OUR RESEARCH TEAM

The Rural Health Equity Cluster is a multi-disciplinary team of academics from nursing, medicine, social work, management, 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. Nelly Oelke

Dr. Nelly Oelke

Co-Investigator

Dr. Nelly Oelke is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan).

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Dr. Oelke is also a Scientific Director at the Rural Coordination Centre of BC. Dr. Oelke’s program of research focuses on health services research in primary health care. Specific interests include integrated health services, policy, interprofessional collaborative practice, mental health and well-being, and rural health. Current projects involve improving services and supports for individuals, particularly those aged 50 and over, living with mental health concerns in rural communities, understanding the impacts of climate change and COVID-19 on the mental health of rural and remote populations in British Columbia, and a policy analysis project on primary healthcare teams and integration.

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. 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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This bio is coming soon

Dr. Katrina Plamondon

Dr. Katrina Plamondon

Co-Investigator (2019-21)

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

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Dr. Plamondon’s program of research focuses on questions of how to align knowledge, intention, and action for health equity. Current projects involve building an evidence-and equity-informed rural health research agenda and exploring narratives of rural living people returning home after receiving care in a referral centre.

Dr. Donna Kurtz

Dr. Donna Kurtz

Co-Investigator (2019-20)

Dr. Donna Kurtz is an Indigenous nurse educator and qualitative researcher, who is a grateful guest on the unceded Syilx (Okanagan) territory.

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As an UBC Associate Professor in the School of Nursing Dr. Kurtz embraces decolonizing, Indigenous, non-racist, non-discriminatory approaches to culturally safe education, practice, and health promoting research. Current community led research addresses not only diagnosable health concerns of Indigenous people, families, communities, but also the social, emotional, spiritual roots of health and wellness within the context of historical and contemporary socio-economic and political factors for health system practice and policy change that benefits Indigenous peoples and communities.

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.

Student Research Assistants

Meaghan Hagerty (2021-2022), Kendra Corman (2021-2022), Nicole Hawe (2021-2022), 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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