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Sagkeeng First Nation Community Health Assessment

EPI was engaged to design, direct, implement and analyze a comprehensive community health assessment to enhance community capacity in ownership of data and development of sustainable services.

Assessed information capacity and collection

at the health centre (both attendance/client scope and health and program outcomes).

Designed adult and school community surveys

and collection methods (using social media and community members)

Engaged community through focus groups

with elders and key health centre client groups, key informant interviews with leadership.

Enhanced data through MB Health, FNIHB and CIHI

as well as comparative survey data from the national Regional Health Survey.


InterGroup Consultants Inc. Senior Technical Advisor Community Health and Health Impact Assessment

Senior Advisor on Consulting team engaged by Nuclear Waste Management Organization to provide direction on key indicators for baseline and ongoing study pertaining to health and social impacts related to nuclear waste storage social impacts review. Technical lead to develop and manage the implementation of the in-vicinity Community Health Assessment starting November 2020 and expected to complete in 2023.


Sioux Lookout First Nation Health Authority: Epidemiology leadership for Covid-19 Surveillance, chronic disease reporting and public health surveillance

Lead the design, implementation and monitoring of Covid-19 testing and results surveillance system and long-term public health strategy.

Provide epidemiological support to develop baseline regional and 24 community documents

focused on diabetes incidence, prevalence, risk factors and complications.

Support Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA) and the University of Toronto (U of T)

in their joint initiative to support the development of First Nations-led solutions to health inequities experienced by people living in remote Sioux Lookout Area (SLA) communities.

Design and develop immunization and other priority public health surveillance systems

and reporting capacity for Sioux Lookout First Nation.


Multiple Media COVID-19 National and Local Engagements – Public Health Messaging

Education and empowerment through public health messaging and consultation is my goal. Ongoing and repeated requests from local and national media to engage in COVID-19 public health messaging support. Illustrate ongoing surveillance of national trends and international, critical issues, research and the ability to communicate information related to each evolving situation. Continuous feedback is that audiences understand the message and feel better informed.


International Program Coordinator – Kieni Fighters Resource Centre for Women and Girls, Kieni Kenya

Direct the effective design, development, delivery and evaluation of the Kieni Fighters Resource Centre in Kieni, Kenya. This will provide a combination prevention program that holistically addresses the behavioural, biomedical, and structural risks of HIV/AIDS infection for women and girls in Kieni, Kenya. The program was co-developed with HIV/AIDS affected women in Kenya and is funded by Global Affairs Canada. EPI Research will provide the international support from implementation to evaluation both from Canada as well as through visits to Kenya to meet with local staff.

Past Projects

Engaged to develop staff support and information materials, contact tracing interviewing methods and infection protection and control (IPAC) specific questions, conduct confidential interviews, reports, and analysis.  Investigate and present epidemiological chain of transmission and health outcomes, and solutions related to facility Covid-19 outbreaks among staff and residents.

Engaged by Change Weavers Consulting to provide support to Primary Care Clinic evaluation.  EPI Research leads review of Clinic data systems and gaps analysis, develop clinical care pathway data needs and implementation plan for collection and routine reporting of key dashboard indicators to support evaluation and ongoing program monitoring. Engaged to assist with key informant interview and community engagement process through methodology development, training, and facilitation of key interviews to inform the evaluation.

Engaged by a multi-sector ANHP steering committee as senior policy advisor and epidemiologist. I monitor legislative directives (such as Home and Community Care Act). I am leading the needs analysis of catchment area communities, both on and off-reserve, in home and community care services. Through community and service provider engagement, identify current services, develop service directory, align federal and provincial service expectations and policies.

Review regional adult health report and develop appropriate structure for individual community summary reports. Includes data analysis, document design, identification of key components for messaging and authoring individual community reports with clear linkage to regional adult health report key findings.

Senior Advisor on Consulting team engaged by Nuclear Waste Management Organization to provide direction on key indicators for baseline and ongoing study pertaining to health and social impacts related to nuclear waste storage social impacts review.

Engaged by The Rainy River First Nations, Naicatchewenin First Nation and Couchiching First Nation to undertake a community health assessment and develop partnership agreements, clinical care pathway, governance model, training materials, human resource plan and evaluation plan for the development of the Northwestern Ontario Wound Care Centre of Excellence.

