Dr. Tracie Afifi

Tracie Afifi received her Bachelor of Science (BSc) in 1999 and her Master of Science (MSc) in 2003 at the University of Manitoba. In 2009, she completed her Doctorate in the Department of Community Health Sciences also at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Afifi joined the faculty in the Department of Community Health Sciences with a cross appointment in the Department of Psychiatry in 2010. In 2014, she was promoted to Associate Professor, in 2016 was granted tenure and in 2019 she was promoted to Professor.

Afifi has received numerous prestigious awards throughout her career including a Merit Award in Research from the University of Manitoba and the Rh Award for Outstanding Contributions to Scholarship and Research in the Health Sciences category from the University of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Rh Institute Foundation. Dr. Afifi was also the recipient of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children, Children’s Rights Support Award. This award is presented to an individual or group who has demonstrated exemplary efforts to respect the rights of children as described in the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child. Most recently Afifi was awarded the Gold Leaf Prize for Outstanding Achievements by an Early Career Investigator from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Dr. Afifi’s primary research interest is in the area of child maltreatment (including child abuse, neglect, physical punishment, and exposure to intimate partner violence). She has used population-based data from Canada, the United States, and the Netherlands to investigate mental and physical health correlates of child maltreatment. She has also conducted several studies to understand risk and protective factors related to child maltreatment and how to foster resilience. Dr. Afifi has published over 113 peer-reviewed journal publications and presented research findings in over 130 national and international conference proceedings. Dr. Afifi has participated in over 100 media interviews for print, radio, television, and social media resulting in over 1,500 known worldwide news stories. With regard to child maltreatment, Dr. Afifi is interested in furthering our understanding of protective factors related to resilience following child maltreatment, and effective child maltreatment prevention and intervention strategies.

Dr. Marcia Anderson

Dr. Marcia Anderson is Cree- Saulteaux, with roots going to the Norway House Cree Nation and Peguis First Nation in Manitoba. She practices both Internal Medicine and Public Health as a Medical Officer of Health with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. She is the Executive Director of Indigenous Academic Affairs in the Ongomiizwin Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba.

Current active areas of work include leading the development and implementation of Truth and Reconciliation Response Action Plans, Indigenous youth health, Indigenous maternal and child health, and Indigenous health care quality.

Dr. Anderson has recently been appointed Chair of the Indigenous Health Network of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada. She is a Past President of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada and Past Chair of the Pacific Region Indigenous Doctors Congress. She was recognized for her contributions to Indigenous peoples health with a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in March 2011.

Dr. Lisa Avery

Dr. Avery is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Manitoba. She is interested in inequalities in health-care access and outcomes, including determinants of health and their impact on the sexual and reproductive health of low- and middle-income societies. She is especially interested in research projects and knowledge translation related to global public health and women’s health.

Avery is one of the principal investigators for an innovative grassroots nutrition program in Kenya funded by the Canadian International Development Agency and the Canadian Food Grains Bank. The $2.2-million program developed by the Centre for Global Public Health in the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Medicine will create and deliver maternal, newborn and child health nutritional programs for vulnerable families in Kenya by empowering local women to deliver programming in their communities. This project brings together student researchers, international health experts, and non-government organizations to reduce the number of preventable maternal and child deaths.

Avery graduated with a BSc in anatomy and cell science from McGill University. She attained her medical degree at the University of Manitoba, as well as postgraduate training in obstetrics and gynecology and international health. Dr. Avery completed her masters of international health with a focus on sexual and reproductive health (including maternal and neonatal health) and HIV/AIDS policy, planning and implementation at the University of Copenhagen. She is a past recipient of the J.A. Hildes Award.

Dr. Marissa Becker

Dr. Marissa Becker is an associate professor in the Centre for Global Public Health. The physician and researcher focuses on understanding HIV risk, vulnerability and outcomes among disadvantaged populations globally and in Canada.

Becker was a panelist at the University of Manitoba Visionary Conversation focused on the questions: Is the end of HIV in sight? Can the University of Manitoba’s renowned scientists help us achieve this ambitious goal?

She has been awarded a Canadian Institutes for Health Research New Investigator Award for her research. She is also the co-scientific lead of the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases at the University of Manitoba and the associate director of the Manitoba HIV Program. Her Research Interests include public health, infectious diseases and program science.

Dr. James Blanchard

Dr. Blanchard is a professor of Community Health Sciences and Medical Microbiology in the Faculty of Medicine. He recieved his Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in epidemiology and global public health in 2004.

Blanchard’s research aims to better understand the underlying determinants of epidemics, and ultimately develop effective public health stratagies to better allocate health services, and reduce disease spread. He investigates why some people get sick and others don’t, and why some communities are more at risk than others. As an epidemiologist, he studies the local and global distribution of communicable and non-communicable diseases like HIV in India, and diabetes mellitus and inflammatory bowel disease in Canada.

