Who We Are

The Centre for Rural Health Research emerged in response to the need for an evidence base to inform the policy and planning of health services for rural residents of British Columbia, with a focus on maternity care.

Our work is carried out by interdisciplinary teams of health service and social science researchers, health care providers and administrators, senior planners and policy makers, and students and fellows. The productive and collaborative research relationship between the Co-Directors has led to more than 50 peer-reviewed publications.

Our research findings have contributed to a base of evidence that is corroborated by the international literature. Emerging local evidence has been incorporated into planning processes, leading to partnerships with local communities, rural clinicians, and local, regional, provincial, and national planners who have contributed to the development and refinement of the research agenda. Through this reciprocal relationship, we have advanced a relevant and responsive program of health services research.

Our research is supported and funded by the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR), and the various Joint Collaborative Committees that are partnerships of the Government of BC and Doctors of BC.

To meet the people at CRHR, see Core Team.

For information about our academic, policy, and professional partnerships, see Knowledge Partners.

Why We’re Here

We believe that all rural communities in Canada should have access to sustainable health services. Planning these services requires rigorous evidence. The Centre for Rural Health Research exists to do primary research on rural health services, and we work to see it implemented in policy.

The vision of the Centre for Rural Health Research is to have sustainable, evidence-based systems of maternity services and comprehensive health care that meet the needs of rural women, families, and communities across BC.

Our values are:

  • Our sense of social responsibility to vulnerable populations
  • A recognition of the importance of childbirth in the lives of women, families, and communities
  • Mentorship
  • Respectful relationships and partnerships

Our mission is to:

  • Support health research that is relevant to rural BC communities, care providers, and decision-makers
  • Improve understanding of the consequences for British Columbians trying to access, provide, and administer health services in rural BC
  • Provide evidence-based research to affect policy and practice decisions for health services in BC
  • Build research capacity by supporting students and other health care services researchers

What We Do

The Centre for Rural Health Research began as the home for the Rural Maternity Care New Emerging Team (RM-NET), a CIHR-funded interdisciplinary research team whose goals were to:

  • Investigate the state of maternity services in rural BC from multiple perspectives
  • Improve understanding of the consequences for British Columbians trying to access, provide and administer maternity services in rural BC
  • Provide evidence-based research to affect policy and practice decisions for maternity services in BC
  • Support research that is relevant to rural BC communities

Currently, the Centre for Rural Health Research has an expansive program of mixed methods research investigating rural health services. Our work involves exploring innovative models of rural primary health care and conducting a program of knowledge translation for our CIHR-funded program of research on rural maternity care.

For more information regarding our program of research, please visit the pages below: