Our Partners

Over the last 20 years, SPHERU has taken a collaborative approach to population health research, working directly with communities and policy makers rather than merely on or about communities and policies. 

This work would not be possible without the support of funding agencies, community partners, the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan, as well as current and past SPHERU faculty, students and staff. This spirit of collaboration is part of what has enabled the success of SPHERU for the last 20 years, and paves the way for meaningful partnership and success into the future.

Charlie Clark, Mayor, City of Saskatoon

I am so grateful that we have SPHERU right here in Saskatoon doing cutting edge research on how to support all people to be healthy in a changing world. I have especially valued the partnership projects between the City of Saskatoon and SPHERU to help us understand how to design the built environment and provide services to foster health in our citizens.  This has shaped many decisions and plans over the past decades and I look forward to more partnerships and impact  in the decades to come. 

Edna Parrott, Community Partner

It has been a very real privilege and pleasure to work on the advisory committee for this Interventions to Enhance Social Inclusion of those with Dementia and their Care partners in Rural Communities. The Research team have done their homework and have developed an  excellent plan. COVID-19 has caused some disruption and has hindered face to face contact with those individuals and organizations interested in participating in this project. However, Dr. Bonnie Jeffery and her team have been very innovative and have created new ways to communicate with them. This is an excellent program and an excellent team!

Professor Emeritus Leonard Syme (Visiting CPHR Scholar), University of California at Berkeley, 2009

I thought that your trainees were equal to, or better than, the students that I have met in other training programs in London, Melbourne, Toronto, Berkeley, Cambridge and New York. I don’t know if your remarkable success is due to superior selection methods or to superior training, but the result is clear.

Colleen Christopherson Cote, former coordinator for the Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership, Saskatoon Early Years Partnership

One of the most important things about SPHERU as a collaborative research body, is that they provide opportunities, mentorship, leadership and learning for students.

Gail Russel, Director, Early Childhood Development Unit, SK Ministry of Education, 2009

We have worked with SPHERU researchers since 2003, and have been impressed by SPHERU’s commitment to conducting research that is useful to policy makers and practitioners by developing strong collaborative research partnerships and using sound knowledge transfer and exchange methods to sustain these partnerships.

Ruth Barker Community Coordinator, South East Saskatchewan Understanding the Early Years, 2010

Their knowledge as to early years development trends and issues, along with their expertise in data assessment, and evaluation, striking under girded the work of this project. Their standard of academic excellence, as well as professionalism and respect, has made it both a privilege and an honour to work and collaborate with SPHERU.

Melody Mitchell, Community Coordinator, Moose Jaw- South Central Understanding the Early Years project, 2009

We are very pleased to have partnered with Dr. Nazeem Muhajarine and SPHERU as researchers in our Moose Jaw – South Central Saskatchewan Understanding the Early Years project. SPHERU brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this project.

Rob Nesdole, research assistant, University of Saskatchewan, 2010

Working with the healthy children’s research team has provided me the opportunity to learn about the importance of community based research, population health based research and their roles in shaping policy.

Carol Soles, Director, Prince Albert Safe Shelter for Women, 2010

We have already seen an impact from our involvement in the study. Through informal contacts with study participants, we identified the need for continued support services to woman who have received services and are now back in the community, and were able to create a new position.

Meghan A Woods, Graduate Student in Clinical Psychology, 2010

My work on the Healing Journey team.. has been a valuable experience. I welcome the opportunity to contribute to this area to help understand the effect of isolation on healing from violence.

Chad Nilson, Living Skies Centre for Social Inquiry

When I reflect back on my own observations that I have of SPHERU’s work with communities and for communities, I always see an energetic, well-informed and capable team that helps community organizations, their clients and everyday citizens feel comfortable with science. And when people have that level of comfort, they become eager to learn and to grow from the research and evaluation that they participate in. That is a very important gift, and it’s a gift that all of us in academia should strive to give our communities. I’m happy to say that SPHERU provides that gift very well. 

Sue Delanoy, Special Project Coordinator for Child and Youth Friendly, kidSKAN, and Kinsmen Activity Place, 2010

With our partnership and the research we have conducted together, we know that we have been able to encourage improvements in policy and practice for young children in Saskatchewan, such as new programs and services like literacy and numeracy programs in the Saskatoon school boards, a new Saskatoon library branch, and more speech and language pathology services. People understand the community’s need much better as well as the important role that research plays in all that we do.

Ron Labonte, Founding Director of SPHERU

Twenty years young and still growing! When I left as Inaugural Director in 2004, I hoped the Unit would survive, since it certainly had the right people to do that. Alas. It didn’t survive. It thrived! It’s always been a huge pleasure for me the few times I’ve been able to visit since, and to see faces that will always be familiar to me, with a passion for justice (and for fun) that kept SPHERU going from strength to strength. I still credit SPHERU for gifting me the most rewarding five years of my academic life. Live long and prosper.

Nana Bonsu, SPHERU Research Assistant, University of Regina, 2011

Working [with SPHERU] has allowed me to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to real life situations and it has also given me greater insight into population health based research.