Blanchard has recieved numerous awards, including the Frederick G. Banting Award from the Canadian Diabetes Association and the 2006 Rh Award for Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba from the Winnipeg Rh Institute Foundation.

Dr. Marni Brownell

Dr. Brownell is a professor in Community Health Sciences who was among the featured speakers at the May 22, 2013, Visionary Conversation on Our Education System: The Good, The Bad, and The Solutions. She is the lead investigator of a University of Manitoba study that looked at a decade worth of data about Manitoba’s youth and the relationship between poverty and graduation statistics.

Brownell’s research team looked more closely at potential risk factors that can push kids off course. Among youth involved with the child welfare agency Child and Family Services, only 57 per cent received a diploma.

For kids whose family had also received income assistance and whose mothers had become parents as teenagers, that number dropped to 16 per cent. In a single day in 2007, more than 65,000 kids were in care in Canada. Between 9,000 and 10,000 of those children are in Manitoba. One quarter of Manitoba children are Aboriginal, yet they make up nearly 90 per cent of children in care. This discrepancy suggests Aboriginal families facing childrearing challenges are being treated differently than non-Aboriginal families, Brownell says.

Brownell is also a senior research scientist at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. She trained as a developmental psychologist and was a recipient of a Canadian Institutes for Health Research new investigator award.

She uses administrative health and social service databases to examine child health and well-being, with a particular focus on the social determinants of health. Her research program includes projects on early literacy, autism spectrum disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and psychostimulant treatment, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, developing population-level indicators of child health, and evaluations of programs designed to improve early childhood development. She has trained master’s-level students and research assistants to work with the administrative child health and social services data held at MCHP.

Dr. Douglas Brownridge

Dr. Brownridge’s research focuses on the right to live free of family violence.  He has published scores of articles and three books on family violence, with a particular emphasis on vulnerable populations that are under-researched and under-served.  Dr. Brownridge has presented his research in numerous locales across the world including Canada, the United States, United Kingdom, Portugal and Hong Kong.

Dr. Robert Chase

Dr. Robert Chase graduated from McMaster University medical school in 1985 with a post-graduate residency in family medicine and community medicine and an MSc in design measurement and evaluation. He has been an assistant professor in Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba since 1997.

Chase has active international health interests in the impact of war on community and environmental health, particularly the mental health of children, in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. He is also involved in primary health-care in Tibet.

His area of speciality is occupational health, principally in the management and prevention of work-related chronic musculoskeletal injuries, and other workplace interventions.

Dr. Albert Chudley

Dr. Chudley is a professor in the departments of pediatrics and child health, and of biochemistry and medical genetics, at the University of Manitoba. He is also the medical director of the genetics and metabolism program with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

He was part of a panel discussion Feb. 10, 2014, on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and the need for a 21st century human rights response.

Chudley’s clinical and research interests include the recognition and prevention of birth defects, including fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and fetal solvent exposure; the causes of developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders; gene mapping and gene discovery.

He is a member of a research team exploring the interaction between genes, alcohol, and environment that is expected to provide long-awaited diagnostic tools for early intervention in FASD.

Chudley has served on many university and hospital committees, community, church and national professional societies and government boards. For example, he has been a consultant to the Manitoba, Alberta and Canadian governments and internationally (New Zealand, France) on issues related to FASD and he is a former vice-chair of Assisted Human Reproduction Canada. He has been a member of the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba since it began in 2001.

Chudley has authored or co-authored more than 400 scientific publications, book chapters and abstracts on a variety of topics related to medical genetics and birth defects. He is a recipient the Founder’s Award from the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists for outstanding achievement and exceptional contributions to medical genetics.

Dr. Catherine Cook

Dr. Cook is a Manitoban physician and Métis woman. She currently holds a joint position as vice-president of population and Aboriginal health for the Winnipeg Health Region, and associate dean of First Nations, Métis and Inuit health at the University of Manitoba’s faculty of medicine.

In the former position, Cook is responsible for the ongoing development and implementation of the Aboriginal Health Strategy.

In the latter position, she is a leader in developing a resource centre for Aboriginal students and establishing processes for building the capacity to meet the academic, professional development and social support needs of Aboriginal students.

Cook is also engaged at the university in teaching and research, including with the Swampy Cree Suicide Prevention Team. The team is comprised of university researchers and First Nations community partners, who effectively blend Western and traditional ways of knowing to reduce the disproportionately high rates of suicide amongst First Nations peoples.

