The Communities 


Bonnyville (population over 6, 000) is an expanding community located approximately 240  km northeast of Edmonton, Alberta. Its economic climate and employment opportunities have been shaped by the community’s agricultural resources and the strong presence of the oil and gas industry. Bonnyville is a major center for government offices and is a service center for the agriculture and petroleum industry.

Bonnyville is surrounded by beautiful lakes and boreal forest that tourists and visitors love. The community has a diverse cultural heritage that is celebrated through various community events, clubs and activities. The new Centennial Centre provides recreational opportunities, as well as a location for post secondary educational pursuit.

St. Paul

St. Paul (population over 5,000) is a community located approximately 200 km northeast of Edmonton, Alberta. The town was originally founded as an agricultural community and important trading centre in the area. St. Paul is ethnically and culturally diverse with a strong French heritage. Throughout the year, a variety of cultural events take place showcasing the rich history of the area. Residents have ample opportunity for recreation via the town’s many recreational facilities and the Alberta Iron Horse Trail. St. Paul is proud to be a part of the Alberta Iron Horse Trail which is comprised of many lakes and parkland that are perfect for walking, biking, cross-country skiing, hunting and fishing.

Norwood/North Central Edmonton

The Norwood/North Central Edmonton community, as defined by Healthy Alberta Communities, has a total population of over 40,000 and is composed of 11 distinct neighborhoods within Edmonton: Alberta Avenue, Boyle Street, Central McDougall, Cromdale, Delton, Eastwood, Elmwood Park, Parkdale, McCauley, Spruce Avenue, and Westwood.

Norwood/North Central Edmonton is one of Edmonton’s oldest areas, with a history that dates back over 100 years. Overtime, the area has undergone many transformations and has witnessed periods of growth and recession, creating a very dynamic and diverse community.

The Norwood/North Central Edmonton area has currently been experiencing a resurgence of investments and activities, which include the revitalization projects along Alberta Avenue and in Downtown East Edmonton. These efforts have been combined with the activities of community action groups passionate about enhancing the safety and security of the area.

Medicine Hat

Medicine Hat (population over 60, 000) is located approximately 300km southeast of Calgary, Alberta. The city, situated along the South Saskatchewan River Valley, is a vibrant community rich in history. The name ‘Medicine Hat’ originates from the Native word ‘Saamis’, which means “the place where the medicine man lost his hat”.

Medicine Hat is a part of a region that includes the towns of Redcliff and Brooks as well as other smaller towns and rural areas. In this area, gas, oil and agricultural resources are the foundation of the economy. Thanks to its unique features, the city is attractive to both younger and older generations (over 40% of the population is over the age of 40).

About the Team

Healthy Alberta Communities involves a large and diverse team of university professors, policy makers, physicians, dietitians, administrators and many more valuable contributors.

Project Team

Co-Principal Directors

  • Kim Raine, Director, CHPS
  • Ron Plotnikoff, Director, CHPS


  • Candace Nykiforuk, Health Geography, CHPS
  • Arto Ohinmaa, Health Economics, Public Health Sciences
  • Lisa Purdy, Medical Laboratory Sciences
  • Donald Schopflocher, Faculty of Nursing
  • Paul Veugelers, Epidemiology, Public Health Sciences
  • Cam Wild, Social Psychology, CHPS

In memoriam: David Johnson, Medical Officer of Health, Aspen Regional Health 

Research Coordinators

  • Kate Storey, Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Coordinator
  • Ellina Lytvyak, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Eric Hemphill, Research Coordinator (2006-2008)

Project Administration

  • Tatjana Alvadj, Project Coordinator (2008-2010)
  • Heather Deegan, Project Coordinator (2005-2008)
  • Jen Carstensen, Project Administrator (2008-2009)
  • Shelly Baker, Project Administrator (2006-2007)

Community Coordinators

  • Dianne Gillespie, Norwood/North Central Edmonton (2005-2009)
  • Molly Hanson-Nagel, Medicine Hat and area (2005-2009)
  • Margo Fauchon, St. Paul (2007-2009)
  • Florence Senecal, Bonnyville (2008 – 2009)

International Advisory Board
The International Advisory Board is comprised of individuals with expertise in epidemiology, population health and chronic disease prevention working in various disciplines around the world. The Board has provided feedback on evaluation design and methodology, and has played an important role in shaping data collection protocols.

Funding for “How to Create a Healthy Community: A Resource for Capacity Building in Health Promotion” is provided by:

“Model for Capacity Building in Health Promotion” was adopted from the master’s thesis “Capacity- Building in Chronic Disease Prevention Initiatives: An Exploration of the Process of Capacity-Building Among Community-Based Health Promotion Workers”, by Genevieve Selfridge.

A special thanks to the following contributors who generously shared their expertise:

  • Linda Boone
  • Margo Fauchon
  • Dianne Gillespie
  • Molly Hanson-Nagel
  • Zakk Morrison
  • Paul Pelletier
  • Dr. Kim Raine
  • Florence Senecal
  • Doug Weber