Gateway is excited to have a new research associate join their team, Casandra Bryant.
Alongside the Gateway team, Bryant is advising on a research project investigating the impact of COVID-19 on the rural healthcare system with a focus on the well-being of healthcare workers and others employed in a healthcare setting. This research aims to clearly identify the impact of COVID-19 on rural healthcare workers and inform future support initiatives and resources for the immediate future and post-pandemic. This project is funded by Huron-Perth United Way.
The recent appointment of Jane Philpott as a special advisor to Ontario’s Minister of Health with a mandate to design and implement a health-data platform aimed to assist researchers and health-system workers, indicates the importance of gathering pandemic data. While it is unknown how and where this data will be gathered, most studies and reports have been urban-centric. Bryant is excited to be a part of a research initiative that solely focuses on the rural healthcare system in Huron county. She is advising on the research design and data analysis stages of the project.
“I am a first year PhD student in Rural Studies at the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph. My MSc in Capacity Development and Extension focused on rural connectivity, and communication media with rural radio broadcasters, extension workers and community development officers in Latin America, and Africa. I completed a consultancy at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy and conducted additional communication-focused research in rural Central America before returning to Canada.” said Bryant.
In addition to her academic work, Bryant brings 15 plus years of professional experience as a non-profit organization consultant, working with a number of national health-related organizations such as, Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, MS Society of Canada, Prostate Cancer Foundation, Renascent Foundation and Rethink Breast Cancer. One of her recent roles as a Strategy Lead in Program Development helped to create a leadership-coaching program for nurses and healthcare executives centred on creating leadership cultures that embrace relationship-centred care and personal development.
Her doctorate work will focus on rural women social entrepreneurs at both the community and policy level. She feels the role of social enterprise has been and will continue to play a role in addressing social issues such as gender inequality, mental and physical health, healthcare access, economic empowerment and community resilience. Bryant’s research will specifically explore female social entrepreneurs with the hope to learn more about the opportunities and challenges they face as women.
“We continue to attract and strengthen Gateway. We are delighted to welcome Casandra to our team,” said Gwen Devereaux, president, Board of Directors.