Advisory Committee

The RHSRNbc Advisory Committee is comprised of University Site Leaders, all of whom have extensive experience in rural health services research. Their knowledge and expertise continue to guide RHSRNbc’s activities and events.

Currently, the Advisory Committee has representation from the University of British Columbia (UBC), UBC’s Okanagan Campus (UBCO), the University of Northern BC (UNBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU), Selkirk College, the University of Victoria (UVic) and Vancouver Island University (VIU).

Dr. Ruth Lavergne, PhD

Ruth seeks to generate evidence that can help inform health policy, and ultimately support better outcomes for patients, greater equity within populations, and more efficient use of society’s resources. Ruth leads a team examining primary care reform in British Columbia, and is involved in a cross-provincial comparison of primary care policies. Other research interests include regional variation in health services delivery, rural health, palliative care, and health human resources. Ruth has methodological expertise in quasi-experimental research design and use of administrative data in health research.

Dr. Jonathan Vanderhoek, PhD

Dr. Jonathan Vanderhoek joined Selkirk College in 2016 to work at a teaching-focused institution while living in a community that prioritizes quality of life. Before moving to the Kootenays, he was at large in Texas, completing a Ph.D. and serving as a Clinical Ethics Fellow in various hospitals. His primary academic interests include questions in Biomedical Ethics (e.g., how should we in medicine “treat” the dying process?), Moral Psychology (e.g., what is the role of empathy in making moral judgments?), and Existentialism (e.g., how are we responsible for shaping who we become?).

Dr. Erin Wilson, PhD, NP(F)

Dr. Wilson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George. She holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Health Sciences and maintains a clinical practice as a family nurse practitioner. Her research examines the delivery of primary health care in rural settings. She draws on patient-oriented and interpretive approaches to examine how interprofessional teams can improve access, coordination, and continuity of care in ways that are safe and equitable for patients and communities.

Dr. Colleen Price, PhD

Dr. Colleen Price is a Bachelor of Nursing Program professor at Vancouver Island University. Her primary research interests include mental health and substance misuse, community health nursing and community development, Indigenous health and research.

Dr. Nelly Oelke

Dr. Nelly Oelke research focus is on integrated health services, with a specific emphasis on primary health care. Integrated health systems are an important component of health care desired by policy-makers, decision-makers, providers and patients. Integration has been the topic of health care reform locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. Better understanding how health services and systems can be integrated and then being able to measure integration are important areas for research. Given the demographics of our population (e.g., aging, chronic disease, diversity) and significant health human resource issues, new approaches to health service delivery are required to ensure integration, quality of care and sustainability. More research is needed in the redesign of primary care and primary healthcare models, testing these models, and measuring outcomes. Dr. Oelke also has a strong collaborative partnership with researchers at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Dr. Alison Gerlach

Dr. Gerlach is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Human & Social Development at the University of Victoria. Her research interests are in family well-being and health equity in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous contexts. She is currently focusing her projects on informing systems change for the equity-oriented child- and family-centred care in diverse early years and healthcare contexts with Indigenous and non-Indigenous families and children who experience structural forms of marginalization and a greater risk of health inequities.

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