2019 Health System Impact Fellow Profiles

Profile:

Better understanding healthcare and health service use trajectories to maximize impact on the health journey of patients with neurodegenerative diseases receiving end-of-life care

Name: Andrée-Anne Poirier
Host Partner Organization: Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS)
Location (city, province): Québec, Québec
Academic Institution: Université Laval
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I have completed a doctoral degree in pharmaceutical sciences at Laval University on Parkinson’s disease, and I am currently a postdoctoral fellow working under Dr. Denis Roy (INESSS) and Professor Annie LeBlanc (Laval University). This CIHR-funded fellowship will enable me to explore clinical practices with a view to improving end-of-life care trajectories for patients with neurodegenerative diseases. This project is directly aligned with the objectives of INESSS, which aims to improve the quality of end-of-life care and social services for patients and their loved ones by prioritizing better integration of proximity care and services in the community. I will contribute to the implementation of stimulating new ideas while refining my skills and building on my knowledge and abilities. In addition to gaining experience in patient-oriented research and developing an excellent understanding of healthcare policies in Quebec and Canada, I will have a unique opportunity to interact with experts and stakeholders in the field of health and social services and share my knowledge with professionals and managers in this network.

Website: INESSS
Linkedin: Andrée-Anne Poirier
Twitter: @AAnne_Poirier

Designing a secure health and genomics platform for improved healthcare in Canada

Name: Meghan McGee
Host Partner Organization: Deloitte
Location (City, Province): Toronto, ON
Academic Institution: University of Toronto
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
Meghan completed her PhD in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, where she studied obesity in children born preterm. As a CIHR-HSI Fellow, Meghan will work towards developing Canada's first Secure Health and Genomics Platform – an information system that will integrate health and genomic data to accelerate research and discovery, improve treatment, and inform health policy. Specifically, Meghan will work within the Omnia AI team at Deloitte, where she will use novel machine learning and AI techniques to identify two use cases (i.e. prototypes) across oncology, rare diseases, and pediatrics for the platform. This secure, pan-Canadian digital platform will transform the future of healthcare as it will leverage advanced, innovative technologies to create the foundation for a vibrant ecosystem of innovators, researchers, clinicians, and policymakers and will recognize Canada as a global leader in genomic research. This training program will enable Meghan to further develop her leadership, communication, and technical skills while taking advantage of the challenging experience both Deloitte and The University of Toronto have to offer.

Twitter: @McGeeMeghan
Linkedin: Meghan McGee

Improving the Quality of Care Transitions between Hospital and Home for Complex Patients

Name: Daniala Weir
Host Partner Organization: Trillium Health Partners
Location (City, Province): Toronto, Ontario
Academic Institution: Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I'm a Post-doctoral Fellow and will be working with Trillium Health Partners (THP) and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME), University of Toronto under the supervision of Ms. Alison Quigley and Dr. Walter Wodchis. I recently completed my PhD in epidemiology at McGill University under the supervision of Dr. Robyn Tamblyn within the Clinical and Health Informatics Research Group. In an effort to address key challenges facing THP (caring for complex patients in a fragmented healthcare system) and reach their impact goal (improving safe transitions and patient flow), the overarching goal of my program of work is to improve the care and management of hospitalized patients in the transition between hospital and home in order to reduce avoidable re-admissions and ED visits. To achieve this, I will undertake a four-part program of work in partnership with THP to better understand the aspects of the hospital experience that may be contributing to avoidable adverse events and develop, implement and evaluate an evidence informed and theory driven quality improvement intervention which addresses these challenges. I’m looking forward to gaining valuable experience as a researcher embedded within a leading healthcare organization and developing an expanded set of enriched core competencies.

Twitter: @danialaw
Google scholar: Daniala Weir
Linkedin: Daniala Weir
Organizational website: Daniala Weir

Using Evidence to Inform Health Policy: Supportive Housing as a Case Study

Name: Heather Finnegan
Host Partner Organization: Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living (MHSAL)
Location (City, Province): Winnipeg, Manitoba
Academic Institution: University of Manitoba
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
As a healthcare provider, I have witnessed first-hand how policies can both strengthen and hinder the ability to provide meaningful front-line care. I completed a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology through the Department of Psychology at the University of Windsor in October 2015. Promotion of healthcare policies grounded in evidence was foundational to my post-doctoral fellowship (2016-2017) through the Gulf Coast Behavioral Health and Resiliency Center at the University of South Alabama. My goal is to understand and enhance evidence-based approaches to health policies related to supportive housing (SH) for older adults, with the overall aim of transforming health policies related to community-based healthcare for individuals across their lifespan.

Using SH in Manitoba as a case study, I aim to (i) understand how policy cycles work in a ‘real world’ setting, (ii) explore how evidence can be used more effectively to ensure policies achieve intended goals, and (iii) investigate how other stakeholders (e.g., regional planners, SH clients and family) can contribute more effectively to policy development. I am excited to translate data into knowledge and capacity sharing activities to strengthen relationships and competencies for policymakers and researchers. I hope to facilitate emergent strategies to community-based health services through evidence-based health policy.

A collaborative and integrated approach to child and youth mental health care across Ontario communities

Name: Ashley Radomski
Host Partner Organization: Ontario Centre for Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health
Location (City, Province): Ottawa, Ontario
Academic Institution: Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario's Research Institute
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
This fellowship was an opportunity to transfer to the Ontario Centre for Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health from the University of Alberta. My doctoral research involved understanding how e-mental health interventions for children and youth work and how they can be improved. My ‘intervention-level’ evaluation skills are evolving to address ‘health systems-level’ challenges.

Early identification and treatment for children and youth’s mental health concerns can significantly improve health outcomes. In partnership with diverse healthcare teams across Ontario, we are designing and executing a new model for mental health service delivery in primary care. We are improving the likelihood that youth with mental health concerns will be: (1) identified by their family physician or pediatrician, (2) referred to appropriate services in their community, and (3) receive access to high-quality care through greater communication between physicians and community-based professionals. Based on its success, this model will be adapted it to other communities across Ontario and Canada.

I am interested in using collaboration, iteration and on-going evaluation to optimize intervention usefulness and sustainability. I look forward to enhancing the support we provide to providers along the care pathway—getting youth and families where they need to go, sooner, with smoother transitions.

Harnessing electronic medical record data to transform suicide prevention in prisons

Name: Shannon Thompson
Host Partner Organization: Correctional Service Canada
Location (city, province): Ottawa, Ontario
Academic Institution: University of Ottawa
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a PhD candidate at the University of Ottawa, School of Epidemiology and Public Health. My academic (BSc, University of Windsor; MSc, University of Ottawa) and research background in Neuroscience have inspired me to study mental health with hopes to improve the operations of mental health systems in Canada. The Health Systems Impact (HSI) Fellowship provides me with the opportunity to work with the Mental Health Epidemiology team at Correctional Service Canada (CSC) where my role will be to support the implementation of the Suicide Prevention and Intervention Framework. Within the correctional setting, the incidence of suicide is roughly twice as high as the general public, thus, CSC is currently implementing a new suicide prevention strategy. My fellowship will focus on using Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) to measure and enhance service delivery with the ultimate goal of reducing mortality rates in Canadian prisons. Through my fellowship, I will learn how to work with real-time health data to improve the quality of suicide prevention in prisons. I am grateful to CIHR for providing me with this unique opportunity to contribute to health system policy in Canada!

