|Type||Online resource addressing mainstream media coverage of health policy and health research in Canada|
|Purpose||To provide evidence-based research and experts to journalists covering health policy issues.|
|Headquarters||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|
|Dr. Noralou Roos (Founder and Director), Kathleen O'Grady, Managing Editor|
|Affiliations||Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, Manitoba Health Research Council, George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation|
The Evidence Network of Canadian Health Policy, commonly known as EvidenceNetwork.ca, is a comprehensive and non-partisan online resource designed to help journalists covering health policy issues in Canada. EvidenceNetwork.ca creates original and non-partisan news articles, op-eds, podcasts, videos and infographics for publication in the mainstream media. According to their annual reports, they have published hundreds of original articles in every major media outlet in Canada every year since 2011. All of their content carries a Creative Commons license.
EvidenceNetwork.ca was created under the direction of Dr. Noralou Roos, the Founding Director of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and co-founded with Dr. Sharon Manson Singer, professor, School of Public Policy at Simon Fraser University, who has since retired from the project. Dr. Roos remains Director and Kathleen O'Grady of Concordia University is the Managing Editor. The initiative is funded with a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Manitoba Health Research Council (MHRC) and the George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation. Additional support was provided by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement.
EvidenceNetwork.ca was established to address the complex debates leading up to the 2014 renegotiation of the Canada Health Accord, and after, to highlight evidence on health policy issues across the country. The Director, Dr, Roos, says, “Health policy issues are increasingly complex and are too often taken over by politics and ideology. We thought the best way to serve the Canadian public would be to create an accessible and reliable resource where journalists can quickly find independent experts and evidence on issues as they arise.”
The site provides evidence-based information on controversial health policy issues for journalists such as the sustainability of the health care system, the impact of the aging population, the rising costs of drugs, accessibility and appropriateness of care, pharmaceutical policy, obesity, mental health, and the role of the private sector. There is also a section on the comparison between Canadian and international models of healthcare. The site offers background papers and provides a comprehensive list of experts from across the country that journalists can contact quickly as they report on breaking health policy stories.
The British Medical Journal's Evidence-Based Medicine highlighted the work of the network as an example for how to facilitate "the science and art of combining opinion and evidence." University Affairs says of the initiative, "The project aims to break the traditional pattern of academics writing for other academics in journals that aren’t read by the mainstream press, or of professors avoiding the media, leaving a select few to appear again and again." J-Source, a professional publication for the Canadian media says of the network, "it's an ambitious initiative to get the latest and best findings in health sciences and policy research into the broader public conversation by engaging the media."  In an article for Healthcare Policy, Dr. Roos et al. state that the project "seeks to improve the Canadian healthcare system and, ultimately, the health of Canadians by ensuring that our best health policy evidence is understood by journalists and accurately communicated to Canadians and policy makers."
EvidenceNetwork.ca was established in consultation with experienced media advisors, health and health policy researchers and third party evidence brokers including the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, the Canadian Institute for Health Information and the Health Council of Canada.
The network of more than 80 scholars dedicated to evidence-based health research and policy direction also regularly publishes commentaries (OpEds) and articles in the mainstream media. The network has published more than 1200 commentaries and articles in the Canadian press since its inception, and has made all of the articles available for free re-use and dissemination by putting a Creative Commons license on the material. In 2012, the organization published a compendium of their Creative Commons content in an ebook, Canadian Health Policy in the News: Why Evidence Matters. In 2014, they released a second free ebook collection of commentaries, Making Evidence Matter in Canadian Health Policy.
A sample of the network's published commentaries includes:
- "Four points about the pending challenge against medicare" by Colleen Flood and Kathleen O'Grady
- "We need to talk about poverty and health" by Carolyn Shimmin
- "Patent protection for drugs should come at a price" by Marc-Andre Gagnon 
- "More health care does not mean better health" by Robert Brown
- "Childhood hunger is a Canadian public health crisis" by Elizabeth Lee Ford Jones
- "Canada Health Transfer changes: The devil is in the details" by Livio Di Matteo
- "The kids aren't all right" by Elizabeth Lee Ford Jones
- "The case against healthcare user fees" by Raisa Deber and Noralou Roos
- "What aging tsunami? Why some memes are bad for our health" by Alan Cassels
- "Preserving medicare means making changes" by Gregory Marchildon
- "Our surprisingly expensive pharmaceuticals" by Marc-Andre Gagnon
- "Wrestling with big pharma" by Colleen Flood
- "Defined benefit versus defined contribution pension plans: Why all the fuss?" by Robert L. Brown
- "Time for Ottawa to change course on health care" by Allan Maslove
- "Expanding CPP easier said than done" by Robert L. Brown
The Director of the initiative, Dr. Noralou Roos has said in an interview, "There are key discussions going on in health policy, and academics typically have that evidence, and it’s important for those discussions in the media to be informed by evidence as much as possible.”
