Chronic Disease Innovation Fund Targets Risk Groups

African Nova Scotians will be getting some help managing their health with the support of personalized health coaching.

A Matter of Black Health: Health Coaching to Live Well in Nova Scotia is a project from the Health Association of African Canadians and Diabetes Canada.

The province is supporting the project with $96,666 over the next two years from the new Chronic Disease Innovation Fund, Premier Stephen McNeil announced today at the Upper Hammonds Plains Community Centre.

People of African descent have a higher-than-average risk of developing diabetes.

“We want to help all Nova Scotians reduce their risk of chronic disease and live healthier, longer lives,” said Premier McNeil. “By working with a coach, this one-on-one approach will help individuals modify their behavior and tailor plans to better manage their health or chronic disease.”

The Medavie Health Foundation is contributing an additional $100,000 to the project.

The funding will be used to hire health coaches to work with individuals who have a chronic disease, or are at risk of developing one.

Health coaching will be available to African Nova Scotians in the following communities:

  • Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Hants County
  • Cape Breton, Antigonish and Guysborough
  • South Shore
  • Annapolis Valley
  • Digby and Yarmouth

“This project is about coaching that responds to the health needs of African-descended people, including our history and lived experiences,” said Sharon Davis Murdoch, co-president of the Health Association of African Canadians.

“Coaches will reach out to community leaders and key organizations to introduce themselves and the project. Building trust in the health system, and responding to individual and community challenges and strengths, will better enable health improvements.”

The Chronic Disease Innovation Fund will invest $300,000 in 18 projects across the province. Community groups, in partnership with community health boards, applied for funding for projects that will help people stop smoking, reduce alcohol consumption, get active, and eat better.

“Many Nova Scotians want to find ways to live healthier lives, but need some help and support. Communities know what they need, and these grants offer them a way to help meet those needs,” said Janet Knox, president and CEO, Nova Scotia Health Authority.

For more information about the Matter of Black Health project, visit