BC Healthy Connections Project

NFP is an intensive home-visiting program designed to help young first-time mothers and their children. The goals are to improve children’s health and development, while also improving mothers’ life situations. While Nurse-Family Partnership was tested in a pilot study at McMaster University in Ontario, it has never been fully evaluated in Canada before. Over the next five years our evaluation will determine how well this program works in BC communities.

The BCHCP is being funded by the BC Ministry of Health, with support from the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development and five BC Health Authorities (Fraser Health, Interior Health, Island Health, Northern Health and Vancouver Coastal Health). Funding is also being provided by the Mowafaghian Foundation and the R & J Stern Family Foundation. Charlotte Waddell and Harriet MacMillan are the Nominated Co-Principal Investigators. Susan Jack and Debbie Sheehan are the Co-Principal Investigators. Nicole Catherine is the Scientific Director.

The Nurse-Family Partnership is being evaluated using randomized controlled trial (RCT) methods investigating how the program compares with existing health and social services. We are also conducting two adjunctive studies: a process evaluation, determining how well the intervention is being implemented and what factors may be influencing its outcomes and a Healthy Foundations Study, examining biological markers of health outcomes for children over the first two years of life.

We launched the RCT in October  2013 and expect to recruit into 2016. Child and maternal outcomes will be evaluated throughout pregnancy and until children reach their second birthday.

Health Authorities are managing all referrals. Referral information for physicians and midwives is available here.

For more information, please contact your family doctor or midwife, local Health Authority or Donna Jepsen, NFP Provincial Coordinator with the BC Ministry of Health at 604-707-6372.

Please note that for the duration of the BCHCP recruitment the NFP program is available only through this research study.

You can reach the BC Healthy Connections Project by email at: bchcp@nullsfu.ca


The three most recent features are linked below. To go to a page containing all the BCHCP features, please click here.

  • Helping children by working “upstream” March 21, 2016 Health policymakers and practitioners often use words like “downstream” or “upstream” to describe the vastly different points at which people may receive care. Downstream means late in the process, well after the onset of a problem, and often long after a problem has become entrenched. For example, a child who is treated for an anxiety disorder ... Read More
  • Examining the biological mechanisms that influence health December 14, 2015 Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a prevention program that starts far earlier than most other public health interventions. It begins before children are even born — ideally by the 16th week of pregnancy. Its aim? To improve the lives of young mothers and their children. To achieve this, public health nurses make frequent home visits, building ... Read More
  • Will ‘unique program’ succeed in Canada? September 14, 2015 Harriet MacMillan sees the BC Healthy Connections Project (BCHCP) through a unique set of lenses. One involves her role as the Chedoke Health Chair in Child Psychiatry at the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University. There, she co-led a Hamilton-based project piloting Nurse Family Partnership several years ago. Looking through that lens, she is ... Read More