Before focusing on public health practice, Cook practiced as a family physician in remote northern nursing stations. She has held various positions, including: associate director of the J.A. Hildes Northern Medical Unit; regional director of health programs for First Nations and Inuit Health; regional medical officer of health for the Nor-Man and Winnipeg Regional Health Authorities; and co-chair of the Changes for Children implementation team – a process for systemic change within the child welfare system. She also served as a special advisor to Manitoba’s health minister during the H1N1 influenza outbreak in 2009.

Dr. Maryanne Crockett

Dr. Maryanne Crockett is an associate professor of pediatrics and child health in medical microbiology. She is also the section head of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. Her research interests include travel-related infections in children, immigrant health, malaria and co-infections.

Crockett’s research focuses on the importance of maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) for mothers, babies, families and communities. She and Dr. Lisa Avery were recently featured in a video by the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation explaining Canada’s role in MNCH, and how it has positive economic, societal and health impacts globally. Her latest research examines a framework for improving global maternal, newborn and child health through the effective implementation of known evidence-based interventions.

Crockett is involved in several large MNCH projects in India and Kenya through the University of Manitoba Centre for Global Public Health. These projects use a program science framework to implement and evaluate evidence-based MNCH interventions throughout the continuum of care.

Dr. Michelle Driedger

Dr. Driedger is a professor of Community Health Sciences and a proud member of the Manitoba Métis nation. She obtained her PhD in geography from McMaster University and studies the dissemination of evidence about risk issues in environment and health, from science to policy, using qualititative research methods.

Dr. Driedger’s particular focus is on how risks are constructed, communicated and interpreted by scientific experts, policy-makers, the lay public and media. She brings to the discussion of science-policy debates an understanding of the interplay between power and authority surrounding the construction of risk issues. As technology is constantly changing and we become even more dependent on information and evidence, it is crucial that researchers seek to understand very complex relationships and interactions between expert and lay audiences. Knowledge translation and risk communication are key elements to these processes.

Dr. Driedger has recieved funding to examine factors that affect the public’s trust in decision-maker action on risk to the health of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.

Dr. Joan Durrant

Dr. Durrant conducts research on children’s right to protection, framed within principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  She has published rights-based articles on violence against children in the International Journal of Children’s Rights, Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics; Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma; International Journal of Child Abuse and Neglect; and Social Welfare and Family Law, as well as a chapter in A Question of Commitment: Children’s Rights in Canada.”  She also has written two books, one for parents and one for teachers, that explain non-violent discipline from a child rights perspective.  She has provided training on non-violent discipline in Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Fiji.  She is co-editing a volume entitled, Global Pathways to Abolishing Physical Punishment: Realizing Children’s Rights.

Dr. Durrant has made presentations on children’s rights to protection at the United Nations in New York and Geneva, as well as to government officials in the UK, New Zealand, Greece, Mongolia, Japan and Taiwan.  She has provided expert testimony to the New Zealand Government’s Select Committee on amending the Criminal Code to ban physical punishment of children, as well as to Canada’s Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.  She was a member of the Research Advisory Committee to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Study on Violence against Children and a member of the Advisory Committee to the Canadian Incidence Study on Reported Child Abuse and Neglect – Second Cycle.  She was an expert witness in the Constitutional challenge to Section 43 of the Criminal Code, which was heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.  She is a member of the Children’s Rights Academic Network, coordinated by Landon Pearson at Carleton University.  She is the lead author of the Joint Statement on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth, a research-based document aimed at increasing awareness of children’s right to protection in Canada.  This document has been cited by Senate Committees and endorsed by more than 350 professional organizations in Canada.

Dr. Brenda Elias

Dr. Elias is an Associate professor in Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba, and former co-director and founding member of the Manitoba First Nations Centre for Aboriginal Health Research. Her research interests include gender health, mental health, social determinants, health info-structures, Indigenous and inter-transdisciplinary health research, and research ethics. She conducts multilevel quantitative and mixed-method studies into the social, cultural, biological, economic, political and historical determinants of health. Dr. Elias is a strong advocate of team collaborations, and has contributed as a principal, co-principal and co-investigator to more than 38 grants exceeding $18 million.

Dr. Elias is a research affiliate with the U of Manitoba Centre for Human Rights Research and is working with like-minded colleagues to advance health rights of populations. She has initiated and led three noteworthy national CIHR grants to understand through novel data linkage approaches the determinants of health disparities in First Nations communities. Dr. Elias has developed a health disparity research program that involves linking the federal Indian Registry System to the Province of Manitoba health and social administrative databases to make transparent the gap in health status between First Nations and other Manitobans and to illustrate where progress has been made. She is a member of the International Indigenous Health Measurement Working Group and is working with academic and government researchers from Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Australia to liberate health and social information for Indigenous people worldwide in keeping with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Dr. Elias is also the lead investigator of “Translating to the Community: A social epigenetic nutritional study of FASD”.  This CIHR and MLLC funded study is linked to an international FASD consortium that is developing an early diagnostic biomarker tool for FASD and associated co-morbidities. This study is framed to advance the rights of children and adults living with FASD. In addition, she is a member of the CHRR water rights research consortium and has collaborated with University of Manitoba researchers to secure national funding from CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC to advance First Nations water rights in Canada. Dr. Elias teaches health survey research methods and the social organization of health in the Department of Community Health Sciences.

