Research Networks

Sharing resources and expertise

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uilding Research for Integrated Primary Healthcare in Nova Scotia—BRIC NS—is a research network that seeks to improve primary healthcare and integrated services for people with, or at risk of developing, complex healthcare needs. BRIC NS research is patient-oriented, which means it engages patients as partners and focuses on patient-identified priorities and improves patient outcomes.


  • Building capacity in Nova Scotia for the conduct and application of patient-oriented research
  • Mobilizing research efforts and encouraging investigators to apply for funding available to network members
  • Creating partnerships within and across various sectors of the health care system—including public health and primary health care, as well as secondary, tertiary, home and long-term care
  • Looking outside the health sector to forge new connections with such important services as education, housing and social services
  • Developing connections with counterpart networks in other provinces
  • Leading the way to more comprehensive approaches to improving individual and population health, health equity and health system outcomes
  • Engaging patients as partners in our governance and research projects

BRIC NS is the Nova Scotia Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations Network, an initiative of the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR). BRIC NS has $1 million in funding over 5 years from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF). Additionally, BRIC NS has facilitated the funding of multiple primary healthcare research projects.

  • BRIC NS has a tri-partite leadership model to ensure that science, policy and practice are working together to identify and support priority-driven research.
  • Science Lead: Fred Burge, Department of Family Medicine, Dalhousie University
  • Clinical Lead: Rick Gibson, Primary Health Care and Department of Family Practice, Nova Scotia Health Authority
  • Policy Co-Lead: Lynn Edwards, Senior Director, Primary Health Care & Chronic Disease Management, Nova Scotia Health 
  • Policy Co-Lead: Denise MacDonald-Billard, Project Executive (Senior Director), Primary Health Care Branch, Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness

BRIC NS members include individuals from across the province who have a research interest in primary and integrated healthcare. This includes primary care practitioners, researchers, decision-makers, citizens and learners. To learn more about BRIC NS, including how to join, visit the website.

Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN)

The Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN) is an electronic medical record (EMR) based information system established for chronic disease surveillance.

For more inforamtion on the CPCSSN network, please visit the website.

Maritime Family Practice Research Network


The Maritime Family Practice Research Network (MaRNet-FP) is a primary care practice-based research network. MaRNet-FP was established in 2005. Our mission is to conduct and support primary care research in practice-based settings to directly benefit patients, providers, and the Maritime provinces.

MaRNet-FP manages a de-identified database of Nova Scotian primary care electronic medical record (EMR) data. These data are used to facilitate research and quality improvement initiatives in primary care in Nova Scotia. As of December 2020, 53 primary care providers are contributing de-identified EMR data for 70,044 patients.

For more inforamtion on the MaRNet network, please visit the website.

Archived Networks


Collaborative Research for Primary Healthcare
 originates from a Strategic Research Initiative Grant from Dalhousie University. This inter-faculty research team is designed to build collaborative primary healthcare projects that cross faculties and disciplines.  Working together are researchers from family medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, occupational and physical therapy, social work, psychology, sociology, epidemiology, health informatics, health policy and more.