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Contact Info:

Transdisciplinary Understanding and Training on Research - Primary Health Care,
Centre for Studies in Family Medicine,
The Western Centre for Public Health and Family Medicine,
Western University,
1151 Richmond St,
London, ON, Canada N6A 3K7

Visitor & Courier Address
Centre for Studies in Family Medicine,
Western Centre for Public Health and Family Medicine (PHFM),
Room 2137,
Western University,
1465 Richmond Street,
London, ON, N6G 2M

Tel: (519) 661-2111 Ext. 22089
Fax: (519) 858 5029   


Alumni ...
Alumni Profiles




Saima Ali

Saima Ali, University of Southampton (UK)

I am currently a research fellow in the Primary Medical Care group at the University of Southampton. My interests include psychological aspects of chronic conditions in primary care, particularly common mental disorders and diabetes. The majority of my education and work experience was spent in the city of Leicester in the UK which allowed me to witness, first-hand, a number of inequalities which exist in terms of the prevalence, management of, and outcomes of depression and common non communicable conditions in different ethnic groups. I feel Health Psychology has a vital role to play within multidisciplinary teams involved with interventions aimed at both the prevention of chronic conditions in primary care (e.g. behavioural interventions in ‘high risk’ groups) as well as the management of conditions (e.g. changing patient and health care professional behaviour). My PhD involved a mixed method programme of work to examine ethnic differences in the prevalence, recognition and clinical impact of depression in people with and without type 2 diabetes. As a TUTOR-PHC trainee I hope to build on this work in order to develop psychological services within primary care to reduce disparities in depression and diabetes care.

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Alexandrine Boudeault-Fournier

Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier, Laval Universite (Quebec)

After completing her doctoral studies in visual anthropology at Manchester University and at the Granada Center for Visual Anthropology in England, Alexandrine undertook two post-doctoral projects at Montreal University (2008-2010) and then Laval and York Universities (2010-2011). Her second postdoctoral project aimed at establishing theoretical and practical bases to develop an ethnography of image production. She recently produced a documentary film titled Golden Scars (2010:61 min.) funded in part by the National Film Board of Canada. Alexandrine’s TUTOR-PHC Project is titled “Perception of home based care: The experience of elderly women living under the poverty line”. A qualitative visual method, photovoice, will be used to better understand women’s experiences receiving care at home

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Susan Champion

Susan Champion Sommerfeldt, University of Alberta

I am currently a PhD student at the University of Alberta and a faculty lecturer in the Faculty of Nursing. My teaching areas have been in research methodologies, interprofessional team development, community health nursing, and foundational nursing courses using context-based learning approaches. My MN explored interdisciplinary approaches to children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and my doctoral work continues the theme of interprofessional healthcare. My TUTOR topic will extend this interest through exploring the relational work of effective patient care teams using arts-informed methods, specifically applied theatre. Currently, I’m involved in research that has developed and implemented three interprofessional clinical learning units in acute care, rehabilitation, and long-term care sites, as well as other student focused interprofessional education initiatives and projects. Past research includes a study of Canadian Aboriginal youth HIV testing and care, and a project investigating the integration of midwifery services into the Alberta health care system. My life revolves around my family in all their busyness and my own interests in music, baking, and travelling.

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Julie Easley

Julie Easley, University of New Brunswick

Julie Easley is a PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary Program at the University of New Brunswick. Her background is in medical anthropology and she is now combining a social science and nursing approach for her doctoral program. Throughout her studies, Julie has also been working as a research assistant for the past 8 years at the Dalhousie University Family Medicine Teaching Unit located at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton, NB. Her TUTOR-PHC project is an extension of her current doctoral study which examines the disclosure patterns of young adult cancer survivors and the impact these disclosure decisions have had on their social interactions and environments, both personally and professionally. Julie’s goal is to finish analyzing the data collected for her doctoral research and to use the findings to help develop a proposal for post-doctoral studies focusing specifically on the experiences and attitudes of young adult cancer survivors in relation to provider-patient communication within the primary care setting, from diagnosis to follow-up care.

