CHPC associate director celebrates new appointment

June 16, 2023

Children’s Health Policy Centre Associate Director Nicole Catherine has just been named an affiliate faulty member of The Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) at the University of British Columbia.

Catherine also holds the Canada Research Chair Tier 2 in Child Health Equity and Policy and is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University.

“I am thrilled to join HELP as an affiliate faculty member,” she said in the announcement of the honour. 

In an April 27 talk to faculty, staff and trainees at HELP, Catherine said that early prevention of childhood adversities through research-policy-practitioner collaborations is one of her major motivators.

As the former scientific director of a public health randomized controlled trial known as the BC Healthy Connections Project, she told the group: “Our plans to examine the longer-term effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an early intervention, across adolescence, will directly inform policymakers, those who need to act to help children flourish.”

Audience members said the retention protocol — developed prior to data collection — impressed them because it ensured sustained engagement with 739 unserved families across 2.5 years. Catherine said: “Families that are unfairly labelled difficult to reach, and therefore underserved by health care, still need to be reached.”

Catherine is now leading new work exploring how to adapt enhanced maternal-child health programs, such as Nurse-Family Partnership, for Indigenous children and mothers in BC.