About MCHP
About the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP)

MCHP is a research unit within the Department of Community Health Sciences, in the College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba, focussing on the question "What makes people healthy?"

We carry out population-based research on health services, population and public health and the social determinants of health. Many factors affect health, such as health care, health programs and policies, income, education, employment and social circumstances. Our research helps Manitoba to maximize our healthcare dollars and to identify health and social policy tools we need to for the future. We also research what will level the playing field between children from low- and high-income neighbourhoods, and northern and rural areas and urban areas.

MCHP is a team of more than 60 University researchers and graduate students, data managers, systems analysts, research coordinators and research support staff. Our researchers benefit from collaboration with peers across Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. We also have an Advisory Board bolstered by high-profile representatives from research, healthcare, business and government. To help us do the right research, and to support the translation of this research into action in our healthcare services we work with The Need To Know Team. The Team is a collaboration of MCHP researchers and high-level planners from Manitoba's Regional Health Authorities and Manitoba Health.

We use de-identified data from administrative records of Manitobans (personal data collected for other purposes stored by a variety of government departments). De-identified means that identifiers, such as names and addresses, were removed before the data were transferred to the Repository in MCHP, to protect everyone's privacy. Each record comes with a scrambled identified which allows us to link each record in different datasets. We adhere to strict privacy principles when we use these records.

We are funded through five-year contracts with the Province of Manitoba (since 1991) to provide six major research projects annually. These studies deal with health and social issues that can best be answered using the Repository. Topics are jointly decided upon by MCHP's Director and the Deputy Minister of Health. This agreement provides roughly half of our funding.  The other half of our funding comes from organizations - provincial, national or international - created to fund research. Our researchers must compete for these funds. The merit of each application - which must adhere to strict scientific principles - is reviewed by committees of other scientists.

Our healthcare system is a very good one. We need to preserve its best characteristics into tomorrow - effective care, universal access, public funding - while focussing less on illness and more on what makes people healthy. MCHP's work can play a part in that future. And that future looks exciting. In Canada, there has been an increased interest in population-health approaches; MCHP is ideally situated to capitalize on that interest. Our ability to combine data from multiple sources makes our research leading edge, and gives a more clearer picture of what is going on. We are continually adding new datasets to our Repository, constantly improving our ability to answer the question, What makes people healthy?







MCHP is rich with stories that punctuate its history. A qualitative study exploring the details of MCHP was written by Dr. Gail Marchessault to celebrate the founding of the Centre and the 20 years of research it has produced. This study explores the challenges and success of MCHP and includes insights from key people at Manitoba Health and the University of Manitoba, including the College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences and the Department of Community Health Sciences.

Click here to download.
(Right-click and choose "save as" to save the file to your computer.)


Watch a Youtube video about what its like to work in MCHP


Healthcare Policy Special Issue
Going for the Gold: Celebrating 20 Years of Experience in Population-Based Research in Manitoba and Beyond