Governments of Canada and Nunavut invest in new research unit that will address the health care priorities of Nunavummiut

News release

With this latest investment, patient-oriented research hubs now serve all provinces and territories.

June 20, 2024 | Ottawa, Ontario | Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Patients, their families, caregivers, and communities are in the best position to know what’s important to them when receiving health care – and that’s why patient-oriented research and care is so vital. It allows the perspectives and lived experience of patients to inform research creating better health care for people in Canada.

Today, the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, announced a joint investment of $4.8 million over five years from the Government of Canada, the Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, the Nunavut Research Institute, and the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre to fund the creation of the Nunavut Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Unit.

This new SPOR SUPPORT Unit will connect local health research with local patient needs so that evidence-based solutions are used to improve health care and the health and wellness of Inuit communities in Nunavut. One of its first priorities will be to conduct studies and gather data focused on the health of children and youth. The first year of operations will be dedicated to strengthening capacity and setting up the unit.

Canada’s SPOR is a pan-Canadian initiative dedicated to integrating the voices of patients in research and health care, led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) with support from partners across the country. The establishment of the Nunavut SPOR SUPPORT Unit means that, as of 2024, these centres of expertise in patient-oriented research are now operational across the country. By integrating evidence at all levels of the health care system, we’re helping achieve SPOR’s vision of improving health outcomes and enhancing the health care experience for patients.


“To provide people in Canada with high-quality health care, we need research evidence to tell us what works. Patients, caregivers, families, and communities help produce this evidence by adding their lived experience to the research process. With the Nunavut SPOR SUPPORT Unit, we can continue strengthening health care systems across the territory and improving patient care for everyone.”

The Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health, Government of Canada

"Investing in Nunavut SPOR SUPPORT Unit means that Nunavummiut, like other Canadians with lived experience, will not just be participants but important partners in health research. As a government, we believe that by supporting research that prioritizes the voices and perspectives of Nunavummiut we will create a health care system that serves them better.”

The Honourable John Main 
Minister of Health, Government of Nunavut

“Our work at CIHR has made patient-oriented research no longer just a concept in Canada. Patients and researchers are working together to produce measurable improvements in service delivery and health care practice across the country. Patient-oriented research wouldn’t be where it is today without the ongoing support and contributions from all SPOR-funded entities and their steadfast commitment to patient-oriented research in each of their communities.”

Dr. Tammy Clifford
Acting President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

“Having research that respects and is informed by Nunavut Inuit will enhance Inuit self-determination, promote culturally-appropriate initiatives, and lead to programs that better respond to Inuit needs. The health and wellbeing of Inuit families can only benefit by having Inuit patients as part of the research process, and I’m pleased that Nunavut has joined the other provinces and territories by establishing a SPOR SUPPORT Unit.”

Aluki Kotierk
President, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated

"The Nunavut SPOR Support Unit (NuSPOR) will be a research entity in Nunavut that prioritizes the “patient” and the “community” as interrelated concepts that drive the health research process. In turn, the NuSPOR Support Unit will support knowledge translation and mobilization in Nunavut. The Unit will strengthen and build capacity for health research in Nunavut, guided by the priorities of Nunavummiut. Each partner organization brings strengths to conduct community-based and community-led research, as well as unique perspectives on health, research, and well-being for Nunavummiut; these established collaborative relationships provide a solid foundation for the NuSPOR Unit to build patient-oriented research in Nunavut."

Governing Committee, Nunavut SPOR SUPPORT Unit

Quick facts

  • SPOR is a pan-Canadian coalition of the federal government, provinces, territories, philanthropic organizations, academic institutions, and health charities with the goal of achieving better patient outcomes through patient-oriented research.

  • SPOR SUPPORT Units are patient-oriented research centres in the provinces and territories that improve patient outcomes by enabling equitable access to data for health research, applying knowledge to improve health care practices, systems, and patient outcomes, providing training to conduct and use patient-oriented research, and engaging patients as active partners throughout the entire research process.

  • SPOR SUPPORT Units develop tools and provide opportunities for researchers, policymakers, and patients to work together to foster a research culture and environment that addresses inequitable health outcomes and access to health care in Canada.

  • The establishment of the Nunavut SPOR SUPPORT Unit marks the complete coverage of Canada’s SPOR nationwide. There are SPOR SUPPORT Units located in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories and Yukon.


Government of Canada
Christopher Aoun
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Government of Nunavut
Pam Coulter
A/Manager Communications
Department of Health

Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Kevin Kablutsiak
Director of Communications

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

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