Twitter: @shannonthomps28
Linkedin: Shannon Thompson

A patient-oriented evaluation of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health Continuous Improvement Program

Name: Jasmin Bhawra
Host Partner Organization: Saskatchewan Ministry of Health
Location (City, Province): Regina, Saskatchewan
Academic Institution: University of Waterloo
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a doctoral candidate in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. My research interests include chronic disease prevention, health policy, and the application of evaluation and knowledge translation to improve health outcomes.

Healthcare system inefficiencies contribute to decreased life expectancy and premature deaths in Canada, thus in order to improve efficiency and ongoing system improvements, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health implemented the Continuous Improvement Program. Using Emergency Medicine as a model, my project entails the development of a patient-oriented evaluation framework to assess the Continuous Improvement Program’s impacts on Emergency Medicine. This Fellowship is one of the few cross-provincial collaboration, and the evaluation framework we develop will serve as a foundation for ongoing evaluation of other aspects of the healthcare system across Canada.

This Fellowship will provide me with an invaluable opportunity to apply my research and evaluation training to a largescale health system problem, as well as an opportunity to establish connections with policymakers to enable future applied health research.

Linkedin: Jasmin Bhawra

Better Serving People with Multiple, Complex Needs in BC Through Health System Impact

Name: Shelley Cook
Host Partner Organization: Community Living BC
Location (City, Province): Kelowna/Vancouver, BC
Academic Institution: UBC Okanagan
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I have 20 years of leadership experience in the non-profit sector in BC. My background is in program and community development, advocacy, and research for vulnerable, disadvantaged populations.

The aim of this Health System Impact (HSI) fellowship is to better understand and address the health needs and service requirements of people eligible for Community Living British Columbia (CLBC) services who also fall within the multiple, complex needs (MCN) framework. This population of people with life-long disabilities are not well served by existing services in BC, and little is known about their specific health needs. This HSI fellowship advances CLBC’s research efforts through its two key objectives: 1) To better understand the health-related needs of the MCN population, and 2) To identify and learn from best/promising practices in BC.

The project builds on existing research and will fill important gaps in knowledge regarding the health and service delivery requirements of people with an MCN designation. I’m honoured to lead such a relevant and timely research project that has the potential for significant health system impact. Through my involvement I will gain essential skills and knowledge that will better situate me within the health research space in BC/Canada.

Twitter: @DrShelleyCook1
Linkedin: Shelley Cook

Informing and evaluating health system and policy responses to intimate partner violence

Name: Alexa Yakubovich
Host Partner Organization: Unity Health Toronto
Location (city, province): Toronto, Ontario
Academic Institution: University of Toronto
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I completed my PhD in Social Intervention & Policy Evaluation at the University of Oxford. Funded by a Rhodes Scholarship and CIHR doctoral award, my research used epidemiologic methods and cohort data to investigate the risk and protective factors for intimate partner violence (IPV) against women and, in particular, the effects of long-term exposure to neighbourhood- and structural-level deprivation.

IPV can have severe consequences for health and wellbeing, including injury, psychological disorders, and housing instability. Health systems in conjunction with other policy sectors are thus critical to developing effective response strategies for preventing IPV and mitigating its impacts. My postdoctoral fellowship will allow me to work with research, policy, and practice partners, including Unity Health Toronto, the Centre for Urban Health Solutions, and the new Centre for Sexual and Gender Minority Health. Through a collaborative program of quantitative epidemiologic and mixed-methods research, I will evaluate the processes and outcomes of intersectoral policy initiatives and hospital-community programs relevant to high-risk populations experiencing IPV and continue investigating the social and structural determinants of this violence. This work will strengthen my skills in research and knowledge translation to inform more effective practice and policy for addressing IPV and related health inequities in Canada.

Twitter: @AlexaYakubovich

Achieving health systems integration through policy development and implementation

Name: Yazmin Davila
Host Partner Organization: Health Standards Organization (HSO)
Location (City, Province): Ottawa, Ontario
Academic Institution: UBC Okanagan Campus
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a Mexican physician doing a doctoral program at UBC; my experience centers on planning, analyzing and evaluating healthcare from a public, meso-macro perspective. The goal of this project is to facilitate integration for health systems through the continued development and implementation of Health Standards Organization's Integrated People-Centred Systems (IPCS) standard(s. My program will focus on assisting with the development of the IPCS standard(s); also, I will prepare and publish a specific manuscript that informs how the IPCS standard can be used and implemented for specific populations. Finally, I will help to develop integrated knowledge translation (IKT) strategies to implement and/or spread/scale up the adoption of the IPCS standard(s) across Canada.

This is a great opportunity to strengthen and develop specific skills set for my career such as health policy analysis, IKT and critical thinking. Also, the development of IKT strategies will illuminate how to deliver and improve services for specific populations. Moreover, it is a good opportunity to improve the collaboration between researchers at UBC and decision-makers at HSO. Finally, the project can build upon research capacity across the country and internationally since HSO builds world-class standards and innovative assessment programs for accreditation bodies, governments, associations and others.

Twitter: @yazdavila
LinkedIn: Yazmin Davila

BC’s prisons & the overdose emergency: understanding the impact of policy on continuity of care

Name: Kate McLeod
Host Partner Organization: British Columbia Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions
Location (City, Province): Vancouver, British Columbia
Academic Institution: University of British Columbia
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a PhD student in the School of Population and Public Health. I am interested in how policy and governance impact healthcare and health outcomes for people who experience incarceration. My thesis research is exploring the effects of a policy change in BC which moved responsibility for healthcare in provincial correctional facilities to the Ministry of Health. People who have experienced incarceration are at a greatly increased risk for overdose, especially in the first days following release. Working with the BC Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions and in partnership with the BC Centre for Disease Control, the aim of my fellowship is to examine the impact of policy on continuity of substance use and addictions care during transitions between prison and community, as well as healthcare use following release. Understanding continuity of care and access to services for people who experience incarceration is essential to informing response to the ongoing overdose emergency, and to improving access to effective mental health and addictions services. This fellowship is an incredible opportunity to engage in meaningful, collaborative research while also developing professional skills and experience invaluable for my future career.

Email: kemcleod@alumni.ubc.ca

Detect and Act on Harmful Drug-Drug Interactions

Name: Araceli Gonzalez Reyes
Host Partner Organization: Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS)
Location (City, Province): Montreal, Quebec
Academic Institution: McGill University
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a doctoral candidate at the Department of Family Medicine, McGill University. My dissertation research focuses on measuring the prevalence and impact on community-dwelling adults of receiving treatment with certain prescription drug combinations which are predicted to lead to potentially dangerous drug-drug interactions known to cause severe adverse reactions. While prescription drugs help us lead healthier lives, many Canadians suffer medication-related harm each year. In Quebec, the Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) aims to assess the appropriate use of medications among those exposed to multiple medications and facing multiple chronic conditions. The Health Systems Impact Fellowship will give me the opportunity to partner with INESSS to begin developing a system to detect and act on drug combinations leading to harm among community-dwelling adult outpatients exposed to multiple medications. Specifically, I will explore whether and how information derived from my PhD work is valuable from the perspective of experts in medication-related decision-making at INESSS. I am excited to work towards harnessing my dissertation work for the advancement of the science of medication safety in a real-world context and look forward to enriching my knowledge and understanding of the decision-making processes within INESSS.

Email: araceli.gonzalezreyes@mail.mcgill.ca

Exploring the Real-World Value of Precision Medicine in Lung Cancer

Name: Samia Qureshi
Host Partner Organization: Institut national d'excellence en santé et services sociaux (INESSS)
Location (City, Province): Montreal, Quebec
Academic Institution: McGill University
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a doctoral trainee in Epidemiology at McGill University, with a master’s degree in public health. My previous experience in pharmaceutical, clinical, and epidemiological cancer research have built my interest in studying health policies and systems impacting cancer care in Canada.