Engaged to lead the development of the mental health epidemiology portfolio and surveillance plan through a comprehensive environmental scan, identification of community, territorial and national partners, partnership engagement, education and agreements, development of proposed surveillance system components in compliance with legislation, develop partner MOUs to support data sharing, develop draft reporting and data analysis plan.

Design and lead two-day IRTC and Health Services Integration Fund forum to identify key health priorities, develop partnerships and workplans. Ongoing epidemiological, strategic planning and evaluation support pertaining to key health priorities including mental health services, service integration and Jordan’s Principle.

Engaged to assess current operational state of DIP and develop a business case for program expansion. Collect and examine disease burden data, develop and facilitate multiple focus groups, design and develop leadership, program and community surveys. All data analysis to support report.

Review regional child health report and develop appropriate structure for individual community child health summary reports. Includes data analysis, document design, identification of key components for messaging and authoring individual community reports with clear linkage to regional vision and goals and regional child health report key findings.

Engaged to complete a comprehensive Community Health Assessment of Marcel Colomb First Nation members living in Lynn Lake and Black Sturgeon Falls to establish need and program planning for Jordan’s Principle implementation as well as development and expansion of community health and homecare programs. Specific data and programming focus on population based chronic disease, mental health and addiction and key supports needed to support youth and young families. Responsible to identify all data components and liaise with administrative data owners, analysis of all day and summary of key administrative data findings (hospitalization, medical travel, disease prevalence, mortality). Facilitation of community direction of health plan by organizing and conducting school and community surveys as well as multiple focus groups and key informant interviews in Lynn Lake and at Black Sturgeon Falls.

Engaged to review success of Ontario Telehomecare Program and potential applicability and financial impact of providing Telehomecare support to patients with selected chronic diseases. Includes engaging in knowledge exchange with eHealth, Manitoba Health and WRHA staff as well Ontario collaborators. Will include review of accessibility and quality data to set baseline data for Emergency Department and Inpatient care indicators.

Authored proposal to secure HSIF funding for the IRTC. Consultant met with key stakeholders, Chief and Council from each community, FNIHB representatives to clearly identify need of communities for form problem and future statue required with clear relationship to HSIF funding available. Consultant collected data to illustrate need for project, identified impact on health priority setting and working toward integration of services between regional, provincial and health service delivery. Included evaluation plan as part of proposal to illustrate commitment to clearly track indicators of success and transparency in use of funds toward identified goals. Identify and analyse administrative data to support identification of health needs in the IRTC communities. Facilitate multiple focus groups in each IRTC community (more than 400 participants total) and managed collected of more than 1,400 surveys through community and partnership with school.

Engaged to provide epidemiological support and leadership in development of PDA program evaluation including evaluability assessment, program logic model, indicator framework, evaluation plan and identify data sources. Developed focus group and key informant interviews questions for mental health counsellors, medical staff and stakeholders and partners. Developed patient intake and referral tracking system and guide for staff to comply with data tracking and data entry. Conducted all focus groups and key informant interviews. Worked with Northern Health Region too access secondary data through Accuro regarding related diagnoses. Worked with FNIHB Medical Travel and FNIHB NIHB program staff to obtain data related to medical travel for mental health and PDA and prescriptions of key prescription drugs as baseline data for program. Worked with Manitoba Health to obtain inpatient data related to key mental health indicators. Developed CHA document template and data collection methodology including all community consultation focus groups and surveys. Facilitated more than 20 community focus groups and manage data collection of the targeted 1,000 community surveys. Worked with Manitoba Health, CCMB and FNIHB to obtain secondary data to populate key health indicators pertaining to healthcare utilization and health status outcomes.

Engaged to support the work of the Education Task Force of the provincial Youth Suicide Prevention initiative. Deliverables includes an evaluation of the Northern Health Region Reaching Out Program—a youth suicide prevention workshop that has been implemented in grades 7 and 8 in Thompson Manitoba. Development of ongoing evaluation tools, attendance and tracking tools for ongoing program monitoring and focus groups with students and teachers are key components of the deliverable.

Engaged to identify and select health indicators; liaise with government agencies owning data for selected indicators; collect, develop methodology and animalize all data. On-going peer review, methodological and other advice to Manitoba Hydro regarding other materials developed by Manitoba Hydro for the Health and Well-being section of the Phase II RCEA report.