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Mary Forhan

Mary Forhan, McMaster University

Mary is a certified occupational therapist (OT) with 20 years of clinical experience. Mary has specifically worked in acute medicine, acute psychiatry, eating disorders and in the area of obesity management. Mary was one of the first occupational therapists in Canada to describe the role of OT in the area of obesity management. Mary earned a PhD in Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University in 2010 where she studied the impact of severe obesity on the participation in the occupations of everyday living. Mary is currently working on projects exploring the impact of a bariatric suite on a medical unit on the safety and satisfaction of patients and their care providers; and the impact of workshops about obesity on the beliefs and attitudes of health professionals. Mary is an assistant clinical professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University and is currently the program coordinator for the Master of Health Management Program working collaboratively with the DeGroote School of Business. Mary has also worked as a project coordinator for the first Canadian Summit on Weight Bias and Discrimination with the Canadian Obesity Network. Mary will be exploring factors that contribute to treatment adherence for patients with obesity in primary care for her TUTOR-PHC project.

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Sheila Garland

Sheila Garland, University of Calgary (Alberta)

My research has thus far focused on the evaluation of psychosocial interventions with the potential to improve physical and psychological outcomes for cancer patients and their families. Specifically, I have investigated the impact of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for reducing sleep disturbances. I also compared the MBSR intervention to a creative arts program for facilitating spirituality and post-traumatic growth. My Masters research looked at how a psychosocial retreat called “Tapestry” could impact the quality of life, distress, marital satisfaction and existential concerns of palliative cancer patients and their partners. For my doctoral research I am conducting a randomized trial comparing the effect of MBSR to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for the treatment of insomnia in individuals with cancer. I currently hold a research fellowship from the Psychosocial Oncology Research Training (PORT) initiative at McGill University and a strategic training fellowship from the Transdisciplinary Understanding & Training on Research-Primary Health Care initiative.

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Laura Housden

Laura Housden , University of British Columbia

Laura Housden is a family practice nurse practitioner and doctoral student at the UBC School of Nursing. She was one of two students who were awarded a Junior Graduate Studentship Award (JGS) for "Health Services Research" through the Michael Smith competition for the student trainee competition and is also an Advanced Practice Nursing Chair student. Laura will complete this work for her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Sabrina Wong who is an associate professor and faculty at the School of Nursing and Centre for Health Services and Policy Research at UBC. Her doctoral work is entitled: “An Innovative Approach to Patient care, Examining the Role of the Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care Group Medical Visits.” The overall purpose of this study is to examine the role of NPs in providing primary care group medical visits and determine if group medical visits with nurse practitioners are associated with positive patient outcomes.

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Liz Muggah

Liz Muggah, University of Ottawa

Liz is a family physician, currently working in Ottawa. She recently completed a Masters of Public Health at Harvard and has just started as a clinical research fellow at the University of Ottawa Department of Family Medicine and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. She has worked as a primary care physician and researcher in Canada, the United States and Switzerland, focusing on the care of vulnerable populations. Her TUTOR research question is "What is the optimal number of patients a family doctor should care for?".

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Alisa Naiman

Alisa Naiman, University of Toronto

Alisa is a family physician providing comprehensive primary care in Toronto. In addition to her family practice, Alisa is a second year PhD student in the Department of Health Policy Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Prior to medical school, she completed a Masters of Health Science in Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Toronto. Her previous research interest has focused on second hand smoke. Previous work has focused on the impact of antismoking legislation on hospital admissions for cardiovascular and respiratory conditions and exploring the relationship between anti-smoking legislation and self-reported second hand exposure. Her current research interest involves investigating the relationship between various primary delivery models and financial incentives as a mechanism to improve health outcomes. When not working, Alisa enjoys playing soccer and cycling and spending time with family and friends.

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Wendy Norman

Wendy V. Norman, University of British Columbia (B.C.)