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research
- Canadian Institute for Health Information
- University of Manitoba
- Health Council of Canada
- Manitoba Health Research Council
- "Evidence Network". Evidencenetwork.ca. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- "About | Evidence Network". Umanitoba.ca. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- "Third Party Brokers | Evidence Network". Umanitoba.ca. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- Lauren McKeon (2011-04-12). "The Canadian Journalism Project". J-Source.ca. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- Roos, Noralou (2011-04-06). "Seniors Not a Threat to Canada’s Healthcare System | Opinion". Epoch Times. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- "Experts | Evidence Network". Umanitoba.ca. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- "EvidenceNetwork.ca: the new "go-to" resource on health policy issues for Canadian journalists". Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR). 4 Apr 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- "Age-friendly communities create a healthier society for everyone". iPolitics.ca. 2012-10-03.
- "Age-friendly communities tackle same old problems". Winnipeg Free Press. 2012-10-11.
- "Social assistance reform can lead to better health for all". Guelph Mercury (Guelph). 2012-10-24.
- "Social assistance reform can lead to better health for all". Huffington Post. 2012-10-22.
- "Patent protection for drugs should come at a price". Winnipeg Free Press (Winnipeg). 2012-08-28.
- "More health care does not mean better health". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 2012-09-05.
- "Childhood hunger is a Canadian public health crisis". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 2012-06-18.
- "The kids aren't all right". The Star (Toronto). 2011-09-03.
- Noralou Roos and Nicholas Hirst Commentary (2011-05-02). "telegraphjournal.com - Seniors are not a threat to health care | Noralou Roos and Nicholas Hirst - Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada". Telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- Roos, Noralou (2011-05-12). "Seniors don't threaten health care sustainability". Windsorstar.com. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- "Noralou Roos: Silver Tsunami to Break the Health System's Bank?". Huffingtonpost.ca. 2011-01-06. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- Cassels, Alan (2011-06-06). "What aging tsunami? Why some memes are bad for our health care system | The Hill Times - Canada's Politics and Government Newsweekly". Thehilltimes.ca. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- "Colleen M. Flood: Time for Canada to Improve Our Health Care Performance". Huffingtonpost.ca. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- Flood, Colleen M. (2010-04-16). "Canada's $192-billion health-care system under performing". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- Flood, Colleen M. "Three steps to improve health care system". Timescolonist.com. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- Gregory Marchildon (2011-05-24). "Preserving medicare means accepting changes". Toronto: thestar.com. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- "Ted Marmor: North American Fads, Fallacies, and Foolishness in Healthcare Reform". Huffingtonpost.ca. 2011-06-03. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- Marmor, Theodore (2011-05-23). "Imaginary 'European solution': European models of health-care reform are not the answer | The Hill Times - Canada's Politics and Government Newsweekly". The Hill Times. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- First Posted: Apr 21 2011 07:30 AM Updated: 5 days ago (2011-04-21). "Our Surprisingly Expensive Pharmaceuticals | The Mark". Themarknews.com. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- MARC-ANDRÃ‰ GAGNON, Troy Media April 19, 2011 (2011-04-19). "Why the system is broken". Montrealgazette.com. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- MARC-ANDRÃ‰ GAGNON, Troy Media April 19, 2011 (2011-04-19). "Why the system is broken". Edmontonjournal.com. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- Dr. Cy Frank Commentary (2011-05-13). "telegraphjournal.com - We can save health care | Dr. Cy Frank - Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada". Telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- First Posted: Jun 03 2011 02:31 AM (2011-06-03). "Saving Health Care – Without Going Broke | The Mark". Themarknews.com. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- Colleen M. Flood (2011-06-02). "Wrestling with Big Pharma". Toronto: thestar.com. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- Brown, Robert (2011-06-24). "Pension plans: Why all the fuss? - The Globe and Mail". The Globe and Mail (Toronto).