Dr. Hani El-Gabalawy

Dr. Hani El-Gabalawy is an internationally-recognized leader in rheumatoid arthritis research. He has published landmark studies on synovial biology, the pathogenesis of early arthritis, and has recently established a unique First Nations cohort to study gene-environment interactions in the pre-clinical phase of arthritis. His research has been dedicated to understanding the mechanisms involved in initiating and sustaining rheumatoid arthritis and helping patients with this disorder.

Dr. Evelyn Forget

What would happen if everyone had a guaranteed minimum income? Would poverty worsen? Would people stop working? In the 1970s, the Manitoba and federal governments set to find out using Dauphin adults as research subjects. Although researchers kept records, no one analyzed them – until Dr. Evelyn Forget revisited the data.

She discovered that guaranteeing people an income can improve health, which could mean health-care savings. Fewer people went to the hospital, especially for mental health, accidents and injuries. More people graduated from high school and, overall, people worked just as much as they did before. Forget was a guest on the award-winning podcast, Freakonomics Radio, where she discussed her research on a guaranteed basic income and whether the world is ready for it.

An economist by trade, Forget is a professor in the department of community health sciences. Her research interests include upstream investments in health, as well as the efficiency and effectiveness of the Canadian health-care system. She has consulted for provincial and federal government departments, First Nations and non-governmental organizations.

Forget is the academic director of the Manitoba Research Data Centre housed at Health Sciences Centre. In 2012, she was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for her guaranteed annual income work and in 2014, she received the Mike McCracken Award for Economic Statistics from the Canadian Economics Association.

Dr. Melinda Fowler

Dr. Melinda Fowler knew she wanted to care for people from a young age. She is a Métis/Mi’kmaq woman who grew up on the east coast of Canada in Newfoundland and Southern Labrador. She received her Bachelor of Nursing (BScN) in 2001 from Memorial University of Newfoundland & Labrador. While working as a full time nurse at Sunnybrook Hospital, she returned to her education and received her Doctor of Chiropractic (CD) in 2006 at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. While working as a nurse and chiropractor, she again returned to education and completed her undergraduate medical degree (MD) in 2010 and her residency in family medicine in 2012; both at McMaster University. She is passionate about being an advocate for Indigenous youth and encouraging them to recognize their power and potential. She also encourages culturally safe spaces for Indigenous student learners in medicine, addressing and removing barriers and promoting curriculum which will educate both students and educators.

Dr. Fowler joined the department of Community Health Sciences as an Assistant Clinical Professor in 2015. She also holds an appointment in the Department of Family Medicine as Lecturer and Preceptor and is Director of Ongomiizwin Education. In addition to her academic roles, Dr. Fowler also holds a position with the Northern Medical Unit as a Locum at Percy E. Moore Hospital and Fisher Branch Health Centre, and is Medical Director & Family Physician at Mount Carmel Clinic in Winnipeg.

Dr. Fowler’s professional interest include Indigenous health, social determinants of health, health advocacy, culturally safe care, traditional medicine and ceremony, chronic pain and addictions, GLTBQ, sports medicine, and clinical leadership. Her personal interests include physical fitness and healthy lifestyles, yoga, music, travel, tattoos, and her family life with her partner and daughter.

Dr. Fowler plays an integral role in the Medical School Entrance Interview (MSEI) Workshop: Strengthening Identity in Medicine (alongside Drs. Marcia Anderson and Darlene Kitty). The workshop provides prospective students with the necessary tools to succeed when applying for medical school and includes a cultural component aimed towards Indigenous identity. Because of this work, the number of self-identified Indigenous students accepted into the medical school program has grown.

Dr. Shivalingappa Halli

Dr. Shivalingappa Halli is professor of community health at the University of Manitoba. He works with a team involved in supporting the state of Karnataka and India to improve maternal, neonatal and child health outcomes through the development and adoption of effective operational health system approaches within the National Rural Health Mission. During the last 10 years, he has contributed to the implementation of an HIV/AIDS program supported by the Canadian government, the U.S. government and the Gates Foundation.

He was part of the team that designed and implemented a prevalence survey in the district of Bagalkot that highlights the need for an urgent and sustained response in Northern Karnataka. The Government of Karnataka recently honored him with its highest civilian award, the Karnataka Rajyothsava Award.