The approval of targeted therapies in cancer is based on effectiveness demonstrated in clinical trials conducted in restricted populations. However, the impact of these expensive therapies remains unknown in the general population of cancer patients. For my HSI fellowship, I will be using administrative data at the Cancer Unit (CU) of the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) to understand the use of targeted therapies for lung cancer in the Quebec population. I will develop methods and provide crucial input for later evaluations by the CU team, which is mandated by the Quebec’s Health Ministry to evaluate innovations in cancer care to improve clinical practice and efficient use of resources across the cancer-care continuum.

As an HSI fellow, I am excited to engage with different professionals in a knowledge-sharing environment. Mostly, I look forward to the unique experiential learning opportunity to build evidence supporting decision-making processes that shape cancer care in our health system.

Email: samia.qureshi@mail.mcgill.ca

Preparing the Canadian health care system to meet the needs of older adults with combined vision and hearing impairments and their caregivers

Name: Atul Jaiswal
Host Partner Organization: Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille (INLB)
Location (city, province): Montreal, Quebec
Academic Institution: Université de Montréal
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a post-doctoral fellow in vision science in the Wittich Research Lab at the School of Optometry, Université de Montréal (UdeM) in collaboration with the Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille (INLB). My career goal is to become an academic researcher to advance knowledge in the field of combined vision and hearing impairments [referred as dual sensory impairment (DSI)] and generate evidence to inform Canadian health and rehabilitation care practice. With the increasing incidence of DSI among Canadians, I am excited to utilize the HSI postdoctoral fellowship to 1) understand the challenges older adults with DSI and their caregivers face while accessing healthcare, and 2) identifying ways to improve care by addressing training and service delivery needs of healthcare professionals who work with older adults with DSI. I obtained my PhD in Rehabilitation Science from Queen’s University where my thesis focused on identifying ways to enhance participation of individuals with DSI in society. With more than seven years of experience and training in occupational therapy, disability studies, and rehabilitation science, this HSI fellowship will provide me with experiential learning opportunities in a health system organization and academic environment to become an emerging leader in the field of DSI in Canada.

Email: atul.jaiswal@umontreal.ca
Twitter: @atuljais111
Website: Atul Jaiswal

Understanding organizational supports for front-line health care providers experiencing burnout

Name: Emily Moore
Host Partner Organization: Ontario Hospital Association
Location (City, Province): Toronto, Ontario
Academic Institution: McGill University
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at McGill University and will be completing my Health System Impact Fellowship in partnership with the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA). The aim of our program of work is to understand the organizational structures and interventions that exist to support front-line health care providers who may be experiencing burnout and explore models of support intended to prevent burnout. This collaboration will address the OHA’s impact goal of becoming a leader in the health policy dialogue by generating and sharing ideas to improve the health system. The opportunity to work in partnership with the OHA will nurture the development of skills I am eager to learn in order to pursue and achieve my career goals. I anticipate that this fellowship will significantly enrich my doctoral training by allowing me the opportunity to increase my understanding of the health care system and engage in research to improve it. Exposure to the healthcare system at a policy level will complement my current experience as a psychologist in training. I believe that understanding the healthcare system from a variety of perspectives will be invaluable in equipping me to make a meaningful impact in the future.

LinkedIn: Emily Moore

Analysis of nursing practices in management of populations with complex needs

Name: Émilie Dufour
Host Partner Organization: Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS)
Location (City, Province): Montréal, Québec
Academic Institution: Université de Montréal
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a doctoral candidate in nursing at the Université de Montréal. My research interests are in the measurement and improvement of primary care nursing. The objective of my program of work at the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) is in line with this goal as it seeks to optimize nursing practices among populations with complex needs. Strategies to improve clinical practices based on a collaborative reflexive approach of professionals are currently being implemented in primary care in Quebec. Restricted access to clinical and administrative data that allows analysis of nurses' specific practices and contributions limits their use as a reflexive tool. This work program aims to provide measurable indicators through accessible databases that will expand the scope of reflexive practices through active participation of nurses. This fellowship is a unique opportunity to carry out research while being closer to a decision-making level and thus to understand the mechanisms that allow research to have an impact in professional practices and in the health care system.

Twitter: @Emilie_Duf

Improving care transitions for women diagnosed with breast cancer in BC

Name: Leah K. Lambert
Host Partner Organization: BC Cancer
Location (City, Province): Vancouver, BC
Academic Institution: The University of British Columbia
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-Doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a Registered Nurse with a PhD in Nursing from the University of British Columbia, where I studied adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy after breast cancer. During my doctoral studies I was supported by a CIHR Strategic Training in Health Research Psychosocial Oncology Research Training fellowship. As a Post-Doctoral Fellow, I have partnered with BC Cancer, a world leader in providing first-class innovative research, treatment and care to address a critical challenge in the cancer system – improving transitions in care. My program of work is focused on identifying and mitigating barriers impeding effective care transitions for women diagnosed with breast cancer, including transferring follow-up to primary care settings. I will collaborate with an interdisciplinary team on research and health system initiatives that lead to evidence-informed improvements in care, better patient outcomes, and increased system performance. My aim is to determine how to most effectively provide quality and efficient health services and deliver excellent person-centred care across the cancer care trajectory. I am excited to be immersed in the organizational culture and operations at BC Cancer under the mentorship of Vice President, Patient Experience & Interprofessional Practice Bernice Budz and Dr. Sally Thorne, while working toward evidenced-informed health system change.

Twitter: @leahklam

Leveraging implementation and behavioural science to support laboratory stewardship

Name: Nicola McCleary
Host Partner Organization: Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association (EORLA)
Location (City, Province): Ottawa, Ontario
Academic Institution: Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI)
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Centre for Implementation Research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Deputy Lead of the Psychology and Health Research Group at the Ottawa Hospital. I completed my PhD in Applied Health Sciences at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. I have expertise in Health Psychology, Health Services Research, Implementation Science, and Evidence Synthesis.

EORLA is a member-owned, non-profit organization encompassing 18 licensed, acute care clinical laboratories conducting 13 million tests annually for 16 hospitals. A key priority is to introduce initiatives to reduce the proportion of tests ordered that have little to no value for patients. I will support EORLA in achieving this impact goal by identifying factors influencing low-value testing at EORLA hospitals and evaluating their initiatives. I will use a mixed-methods approach, combining behaviour change theory-guided interviews with stakeholders, and quantitative analysis of EORLA data. I am excited to work with Dr. Chris McCudden (EORLA) and Dr. Jamie Brehaut (OHRI) to develop an evidence base for guiding next steps for interventions to improve the quality of care provided to patients in hospitals in Eastern Ontario.

