I am originally trained as an occupational therapist and during my early years of work in Nunavut and NorthWest Territories noticed how 1) the information I had to work with as a therapist was not relevant to the clients I was seeing and 2) that people rarely had any say in decisions about their health. I have worked in many areas of the healthcare field as a therapist - and in many areas of the healthcare system in Canada, including as a healthcare manager and in healthcare policy. My PhD is in population health and at the same time I did a 2 year certificate in Health Services and Policy Research. I did these as I wanted to know 1) how to develop research evidence that is useful, relevant and applicable for people and 2) to focus on development of shared decision making tools and approaches for use by clients and healthcare providers in healthcare systems. I now have an active program of research developing shared decison making tools and approaches, and all of the research is done in partnership with community member partners. Most of my work is done by and with Inuit community members and organizations and with First Nations and Metis communities as well. We focus on cancer care now, as community members identify cancer as the worst situation for their community members. I also study and promote partnership approaches to research as learning to be a strong partner (as defined by those partnered with) is important - to develop the best research evidence, to do research work that is ethical and equitable, and to increase forms of knowledge that are in our academy and society (outside of the Western-oriented forms of knowledge that are dominant).
The research we do aims to contribute to health and social systems that are welcoming and inclusive for everyone.