Brenda Poon

Brenda Poon
Assistant Professor

Dr. Brenda Poon leads HELP’s Early Childhood Screening Research Unit and is also a member of UBC’s School of Population and Public Health’s Social and Life Course Theme. Dr. Poon has led multi-year investigations involving extensive collaboration with the provincial government, regional health authorities, and community agencies. Her research interests include: population-level early identification and early intervention for children with special needs, complex systems of coordinated service delivery and supports, family-centered services, integrated child health information systems, as well as community-based research regarding social determinants of children's health and development.

Most recently Dr. Poon has been involved in the Sustaining the Village project, a research collaboration between the Institute for Health System Transformation & Sustainability (IHSTS) and HELP. The Sustaining the Village project is interested in understanding how to promote healthy early childhood development as a strategy to prevent chronic disease in later life and, more broadly, lay the foundation for health and well-being across the life course. Over the next 2-3 years, the project will investigate the different ways communities support healthy early childhood development with the intent that this information will build insights to enable appropriate interventions, in partnership with community agencies, to learn how to raise healthier children.

In the project's first phase, we initiated a scoping project to learn more about community factors that contribute to early childhood development in the North Okanagan/Shuswap, Revelstoke, Arrow Lakes, Rocky Mountain and Vernon regions. In and around these communities, there is great variation in developmental vulnerability rates and, in some communities, the lowest vulnerability rates in the province, making this an ideal region to explore.  We held a community meeting in Vernon, BC, to hear from community stakeholders about their experiences, challenges and successes.  A report is available.

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