Nursing Research Advisory Council

The Nursing Research Advisory Council provides recommendations to the MSFHR Board of Directors regarding strategic and funding priorities for practice-relevant research focused on professional nursing practice environments, nursing education, the nursing workforce, and related service and program initiatives.


Sherry Hamilton

Sherry Hamilton is Chief Nursing Officer, Government Liaison & Patient-Focused Funding for the Provincial Health Services Authority. She has a varied background in clinical practice and management, strategic planning, and consulting with regional health authority stakeholders. Sherry's career as a nurse has spanned a number of communities in BC and, prior to moving into a corporate role, she was the Director of the high-risk antepartum/postpartum program at BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre. Sherry holds an MBA in executive management from Royal Roads University in addition to a Bachelor of Science in nursing.

Dr. Mary Ellen Purkis

Dr. Mary Ellen Purkis is dean of the Faculty of Human and Social Development and a professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Victoria. She has focused her enquiries on critical and interpretive studies of health-care delivery. In her research, she has focused on the impact of organizational efforts to introduce "patient focused care" on the relationship that ensues between care provider and care recipient. Purkis is currently working with colleagues from other schools in the Faculty of Human and Social Development as a member of a New Emerging Team (NET funded by CIHR) where her focus is on understanding the conditions necessary to support high quality inter-professional team work within the context of palliative care. Prior to this current study located in the context of cancer care, her areas of research have been focused on in-patient surgical settings, the context of public health nursing, primary health care nurse-run centres and home nursing care. Purkis has written extensively on topics such as how people’s experiences of life quality are impacted by organized systems of health care.


Jane Boutette

Jane Boutette is a public health nursing program manager for Northern Health (NH). She provides front-line clinical and administrative leadership for public health nurses working in Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii. Prior to undertaking this role, Boutette worked as a primary health care developer at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital. In this role and along with NH leadership, she was tasked with moving the teams in her area to a fully integrated system of care, wrapped around the patient and situated in the primary care home. She has also practiced as a rural acute care registered nurse in the Northwest Territories, and as a public health nurse for NH. Boutette is committed to exploring how NH can use research and evidence to inform practice. Her research interests include primary health care transformation and nursing roles in rural and northern BC. She has a Master of Science in Public Health Research and is currently teaching part-time in the Nursing Program at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Heather CookHeather Cook

Heather Cook is a leader with more than 30 years’ experience in health care organizations, including clinical practice and management at the senior level. She is committed to improving the quality of care and service across the health care continuum, with a particular focus on the frail elderly population. Heather passionately supports researchers in her role as Knowledge User. She is currently the Scientific Officer for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Knowledge Synthesis Committee, and actively engages in research across the care continuum. Heather is currently the Executive Director Acute Services in the Interior Health Authority.

Dr. Greta Cummings

Dr. Greta Cummings is principal investigator of the Connecting Leadership Education & Research (CLEAR) Outcomes Program, which focuses on leadership development to achieve better outcomes for healthcare providers and patients. She is also a professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, where she supervises undergraduate and graduate students, and teaches leadership, policy, knowledge translation, and research. Cummings is past president of the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology (2005-2007), and current president of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (2010-2014). She is the recipient of several awards, including career scientist awards from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (new investigator 2006-2011) and the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (population health investigator 2006-2013); the Order of Merit for Research (Canadian Nurses Association 2010); the Award of Excellence in Research (College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta 2008); Excellence in Nursing Research (CASN 2008); and the Best Dissertation Award (American Organization of Nurse Executives 2003-2005). Cummings received her PhD in 2003 from the University of Alberta.

Tania Dick

Bio forthcoming.

Lynda Foley

Bio forthcoming.

Debbie McLachlan

Debbie McLachlan is currently the Director for Education and Training in the Health Workforce and Planning Branch with the Ministry of Health. In her current role, Debbie leads a team who provides professional expertise in the field of education and training for health care professionals and support personnel. Prior to this role, she was Director for Nursing and Allied Health Professions in the Health Human Resources branch and Director of Nursing with the Nursing Directorate. Her previous professional health care experience includes working as a bedside nurse, clinical nurse manager, quality assurance manager and Director of Care in acute, community and long term care within the province. Debbie holds a Master of Nursing degree with a focus in leadership (2007), a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (1998), Diploma in nursing (1992) and a Diploma in early childhood education (1980). Debbie still actively practices as a bedside nurse on a casual basis. During her 22-year health care career, She has developed a personal and professional interest in inter/intra professional education and patient centered practice.

Dr. Barbara Pesut

Dr. Barbara Pesut is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing in the Faculty of Health and Social Development at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Okanagan Campus, and a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Health, Ethics and Diversity. Her research focuses on ethical health-care delivery in the context of socio-cultural diversity, and her primary program of research seeks to improve end-of-life care for individuals residing in rural and remote settings. Current research projects include enhancing the educational capacity of nursing care providers in rural areas for a palliative approach to care and developing a rural community-based palliative approach team. Her research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Peter Wall Foundation and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. Pesut has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Victoria, and a Master of Science in Nursing and a PhD in nursing from UBC.

Jennifer Roy

Jennifer Roy is a practicing public health nurse with certified practice in contraceptive management for Fraser Health in Hope and Boston Bar, as well as a relief nursing supervisor with Options for Sexual Health at the Chilliwack Clinic. Since graduation, Jennifer has obtained the Canadian Nurses Association certification in Community Health Nursing and recently completed a Master of Public Health – Health Promotion from the University of Alberta. She is a committee member with Community Health Nurses of Canada in political action and advocacy and has worked as a BC Nurses’ Union (BCNU) steward for 6 years with regional and provincial leadership development of the young nurses network. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts – Psychology and Criminal Justice (University of the Fraser Valley) and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BC Institute of Technology).

Patricia Wejr

Patricia Wejr is a senior policy analyst at the BC Nurses' Union (BCNU) and an adjunct professor in the School of Nursing in the Faculty of Applied Science at the University of British Columbia. In her role at BCNU, she has a long history of building links between the union, employers, health authorities and government, sitting on numerous stakeholder committees and taking part in joint projects. Prior to joining BCNU, Wejr worked as a registered nurse in a variety of settings including medical, surgical, and critical care at Vancouver General Hospital; and internationally in labour/delivery/post-partum and at a women's health advocacy and information centre. She is currently a member of the InspireNet KTE Action team and a member of the Health Services Research Pathway Advisory team. Wejr holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications (Simon Fraser University), a nursing diploma (Langara College), and a Master in Sociology (University of Surrey, United Kingdom).

Dr. Sabrina Wong

Dr. Sabrina Wong is an associate professor in the School of Nursing, and the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research at the University of British Columbia, and the co-director of the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network in British Columbia. Her research examines the organization and delivery of health care services within the context of primary health care. A recognized leader in research involving patient-reported quality of care, her work contributes to informing practice and system level interventions that seek to decrease health inequities among Canadian residents, including people who face multiple disadvantages in accessing and using the health care system such as those who have language barriers and live in poverty. Her current research projects include the development of a suite of tools that could be used to measure primary health-care performance (PHC), and work within a team grant on health equity, where she is the lead on a study that identifies, refines, and operationalizes equity-sensitive PHC indicators relevant for marginalized populations.