Shelley Vanderhout is a registered dietitian and PhD candidate in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. Shelley trained as a dietitian at the Hospital for Sick Children and undertook her Masters and PhD degrees with TARGet Kids!, a primary care research network focused on early life exposures and health outcomes across the life course. Her research is centred on dietary influences on child growth, development and nutrition, but also includes engaging parents of children participating in TARGet Kids! in the research process. Shelley is interested in determining creative and inclusive ways to partner with parents in 1) prioritizing research topics that are relevant to families, 2) conducting innovative clinical trials in children for chronic disease prevention, and 3) knowledge translation and dissemination to diverse communities.
Dr. Meghan Sebastianski (BSc, MPH, PhD) is the Program Coordinator for Knowledge Synthesis with the Alberta Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) SUPPORT Unit Knowledge Translation platform. Her research interests focus on bridging the gap between individual research studies and health practice. Dr. Sebastianski undertook her doctoral studies at the University of Alberta focusing on clinical epidemiology and research methodology with the Epidemiology Coordinating and Research Centre (EPICORE). In addition to her research experience she has also been involved in the use of knowledge synthesis in evidence-based decision making through her tenure as Project Manager in Health Technology Assessment and Innovation with Alberta Health Services (AHS). She has a growing interest in pedagogy relating to evidence-based medicine and has taught workshops on knowledge synthesis and systematic reviews at the Alberta SPOR Summer Institute, the SPOR Moving Evidence to Action (META) workshop series, the Campus Alberta Student Conference on Health (CASCH). She has also taught Cochrane Standard Author Training modules and is a member of the Cochrane Training Network.
Lisa Strifler (MSc, BSc) is a PhD candidate in health services research at the University of Toronto and trainee in the SPOR Evidence Alliance. Her thesis research involves developing and evaluating a decision support tool to help frontline implementers select an appropriate theory, model or framework to inform their knowledge translation activities. Her work is supported by a Canadian Institutes for Health Research Banting Doctoral Research Award. Lisa also has experience in knowledge synthesis methods including systematic reviews, scoping reviews and rapid reviews.
Dr. Meghan Elliott is a kidney doctor and health researcher at the University of Calgary. She completed a Master’s in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Toronto and has an interest in patient-oriented research. She engages with patients as partners in many aspects of her research program and uses primarily qualitative methods to better understand the experiences and needs of kidney health stakeholders.
Leah Boulos is an information specialist working as the Evidence Synthesis Coordinator at the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit (MSSU) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she provides training and support to teams conducting evidence syntheses including systematic reviews, scoping reviews, and environmental scans. Her research activities focus on systematic review online training methods, librarian support of systematic reviews, streamlining review processes, and electronic searching for prognosis studies. She is a graduate of the Dalhousie University School of Information Management, where she currently teaches a Masters-level course on health sciences literature and information sources. Leah also holds a Bachelor of Music in piano from Mount Allison University, and is an avid choral music performer.
Dr. Keeping-Burke is Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Health Research in the Department of Nursing & Health Sciences at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John. She completed a PhD from McGill University in 2010 and Master and Bachelor degrees in Nursing from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1997 and 1987, respectively. Dr. Keeping-Burke conducts qualitative and quantitative research as well as systematic reviews using the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) methodology. Her current program of research focuses on chronic disease management for adult populations. Dr. Keeping-Burke is a certified trainer for the JBI Comprehensive Systematic Review Program and Director of the UNB Saint John Collaboration for Evidence-Informed Healthcare: A JBI Centre of Excellence. She is a member of the Graduate Academic Unit at UNB and supervises graduate students who are interested in chronic disease management.
Dr. Marilyn Macdonald is a Professor and Associate Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Nursing, and Director of the Joanna Briggs Centre of Excellence in the conduct of systematic reviews, Dalhousie University. She has a varied background in clinical nursing including; general surgery, cardio-vascular surgery, public-health nursing, home care, and a decade as a clinical nurse specialist. The primary focus of her research is homecare with a focus on caregivers. Dr. Macdonald is an Affiliate Scientist with the Nova Scotia Health Authority, and theme lead for Transitions in Care with the Canadian Frailty Network. Research interests are in home care, patient/caregiver safety and qualitative inquiry.
Ms. Kelly English is a 62 year old who has difficult to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis. Ms. English also has permanent neurological damage from one of her meds on her right side. This has made activities difficult and increased pain. Despite this, Ms. English has made Rheumatoid Arthritis research her passion and goal. Participation in research, attendance at conferences, writing about her disease and being interviewed or speaking about it has helped her and others with arthritis. Working with researchers on teams as also increased her knowledge as opposed to simply being a participant in the research project. Ms. English has been a member of Arthritis Research Canada’s Arthritis Patient Advisory Board for 6 years – 3 of which were co-chair of the board. Ms. English also holds a part time job as a bookkeeper – dependent on how she is feeling at the time. Currently, Ms. English is on the Training and Capacity Development Committee of SPOR Alliance as patient co-chair. The experience has opened her eyes to a new area of research.
Dr. Jennifer Donnan is an Assistant Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, in the School of Pharmacy. She is also a pharmacist and teaches in the areas of Pharmacy Practice and Evidence Based Medicine. Her research interests are in health policy, drug safety and effectiveness, and integrating patient preferences into health care decisions. She also loves to foster a passion for evidence based medicine with the undergraduate pharmacy students.
Subsequent to a 3 year term at a national accounting firm, JoAnne worked as an analyst in the public/private sector. The diagnosis of her child’s rare disorder led to a career pivot; doing so allowed for the time to engage with similarly diagnosed families and to watch (painfully slow) scientific discovery unfold over the years.
Her interest in research brought her to joining a Research Network in 2017. This was timely; opportunities for patient engagement were becoming more apparent.
To further her capacity, she pursued training through St. Michael’s Hospital KT Program PIR Course, McMaster University-KBHN FER Course, and other Patient and Public Research Partnership offerings.
Recent and on-going activities are diverse. These include providing the patient perspective at various stages of the research process; Beta tester for PORCCH; reviewing lay summaries; initiating a newsletter for members of PAN (Patient Advisors Network); serving on a Grant Review panel, on a Network KT Committee , on a project PFAC / RCT liaison; serving as a patient –partner on a Global database encompassing 2 rare diseases as well as on TACC (Transforming Autism Care Consortium); serving as member of MNI/H (Montreal Neurological Institute/Hospital) Patients Committee.
To keep inspired, she enjoys the manageable bites that “Behavioural Neuroscience Daily” brings. When interest is piqued but expertise lacking, she doesn’t hesitate to reach out to her designated champions of POR at academic and research institutions with questions or queries.
Paramount to JoAnne is patient partnership in helping set Canadian research priorities. To this end, she believes in academic persistence; that knowledge is a driver of empowerment and resilience.