CHRN is the continuation of two circumpolar Health organizations that decided to amalgamate in 2012 under the new name Circumpolar Health Research Network.
The International Network for Circumpolar Health Research was one of the parent organizations. It was established in 2005 following several years of informal discussions among circumpolar health researchers. In February 2004, at a symposium at the University of Toronto entitled “Populations in Transition: The Health of Circumpolar Indigenous People” an agreement was reached to form an international organization devoted specifically to circumpolar health research, recognizing the need for continuing networking in the interlude between the international circumpolar health congresses. The activities of INCHR were funded by a 5 year Canadian “Team Grant” which allowed the organization to conduct various activities without levying membership fees.
The International Association of Circumpolar Health Publishers was established in 2004 to oversee and financially support the International Journal for Circumpolar Health. The journal has been in existence since 1972, initially under the name of Nordic Council for Arctic Medical Research Reports but later under different more idiomatic names. IACHP consisted of eight major and some contributing institutions (universities, societies, INCHR) with a strong commitment to supporting circumpolar health research and in particular the dissemination of research results. Most if not all members on the board were also members of INCHR and a merger seemed logical.
- Promote cooperation and collaboration among health researchers engaged in research in the circumpolar region;
- Facilitate the exchange, communication and dissemination of research results and other health data;
- Support the training and development of researchers in circumpolar health;
- Publish the International Journal of Circumpolar Health and other scholarly publications.
CHRN has two types of members: individual members who are active researchers or in other ways actively engaged in circumpolar health, and institutional members that financially support publishing of the journal and travel scholarships for student members.
The first board of the Network established in 2012 was composed of board members from the two parent organizations. The president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer were elected by the members, while the contributing institutions each selected their own representative. The new board was constituted in Oulu, Finland at the AGM of the Network during the 16th International Congress on Circumpolar Health. The board is now composed of two representatives elected by the membership and representatives from each of the full institutional members.
A number of scholarships will be made available for student members to attend the summer schools and annual general meetings of the Network. Information on the number of scholarships and the amount will be found on the website together with other meeting information.
CirchNet inherits two important affiliations from INCHR and IACHP:
Signed in 2011 by INCHR and IASC, the LoA recognizes a common interests in scientific research in the polar regions. Both organizations view that there is much to be gained from developing a synergy between INCHR and IASC in promoting health research in the Arctic. Following the success of the IPY where researcher teams with expertise in health, natural, and social sciences collaborated with Arctic residents in a variety of multidisciplinary projects, INCHR and IASC agree to seek new opportunities to combine their efforts for activities related to health sciences in the Arctic. [PDF]
The International Union for Circumpolar Health (IUCH) is an international non-governmental organization, with members, adhering bodies and affiliates throughout the circumpolar regions. There has been a long-standing need for the exchange of medical knowledge, as well as the results of recent research and demonstrated solutions to problems for the benefit of humankind. Arctic communities, with the general and specific medical and health problems found in this region, obviously share this need with the rest of the world. The health problems and needs of northern peoples has become the focus of the only organization of its kind dedicated to the health problems of the circumpolar regions — the International Union for Circumpolar Health.