Comprehensive Community Health Assessment—developed both youth school survey and community survey; worked with local staff to support completion of survey. Developed and facilitated more than 20 focus groups with local community members and leaders. Worked with local health centre, RCMP, FNIHB, Manitoba Health and CancerCare Manitoba to obtain and analyze key health and service data.

Final deliverables included technical report, executive summary, priority setting workshops with Chief and Council and Health Centre staff and community presentations.
Assisted in writing successful three-year proposal to implement a community-based program to support the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy. Completed identification and collection of required business case data to illustrate need in community.

Development of evaluation framework and methodology, all data collection tools, including surveys and ongoing program monitoring tools and processes, identification of key indicators to track program progress and success. identified need for IT system to track partnerships with nursing station in referrals for smoking cessation aids and smoking cessation programs. IT systems were also developed to aid staff in tracking program planning, attendance and budget for each activity. Systems allow for ongoing monitoring of program activity and compliance with program goals and desired outcomes.

Ongoing epidemiological, evaluation and business case development support. Ongoing monitoring and reporting on provincially required indicators with focus on infectious disease, chronic disease and mental health indicators. Annual reporting to Health Board with key indicators of activities and outcomes in priority service areas Large project includes authorship and management of all Comprehensive Community Health Assessments which included extensive travel for community consultations in each outlying community (off-reserve only).

Developed Infection Control database and reporting system; ongoing analysis of Infection Control data and provide quarterly Infection Control reports required by Accreditation Canada. Assisted in the development of several databases to support programs included the Tuberculosis Control Database, Infection Control Database and Healthy Baby Database. Responsible for all data collection and analysis and writing of all Community Health Assessments. Statistical analysis of provincial acute care client experience surveys and Accreditation Canada Worklife and Patient Safety Surveys.

Ongoing epidemiological support. Included data analysis, report writing, presentations (for staff training and development as well as to the Board) and facilitating community consultations and focus groups. Large project included the lead role Community Health Assessments, analysis of the Accreditation Canada-required Patient Safety and Staff Worklife Surveys and provincial Patient Satisfaction Surveys as well as Personal Care Home business case development and Integrated Services (acute care and EMS) business case and evaluation plan. Review of Morris Hospital capacity and recommendations for future state.

On consulting team engaged by Manitoba Hydro pertaining to the health impacts of the Wuskwatim Generation Project, Wuskwatim Transmission Project, Keeyask Transmission Project and Conawapa Transmission Project.
Primary role on each project—Community Health Assessment for all communities impacted by each Generation Project. Determined required scope of analysis, identifying data sources, work with Federal and Provincial agencies to obtain data, working with each community to request data, analysing data and writing reports. Developed community consultation questions and travelled to northern communities to facilitate focus groups with staff and community members. Provided “user friendly” summary reports and presentations for community members.

Reporting to Steering Committee, developed scope of CHA and required indicators in compliance with provincial criteria and RHA specific needs. Developed data collection and analysis plans including all community consultations materials, on-line surveys and data analysis. Worked with several First Nations organizations to obtain support for inclusion in CHA and collect key data both through primary systems and secondary sources including administrative agencies and already published materials (such as federal RHSS of indigenous people).
Facilitated focus groups with key members of First Nations organizations as well as IERHA staff, community leaders and residents. Developed “tool kit” and delivered training session in community consultation for IERHA staff. Final deliverables included technical report, executive summary and community presentations and identification of priority areas for senior management service planning.

Provided ongoing leadership and support in several Healthy Child program areas for more than ten years. The work centred primarily in evaluation, research and increasing community program capacity to collect data to ensure ongoing reporting of programs and services in compliance with funding. This involved assessing evaluation needs of programs, developing data collection tool s and processes, ongoing community and staff consultation and knowledge exchange through presentations and user-friendly reports. Evaluation of the provincial FASD strategy included extensive consultation with programs and initiatives that provide education, services and support for people affected by FASD throughout Manitoba. Educated provincial program and NGO staff about the FASD strategy, investigated data collected in each program or initiative, and developed research questions and data collection methodologies for gathering indicators to reflect achievement of the FASD strategy goals. This project also involved consulting extensively with the FASD Centre and developing a new FASD referrals database for their use.

