• health reform;
  • policy;
  • rural women


Objective: To explore the impacts and implications of health reform/renewal for rural women in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada.

Design: The study was a multiple case study approach using mixed methods of focus groups, individual interviews, and trends/utilization analysis.

Setting: Three rural communities – two in Saskatchewan; one in Manitoba.

Participants: Rural women; non-health providers.

Interventions: None.

Outcome Measures: None.

Results: This paper presents a four phase Integrated Community Policy Uptake Model which is derived from the experiences of rural women during the operationalizing of health reform policy. The model depicts a four phase integration of the health reform or renewal policy; specifically, ‘Taking In’, ‘Taking On’, ‘Taking Over’, and ‘Taking Beyond’. The Integrated Community Policy Uptake Model is firmly rooted in the perceptions and opinions of rural women, and is informed by their understanding of health policy.

Conclusion: The involvement of rural women in the policy process is necessary. The model proposed potentially encourages women to become more directly engaged in future health policy making and planning. There is also significant potential for this model to inform decision makers of the perceptions, needs, and solutions offered by stakeholders such as rural women.