My research explores individual and environmental interventions to prevent and manage chronic diseases. Specifically, my work examines community-based research projects that work with individuals with disabilities to explore different strategies to enhance diet, increase levels of physical activity, and improve access to health information and services.
I joined the Department of Sport and Exercise Science in August 2014. I hold a Masters of Art in Kinesiology from Western University in London, Ontario, Canada, specializing in the physical activity and exercise behaviours of Canadian youth. My doctoral research at the University of Toronto concentrated on creating inclusive behavioural and environmental interventions to improve access to physical activity and exercise opportunities for people living with serious mental illness. My work examined strategies in institutional and community settings and involved both qualitative and quantitative research. In 2012 I joined the Chronic Disease Management Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, located in Toronto, as a Post Doctoral Fellow. During my Fellowship, my research focused on a number of projects that aimed to improve chronic disease prevention and management services for people living with psychosis. These projects included:
1) updating current knowledge of exercise therapy for schizophrenia;
2) investigating barriers and facilitators to healthful eating, physical activity, and accessing diabetes care management services for people with serious mental illness;
3) examining a lifestyle intervention for diabetes management in individuals with psychosis and obesity; and
4) identifying strategies to improve health information delivery to clients, their families, and healthcare professionals.
In addition to my research, I have taught in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto (Mississauga Academy of Medicine) and in the Department of Nutrition and the Chang School at Ryerson University, located in Toronto. I have also acted as a reviewer for over 17 peer-reviewed journals, the University of Toronto Research Ethics Board, and several privately and publicly funded granting agencies (Mitacs-Accelerate Research Internship Program, Health Services and Health of the Public Predoctoral Fellowship through the Chief Scientist Office).