Selvi Roy, a PhD student in UPEI’s Faculty of Education, has been awarded a prestigious Strategic Training in Health Research (STIHR) fellowship by Knowledge Translation (KT) Canada. As part of the two-year fellowship, Roy will work on a study which aims to identify knowledge translation strategies to improve the health of indigenous women from the Mi’kmaq community of Prince Edward Island.
“We know that the health of indigenous women in Canada continues to be poorer than that of non-indigenous people,” said Roy. “That’s very consistent to what I saw growing up in India. Marginalized communities have poorer access to health services, and have a different perception of their own health.”
Roy plans to meet with Mi’kmaq chiefs, elders, and women to examine these perceptions, and make connections with health-care providers. Her study will provide reliable, current, community-level data that reflects the health needs of the Mi’kmaq community for policy development and program planning to promote health.
“The project at this point is just taking shape and is akin to a lump of clay on a potter’s wheel,” said Roy. “There is much to be determined about how to best move forward. It is most important that I speak with members of the community to learn their needs and concerns before proceeding to identify KT strategies to best meet those needs.”
“I’m very proud of Selvi and of her successful application for this fellowship,” said Dr. Barbara Campbell, Associate Professor in UPEI’s School of Nursing, and Roy’s PhD co-supervisor. “As a member of KT Canada myself, I know this provides excellent opportunities for her, including mentorship in the area of knowledge translation. It’s especially exciting knowing she is UPEI’s first-ever STIHR fellow.”
KT Canada is a network of Canadian experts in knowledge translation joining forces to tackle the greatest challenge in health care today—the fact that, although there is a great deal of health research being conducted, there is a gap in applying the results at the patient’s bedside and in everyday health decisions.