Coalitions Linking Action & Science for Prevention (CLASP)
The Partnership’s second five-year mandate and the next phase of implementing Canada’s national cancer strategy began in April 2012. The priorities and initiatives for 2012-2017 are outlined in our strategic plan, Sustaining Action Toward a Shared Vision and in the Priorities section of our website. The information below reflects work to the end of March 2012.
Collaborating to accelerate shared priorities
Evidence that could help prevent cancer and chronic disease emerges regularly through research. However, it can be difficult for public health practitioners and decision-makers to integrate lessons learned from science with lessons learned from policy and practice, especially given variations in jurisdictional priorities and the many organizations and agencies focusing on different chronic diseases.
The Partnership’s Coalitions Linking Action and Science for Prevention (CLASP) initiative brings together more than 60 health-care organizations to collaborate to improve the health of Canadians by preventing chronic disease. CLASP has funded seven distinct projects, listed below, that tackle different disease prevention priorities, including nutrition, physical activity, body weight, tobacco use, and environmental exposure to air pollution from automobiles. This co-ordinated approach accelerates action to reduce common risk factors by allowing for the exchange of knowledge and best practices, while complementing federal, provincial and territorial healthy living strategies.
Initial funding for CLASP was $12.5 million from the Partnership, $2.5 million from the Public Health Agency of Canada and $500,000 from the Heart and Stroke Foundation for a period of two and a half years ending in March 2012.
Results for 2011/12:
- As part of the Healthy Canada by Design CLASP, Toronto Public Health produced software for urban and transportation planners to model how urban and transportation planning affect health outcomes. The first tool of its kind in Canada, it is revealing links between built environment policies and health indicators such as physical activity, thus creating opportunities for urban planners to apply health impact assessments to community design. The tool is currently available for use in Toronto and planning is underway to adapt it for use in other Canadian cities.
- The Children’s Mobility, Health and Happiness CLASP promotes healthier lifestyles in every province and territory by promoting the use of active modes of transportation to and from school. It also encourages policies and practices that support that goal. To date 122 schools across Canada have participated and 10,808 families have completed surveys as part of the School Travel Planning process. In addition, the project explores sustainable happiness, which is defined as happiness that contributes to individual, community or global well-being and does not exploit other people, the environment or future generations. With connections created through this CLASP project, a workshop was held at the Nunavut Teachers’ Association Conference to provide ongoing support for sustainable happiness activities in this region and teachers are rolling out the curriculum.
- The HEY (Health Empowerment for You) CLASP successfully piloted the first-ever cancer and chronic disease prevention curriculum for First Nations youth and young adults. More than 100 people were trained to facilitate the curriculum, including representatives from 48 First Nations communities in Saskatchewan and 26 First Nations communities and four Tribal Councils in Manitoba. Plans are being developed to expand the curriculum to more communities.
- The BETTER (Building on Existing Tools to Improve Chronic Disease Prevention in Family Practice) CLASP aims to increase prevention and screening for heart disease, diabetes and cancer in primary-care physicians’ office in Alberta and Ontario. Participants receiving this patient-level intervention reached more of their eligible screening and prevention targets than individuals not receiving this intervention. Research evaluation results are under review and will further explore the relevance of this approach in other types of primary-care practices.
- The Partnership brought together more than 40 organizations representing all seven CLASP projects to discuss learnings and share best practices so that project members could collectively benefit from each other’s experiences. The first meeting was held in May 2011 in St. John’s; the second was held in November 2011 in Montreal.
- All seven CLASPs completed initiative-specific and cross-CLASP evaluations for progress, sustainability, scope and reach of knowledge exchange activities.
The seven CLASP projects:
For more information on this initiative’s results leading up to 2012 and how the work supports the overall cancer control strategy, please read Key Achievements 2007-2012 and see our annual reports and progress reports.