Prior to being a professor of community health, Halli was a professor of sociology at the University of Manitoba. He has won many awards for his outstanding contribution to research, including the prestigious Rh Award. In 2004, he was awarded the Lifetime Outstanding Contribution Award from the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association for successfully applying social science knowledge in the wider realm of science.

Halli has published or edited nine books and contributed to several chapters and original articles in Canadian and international scientific journals. Many of his research findings have been reviewed in national daily newspapers and had a significant impact on policy.

He has been a consultant to the World Health Organization, the United Nations Development Programme, the European Union and UN Population Fund. He was invited by UNDP to help understand rehabilitation issues of Kosovo refugees in Albania. He was also invited to analyze the first-ever national survey on safe motherhood conducted by the UN Population Fund in Sudan. Halli was also involved in the mid-term review of the $250 million European Union funded project in India on Health Sector Reform. He has been a visiting professor in many countries, including Australia, Brazil and Bangladesh.

Dr. Andrew Hatala

Andrew R. Hatala is a cultural psychologist, qualitative and community-health researcher, and medical anthropologist with community-based research experience in urban Canadian contexts and rural communities in southern Belize. He became Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences after completing a CIHR post-doctorate fellowship in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan investigating strategies of resilience and mental health among First Nations and Metis youth. Dr. Hatala completed his PhD from the Culture, Health, and Human Development program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan. His dissertation involved a comparative analysis of the relationship between Q’eqchi’ Maya traditional healer conceptions of mental illness and Western conceptions outlined in the DSM-5, including how this relationship or lack thereof impacts health policy and practice in Belize. The Belizean and Canadian research projects both involved knowledge generation of key psychological and socio-cultural determinants of health and well-being among Indigenous populations, community-informed ethical practices, relationship building, engagement with critical social theory, and the translation of research findings to support collaborative university-community goals.

Hatala’s current research consists of three interconnected projects all focused on the overall goal of generating evidence-based knowledge of community initiatives designed to improve health equity and wellness among Indigenous populations: (1) investigating barriers to treatment and health service needs for Indigenous peoples living in Saskatoon and Winnipeg with HIV/AIDS; (2) fostering dialogues between Maya Indigenous healers and the Ministry of Health in Belize to improve cultural competence among biomedical staff and cultural safety for Indigenous patients; and (3) measuring health impacts for urban Indigenous youth in Canada who carry out participatory action projects designed to improve the social determinants of health in their local neighbourhoods.

Throughout his work Hatala critically examines the social and cultural determinants of health—at distal (historical, political, social, and economic contexts), intermediate (community infrastructure, resources, systems, and capacities), and proximal (health behaviours, physical, and social environments) levels—as root causes of inequities among contemporary Indigenous populations. At the same time, Dr. Hatala’s qualitative research approach focuses on revealing cultural strengths, local Indigenous knowledge, and positive aspects of a community that are needed to promote resilience, health equity, and social change. In line with this focus, Hatala recently co-authored a paper that summarizes the emerging evidence for the benefits of Indigenous-led health service partnerships for the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples. His other published works focus on: traditional Indigenous healing and epistemology; Indigenous nosology of mental illness and disorder; culture, spirituality, and complimentary / alternative medicine; and resilience and well-being among Indigenous youth populations.

Dr. Christine Kelly

Dr. Christine Kelly is an Assistant Professor in Community Health Sciences and former Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in Feminist and Gender Studies, University of Ottawa. Informed by feminist and disability scholarship, Christine uses qualitative methods to explore the politics of care and Canadian disability movements.

Dr. Kelly explores the politics of care through qualitative studies of attendant services, home care and long-term care. Her research on Canadian disability movements highlights arts-based and radical mobilizing and the shifting landscape for non-profit disability organizations.

Dr. Kelly co-edited Mobilizing Metaphor: Art, Culture and Disability Activism in Canada (2017, UBC Press), a collection that considers the role of art and radical organizing in transforming contemporary Canadian disability movements. Christine also authored the book Disability Politics and Care: The Challenge of Direct Funding (2016, UBC Press), which uses the example of an independent living attendant service program to consider what it might mean to incorporate a rejection of care into the core of our theorizing, policies and practices of support.

Dr. Kelly’s current work considers the intersections of aging and disability, evolving models of home care delivery, and the role of art in embodied social movements.

Dr. Ken Kasper

Dr. Ken Kasper is an assistant professor of medical microbiology and director of the Manitoba HIV program.

He is a key opinion leader on the Prairie HIV pandemic and the primary investigator of a number of research projects involving Manitobans living with HIV.

Kasper is an infectious disease specialist working at Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Center hospital and Nine Circles Community Clinic. He has been the director of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority HIV program and the Manitoba HIV program since its inception in 2007.