Karolayna Isley, Research Assistant, Observatory Project, University of Saskatchewan, 2011

Working [with SPHERU].. has given me a greater appreciation for the work our Canadian policy makers do, as well as provided me with a more solid understanding of intimate partner violence laws across the country.

Dr. Dan Goldowitz, Scientific Director, NeuroDevNet

We appreciate the depth and breadth of KT knowledge Nazeem Muhajarine and his staff have brought to NeuroDevNet to help translate our research on children neurological development into policy and practice.

Noreen Johns, Community Partner

For your purposes and with mine too, I was honoured to be invited to participate… Sometimes researchers are strictly at the university and I think that a rural perspective on this research project in particular, having a rural person living it, working it, directly involved, if not as a researcher, it just broadens the opportunity for the questions and sometimes the wording. I think that was great.

Minh Voung, Research Assistant University of Regina, 2011

Working in the Falls project has been a greatly rewarding experience. With the aging Canadian population, I know my work at SPHERU is contributing to a field of research that is invaluable to the future direction of our health system.

Andrea Kotlar-Livingston, Executive Director, FASD Network

Partnering with SPHERU is a benefit to our organization. Being able to add an evaluation from a reputable source to our program outcomes helps us with direction, allows us to see our strengths and where there is room to improve or re-focus, and strengthens our future funding applications.  

Mike Chouinard, past SPHERU Staff member

I think it’s important people understand how easy it is for some to fall through the cracks in the health care system, even in Canada. This work to examine the social determinants of health helps fill in some of those gaps to understand why this might be so.

Jadwiga Dolega-Cieszkowski and Crystal Storey, Population and Public Health, Saskatchewan Health Authority, Rosetown

Many decisions in rural life are based on large urban studies or what the next town over is doing. SPHERU and the Healthy Aging in Place team not only conducted on-site research and update meetings in Rosetown but included us in every step, from proposal development to community forum. The attention to ensuring the study had a rural and local lens offered quality data that directly applied to Rosetown. The personal touch gave us, the Rosetown Regional Family and Community Support Services, and partners the confidence to take collective action and make positive changes in our community.

Carolyn Tran, Academic Program Advisor Faculty of Social Work | University of Regina

I would not have experienced and learned all I have without my time at SPHERU.

Our Many Partners

Programs and Initiatives

  • Heart and Stroke Foundation
  • CHEP Good Food
  • KidsFirst
  • NeuroDevNet
  • Understanding the Early Years
  • Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture
  • Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan
  • Alberta Centre of Active Living
  • Rosetown Regional Family and Community Support Services
  • Mama Kwanza (Women First)
  • Healthy Start
  • Calgary Counselling Centre
  • FASD Network of Saskatchewan
  • In Motion
  • AIDS Saskatoon
  • Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan (BJ)
  • Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism 
  • Canadian Red Cross (Saskatchewan) 
  • Parkland Valley Sport, Culture and Recreation 

  • Forever in Motion 
  • Saskatoon Public Schools
  • Coalition for Healthy School Food
  • Food Secure Canada
  • Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Centre
  • Sakitawak Elders’ Group, Inc.
  • Prince Albert Catholic Family Services 


  • Community-University Research Alliance
  • Community-University Institute for Social Research
  • Memorial University
  • University of Waterloo
  • University of New Brunswick
  • University of Guelph


  • University of Western Ontario
  • University of Manitoba
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Universite de Montreal
  • McMaster University
  • McGill University
  • First Nations University of Canada


  • Dalhousie University
  • York University
  • University of Quebec
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Toronto
  • University of  British Columbia


  • Carleton University
  • London Metropolitan University
  • University of Calgary
  • Brandon University 
  • University of Alberta 
  • Central European University (SA)


Communities and Municipalities

  • Department of Justice and Safety
  • City of Saskatoon
  • Town of Ile-a-la-Cross
  • Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation
  • Montreal Lake Cree Nation
  • Yellow Quill First Nation
  • Town of La Loche 
  • Clearwater River Dené Nation 
  • Lac La Ronge Indian Band 
  • Black Lake FN 
  • Fond du Lac Denesuline FN 
  • Stony Rapids 

Health Authorities and Funding Agencies

  • Miwayawin Health Services
  • Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services
  • Saskatchewan Ministry of Education
  • Manitoba Department of Family Services and housing
  • Saskatoon Health Region
  • Mamawetan Churchill Health Region
  • Keewatin Yatthé Health Region


  • Saskatchewan Health Authority
  • Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region
  • Fulbright Canada
  • Health Canada
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
  • Manitoba Health Research Council
  • Muttart Family Foundation


  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Grand Challenges Canada
  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation
  • Mitacs-Accelerate
  • Public Health Observatory
  • Northern Health Strategy Working Group


  • Northern Intertribal Health Authority 
  • First Nations and Inuit Health (Regina) 
  • Athabasca Health Authority 
  • Prince Albert Grand Council 
  • Employment and Social Development Canada