Anita Kothari, VEGA Knowledge Mobilization Lead
VEGA Welcomes New Knowledge Translation Coordinator
We are pleased to introduce a new member of the VEGA team. Please read about the new Knowledge Translation Coordinator, Stephanie Simpson, below.
After completing my undergraduate degree in Psychology at Carleton University, I enrolled in the Technical Writer program at Algonquin College. During this time, I learned of the important nuances of effective oral and written communication. More specifically, I came to appreciate that an end user can and should largely determine the ways in which information is both presented and disseminated. While this logic arguably applies to the communication of virtually any subject matter, its implications within the health realm eventually piqued (and maintained) my interest.
A four-month co-op requirement of the Technical Writer program lead to my employment with the Social and Epidemiological Research Department at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. While this time allowed me to hone my document formatting and copy editing skills, a number of contract extensions eventually afforded more direct (and much welcomed!) involvement across a range of research projects. These studies included one which utilized a driving simulator to examine the direct and residual effects of Cannabis on cognitive and motor skills, as well as a comparative analysis of the implementation of various alcohol policies across Canada.
In September 2014, I began a Master’s degree in Health Information Science (MHIS) at Western University. Under the supervision of Dr. Sandra Regan, my thesis research examined the role of health information in the development and implementation of the recent policy which saw the expansion of beer sales to Ontario grocery stores. During this time, I became increasingly interested in the ways in which vested interests (both government and commercial) are able to effectively politicize health, and ultimately shape related policy outcomes. As a result, I endeavoured to extend my stay with the HIS program and, in September 2016, started as a PhD student. Under the continued guidance of Dr. Regan, I hope to broaden my research focus toward a provincial Health in All Policies (HiAP) strategy.
I anticipate that the VEGA project will combine my passions for health and policy-related research, as well as information communication. As a new member of the project team, I look forward to expanding my knowledge base in the field of family violence, and continuing to learn about effective ways to mobilize health information to improve the delivery of health and social services.