Applied Research Collaborations for Health (ARCH) is the research group of Dr. Sara Kirk, professor of health promotion in the School of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University and a Canada Research Chair (2007-2017).
Research conducted by the ARCH team uses a “socio-ecological” approach to understand how we can create supportive environments for chronic disease prevention. This approach takes into account the interaction between an individual and their environment. While the widely held belief of personal choice and responsibility remains at the core of many approaches toward population health and disease prevention, it is glaringly evident that these choices are no longer made within the context of a neutral environment. Instead, a range of influences, such as the media, marketing, economic and urban development, have constructed countless social, economic,political and physical barriers, which actively discourage people from doing the very things we require of them to achieve good health. We work in collaboration with other disciplines, and with health care providers and policy makers to address the complex constellation of factors that influence health, with every contributing factor we discover giving us a piece of the puzzle. We take a solution-oriented and strengths-based approach to create sustainable change and promote health for all.
ARCH Mission and Vision
Mission: To bring together a network of researchers, health professionals, policy makers and others who share our goal to do high quality, interdisciplinary research that has the potential to have a positive impact on health in the region and beyond.
Vision: To provide multi-level knowledge transfer in response to the health issues of Canadians by fostering applied interdisciplinary research collaborations for problem-based research which will encourage and facilitate healthful change.