Barbara Pesut, assistant professor of nursing at UBC’s Okanagan campus, has been named Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Health, Ethics and Diversity.
One-fifth of Canada’s population resides in rural areas where access to healthcare services is limited. Pesut’s research involves developing treatment approaches for quality end-of-life healthcare, specifically for people who are at risk for health disparities due to geographic, cultural, or social differences.
One of 15 new Canada Research Chairs at UBC, Pesut is among 310 new research chairs named across Canada in celebration of the national research program’s 10th anniversary. As a Tier Two Canada Research Chair, Pesut will receive $500,000 over the next five years. The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) has awarded Pesut $38,521 from its Leaders Opportunity Fund for research infrastructure associated with the new Canada Research Chair award.
Pesut is part of a research team at UBC’s Okanagan campus focused on helping families provide care for their loved ones at end-of-life. Interviewing family members in rural and remote communities to better understand their experiences and needs, the team is also helping to build rural capacity for end-of-life care by working with hospice palliative care societies from throughout the B.C. Interior. These societies play an important role in supporting family care providers.
The team engages community members in the research, recognizing that the wealth of local experience is key to helping identify priorities for palliative care research that will make a real difference to families.
In addition, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research has funded an ethnographic study exploring end-of-life care in four rural communities in the Interior and Northern regions of B.C. Led by Pesut with co-investigators Carole Robinson and Joan Bottorff — both professors of nursing at the Okanagan campus — that research team has spent more than 50 days in the communities and interviewed 95 individuals involved in end-of-life care.
This has enabled researchers to better understand high-quality end-of-life care from rural individual’s perspective and the factors that enhance or inhibit that care. This understanding will form the basis for innovative strategies to build rural capacity for end-of-life care.
Pesut joins two other current Canada Research Chairs at UBC’s Okanagan campus: mathematics professor Heinz Bauschke, CRC in Convex Analysis and Optimization, and biochemistry professor Susan Murch, CRC in Natural Products Chemistry.
“UBC has an international reputation for excellence in research,” says Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, Provost and Principal at UBC’s Okanagan campus. “We are extremely proud of our Canada Research Chairs, and congratulate Professor Pesut on being named to this esteemed group of Canada’s leading researchers.”
For the past decade, the Canada Research Chairs program has played an instrumental role in ensuring that Canadian universities remain competitive in the recruitment and retention of the brightest minds in the world, says John Hepburn, Vice President Research and International at UBC.
“The program’s positive impact on the generation of new knowledge – and the knowledge-driven economy – cannot be overstated.”
For more information on the Canada Research Chair program and the new chairs, visit http://www.chairs-chaires.gc.ca/.
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