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WCRI announces graduate award recipients

September 11, 2017

By Lindsay Jolivet

Each year, Women’s College Research Institute (WCRI) recognizes graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with awards and fellowships in support of their ongoing studies and research. This year, there were four deserving recipients.

Dr. Lucy Barker received the Helen Marion Walker Soroptimist Women’s Health Research Scholarship. Dr. Barker is a resident in the Department of Psychiatry and an MSc candidate at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. She is supervised by WCRI scientist Dr. Simone Vigod. Her interests are perinatal psychiatry and the social determinants of mental health. For her master's thesis, she will be studying the mental health service use patterns and outcomes of postpartum women who present to emergency departments for psychiatric reasons. This $10,000 scholarship is granted by the Women's College Hospital Foundation.

Janessa Griffith, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto's Institute of Medical Science, received the Enid Walker Graduate Student Award in Women’s Health Research. Janessa is supervised by scientist Drs. Noah Ivers and Sacha Bhatia. Her dissertation focuses on the implementation of Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations. She is focusing on ways to reduce unnecessary diagnostic imaging and laboratory testing in the emergency department. In addition, she is working on side projects including one on women’s cardiovascular health.

The Carol Mitchell and Richard Venn Student Fellowship in Women’s Mental Health has been jointly awarded to Katherine Stewart and Wook Yang.

Katherine is supervised by WCRI senior scientist Dr. Janice Du Mont, EdD and Dr. Helene Polatajko at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute. Her research examines how women's lives unfold after an experience of sexual assault in university. She is particularly interested in exploring the ways in which sexual assault shapes the activities that women need, want, and are expected to do on a daily basis.

Wook is supervised by Lori Ross, PhD, an adjunct scientist at WCRI. His research will investigate how poverty impacts the mental health of sexual minority populations in Canada. Sexual minority people, women, and older adults are all disproportionately likely to live in poverty. Therefore, understanding the relationship between poverty and mental health for this group addresses an important gap in research. The results from the proposed research could lead to policy interventions to elicit positive health outcomes for sexual minority women in Canada.

Dr. Lucy Barker, Katherine Stewart, Janessa Griffith, Wook Yang
Dr. Lucy Barker, Katherine Stewart, Janessa Griffith, Wook Yang
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