Email: nmccleary@ohri.ca
Twitter: @Nicola_McCleary
LinkedIn: Nicola McCleary

Health Workforce Planning to Promote Equitable Access to the Full Range of Maternity Care Providers Across the Champlain LHIN

Name: Caroline Chamberland-Rowe
Host Partner Organization: Champlain Maternal Newborn Regional Program
Location (City, Province): Ottawa, Ontario
Academic Institution: University of Ottawa
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a doctoral candidate studying health system management at Telfer School of Management. My program of research centers around maternal health workforce policy, planning and management. I am completing my fellowship with the Champlain Maternal Newborn Regional Program (CMNRP), a network mandated to provide leadership, support, and coordination for patient-focused planning and delivery of high quality integrated maternal and newborn services across the Champlain and South East Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). The CMNRP has identified health workforce planning as an important next step to support their regional capacity planning initiatives. My fellowship project aims to engage patients, providers, and policy-makers in the Champlain LHIN in a collaborative health workforce planning process to elicit the workforce, organizational, and system-level conditions that would be required to equitably support pregnant people’s access to the full range of maternity care providers across the region. This project will provide the CMNRP with evidence to support better alignment of maternal health workforce supply, distribution, and mix with pregnant people’s choices and needs. This fellowship constitutes an invaluable opportunity to apply my research skills to a critical health system challenge, and to develop the professional competencies essential to an impact-oriented career in health system research.

Twitter: @chamberlandrowe

Traffic calming implementation around Calgary elementary schools

Name: Tate HubkaRao
Host Partner Organization: The City of Calgary
Location (City, Province): Calgary, Alberta
Academic Institution: University of Calgary
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a first-year Community Health Sciences PhD student specializing in Epidemiology at the University of Calgary. I am very interested in how the design of our cities can systemically encourage healthy behaviours, preventing injury and illness throughout the lifespan. My project will investigate the impact specific built environment interventions can have on traffic behaviour around elementary schools, reducing the risk of motor-vehicle collisions causing child injuries and fatalities. By understanding the impact different features have on traffic behaviour and active school transport, we can inform the development of road networks which promote health around our schools and public spaces. Working with the City of Calgary will provide considerable experience in how municipal governments can directly impact the health of our cities and provide insight into what resources municipalities may need to be successful in that goal. I am very excited to begin the fellowship, and for the opportunity to impact the health of Calgary and other Canadian cities.

Twitter: @hubkatate

Developing a Patient Engagement Toolkit for Health Information Technology Initiatives

Name: Nelson Shen
Host Partner Organization: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
Location (City, Province): Toronto, Ontario
Academic Institution: University of Toronto
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-Doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I completed my PhD at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto. I am particularly interested in patient engagement and design thinking in developing and implementing health information technologies (HIT). My dissertation focused on the patient privacy perspective as it relates to their electronic health information to understand how we can design HIT and its policies in a manner that meets the patient expectation of privacy and fosters trust in these potentially transformative innovations.

One way to develop trust and HIT acceptance is to engage patients throughout the HIT lifecycle; however, patient engagement has historically been overlooked. My CIHR HSIF Post-Doctoral fellowship at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) involves designing a toolkit to help healthcare organizations develop patient engagement strategies in their health IT initiatives. Over the next two years, we will: co-design the toolkit with CAMH clients and knowledge-users and evaluate the user experience of using the toolkit in a patient portal implementation. I feel very honoured to have this tremendous opportunity to develop a stronger voice to advocate for patients. I look forward to learning through the mentorship from my HSIF supervisors and interactions with my HSIF peers.

Twitter: @nelshen
LinkedIn: Nelson Shen
ResearchGate: Nelson Shen

Supporting public health applications of artificial intelligence to improve population health

Name: Stacey Fisher
Host Partner Organization: Public Health Ontario
Location (City, Province): Toronto, Ontario
Academic Institution: University of Toronto
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I completed my PhD at the University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, where I developed, validated and applied a predictive algorithm uniquely designed to predict risk of dementia in community-dwelling individuals at the population level. The overall aim of my post-doctoral work with Public Health Ontario and the University of Toronto is to demonstrate and support public health applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). There is tremendous potential for AI/ML methods to improve population health by preventing chronic disease and reducing health inequalities, however applications in public health are limited as emphasis has been on healthcare and clinical decision-making applications. I will be developing an AI strategy for PHO, supporting public health units in building capacity for AI, and developing risk prediction models using AI/ML methods and demonstrating their utility for public health activities. The Health System Impact Fellowship is an exciting opportunity for me to directly make meaningful and impactful contributions to improving population health and reducing health inequalities.

Twitter: @StaceyFisher
LinkedIn: Stacey Fisher
ResearchGate: Stacey Fisher

Reducing Fragmentation in Perinatal Care for People who use Substances in Eastern Ontario

Name: Anna Dion
Host Partner Organization: CIET Canada
Location (City, Province): Ottawa, Ontario
Academic Institution: McGill University
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
My HSI Fellowship is with CIETcanada, a non-profit organization with over 30 years experience building community voices into planning, both in Canada and internationally. This collaboration will extend CIETcanada’s portfolio of work in Canada by adapting methods developed as part of my doctoral work to broaden what counts as actionable evidence and expertise in the context of perinatal care for marginalized groups in Canada. I will work with CIETcanada to support marginalized pregnant people,in shaping their care in an environment that supports their sense of agency, dignity and connectedness, elements that make important contributions to perinatal outcomes, and are central to CIET programming. I am grateful for the opportunity this fellowship provides in gaining critical experience and training in support of my long-term goals of strengthening the inclusion of marginalized populations in the design, delivery and evaluation of health and social services in Canada.

Twitter: @AnnaDion

Illuminating Innovation in Canadian Hospitals – An Economic Evaluation of Ultra-Violet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) Devices

Name: William Hall
Host Partner Organization: Fraser Health Authority
Location (City, Province): Vancouver, British Columbia
Academic Institution: University of British Columbia
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
My name is William Hall and I am a Health Economics PhD student at the University of British Columbia. The research I will be working on with our partner organization is aimed at evaluating the economic impact of Ultra Violet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) devices. UVGI’s are robots that shine ultra violet light to kill pathogens including ones that cause harmful hospital acquired infections like MRSA and CDIFF. Using trial data and interrupted time series analysis combined with health economic methods, we hope to inform reimbursement decisions for this class of technology.

I feel very fortunate to be counted among emerging Canadian health research leaders, and look forward to connecting with you all soon in Toronto. In the meantime, please add me to linkedin and if you have any questions about health economics - I can do my best to answer them.

LinkedIn: William Hall
Website: William Hall

Medical Travel in the Western Arctic: Learning from Gwich’in Patients and Communities

Name: Crystal Milligan
Host Partner Organization: Gwich'in Tribal Council
Location (City, Province): Inuvik, Northwest Territories
Academic Institution: University of Toronto
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a PhD student in Health Services Research at the Institute of Health, Policy, Management and Evaluation within the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH), also completing a Collaborative Specialization in Indigenous Health through the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health at DLSPH. Following a decade building and implementing health strategy and systems in low-/middle-income countries and Canada’s North, I have turned to examining with my research partners how Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing contribute to organizational learning in healthcare. During my fellowship, I will collaborate with the Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC) in Northwest Territories to braid Gwich’in knowledge and experience together with Western research, generating new evidence to inform culturally safe, patient-centered policy and programs. Specifically, we will work toward understanding the gaps, successes and challenges associated with medical travel—a necessary burden for those living in the Arctic—and identify priorities for the GTC in supporting Gwich’in patients in their medical travel journeys. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to experience life and healthcare in an Arctic setting and will listen intently to my Gwich’in partners to help identify what health organizations must learn in order to improve.

Twitter: @learning4health
LinkedIn: Crystal Milligan

Evaluation of a strategy to optimize the implementation of Choosing Wisely interventions

Name: Gillian Parker Elliott
Host Partner Organization: North York General Hospital
Location (City, Province): Toronto, Ontario
Academic Institution: University of Toronto
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a PhD student at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. I also hold a master’s degree from York University. My research focuses on implementation processes, and the impact of implementation support and fidelity on clinical outcomes. In partnership with North York General Hospital, and under the supervision of Dr. Monika Kastner, I will be conducting an evaluation of a strategy to optimize the implementation of Choosing Wisely interventions at Ontario community hospitals and Family Health Teams. North York General Hospital is a leading academic hospital which is committed to fostering a culture of innovation in healthcare and will provide me with a constructive, influential environment where I will be empowered to innovate and contribute to the transformation of the delivery of care. As a Health Systems Impact Fellow, I will have the opportunity to apply my research and analytic skills and to continue to build my professional skills in the healthcare setting to advance this innovative initiative and support this critical healthcare change.

Email: gillian.elliott@mail.utoronto.ca

Enhancing collaborative care planning with older adults receiving home-care services

Name: Melissa Northwood
Host Partner Organization: SE Health
Location (City, Province): Markham, Ontario
Academic Institution: University of Waterloo
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
The impact goal I will be addressing with SE Research Centre is to develop, scale, and spread within SE Health and its health-care system partners an assessment and care-planning model for older adults and caregivers that uses the interRAI suits of tools and outputs to identify client and caregiver goals, deliver and coordinate care, and monitor progress and quality. A participatory research-to-action framework will be employed to co-design and evaluate this model with clients and caregivers and interprofessional teams, including primary-care physicians. The anticipated benefits of this impact project for clients and caregivers is an enhanced care-planning experience better aligned with principles of person- and family-centred care. The project also has potential to improve experiences of home-care staff by fostering interprofessional collaboration, creating more satisfying connections with clients, and developing their skill in assessment and care planning. At the organizational level, the project findings will inform future health human resource needs and supportive technology needs. I am excited about the fellowship as I believe that this impact project will contribute to a learning health system by providing innovative solutions to efficient and effective health- and social-care delivery at this time of major health-care system re-design in Ontario.

Twitter: @northwoodRN
Website: SE Research Centre

Predicting Cardiac Arrest in Pediatric ICU Using Machine Learning

Name: Sana Tonekaboni
Host Partner Organization: Hospital for Sick children
Location (City, Province): Toronto, Ontario
Academic Institution: University of Toronto
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a PhD student at the University of Toronto, department of computer science. My research focus is in machine learning, and more specifically, I look into how machine learning can be leveraged to tackle problems in healthcare domain. For this project, I am working on predicting cardiac arrest in patients at the pediatric ICU, using vital measurements at bedside. This fellowship is an opportunity for me to work closely with clinical experts, understand the challenges they face everyday, and be able to make an impact by designing practical solutions as clinician assistant tools. Predicting cardiac arrest ahead of time allows timely warning and intervention, and ultimately saves many children lives. With machine learning, we can take advantage of the great amount of physiological measurements that are taken, and identify signs of arrest from the signals. I am excited to be part of this program, since it is not only an opportunity to apply my knowledge to solve real healthcare issues, but also learn what it takes to implement such solutions in practice and see the impact it can make.

LinkedIn: Sana Tonekaboni

Integrating Geography to Evaluate Health Inequalities Across Urban, Rural and Remote Canada

Name: Lauren Jewett
Host Partner Organization: Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)
Location (City, Province): Ottawa, Ontario
Academic Institution: University of Toronto, Dept. of Geography and Planning
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a health geographer committed to reducing health inequities across urban, rural and remote Canada. My interdisciplinary research program explores the use of statistical methods to identify and evaluate geodemographic disparities in the pathway of care following severe-urgent health events. Additionally, my research includes the development of tools and resources to integrate health-geography theory and methods into health services research. I am a doctoral trainee in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. My previous education includes a BSc (McMaster University) and a Masters of Geographic Information Systems (UCalgary).

As a Fellow with CIHI - Canadian Population Health Initiative, I will use geodemographic statistical methods to evaluate inequalities in healthcare utilization across urban, rural and remote communities. This work centers on characterizing and comparing how sensitive these health outcomes are to different aggregate regions and scales, particularly for rural and remote communities. Results will contribute to actionable evidence to design locally appropriate interventions to reduce healthcare inequalities. The methods developed will be considered for inclusion towards a methodological framework for future geospatial-health inequalities analysis.

Twitter: @LaurJewett
Website: Lauren Jewett

Improving the Canadian drug approval framework: Evaluation of effectiveness; safety and economic uncertainty associated with new cancer medicines using real world evidence

Name: Narhari Timilshina
Host Partner Organization: Cancer Care Ontario (CCO)
Location (City, Province): Toronto, Ontario
Academic Institution: University of Toronto
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am currently pursuing a PhD in Health Services Research at University of Toronto. I have over 10 years of experiences in health services and clinical research in oncological area. My doctoral thesis focused on developing quality indicators, quality of care and long term outcomes among patients undergoing active surveillance for low risk prostate cancer using large administrative databases.

I am excited to be working with the Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) for my doctoral HSI Fellowship. The goal of my fellowship research project is to refine the drug approval framework and support clinical practice by taking RWE into account in the regulatory and drug approval process. My project will support a development of real world evidence framework by evaluating a cancer drug using real world data (RWD). The project will inform the policy makers the real-world impact of a funded cancer drug.

This fellowship will be a unique opportunity, which will provide me a better understanding of the regulatory and drug approval process in Canada.

Twitter: @NarhariT
LinkedIn: Narhari Timilshina
ResearchGate: Narhari Timilshina
Email: Narhari.Timilshina@mail.utoronto.ca

Investing wisely: using economic modelling to optimize public health strategies to reduce harm from alcohol, tobacco and cannabis and optimize benefits in British Columbia

Name: Magda Aguiar
Host Partner Organization: BC Ministry of Health
Location (City, Province): Victoria, BC
Academic Institution: University of British Columbia
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral fellow

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I trained in public health (MSc) and health economics (PhD) at the University of Birmingham, in the UK. My work developed around questions of resource allocation in public health in the areas of vitamin D deficiency and childhood obesity.

As a postdoctoral HIS fellow, I will work with BC Ministry of Health’s Legal Substances & Problem Gambling Policy & Prevention Branch. My work will provide greater understanding of the economic consequences of substance use and how public health programs can minimize the related costs and harms. I will focus on evaluating: I) smoking cessation; II) routine alcohol screening in primary care unit; and III) the use of psychedelic-assisted therapy for addictions. These evaluations will support evidence-based decision making and inform policy makers on the wider impact of these interventions. In addition, this fellowship will be seminal to a future research program on health economics and legal substance use – a systems approach to cross-substance economic evaluations in public health.

I am excited for the opportunity to learn about health systems from within and maximize the impact of my research by addressing policy challenges that are top priorities for the Ministry of Health.

Email: magda.aguiar@ubc.ca
Twitter: @magdaaguiar

What to Bundle Next? The Case for Bundled Care

Name: Jeremiah Hwee
Host Partner Organization: Trillium Health Partners
Location (City, Province): Mississauga, Ontario
Academic Institution: University of Toronto
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
Jeremiah Hwee obtained his doctorate in epidemiology at the University of Toronto and is a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Better Health at Trillium Health Partners and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at University of Toronto. He will be working under the supervision of Stephanie Joyce, VP of Patient Care Services & Health Service Integration and Dr. Walter Wodchis, Professor at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. There is an opportunity to expand bundled care, however, it is unclear what to bundle next. Bundled care is an emerging service delivery and funding model that defines a basket of services for a targeted condition and pays for these services in a single payment for multiple providers and across multiple settings with specific outcomes attached to the bundle. The overall objective of the project is to identify which bundled care model holds the most promise. The outcome of the project will inform the design of bundled care models and which clinical area has the most potential for the next bundled care implementation. Dr. Hwee is excited about the program of work, the experiential learning opportunities and the experience working with different stakeholders.

