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Evidence-informed public health practice:

National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (NCCMT)

As part of the federal government’s commitment to public health across Canada, six new National Collaborating Centres (NCC) have been established. NCCs will synthesize evidence from certain fields to into a review or other summary format. Summaries of evidence do exist, but they are often in a format that is inaccessible to those who actually practice public health. NCCs will identify gaps in public health knowledge, and produce reviews that will enable public health practitioners to make better decisions.

The National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (NCCMT) is hosted by the
School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University. The NCCMT target users are the other five National Collaborating Centres as well as the front line practitioners, managers, researchers and policy makers in public health across Canada.

The public health and KSTE (knowledge synthesis, translation and exchange) experts and practitioners from across Canada endorsed the following NCCMT vision, mission and goal statements.

NCCMT Vision:
The effectiveness and efficiency of Canada’s public health system will be guided by the production, sharing and use of high quality evidence.

NCCMT Mission:
The National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools will enhance evidence-informed public health policy and practice in Canada.

NCCMT Goals:
1. To identify, develop and evaluate methods and tools for the process of knowledge synthesis, translation and exchange (KSTE).
2. To improve the access to and use of relevant KSTE methods and tools for people involved in policy-making, program decision-making, practice and research.
3. To identify gaps in KSTE methods and tools and encourage researchers and others to fill these gaps.
4. To raise awareness of evidence-informed practice among those involved in public health.
5. To develop the capacity of those involved in public health to use KSTE methods and tools.
6. To build active and sustainable networks of KSTE experts and public health policy-makers, practitioners and researchers, as well as partnerships with other National Collaborating Centres and create linkages with their stakeholder groups.

Knowledge Translation at McMaster
McMaster, having a critical mass of KT researchers and a strong background in research methodology, is an ideal setting for the newly established NCCMT. Facilitating the uptake of research evidence by users is a knowledge translation activity that many McMaster researchers are already engaged in. With the support of McMaster’s KT experts, the NCCMT will actively contribute to better decisions by public health practitioners, and healthier Canadians.

Contact Information:
National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools http://www.nccmt.ca/

Medlar, B., Mowat, D., Di Ruggiero, E., & Frank, J. (2006). Introducing the National Collaborating Centres for Public Health. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 175, 493.