Kasper was a panelist at the University of Manitoba visionary conversation asking if the end of HIV is in sight and whether the University of Manitoba’s renowned scientists can help achieve this ambitious goal.

Dr. Linda Larcombe

Dr. Larcombe’s research is focused on the study of genetic, socio-cultural and environmental factors contributing to infectious disease susceptibility and resistance in Canadian Aboriginal populations. Trained in anthropology, her approach to infectious disease research is multidisciplinary and draws from medical anthropology, immunogenetics, immunology, ancient DNA, geographic information systems, land use studies, history and archaeology to gain new perspectives regarding disease susceptibility and resistance.

Dr. Josée Lavoie

Thanks to Dr. Josée Lavoie, there are exciting new opportunities at the Univeristy of Manitoba for students interested in Indigenous health research. Through her leadership, the university has been awarded funding by the Diamond Jubilee Scholarship program to manage Promoting international community-university partnerships in global and Indigenous health. Queen Elizabeth Scholars will benefit from partnerships with local Indigenous community partners and others across the globe.

In her own research, Lavoie explores Indigenous health services policy, focusing on contracting, accountability and responsiveness. She is particularly interested in how western and Indigenous knowledge systems interface in the provision of health services in Indigenous communities.

Lavoie is a professor with the department of community health sciences at the University of Manitoba. She also directs Ongomiizwin – Research.

Lavoie holds a BSc in dietetics and nutrition and an MA in medical anthropology from McGill University, as well as a PhD in health policy and financing from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Before beginning her research career, Lavoie spent 10 years working in Indigenous-controlled health services in northern Canada.

Dr. Robert Lorway

Lorway studies the overlap of sexual minority rights, culture and health, especially with respect to global health interventions in Africa and Asia.

In Namibia’s Rainbow Project: Gay Rights in an African Nation, Lorway details the unintended negative effects of a program for LGBT youth, challenging the oft-made assumption that programs that work well in the West will work similarly across the world.

The associate professor in the department of community health sciences is the team leader of an HIV Vaccine Acceptability Team Research program sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. This program works closely with communities of sex workers and men who have sex with men in Kenya, China and India to help advance their concerns related to the anticipated release of new HIV prevention technologies.

Dr. Sharon Macdonald

An interest in Canadian geography and natural history led Dr. Macdonald to Churchill, where she began an ongoing relationship with northern and Aboriginal communities. She worked as a general practitioner in Nunavut and northern Manitoba for the Northern Medical Unit under the mentorship of Jack Hildes. Dr. Macdonald developed an interest in the health of populations and health-care delivery in remote areas. She returned to specialty training in community medicine and has been a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada since 1982. Over the years, Dr. Macdonald has worked in Aboriginal health care, public health, and community health service delivery systems. She is a longtime member of the Department of Community Health Sciences and has participated in a variety of departmental and faculty activities, including as director of the J.A. Hildes Northern Medical Unit. Dr. Macdonald was vice-president of community health services at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority from 2000-2006. Her research interests include public health, knowledge translation, home care and Aboriginal health services.

Dr. Deborah McPhail

Dr. McPhail joined Community Health Sciences as an assistant professor in 2012.

A critical health scholar who studies the social aspects of obesity, McPhail’s interdisciplinary work has been published in journals such as Antipode and Social Science & Medicine. She obtained a PhD in women’s studies from York University in 2010. Her doctoral dissertation, A Feminist History of Obesity Discourse in Twentieth-Century Canada, is under advance contract for publication with the University of Toronto Press.

McPhail’s current work focuses on the interplay among obesity discourse, food access, traditional eating practices and social inequalities. Her other areas of interest include critical theories of health and the body, feminist and qualitative research methods, and anti-racist and postcolonial studies.

Dr. Javier Mignone

In 2008, some Colombian non-profit health insurance companies realized they were collecting more data than they knew what to do with and approached the University of Manitoba for help. Fast forward to today where more than 150 Indigenous Columbians are now trained to use this health information to strengthen their communities – thanks largely to the help of Dr. Mignone.

He is an associate professor in the department of community health sciences.

Mignone is involved in development projects on intercultural health with Indigenous partners in Guatemala, Colombia and Argentina. He studies Indigenous people’s rights, health equity and social development of marginalized communities.

Mignone has worked with human rights organizations as a mental health therapist for victims of state repression. He is an affiliate at the Centre for Aboriginal Health Research.

Dr. Michael Moffatt

Dr. Moffatt spent two years as a general practitioner in Fort Rae, NWT, where he developed a lifelong passion for northern and Indigenous health issues. He moved to Manitoba in 1983 and has since practiced pediatrics. Moffatt has also held positions as director of the J.A. Hildes Northern Medical Unit and head of Community Health Sciences, where he remains a professor.

