Dana Schmidt

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Missouri, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9372

Approve Date

October 7, 2016

Project Title

Schmidt, Dana Marie, U. of Missouri, Columbia, MO - To aid research on 'The Second Epidemiologic Transition in Newfoundland: Identifying the Model and Drivers of Health Changes,' supervised by Dr. Lisa Sattenspiel

DANA M. SCHMIDT, then a graduate student at University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, received a grant in October 2016 to aid research on “The Second Epidemiologic Transition in Newfoundland: Identifying the Model and Drivers of Health Changes,” supervised by Dr. Lisa Sattenspiel. The overall research project examines the state of the second epidemiologic transition on the island of Newfoundland, which had poorer health for much longer than other Western regions. Information on 20th century morbidity and mortality patterns including overall, age-specific, and cause-specific mortality are used in order to assess the timing and pace of the transition, why it was delayed, and the main factors driving Newfoundland’s transition. Urban-rural differences in health and mortality patterns are also explored. The fieldwork phase supported by Wenner-Gren consisted of three months of archival research (June – August 2017) in St. John’s, NL, Canada in the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Centre for Newfoundland Studies at Memorial University. Quantitative data on morbidity and mortality were gathered from vital statistics records, census materials, death registers, and health reports, while additional archival sources provided context to understand daily lives of 20th century Newfoundlanders. The main findings to date focus on infant mortality, which remained excessively high for decades, contributing to the delay of the second epidemiologic transition. Major reductions in infant mortality, primarily from preventable childhood infectious diseases occurred between 1945-1965, resulting from an influx of social programs aimed at reduction of poverty and health disparities.