We are pleased to welcome Alis Bonsignore, PhD (candidate), R.Kin to our team at Gateway, Centre of Excellence in Rural Health. Ms. Bonsignore previously obtained her Master’s degree in the Department of Experimental Medicine from the University of British Columbia and is completing her PhD in the Department of Exercise Sciences at the University of Toronto (anticipated Winter 2021). During her PhD, she was honored with one of the highest ranked Canadian graduate scholarships from the Canadian Institution of Health Research and was successful in securing over $175,000 in funding to support her research. The focus on her research program examined the physiological changes that occur to both the blood vessels and the heart secondary to cancer therapies. Secondly, she examined how these physiological mechanisms can be used to inform clinical practice and policy to determine which cancer survivors should be referred to cardiac rehabilitation in order to reduce their risk of heart disease, one of the leading causes of death in this population.
In her new role as the Program Director, Healthy Hearts Cardiac Rehabilitation, she has a growing interest in understanding the differences in the delivery, uptake and effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation programs in rural communities compared to more urban centres. Secondly, she is interested in designing more effective and integrated models of cardiac rehabilitation aimed at addressing the unique barriers that are experienced in rural communities. She hopes that this research will help inform policy makers, government and stakeholders on how cardiac rehabilitation can be improved to ensure equity of access and delivery of care in rural communities.
In addition to her research experience, Ms. Bonsignore has extensive experience as a clinical Kinesiologist in cardiac rehabilitation, in program design and development, and teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level. These experiences will lend success to her new role at Gateway, Centre of Excellence in Rural Health. Please join us in welcoming Alis to her new role.