Aging, Community and Health Research Group (ACHRU)

McMaster University


Meet our Postdoctoral Fellow Rebecca Ganann

Rebecca Ganann is inspired to involve patients and the public in research and she will have the opportunity to do just that during her Postdoctoral fellowship at the ACHRU. 

Throughout her two-year postdoctoral fellowship, she will build on her knowledge in this area of Patient and Public Engagement (PPE) with the Community Assets Supporting Transitions (CAST) study, which seeks to determine the effects and costs of a hospital-to-home support program for older adults with depression and multiple chronic conditions.

“This study involves a significant Patient and Public Engagement (PPE) strategy to support co-design, implementation and testing of an innovative care intervention for older adults, examining outcomes that are meaningful to older adult patients,” she says. “My role will be to support CAST study implementation, help develop and implement PPE training and support, and to lead a process and impact evaluation of the PPE approaches.”

The ACHRU asked Ganann a few questions about her Postdoctoral Fellowship.


Q: Why do you want to do your post doc fellowship at the ACHRU?


As an ACHRU postdoc I’ll have the opportunity to work under the co-supervision of Drs. Maureen Markle-Reid, Ruta Valaitis, and Carrie McAiney, who are internationally recognized as experts in implementation science, aging and multimorbidity. This exceptional training environment within ACHRU will allow me to further my understanding of collaborative research methods, patient and public engagement (PPE) in research, strategies for developing interdisciplinary research partnerships in primary health care (PHC), and implementation science to meaningfully inform healthy public policy and the delivery of health services. The expertise of my three co-supervisors will allow me to build significant capacity in these areas and their mentorship will guide my development as a researcher. In addition, their national and international network of colleagues are providing rich opportunities for collaboration that will diversify my research training, allow me to benefit from other perspectives, and broaden my own network.


Q. What does being an ACHRU postdoc mean to you?

I feel very privileged to be working within such a great team of exceptional individuals collaborating on important, meaningful real-world research. I feel that my experiences in ACHRU will provide a solid foundation on which to build my future program to support my transition into a successful independent health services researcher. To date I have been provided with leadership opportunities in grant writing, authoring peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations, and integrated knowledge translation (IKT) activities.

Q. Your area of interest is 'Evaluating the Implementation and Impact of Patient and Public Engagement (PPE) in Research' - why do you choose to focus on this area?

Through the course of my PhD I became very interested in IKT approaches with diverse research partners (e.g., policymakers; health services administrators and clinicians; and patients and caregivers). I am particularly interested in engaging patients and public members in research teams, learning to best support engagement, and understanding the value added by PPE.

Q. What ACHRU studies are you involved with?

In addition to working with the CAST study, together with Dr. Valaitis, I am co-leading a study focused on IKT and optimal engagement of diverse stakeholders in the ACHRU program of research. I am also involved in the Health Links – Caregiver Perspective Evaluation Study Team as a co-investigator.

Q. What's next for you?

My career goals over the next 5-10 years are to expand my expertise as an independent early career health services researcher in PHC at a leading Canadian university. I intend to conduct collaborative patient oriented research (POR) that can shape PHC services and policy planning and implementation to support accessible service provision and address health inequities. My program of research will be focused on the following cross-cutting themes: implementation science, POR, PHC, health promotion, health services and policy research, mental health, and addressing health inequities. 

Published on: December 12, 2016

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