OUR RESEARCH TEAM

The Rural Health Equity Cluster is a multi-disciplinary team of academics from nursing, medicine, social work, management, health economics, sociology and computer science.

By working together, the team brings diverse perpectives and expertise to collaborate for a common goal: to explore innovative ways to leverage technology and local organizations to promote rural health equity.

Dr. Kathy Rush

Dr. Kathy Rush

Principal Investigator

Dr. Kathy Rush is a professor and the MSN Program Coordinator in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan).

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Dr. Rush’s program of research seeks to enhance the health and well-being of older adults with complex health challenges, across healthcare and geographic contexts. Current projects are looking at virtual healthcare delivery (e.g., telehealth) for rural older adults and the role of technology for health promotion in rural and remote communities.

Dr. Eric Li

Dr. Eric Li

Principal Investigator

Dr Eric Li is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Management at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan).

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Dr. Li’s research interests include social enterprise and social innovation, not-for-profit marketing, pro-social behaviour, multicultural marketing and consumption, consumer well-being, health promotion, consumer privacy, food security, and digital marketing and social media marketing. Current projects focus on community well-being, and engaging local stakeholders in sustainable rural communities.

Dr. Cherisse Seaton

Dr. Cherisse Seaton

Research Staff

Dr. Cherisse Seaton holds a PhD in Psychology, and is the Research Coordinator for the Rural Health Equity Cluster at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan).

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Dr. Seaton is responsible for coordinating all activities related to the development, coordination, implementation, and evaluation of the Rural Health Equity research project.

Dr. Barbara Pesut

Dr. Barbara Pesut

Co-Investigator

Dr. Barbara Pesut is a Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan) and holds a Tier 1 Principal Research Chair.

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Dr. Pesut’s current program of research is using a model of volunteer navigation (Nav-CARE) to improve the care of older persons living at home with advanced illness. Dr Pesut is also funded by CIHR to explore strategies for relieving suffering at end-of-life in the rural context.

Dr. Leanne Currie

Dr. Leanne Currie

Co-Investigator

Dr. Leanne Currie is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia

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.Dr. Currie conducts research in the field of nursing, biomedical, and health informatics.  Current projects are related to use of technology in the homecare setting including wound diagnosis and management

Dr. Sarah Dow-Fleisner

Dr. Sarah Dow-Fleisner

Co-Investigator

Dr. Sarah Dow-Fleisner is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan).

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Dr. Dow-Fleisner’s research mission is to pursue and translate knowledge that extends the understanding of complex social phenomena affecting health equality for children, youth, and families, and uses advanced research methodologies to examine developmental trajectories in the context of risk and the intervention and prevention programs supporting wellbeing. Current projects focus on supporting children and families involved with the child welfare system, health equality associated with vaping among youth, and rural and remote community health.

Dr. Khalad Hasan

Dr. Khalad Hasan

Co-Investigator

Dr. Khalad Hasan is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan).

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Dr. Hasan’s research interest is in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), with a focus on developing and studying novel interactions with mobile and wearable devices. More specifically, exploring user needs and limitations while interacting with mobile and wearable devices, designing new interaction techniques to facilitate the needs and help users to overcome the limitations.

Dr. Charlene Ronquillo

Dr. Charlene Ronquillo

Co-Investigator

Dr. Charlene Ronquillo is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan).

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Dr. Ronquillo’s program of research focuses on health informatics, nursing, and health equity, underpinned by critical theory and implementation science. The goal is to improve equity in healthcare with thoughtful, meaningful, and inclusive technologies and improve equity in health informatics through critical approaches to health technology development, implementation, and evaluation.

Dr. Peter Hutchinson

Dr. Peter Hutchinson

Co-Investigator

Dr. Peter Hutchinson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia.

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Dr. Hutchinson’s research focuses on Indigenous health services utilizing Indigenous research methods and Indigenous knowledge mobilization approaches. Currently, Dr. Hutchinson is looking to work with Indigenous communities and health service providers in examining the decolonization of health services and racialized experiences in health service provision.

Dr. Jennifer Davis

Dr. Jennifer Davis

Co-Investigator

Dr. Jennifer Davis is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Management at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan) and a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2, Applied Health Economics).

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Dr Davis is also the co-director of operations of the Falls Prevention Clinic at Vancouver General Hospital. Dr Davis’ research focuses on conducting economics evaluations alongside randomized controlled trials (i.e., cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses) in a variety of clinical settings that include mobility, chronic conditions, and cognition.

Dr. Mike Zajko

Dr. Mike Zajko

Co-Investigator

Dr. Mike Zajko is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan).

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Dr. Zajko has spent the majority of his career focussing on telecommunications (telecom) policy in Canada, including internet regulation, privacy, and competition issues. More recently, he has been studying various forms of social inequality and how these relate to algorithms, artificial intelligence, and the use of digital technologies to provide government services.

Student Research Assistants

Trina Kushnerik (2022), Puneet Aulakh (2022), Kendra Corman (2021-2022), Nicole Hawe (2021-2022), Meaghan Hagerty (2021-2022), Livia Jonnatan (2021), Sarah Singh (2020-2021), Brodie Kern (2020), Sara Amis (2020).

Trainees

Betsy Leimbigler, PostDoc (2021-2022), Nicole Hawe, MEDD FLEX Student Project (2021-2022)

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