ResearchGate: Jeremiah Hwee
Linkedin: Jeremiah Hwee

Implementation and evaluation of City of Hamilton’s Healthy Weights Priority

Name: Hilary A.T. Caldwell
Host Partner Organization: City of Hamilton Public Health Services
Location (City, Province): Hamilton, Ontario
Academic Institution: McMaster University
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a 4th year PhD Candidate in the Department of Kinesiology and I conduct my research with the Child Health & Exercise Medicine Program at McMaster University. I am completing my Fellowship with the Healthy Builts Environment team at City of Hamilton Public Health Services, whose current priority areas are: Healthy Weights, Health Equity and Mental Health & Addictions. This goal of my Fellowship is to support the development, execution and evaluation the Healthy Weights implementation plan. The Healthy Weights strategy will focus on system level interventions that target environments that support health behaviours and a large part of my portfolio is Hamilton’s Active & Sustainable School Travel initiative. My previous research has focused on lab and community-based studies of children’s physical activity, fitness and physical literacy. I am excited to apply my research and evaluation skills to new projects with Public Health Services and to learn from my health system supervisor and colleagues. I hope to gain skills, knowledge and competencies that will prepare me for a successful career in health promotion and public health.

Email: caldweha@mcmaster.ca
Twitter: @CaldwellHilary
Lab website: Hilary A.T. Caldwell

Optimizing LGBTQI2S Engagement with Hospice/Palliative Care

Name: Robert Savage (Beringer)
Host Partner Organization: Victoria Hospice
Location (City, Province): Victoria, BC
Academic Institution: University of Victoria
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-Doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I have worked as a gerontologist and researcher for 10 years. In 2019 I completed my doctoral dissertation focused on The Experience of Older Gay Men Living in Non-Metropolitan British Columbia. Concurrently as a CIHR, Institute of Gender and Health, Design Jam award recipient (2018), I have created a website and program titled The LGBTQI2S Dignity Project which aims to address challenges older LGBTQI2S face when they enter long-term care. In addition, since 2017 I have worked in the role of HQP (Highly Qualified Personnel) as a member of the iCAN-ACP Diversity Access Team, where we are exploring barriers to advance care planning in LGBTQI2S, Chinese, and South Asian populations. During the 2-year post-doctoral Health System Impact Fellowship (HSIF), I will extend my work with the LGBTQI2S community by Evaluating and Optimizing LGBTQI2S Engagement with Hospice and Palliative Care in the Island Health Region of British Columbia. Using a Participatory Action Research approach in my HSIF project, I will gain valuable experience as an applied community-based researcher, which aligns with my long-term career objectives. I am excited to be a Health Systems Impact Postdoctoral Fellow because I‘ve always had a strong interest in community-based research.

Websites: The LGBT End-of-Life Conversations, The LGBTQI2S Dignity Project

Using machine learning on clinical notes to improve our understanding of clients with depression and inform decisions about their care

Name: Marta Maslej
Host Partner Organization: The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Location (City, Province): Toronto, Ontario
Academic Institution: The University of Toronto
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I completed my PhD in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University. My doctoral work involved using diverse methodologies to study depression’s emotional and cognitive symptoms, as well as the long-term effects of antidepressants. In my current postdoctoral fellowship, I contributed to projects that used machine learning to identify depression and suicide risk from social media posts. This strengthened my interest in how AI might be used to improve our understanding of depression and its treatment.

I look forward to continuing my clinical research training and professional development in this Health Systems Impact Fellowship. In my project, I focus on a valuable (but often underutilized) source of data in health records: clinical notes. Contributing to an effort to match clients with the appropriate care at my host partner organization, I will investigate whether information contained in these notes is useful for predicting responses to treatments for depression. I will also examine potential biases in prediction accuracy related to client demographics and the writing style of psychiatrists. My findings have potential to inform the development of support tools that may assist with clinical decision-making and improving client representation, while promoting the ethical use of AI.

Email: Marta.Maslej@camh.ca

Providing a rigorous evidence base to inform integrated health care policy

Name: Sophie Hogeveen
Host Partner Organization: Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care
Location (City, Province): Toronto, Ontario
Academic Institution: McMaster University
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I completed my PhD in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. My research focuses broadly on health services delivery through the investigation of decision support systems and innovative care processes that make use of health system resources in a sustainable and equitable manner. My doctoral work investigated patterns of community-based specialized geriatric services use by community-dwelling older home care clients using secondary health assessment and administrative data. In the future, I intend to build on this work by investigating models of care to better integrate home and community care with community-based physician services. In partnership with the Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV), I will be working on a community-based innovation project funded by the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), focusing on the use of health system data for the evaluation of integrated care. The Health Systems Impact Fellowship is an exciting opportunity for me to explore the impact of the changing health care system on the health of communities in Toronto and to contribute to evidence to inform future initiatives and policies.

Email: sophie.hogeveen@wchospital.ca

Supporting health system stakeholders to sustain their effective innovations

Name: Celia Laur
Host Partner Organization: Women's College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV)
Location (City, Province): Toronto, Ontario
Academic Institution: University of Toronto
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Postdoctoral

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am an implementation scientist working across disciplines and settings to understand how effective interventions can be sustained, spread, and scaled-up. My PhD at the University of Waterloo focused on understanding healthcare professionals’ perspectives on implementing, sustaining and spreading nutrition care activities in hospitals across Canada.

For this Postdoctoral Fellowship, I am supervised by Dr. Sacha Bhatia, Director of WIHV and Dr. Noah Ivers, Canada Research Chair in Implementation of Evidence-based Practice. My project will use an Integrated Knowledge Translation approach, bridging research and health system innovation to support WIHV’s goal of sustained impact. I will create a toolkit to help WIHV support their partners make sustainable change that improves quality of care and health outcomes. I also aim to understand if and how sustainability is considered by health systems stakeholders and researchers who have implemented interventions that have potential for large-scale impact.

I am excited for this opportunity to focus on my interest in sustainability while engaging with WIHV partners that are enacting large-scale change management initiatives. I hope that these relationships will expand my network while strengthening WIHV’s ability to understand the real-world drivers of sustainability and promote sustainability planning across the projects in which they engage.

Twitter: @Celia_Laur
LinkedIn: Celia Laur

How can public health apply AI for combatting vaccine misinformation?

Name: Melodie (Yunju) Song
Host Partner Organization: Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (OAHPP)
Location (City, Province): Toronto, Ontario
Academic Institution: Ryerson University, School of Occupation and Public Health
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I completed my PhD in health policy from the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (HEI) at McMaster University. I obtained my BSN and MSc in Public Health Policy and Management at the National Taiwan University, and graduate certificates in global health and STI/HIV prevention from the University of Washington. As a postdoctoral research fellow at the Social Media Lab at Ryerson University, I worked on using network analysis and linguistic analysis to explore vaccine hesitancy on YouTube. A mixed-methods researcher, I have a deep interest in public opinion on health policy implementation, vaccine misinformation, and the spread of misinformation on social media on public sentiment towards vaccines. At Public Health Ontario (PHO), it is my goal to work with the Department of Applied Immunization Research and Evaluation (AIRE) to develop a report on how AI can be applied to increase public confidence in vaccine uptake based on in-depth interviews with policymakers and decisionmakers related to immunization. HSIF presents a unique opportunity to work with epidemiologists and public health communications specialists to apply machine-learning and natural language processing to provide vaccine-information on social media to reach target populations susceptible to vaccine hesitancy in a timely manner.