Engaged to support the work of the Education Task Force of the provincial Youth Suicide Prevention initiative. Deliverables included an evaluability assessment of the Reaching Out pilot project—a youth suicide prevention workshop that has been implemented at the high school level in Winnipeg and Thompson Manitoba. Based on the results of the evaluability assessment, contracted to develop an evaluation framework to guide the evaluation of the Reaching Out pilot project. Developed “School Based Youth Suicide Prevention Programs Best Practices” document for use by educators. This involved synthesizing the work of technical research and organizing it in a way, with supporting tools and guides, that educators could make decisions about which school-based youth suicide prevention programs might be the best fit in their school or community.

Worked with community-based programs to solicit examples of community-based initiatives that are sustainable and the processes and conditions that resulted in (or were barriers to) their success. Researched each chosen initiative, developed all focus group questions, facilitated the focus groups. I wrote user-friendly reports for each initiative to help to further the ability of community-based programs, funders and evaluators to better understand, and meet, the needs of community-based programs when developing and implementing programs, policies and
processes. “Mapping” of community programs and services in northern First Nations communities. Information used to develop a user-friendly community level “service directory” for use by health care providers who may not be aware of the scope of services in each community as well as community members. Data collected used to support development of HEALTH in COMMON interactive map that is accessible on their website.

Provided ongoing epidemiological support; included an in-depth review of hospital utilization data for Albertans living in the north. Developed report to illustrate utilization trends over time, by season and by residents in and out of northern Alberta. Report highlighted major diagnoses and procedures and issues pertaining to access to services.

Contracted by conference steering committee (representing Churchill, Burntwood, NOR-MAN and Parkland Regional Health Authorities) to produce more than 30 documents for use at the Health Planning District and community level. I worked with medical health officers from the health regions, CancerCare Manitoba and Manitoba Health to determine the scope and appropriate indicators for the documents and to organize data collection for the document. These documents provided an overview of health status with a focus on modifiable risk factors for all Health Districts which participated in this conference. This conference was attended by all Chiefs and Mayors of the northern health regions as well as the Minister of Health.

Epidemiological support for the Tuberculosis Control Unit. This included responding to urgent data requests from the Minister, Chief Medical Officer of Health and Media. Provided monthly reports to the Unit as well as quarterly reports to Manitoba Regional Health Authorities. Responsible for providing the annual data to PHAC for their annual reporting as well as writing the Provincial Annual Tuberculosis Report.

Support, data collection and assisted in writing 2005 Regional Health Plan. Lead role in planning, developing, data collection, data analysis and writing the 2009 Comprehensive Community Health Assessment. This included developing all focus group and key informant interview materials and facilitating focus groups with staff and Board. Presentation of Key Findings of CHA to the Board for approval.

Provided ongoing epidemiological support on an as-needed basis. Involved in many projects and one of the main projects was the 2006-2007 Comprehensive Community Health Assessment for the region which included all data collection, analysis, report writing and extensive travel to conduct community consultations.

Supported Medical Officer of Health, lead role in planning, developing, data collection, data analysis and writing the 2007 Comprehensive Community Health Assessment.

Community Health Assessment (CHA) which included development of structure of report for CCMB first ever CHA; identification of all required data, data collection and analysis methodology and report writing. Focus Group Facilitator including developing all materials and process for consulting with patients and staff. Facilitated all focus groups and wrote a report about key themes which was incorporated into the CHA document. Provided ongoing Epidemiological support to Colorectal Cancer Screening Committee Working Group between 2003 and 2006.

Training in Quantitative Data Analysis for Community Health Assessment Network Regional Health Authority Staff (2003), Sustainable Development Indicator Report June 2003. Review, summarize and make recommendations regarding Regional Diabetes Program progress reports (2006) and Chronic Disease Prevention Initiative data submission process, form review and revision (2006).

Various projects to provide epidemiological and evaluation support to G. Braha and Associates Ltd. as the main contractor. Support in development of surveys and databases, community consultation materials, assist in facilitating focus groups, data analysis, report writing and preparing presentations. Projects include: Development of Surveys and Focus Group Questions survey database for participant data entry on-line, and analysis of results for Canadian Virtual Hospice (2002). Evaluation of Burntwood Regional Diabetes Program —development of focus group and survey questions, co facilitator of focus groups and in-depth analysis of program data (2002). Evaluation of Provincial Retinal Screening Program for people living with diabetes—assisted in development of Focus group and survey questions, analysis of retinal screening program data with report and presentations (2008).

Provided ongoing epidemiological support to assist in government set up and identification of health surveillance needs. Included on site visits to Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit.