Priority Health Innovation Challenge

In Canadian healthcare, there is no shortage of innovation and creativity focused on achieving lasting improvement in patient experience, health outcomes, work life of providers and value-for-money. Our challenge is to spread proven innovations in shared priority areas1 further across the country. The first step to achieve this, is to identify promising innovations and innovators.

Working with supporting healthcare organizations, the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement launched the Priority Health Innovation Challenge to identify and grow promising innovations in two shared priorities: access to mental health and addictions services, and home and community care.

Teams are participating in the Priority Health Innovation Challenge with new or existing innovation projects addressing one of the two priority areas that respond to the healthcare needs of people living in Canada. CFHI supports these innovators to increase the potential impact of their innovations.

The Priority Health Innovation Challenge is running from April 2019 until October 2020 and teams can apply to join at any time until August 2020 (further details below).

How the Priority Health Innovation Challenge contributes to better healthcare in Canada

The Priority Health Innovation Challenge has the potential to benefit more people by identifying and supporting novel approaches that increase access to care.

Teams participate with innovation projects that are addressing at least one of the following common indicators related to the relevant shared priority area.2

Mental Health and Addictions Common Indicators

  • Wait times for community mental health services
  • Early intervention for youth aged 10 to 25
  • Awareness and/or successful navigation of mental health and addiction services
  • Rates of repeat emergency department and/or urgent care centre visits for a mental health or addiction issue.
  • Hospitalization rates for problematic substance use
  • Rates of self-injury, including suicide

Home and Community Care Health Common Indicators

  • Wait times for home care services, referral to services
  • Alternative level of care, length of stay for inpatients requiring home care services
  • Home care services helped the patient stay at home
  • Caregiver distress
  • Inappropriate move to long-term care
  • Death at home/not in hospital

Priority Health teams submit baseline and ongoing outcome data that reflect the relevant common indicators and the number of patients reached. This data contributes to developing an understanding of innovations that have potential for spread and scale.

Team benefits

Participating teams are supported to strengthen their innovations through:

  • Opportunities to become part of a pan-Canadian community of innovators and connect, share and learn from people facing similar challenges working in the same priority area
  • Access to learning opportunities and resources including webinars with leading healthcare experts
  • Receiving national recognition for their innovation
  • Opportunities to receive financial awards that can be used for staff training, education, patient/family/caregiver engagement or other ways that can support long-term success of the innovation. Up to $400,000 (total) is available.


As part of the Priority Health Innovation Challenge, we are hosting a series of webinars with healthcare improvement experts including experts in mental health and addictions services, and home and community care. The webinar themes are focused on supporting the needs of the participating teams; however, anyone can join.

Upcoming webinar

Thursday, September 17 from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EDT
Improving Access to Care: The Big Picture

Learn about measuring access to home and community care and to mental health and addictions services in Canada.

Speakers: Jenny Lineker (Program Lead, Emerging Issues, Canadian Institute for Health Information), Seanna McMartin (Program Lead, Indicator Research and Development, Canadian Institute for Health Information) and Amy Porath (Director, Research, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction)

Register to Attend 


Wednesday October 14 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm ET
Healthcare Innovation: Improving Access to Care, One Innovation at a Time

Register to Attend 


Monday November 16 from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm ET
Celebrating Success & Maintaining Momentum

Register to Attend 



Previous webinars

Recordings of past webinars are available, including:

Supporting Organizations

The Priority Health Innovation Challenge is supported by the following leading healthcare organizations from across the country.

Supporting Organizations logos

Tool / Resource

Value-Based Healthcare Toolkit
Read more >


Working Shoulder-to-Shoulder in an Age of Physical Distancing
Read more >

What We Do

Better Care Closer to Home and the Community

1 Government of Canada. (2018). A Common Statement of Principles on Shared Health Priorities. Retrieved from 

2 Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2018). A Canadian first: CIHI to measure access to mental health and addictions services and to home and community care. Retrieved from