His research intrests have included pediatric epidemiology, population health and clinical research on the health of First Nation and Inuit children, iron deficiency, enuresis, sudden infant death syndrome, early childhood caries and injury prevention. Recently, Moffatt has started researching quality improvement in health, patient safety and knowledge translation.

He continues to consult in general pediatrics for three northern communities. Moffatt is also executive director of research and applied learning for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

Dr. Stephen Moses

A front line fighter in the global battle against HIV/AIDS, Dr. Stephen Moses is part of a collaborative team developing groundbreaking research and prevention programs to fight the spread of the disease in Africa and India.

He is taking over as head of the University of Manitoba’s Community Health Sciences department.

Dr. Moses’s main research interests include biological and behavioural risk factors for STI/HIV transmission, syndromic approaches and risk assessment in the managment of STIs, targeted interventions to reduce the transmission of STIs and HIV infection; health worker training in STI managment in resource-poor settings; and integrated approaches to STI/HIV prevention and control.

Dr. Pamela Orr

Dr. Orr is a physician, teacher, administrator and researcher with expertise in Aboriginal and circumpolar health. Her current research focuses on the epidemiology of infectious diseases in Aboriginal populations, the social determinants of health, and health care delivery. Dr. Orr is a consultant with the J.A. Hildes Northern Medical Unit and scientific editor of the International Journal of Circumpolar Health.

Dr. Brian Postl

Dr. Postl is dean of the Faculty of Medicine and former founding president and CEO of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. He has served as head of pediatrics and child health and as head of community health sciences at the University of Manitoba. He has also served as director of the J.D. Hildes Northern Medical Unit. His research, published works and professional involvement focus on Aboriginal child health, circumpolar health and human resource planning. His contributions in these areas, combined with his experience as a visiting pediatrician to communities in northern Manitoba and Nunavut, contributed to him earning the Canadian Association of Pediatric Health Centre’s Child Health Award of Distinction in 2006 and the Inter-Professional Association on Native Employment’s Champion of Aboriginal Employment award in 2007. Dr. Postl serves on a number of committees and boards of provincial and national associations, foundations, institutes and other organizations.

Dr. Marcelo Urquia

Dr. Marcelo Urquia is an associate professor and research scientist at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, Department of Community Health Sciences. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Applied Population Health. Urquia conducts epidemiological studies using large linked administrative databases. One major focus of his research is on immigrant health, particularly surrounding health issues that intersect with the rights of immigrant women, girls, minors and families, such as prenatal sex selection and child marriage.

Dr. Natalie Riediger

Dr. Natalie Riediger is an assistant professor of Community Health Sciences at the Manitoba First Nations Centre for Aboriginal Health Research. Her research interests include Indigenous health, community-based participatory research, community nutrition, diabetes and cardiovascular epidemiology, and nutritional epidemiology.

She has been involved with a research team in Sandy Bay First Nation since 2009 on a number of projects. After getting to know community team members through these projects and her doctoral thesis work, Dr. Riediger led a large, mixed-method, Nutrition Study in 2012 to explore factors impacting nutritional status as well as how it relates to health. She also maintains collaborations with researchers in Indigenous health in Australia initiated and funded through a CIHR Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement. Dr. Riediger completed her PhD in the Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba in February 2015, earning the Governor General Gold Medal.

Dr. Riediger wrote an article for the Globe and Mail discussing why a “pop tax” on sugar-sweetened beverages may be the wrong approach to fighting obesity and why focusing on food security may be a better approach.

Dr. Kerstin Roger

Dr. Roger is an Associate professor in the department of family social sciences. She has been certified as a clinical psychotherapist and supervisor in Ontario and was in private practice for several years in Toronto.

She studies care and caregiving, and how social aspects of health and well-being interact with families and communities. She has ran nationally- and provincially-funded research on daily-lived experience of neurological conditions, family and care, abuse of older adults, and decision-making in couples.

Roger is the founder and director of the Qualitative Research Group (QRG), a community of more than 200 researchers from across the world. She has worked internationally, in Canada at the federal and provincial levels, and on local community initiatives.

Roger holds a master’s in applied psychology from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She also has a PhD in sociology and equity studies in education from the University of Toronto. In 2006, she completed a post-doctoral Health Sciences Centre Foundation fellowship under the supervision of Dr. H. M. Chochinov.

Dr. Leslie Roos

Dr. Leslie Roos is a distinguished professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He co-founded the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy in the early 1990’s and helped develop the Population Health Data Repository. This population-based system allows researchers to examine the social determinants of health and the efficacy of the health care system. The revolutionary concept helped transform research using data routinely collected by multiple ministries, leading to important findings in health policy and prevention.