Dr. Wendy V. Norman is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia. She graduated from Queen's University at Kingston in 1985, is an active clinical teacher at UBC and leads the BC Contraception & Abortion Research Team (CART). Her research interests include abortion demographics, contraception health policy and health services delivery and family planning population health. Dr. Norman completed a CIHR Strategic Research Training Fellowship in Transdisciplinary Primary Care Research (2012), the UBC Clinician Scholar Program (2011), a Masters of Health Science (UBC 2004), a diploma in Tropical Medicine and International Health (Liverpool 1994), a residency in GP-anaesthesiology (UBC 1988) and currently leads the Canadian Contraception Access Research Team\Groupe de recherche sur l’accessibilité à la contraception (CART/GRAC).

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Michelle Skop-Dror

Michelle Skop-Dror, Wilfrid Laurier University (Ontario)

As a registered social worker, I have clinical experience working with individuals, families, and groups in both hospital and community settings in the field of mental health. I am currently a second year PhD student in the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfred Laurier University in Kitchener, Ontario. The idea for my dissertation research emerged through clinical practice coordinating health care services for female clients who had a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, a chronic illness. My plan for the TUTOR project involves exploring the ways in which narrative theory can be utilized to understand the illness experiences of women with fibromyalgia, as well as the perspectives of primary health care providers who work with this population. I am also interested in researching the efficacy of providing narrative therapy to women with fibromyalgia within primary health care settings. My hobbies include spending time with family and friends, writing and painting, biking and yoga, cooking and travelling.

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Carmen Thompson

Carmen Thompson, University of Calgary (Alberta)

I am in my first year of the PhD program in Applied Psychology at the University of Calgary. Prior to this I completed Bachelors Degrees in Fine Art and Psychology and a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology. I have been involved in research studies on the following topics: the prevention of eating disorders, group medical visits for diabetes, the provision of health services for individuals living in poverty, ethical and economic considerations in the licensing and adoption of surgical devices into clinical practice, and group prenatal care for women with low income. Through my doctoral research I hope to gain a deeper understanding of factors influencing access to pre and postnatal care for women living in poverty, to highlight issues for consideration in the design of these services, and to evaluate the effects of integrated pre and postnatal programming on maternal and infant health and social outcomes.

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Chris Wong

Chris Wong, University of Auckland (New Zealand)

Dr Chris Wong is a New Zealand born Chinese medical graduate of Otago University, New Zealand (NZ). He has a Diploma of Obstetrics and Musculoskeletal medicine and a Certificate in Clinical Education. From his beginnings as the son of a grocer in Wellington (NZ), he now resides in Auckland, having been working in a group general practice for the last 22 years. Chris has had a passion for teaching medical students from his practice for over 10 years and was delighted to be appointed as a part-time senior lecturer with the Department of General Practice, University of Auckland in 2009. Chris has been instrumental in implementing “GPOPS” (General Practice office patient simulations), a new teaching method for year four medical students in 2010. Chris looks forward to using the TUTOR-PHC program to help foster some research skills and improve his ability as a clinical teacher, which he enjoys the most. Chris does vasectomies and his interests include, tennis, contract bridge and alto saxophone. He shares his love of dancing salsa and ceroc with his wife Janet with whom he has three growing up children aged 18 to 22 years.

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Natalia Yavich

Natalia Yavich, McGill University (Quebec/Argentine)

Natalia is as a PhD Candidate in Social Sciences at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. She completed an International Program for Development Evaluation Training Diploma at Carleton University as well as received a Masters in Public Health and a BA in Anthropological Sciences. In addition to her studies, she is also a researcher at the Instituto de la Salud Juan Lazarte and is a professor of the Master in Management of Health Systems and Services at the Univerisidad Nacional de Rosario. She is a principal researcher and co-researcher in research projects on primary health care analysis and evaluation, health governance, and food security with the support of the International Development Research Centre, United Nations, Pan-American Health Organization, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica, Ministerio de Salud de la Nación, Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada. She has worked as a consultant of international and academic organizations such as International Development Research Centre, Centre for Research on Health Economics, Social and Health Care Management, and Università Carlo Cattaneo. Natalia’s primary research interest is in PHC evaluation and the use of research for decision making. The title of her TUTOR-PHC project, which will be part of her post-doctoral studies at McGill University, is “PHC Evaluation in Latin America: perspectives, achievements and challenges.”

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