When we think of health, we often think of an individual, possibly ourselves or someone we love. We may also think about the group health of our community, province or country. When we think of groups, we can measure the percentage of people in the group who have a particular disease, or who consume healthy foods.
We refer to these health results as health outcomes, and factors that influence these outcomes as determinants of health. Together, we call all of this the NBHC Population Health framework1.
The Population Health framework groups determinants of health into four categories, each of which can be influenced by government programs and policies. The framework also includes citizens’ involvement in their own health and well-being as well as external factors that can influence the health of the population. All of these categories contribute to New Brunswickers’ health outcomes, the most basic of which are quality of life and length of life.
It is important to remember that while individuals are influenced by the determinants of health, and they experience health outcomes, we cannot predict what will happen to a specific individual using this framework, but we can only estimate results for the population as a whole.
We can use the Population Health framework to help support healthy choices for ourselves, our families, our communities and our province. Remembering the determinants and their impact helps to make good choices and promote better health.
 The NBHC Population Health framework has been adapted from various population health models such as the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute – Wisconsin County Health Rankings and was modified to fit our needs. We have also kept a Canadian perspective by taking into account the determinants of health as indicated by the Public Health Agency of Canada.