registry (NSFNCLR) – a unique registry of the First Nations population in NS that is being linked with provincial health data sources to provide First Nations with better health surveillance data.  As a result of this partnership, we have a wealth of new information to add to our knowledge about the health of our communities.

Through the Strength in Numbers project, partners worked successfully together to accomplish the following:

  • Executed a data sharing agreement between First Nations and the Government of NS;
  • Executed a data use authorization agreement with Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness;
  • Completed a comprehensive privacy impact assessment;
  • Executed a service level agreement between First Nations and Medavie Blue Cross to create and house the NSFNCLR;
  • Designed and built the NSFNCLR;
  • Developed NSFNCLR data management policies and procedures and terms of reference for a Data Management Committee;
  • Amended the NS Personal Health Information Act to allow non-custodian Bands to collect NS health card numbers for the purpose of creating the NSFNCLR;
  • Developed the NS Mi’kmaq Health Indicator Framework which contains over 200 health indicators;
  • Developed health information partnerships with 10 provincial health programs and units including: Cardiovascular Health NS; Cancer Care NS; NS Trauma Program; Public Health Branch; Mental Health, Addictions and Children’s Services; NS Reproductive Care Program; Diabetes Care Program of NS; NS Breast Cancer Screening Program; NS Renal Program; and Business Intelligence, Analytics and Privacy.
  • Developed over a dozen health indicator reports and a series of health bulletins;
  • Hosted a series of workshops with First Nations health centre staff aimed at building comfort and confidence with health data.

The new information that has been generated through this project will help NS First Nations and our partners make better decisions about how to reduce the disproportionate burden of disease and disability that affects our people and make the best use of limited health care resources. It will help us identify services that our communities need now and into the future.

The Strength in Numbers project was funded through Health Canada’s Health Services Integration Fund.  Significant in-kind contributions from all project partners were key to the success of the project.  NSDHW, alone, contributed an estimated 3500 hours of in-kind data cleaning, linkage, analysis, and reporting services.

For more information about the Strength in Numbers project or the Nova Scotia First Nations Client Linkage Registry, please contact:

Stacey Lewis
Project Manager
Tui’kn Partnership
201 Churchill Drive, Suite 201
Membertou, NS   B1S 0H1
staceylewis@membertou.ca
902-564-6466 (ext. 2820)

FirstNations-Signing-4

NS Mi’kmaw Chiefs and NS Minister of Health and Wellness Honourable Leo A. Glavine, at the Data Sharing Agreement Signing Ceremony