Twitter: @MelodieYJSong
Website: Melodie (Yunju) Song

Optimizing Inter-professional Primary Care

Name: Mark Embrett
Host Partner Organization: Nova Scotia Health Authority
Location (City, Province): Halifax, NS
Academic Institution: Dalhousie University
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-Doctoral

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I completed my PhD at McMaster University in Health Policy and am interested in informed decision making to improve health system performance and health equity. My post-doctoral fellowship work focuses on the impact inter-professional collaboration in primary care has on the health system and assessing how to optimize the implementation and operation of team performance. I will be working under the guidance of esteemed professionals and research at NSHA and Dalhousie, which will allow me access to the inter-professional action itself. I am very excited about contributing to the health system reform of my home province and making great connections throughout it.

Twitter: @markembrett

Building Capacity for Surveillance and Policy Development: Health Impact Assessments of Air Quality in Northern British Columbia

Name: Lisa Ronald
Host Partner Organization: Northern Health Authority
Location (City, Province): Prince George, BC
Academic Institution: Simon Fraser University
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
Before joining Simon Fraser University as a post-doctoral fellow, I completed a PhD (Epidemiology, McGill University), MSc (Biology, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine), and MSc (Epidemiology, UBC). My fellowship is based at Northern Health Authority, one of five regional health authorities in BC, providing most public health and health services for the northern half of the province. An expansion of resource extraction projects coupled with record-breaking wildfire seasons in northern BC has led to concerns about potential health impacts from increased industrial emissions and wildfire smoke. My fellowship objectives include identifying relevant indicators and baseline measures of air quality and health outcomes that can be used to develop prospective public health surveillance tools by Northern Health and other regional partners. My fellowship supports Northern Health’s strategic priority of healthy people in healthy communities, through promoting and protecting healthy environments, and helping to build regional capacity for conducting environmental health impact assessments and surveillance. Through this fellowship I hope to develop a better understanding of issues facing northern rural and remote communities, particularly around the health impacts of large resource extraction projects, and to gain experience with how policies are developed and implemented by regional and local public health decision makers.

Email: Lisa.Ronald@northernhealth.ca
LinkedIn: Lisa Ronald

Enhancing population health monitoring and evaluation using text analytics on clinical data

Name: Hyeju Jang
Host Partner Organization: BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC)
Location (City, Province): Vancouver, BC
Academic Institution: University of British Columbia
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a post-doctoral fellow in the Computer Science department at the University of British Columbia and at the BC Centre for Disease Control. I completed my PhD in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. My PhD research was on computational modeling of metaphor in Natural Language Processing (NLP). During this fellowship, I will apply my expertise and skills in NLP and machine learning for applications in population health monitoring and evaluation, which will be beneficial for the design of health services. This fellowship is a valuable opportunity which will provide me with a better understanding of real-world clinical data and collaboration with domain experts.

Website: Hyeju Jang

Evaluating the response to BC’s overdose crisis: Moving research into practice

Name: Elena Argento
Host Partner Organization: Vancouver Coastal Health
Location (City, Province): Vancouver, BC
Academic Institution: University of British Columbia
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a postdoctoral fellow with Vancouver Coastal Health in partnership with the BC Centre on Substance Use. My overall goal is to ensure that research informs evidence-based policies and programs to improve addiction treatment and care for people who use drugs in BC and beyond. The objective of my program is to evaluate the response to the overdose crisis using interdisciplinary methods to help develop and implement comprehensive and integrated addiction treatment and care. My work will utilize linked data sources and networks to evaluate the impact and efficacy of both 'naturally occurring' and novel clinical interventions on overdose and overdose risk. My work will also aim to identify gaps in care and will engage in integrated knowledge translation. The HSIF is a unique and timely opportunity to address an urgent public health crisis and help implement real-world changes to policy and practice.

Email: elena.argento@cgshe.ubc.ca
ResearchGate: Elena Argento

Assessment and improvement of healthy lifestyle promotion interventions, the technical quality of care and the care trajectory for diabetes in proximity care and services within a learning health system

Name: Houssein Madar
Host Partner Organization: National institute of excellence in health and social services (INESSS), Interdisciplinary health informatics research group (GRIIS)
Location (City, Province): Montréal, Québec
Academic Institution: Department of Health Management, Evaluation and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Montreal
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Postdoctoral fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a clinician (endocrinologist), and during my postdoctoral internship, I will work on the INESSS program Collective for best practices and the improvement of care and services (CoMPAS+), which runs reflective practice workshops. These workshops facilitate the planning of interventions to improve the population’s health status by strengthening practices in accordance with best practice standards through first-line teams’ involvement in implementing action plans. During my internship at the INESSS, funded by the Health System Impact Fellowship, my goal is to assess healthy lifestyles and the care trajectory for diabetes by using clinical administrative data from the INESSS and electronic medical record (EMR) data from a learning health system (PARS3). The indicators assessed will be useful for CoMPAS+ workshops. Use of big data is also an innovative approach that could lead to advances in knowledge and a better direction for healthy lifestyle promotion for the growing number of citizens suffering from chronic cardiometabolic diseases.

Website: National institute of excellence in health and social services (INESSS)

Share. Learn. Optimize. Disseminating knowledge within Ontario regarding spinal cord injury rehabilitation services and health systems.

Name: Matheus J Wiest
Host Partner Organization: Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation
Location (City, Province): Toronto, Ontario
Academic Institution: University Health Network
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am a third-year post-doctoral fellow at the KITE, Toronto Rehab - University Health Network. The main focus of my research program is on improving spinal cord injury rehabilitation care in Canada. Currently, there are barriers to integrating the widely interdisciplinary teams involved in providing spinal cord injury rehabilitation care. The HSI fellowship offers a singular opportunity to develop a continuing education model to improve the capacity of rehabilitation service providers through peer-to-peer learning during their workday and optimize care integration. This fellowship will also empower me to enhance and diversify my professional and academic skill set closely aligning with my ambition to identify and address health system barriers and achieve integrated health systems.

Twitter: @WiestMatheus

Co-creating a way for the health system to best help adult survivors of childhood cancer

Name: Jennifer Shuldiner
Host Partner Organization: Women's College Hospital
Location (City, Province): Toronto, Ontario
Academic Institution: Women's College Hospital
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
Jennifer's work uses a multi-method approach to health service research. She has worked on a diverse portfolio of projects in the health sector, including infectious disease, dementia, nursing homes, transitions in care, indicators to assess health system performance, cancer screening and genetic testing. Her Ph.D. in epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto used mixed-methods to explore decision making and responses related to receiving uncertain genetic results.

For her HSIF at Women's College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care, Jennifer will be working on a multi-method project, informed by design thinking, to develop a surveillance system for childhood cancer survivors in Ontario who are at risk for late-term effects. The project will engage survivors, providers, and stakeholders to design a centralized support system that will help ensure current evidence for recommended tests are put into practice. The training in design thinking from the fellowship project, in combination with network building and leadership skills, will give her a strong foundation to begin a career of the development and implementation of effective, and patient and provider-centred innovation.