Dr. Roos is particularly interested in the diverse uses of information-rich research environments. He is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a member of the Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada. He has been an associate of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and a fellow of the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy.

Dr. Noralou Roos

Dr. Noralou Roos is a professor emerita of community health sciences in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba and a founding director of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy.

She received funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to create Canada’s first data laboratory, containing population-based data on health, education, and social services, and held a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair.

She has worked with Health Canada and groups across the country to fund and implement a research network to monitor post-market Drug Safety and Effectiveness (with a $31 million commitment from the Minister of Health in 2009, and $10/million a year ongoing funding).

She worked on a CIHR funded project with the media to ensure evidence on high profile health policy issues is accurately communicated. The policy experts were made up of more than 80 academics and researchers from across Canada and internationally. Dr. Roos worked with them to publish over 2,800 commentaries in Canadian newspapers.

Currently she is co-director of the Winnipeg Foundation supported Get Your Benefits project to work with health care providers and community groups to ensure poverty is diagnosed and treated by helping people access the benefits for which they are eligible.

Dr. Jitender Sareen

Dr. Sareen is a psychiatry professor and director of research and anxiety services at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. He is also a consulting psychiatrist for the Veterans Affairs Canada operational stress injury clinic at Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg. He has been supported by numerous national and local peer-reviewed grants in the areas of military mental health, Aboriginal suicide, and homelessness. He is leading a large partnership grant with First Nations communities in Northwestern Manitoba to improve the understanding of suicide and suicide prevention measures. He is also the Winnipeg site co-principal investigator for the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s research demonstration project in homelessness and mental health. Dr. Sareen has published more than 100 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of traumatic stress, anxiety disorders, Aboriginal suicide, psychiatric neuroimaging and military mental health.

Dr. Leigh Anne Shafer

Dr. Shafer is a biostatistician and assistant professor in the University of Manitoba’s department of internal medicine. Her primary expertise lies in infectious disease research. By working together with social scientists and epidemiologists, she strives to bring together her quantitative expertise with qualitative research in order to highlight and reduce global health inequities.

Dr. Shafer spent more than 15 years in several countries in Africa working in child survival, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS research. She has developed mathematical models, including models of the sexual transmission dynamics of HIV, a model of hepatitis C transmission through infected blood and needles, and a deterministic model of HPV transmission.

Since arriving at the U of M in 2010, Shafer has received a grant to examine differences in HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening between First Nations and non-First Nations women, and a grant to examine the impact of diabetes during pregnancy and breastfeeding on subsequent diabetes in First Nations mothers and children. In addition to leading studies, she has supported studies as a biostatistician on a range of topics from dialysis outcomes to medical opioid use to Crohn’s disease.

Dr. Souradet Shaw

Dr. Souradet Shaw is an assistant professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Program Science and Global Public Health working at the Centre for Global Public Health. His main field of study is sexually transmitted and blood borne infections. Shaw’s PhD research looked at developing a framework, which tied together evidence from different levels – geographical, molecular and individual behaviour – in order to understand why these infections seemed to persist in the same groups over space and time. Shaw’s goal is to inform ways of reducing avoidable illnesses and deaths. In particular, beyond understanding patterns of disease in new and innovative ways, he hopes to understand the systems that leave some people behind, and then find ways to work with communities, and scientists, and those in charge of delivering healthcare to mitigate avoidable mortality and morbidity.

Dr. Joyce Slater

Dr. Slater is an assistant professor in the department of community health sciences and an associate professor in the department of human nutritional sciences. She is also a registered dietician.  Slater’s research interests include community food security, the determinants of food choice, nutrition vulnerability of marginalized populations, and the role of food skills in health promotion and disease prevention.  Her research on these topics has been published in numerous journals, including Public Health Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Canada. In one of her most recent publications, Slater and co-author Amy Henderson examine the impact of “Growing Roots”, a newcomer nutrition program designed through a community development approach to help immigrants and refugees adapt positively to the Canadian food environment. Slater’s research has also contributed to the development of The Winnipeg Food Atlas, a community-developed resource to facilitate discussion and action around food and nutrition security issues in the Winnipeg Health Region.

Slater is also part of the Education for Sustainable Well-Being Research Group. The goal of this interdisciplinary research group, housed in the University of Manitoba’s faculty of education, is to use public education to create human and societal development for sustainable well-being.

Dr. Patty Thille

Dr. Patty Thille studies health services and health professions education, especially in relation to health disparities and human suffering. She started in health care as a clinical physical therapist, but questions about why we do what we do led her to the social sciences and a PhD in Sociology. To date, her work focuses on stigmatization, health behaviour change, and chronic disease management in primary care and rehabilitation settings.