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 I have a 2 year certificate in Health Services and Policy Research. My education reflects my focus on 1) how to develop research evidence that is useful, relevant and applicable for people and 2) the 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. I also study research partnerships and collaborative research design and conduct.
Most of my work is done by and with Inuit community members and organizations and with First Nations, Metis and urban Indigenous communities. We mainly focus on cancer care now, as community members identify cancer as the worst health system experience. I study and promote partnership approaches to research as learning to be an ethical, equitable research partner (as defined by those partnered with) is important: 1) To develop the best research evidence, 2) to do research that is ethical and equitable and supports Indigenous sovereignty in research, and 3) increase forms of knowledge used in health and social system (beyond dominant Western-oriented forms of knowledge).
The research we do aims to contribute to health and social systems that are welcoming and inclusive for everyone (“Health for All”).