Twitter: @JennShuldiner

Fairness: An Institutional Ethnography of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning and Health Equity at CAMH

Name: Laura Sikstrom
Host Partner Organization: CAMH
Location (City, Province): Toronto, Ontario
Academic Institution: CAMH
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
Laura is a medical anthropologist (PhD, University of Toronto) who works at the intersections of evidence-based medicine, health service delivery and social justice. Much of her doctoral and post-doctoral research was grounded in long term ethnographic fieldwork of Malawi’s national pediatric HIV treatment program. Laura’s previous work was nominated for the Governor General’s Gold Award by the University of Toronto, which is the highest academic honour in Canada. As a CIHR Health System Impact Fellow she will spearhead an urgent conversation about notions of fairness in artificial intelligence and machine learning applications by asking: what makes training datasets fair (or unbiased and representative) and how are principles of fairness (or an ethos of fair treatment) incorporated into decision-making by human (patients, clinicians and data curators) and non-human (AI) care teams? The primary objective is to identify competing or conflicting ideas about fairness and develop guiding principles to meet these concerns. This project will foster the responsible interpretation of knowledge derived from AI/ML and is essential to ensure that policy uptake is relevant and beneficial for all.

Email: laura.sikstrom@camh.ca
Twitter: @LauraSikstrom

Building an Integrated Health Delivery System in Burlington, Ontario

Name: Chi-Ling Joanna Sinn
Host Partner Organization: Joseph Brant Hospital
Location (City, Province): Burlington, Ontario
Academic Institution: University of Waterloo
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I completed my PhD in Aging, Health, and Well-Being at the University of Waterloo. My thesis examined need for and outcomes of publicly funded personal support services in Ontario, with the goal of supporting consistent, transparent, and equitable access to these services.

As a Health System Impact Fellow, I will work with partner organizations across the Burlington sub-region to establish an Integrated Health Delivery System (IHDS). The Ontario health care system has often operated in silos that impedes the flow of patients and information and poses a barrier to quality care. Initially, the IHDS will focus on integrating primary care, acute care, and home care for a defined population. In its mature state, the IHDS will feature a single point of clinical and fiscal accountability and a shared patient record. This model is expected to improve access to care, population health outcomes, and patient experience.

Bringing together clinical care, policy making, and knowledge translation is what motivates me as a health services researcher. I am very excited to contribute to this project that I believe will make a difference at the system level and may serve as a guide for similar models emerging across Ontario.

Twitter: @JoannaSinn

Food Security Surveillance in British Columbia’s Public Health System

Name: Rebecca Hasdell
Host Partner Organization: BC Centre for Disease Control
Location (City, Province): Vancouver, BC
Academic Institution: Dalhousie University
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the BC Centre for Disease Control and Dalhousie University. My research in healthy public policy approaches to promote healthier communities and cities builds on over a decade of experience in program planning and strategic policy in health and social services. I completed my PhD in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. The HSIF is an exciting opportunity to bring together my academic training with my experience in the public sector to make an impact on challenges facing the public health system.

At the BCCDC, I will assess the capacity of BC’s public health system to implement a novel framework and indicators to support food security monitoring within and beyond public health. Addressing food insecurity is a priority issue for the public health sector and requires an intersectoral approach to monitoring and action. As a HSI fellow I will work with local and regional agencies across the province to implement the indicators. Improving the surveillance and monitoring of food security in BC will provide accurate, timely and actionable intelligence about the impact of food security policies, practices and programs within and beyond the public health sector.

Twitter: @rebeccahasdell
Website: The Food Policy Lab's Research Team

Developing a visual analytic framework for analyzing large administrative datasets and electronic medical record data

Name: Jawad Ahmed Chishtie
Host Partner Organization: Canadian Institute for Health Information
Location (City, Province): Toronto, ON
Academic Institution: University of Toronto
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I’m a public health physician and aspiring data scientist/strategist, and my passion has been developing research informed, equitable solutions in healthcare. In 2018, I developed a methodology to analyze large administrative and EMR datasets for studying patient journeys using visual analytics (VA). As an HSI Fellow in 2019, I’m working at Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) in: 1. Literature synthesis of the use of visual analytic methods in population health and health services research; 2. Development of an AI application using the IBM’s design thinking; 3. Exploratory analysis of EMR data for patients with comparably worse outcomes.

I lead the ‘Visual Analytics Mindshare’ group, with experts from data science and healthcare. Our current projects include literature synthesis on visual analytics; and sense making of learning health system maps developed by Prof John Lavis.

As part of the CIHI’s Analytic Tools and Techniques team, I hope to develop a replicable framework for the analysis of EMR data using visual analytics. This will help inform future directions for data use, and improve overcoming gaps in primary care. The fellowship offers an unmatched opportunity for experiential learning, with CIHI being a dedicated organization working for improving the health of Canadians.

LinkedIn: Jawad Ahmed Chishtie

Ensuring screening quality in a complex governance system

Name: Celine Cressman
Host Partner Organization: BORN
Location (City, Province): Toronto, Ontario
Academic Institution: University of Toronto
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: Post-doctoral fellow

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
Celine is a health systems researcher with training in health policy (PhD, University of Toronto) and public health research (MSc, University of Edinburgh) and core interests in child health, governance, health technology assessment and evidence-based policy-making. Her doctoral work focused on developmental screening, examining how governance arrangements impact evidence review, policy design and program implementation. By partnering with Prenatal Screening Ontario (PSO) Celine is thrilled to enhance her training by addressing a real-world health system priority.

As a new program, PSO’s governance structure is complex, involving a vast network of professional and policy actors and accountability structures. This poses a challenge to delivering a high-quality screening program, accessible to all pregnant people in Ontario.

The proposed work aims to 1) understand barriers and facilitators to achieving a high-quality prenatal screening system in Ontario, with consideration of PSO’s structure, mandate, operations, and vision for quality improvement; 2) identify models and attributes of success, and; 3) develop a framework and provide practical recommendations for achieving quality that are responsive to evolving policy systems, program goals, and screening technologies.

The key impact goal is to generate recommendations and operational solutions for organizing and coordinating decision-making and delivery of high-quality prenatal screening in Ontario.

Email: celine.cressman@utoronto.ca
Linkedin: Celine Cressman
ResearchGate: Celine Cressman

Advancing the uptake of a culturally-safe model of care to facilitate hepatitis C treatment among Indigenous people who use drugs in BC

Name: April Mazzuca
Host Partner Organization: BC Centre for Disease Control
Location (City, Province): Vancouver, British Columbia
Academic Institution: University of British Columbia
PhD or Post-doctoral Fellowship: PhD Fellowship

About You & Your Fellowship Program of Work:
I am doctoral candidate at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health. My research focuses on evaluating the impact of the Cedar HCV Blanket Program, a pilot intervention nested within the Cedar Project, a community-governed prospective cohort examining HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) vulnerabilities among Indigenous people who use drugs in BC. The Blanket Program was developed to address structural-social barriers to HCV care, that are rooted in colonialism, by providing culturally-safe, strengths-based case management before, during, and after HCV treatment. This model of care was conceived by the Cedar Project Partnership, an independent body of Indigenous Elders, Leaders and social service experts who govern all aspects of the study. Partnering with the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) will advance the uptake of Cedar Project findings to address this organization’s vital impact goal: Identifying culturally-safe practices to enhance HCV care. To achieve this objective, our work will use an integrated knowledge translation approach to bring together the BCCDC and Cedar Partners to harmonize research findings and systems. This fellowship provides an important opportunity to align with Truth and Reconciliation calls to action by mobilizing Indigenous-led research to inform policy and programming for Indigenous people living with HCV.

Email: april.mazzuca@alumni.ubc.ca

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