Aging, Community and Health Research Group (ACHRU)

McMaster University


Dr. Ruta Valaitis Presents MyST in Seoul, South Korea

Photo credit: Tony Hoang, Science Media Lab

Dr. Ruta Valaitis was the only Canadian nurse to deliver a presentation at the 6th International Collaboration for Community Health Nursing Research (ICCHNR) in Seoul, South Korea.

The conference, which attracted 750 of the world’s leading community health scholars and practitioners, provided participants with evidence to promote strategies for the advancement of high quality nursing care in the community.

Dr. Valaitis, associate professor in the School of Nursing at McMaster University, holds the Dorothy C. Hall endowed Chair in Primary Health Care Nursing, Her research interests straddle a variety of areas including health services and policy research, inter-professional and inter-organizational collaboration ( among primary care, public health, community and social services), implementation science, community health nursing, and e-health promotion.

In her presentation to conference delegates, Dr. Valaitis described the mobile health app MyST (My Stroke Care) which is under development and study by researchers in the Aging, Community and Health Research Unit (ACHRU) in partnership with Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology.  

She told delegates that adult  stroke survivors with multiple health problems are expected to benefit from MyST because it promotes evidence-informed care and eases the way they, and their family caregivers, communicate and collaborate with health care providers as they return to community life.

It supports stroke care through real-time, secure communication within the full circle of care, she said, and provides evidence-informed safety assessment tools, evidence-based practice information, provider alerts when a client’s status changes, and access to essential information for both stroke survivors and their providers.

 “MyST has the potential to bridge the communication and safety gaps in home healthcare, ultimately improving quality care for stroke survivors and their families,” Dr. Valaitis said. “It (also) has the potential to be scaled up, tailored and extrapolated to other chronic conditions.”

In a second presentation, Dr. Valaitis described a separate study which reviewed literature on ways that primary care nurses can help patients connect with community-based health and social services.

The Seoul conference highlighted developments in nursing practice, research and policy which impact on the work of nurses working in the community. It provided an environment in which community nurses shared good practices and research while meeting others working in similar fields which gave them the opportunity for new collaborations and networks. Next year’s conference will be held in South Africa.

Published on: February 18, 2016

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