Nancy Young is the director of the ECHO research project and has led the research group since its inception in 2006. As a Clinical Epidemiologist and Physiotherapist with 21 years of research experience focusing on children's health, her knowledge is of great value to the team. She has previous experience as the Interim Director for the School of Rural and Northern Health, and is currently a Professor in the School of Rural and Northern Health. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Rural and Northern Health.
Her particular interest is in improving the health of school-aged children and youth in rural and northern communities, including Aboriginal children and youth. She currently holds one CIHR grant and has another larger CIHR grant under review in this field.
Her primary appointment is complemented by cross appointments as an Adjunct Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children’s Research Institute, Adjunct Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and Associate Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. These institutions are central to her child health research program.
Her research spans different clinical domains and uses a variety of research methods including both quantitative and qualitative methods. Her expertise in development, validation and cross-cultural adaptation of health outcome measures has enabled her to make important contribution to clinical research around the world.
Her greatest achievement is that her research has enabled clinicians and scientists to view health through the eyes of children and youth.
Her research is supported by funding from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (www.cihr.ca) as well as industry partners.
Diana Coholic is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Laurentian University, where she teaches practice theory and methods in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Her current research program is investigating the effectiveness of holistic arts-based group methods for the improvement of resilience in children and youth with high needs – this research is in collaboration with the Children’s Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin, and the Child and Family Centre, and is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Sick Kids Foundation.
Mindfulness-based practices are an important part of the group program. Along with her research team, she creatively disseminates the results of the research. They facilitate annual training workshops for community-based practitioners, and helped to produce a 20-minute instructional film for practitioners, which is available free of charge. Last year, Jessica Kingsley Publishers published her book Arts Activities for Children and Young People in Need: Helping children to develop mindfulness, spiritual awareness and self-esteem. She recently published an article on arts-based methods with children in need that was the most downloaded article in 2009-2010.Information can be found on her research website: www.Diana Coholic.com.
Alain Gauthier is an Assistant Professor in the School of Human Kinetics. Alain was the first graduate from the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Rural and Northern Health, and was supported by a CIHR doctoral research award. His thesis focused on the physical activity patterns of the Francophone population in Northeastern Ontario. Since the completion of his doctoral degree, Alain has been actively developing his research program.
He is currently pursuing 2 streams of research; Francophone health services research, and the promotion of physical activity to vulnerable populations (e.g., smokers and children). Alain currently holds 2 Louise Picard Health Research Grants which are serving as catalysts to develop research proposals for larger Tri-Council grants. As a result of these seed grants, he has developed strong ties with the Sudbury & District Health Unit, as well as local school boards which will be key community partners for ECHO.
Alain has first authored a key paper detailing a framework for the evaluation of child health. The paper was published in Child Indicators Research in 2011. He is currently co-leading a research team that is evaluating the health effects of differing timetables used in the Ontario public school system. Results from first phase of this project have drawn significant attention from the academic community, school administrators, and parents.
Sylvie Larocque is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing. Her clinical expertise is in paediatrics (care of children and their family). Her research interests are: the impact of chronic illness on children and their families, family centered care, career plans of nursing graduates, and educational and health issues involving Francophone populations in Northern and Rural communities. For her doctoral and master’s work she looked at the experience of adolescents living with a sibling who has Cystic Fibrosis. She has several related publications.
Stephen Ritchie is an Assistant Professor in the School of Human Kinetics and a Doctoral Candidate in the School of Rural and Northern Health. His research career began in earnest in 2006, when he was a co-investigator on a SSHRC funded project examining youth participation in sport. This early work led to his doctoral work, commencing in 2008, which is dedicated to developing, implementing and evaluating an Outdoor Adventure Leadership Experience (OALE) designed to promote resilience and well-being for First Nations youth in Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve.
His thesis research is supervised by Nancy Young, and his doctoral experiences led to an invitation to join his supervisor on several other projects related to creating child-centric health measures for Aboriginal communities across Canada. Stephen’s OALE work has been very successful. The program is well established in the community (Wikwemikong), and both qualitative and quantitative results support the program’s efficacy.
Stephen has also worked in the outdoor field for over 25 years as a guide, teacher, facilitator and more recently as professor and program coordinator. Much of that experience includes work with children and youth. Stephen’s research interests are devoted to understanding outdoor adventure and experiential education programs in the context of achieving personal growth and health outcomes; the primary population of interest is children and youth.
Annie Roy-Charland is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. Annie’s research interests include: eye movement research, missing-letter effect, shared book reading between parents and children, selective attention and implicit cognitions. The novelty of her research is using physical measures to explore cognitive processes in children and adults. She is an NSERC grantee and is the Principal Investigator in a CFI grant. She recently submitted a CIHR operating grant as a Co-Applicant. Annie has several relevant publications in this area.
Nicole Yantzi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Studies. Her research focuses on the daily environments of children with disabilities and their families. One part of this research program examines the physical, policy and service barriers that children and their families experience. The other part examines these barriers and challenges to full participation by including children with disabilities as active research participants.
Nicole was a co-primary investigator on a grant to develop and evaluate tools to measure school accessibility. As part of this Nicole led the development of a School Accessibility Tool (the SAT) which has been endorsed by a local disabled children’s group from the Independence Centre and Network (ICAN). She is a co-investigator on a Canadian Institutes of Health research grant designed to have children with physical disabilities evaluate and assess the accessibility and inclusiveness of their schools, homes and neighbourhoods. She was also a co-investigator on a Norman Saunders Complex Care grant (SickKids Hospital) examining the migration patterns of families of children with chronic complex conditions. Her work is published in the journals Social Science and Medicine, Health and Social Care in the Community, Gender, Place and Culture and Children’s Geographies.
She actively works with children with disabilities, parents, service providers and municipal government staff to improve the inclusiveness of children’s everyday environments.
Michel Larivière is an Associate Professor in the School of Human Kinetics. He is also a licensed clinical Psychologist. His research has focused on salient health issues including high-risk health behaviours (e.g. self-injury, substance abuse, high-risk sexual activity) in vulnerable populations such as Aboriginals, inmates, and visible minorities. Building on these efforts, he has been studying the determinants of mental health in the workplace and has published results from large-scale surveys of Canadian human service workers.