July 5, 2024

Introducing O'Brien Institute’s "Shaping the Future of Healthcare" series

Continuing care

At the O'Brien Institute for Public Health, we are privileged to work alongside some of the brightest minds in healthcare research. Our members are dedicated to advancing knowledge and developing innovative solutions that address the most pressing health challenges in Alberta and beyond.

We recognize that as Albertans, we are in unprecedented times as our healthcare system undergoes restructuring. In light of this, we are excited to launch O'Brien Institute’s Shaping the Future of Healthcare series, where we will be highlighting some exceptional researchers who are driving change and making a profound impact in the following key areas:

  1. Primary care
  2. Continuing care
  3. Acute care
  4. Mental health and addiction

Each week, we will feature dedicated members from these categories, showcasing their groundbreaking work, achievements, and the positive influence they have on our community. These individuals exemplify the O'Brien Institute’s spirit of innovation, compassion, and excellence.

Join us in celebrating these healthcare research innovators and learning more about the incredible strides they are making to improve health outcomes for all Albertans. Stay tuned for inspiring stories, insightful research, and a glimpse into the future of healthcare.

Let’s honour the people behind the progress. Together, we can foster a healthier, brighter future.

Continuing Care:

Continuing care provides us with a range of services from health to accommodation to personal care that support our health and well-being as we age. Continuing care ensures that all Albertans, regardless of factors like age or diagnosis, receive services that support their independence and quality of life. Here are some of our members who are revolutionizing the continuing care system.

Bonnie Lashewicz

Dr. Bonnie Lashewicz

Dr. Bonnie Lashewicz: Supporting person-centred care in the continuing care system

Dr. Bonnie Lashewicz, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary where she leads a program of qualitative research focused on disability, mental health, and chronic disease. Her work includes a focus on person-centred care in the continuing care sector through the use of concepts such as autonomy, identity, dignity, and moral distress.

Dr. Lashewicz’s research sheds light on the unique challenges and opportunities faced by care workers and residents, and she uses this to inform person-centred care knowledge, policy and practice.

Profiling the skill and dedication of the continuing care workforce

Dr. Lashewicz and her team conducted interviews with continuing care workers to understand their mental health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. They used results from their research to create a two-minute video animation titled Long term care workers in Canada: We needed help but we were supposed to be the help. From this work, Dr. Lashewicz partnered with Healthcare Excellence Canada to create an infographic about pandemic preparedness practices for supporting the continuing care workforce. The infographic highlights needs for support for care workers and provides some solutions. 

Tackling ageism in our health and social care systems

Dr. Lashewicz’s concern for the continuing care workforce is related to her team’s commitment to building communities that value and include people of all abilities. Their work aims to discern and challenge ableist thinking and practices that can be embedded in the work of practitioners and policymakers. 

Read Say What?! Ableist Logic Used in Misguided Attempt to Combat Ageism During COVID-19

Why does this work matter?

Dr. Lashewicz’s research underscores the importance of person-centred care for older adults and advances recognition of the physically and emotionally demanding nature of providing this vital care.

Dr. Lashewicz is a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences. She is a member of the O'Brien Institute.