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PhD Spotlight — Andrea Ghazzawi


Andrea Ghazzawi started a PhD in management at the Telfer School of Management in 2016. She received an MSc in health systems from Telfer in 2012 and worked as a part-time instructor at the SchoolAndrea Ghazzawi of Health and Community Studies at Algonquin College, prior to starting her PhD. Under the supervision of Dr. Craig Kuziemsky, Andrea has been looking at ways to inform health system transformation by drawing on social pediatrics, a tailored socially-driven approach to healthcare delivery for vulnerable children and their families.

Why did you choose to study healthcare systems? Any personal motivation behind your interest?

I chose to focus on health systems as my area of study as it has been an area of great interest to me since I was a child. Experiencing some of the system challenges first hand as we navigated the healthcare system as a family for my grandmother, I hoped to make a difference for others through my research, in particular, for vulnerable populations, including children, older adults and the socioeconomically disadvantaged.

What is your research about and what will it contribute to academic literature?

My doctoral research examines the multidimensional physical, social and collaborative space configurations at a social pediatric centre from the child’s perspective, and the extent to which the spaces are socially supportive. Space design and system theories are combined,  a unique attribute of the study. This study provides an understanding of how children interact with space configurations and can inform how to optimize healthcare delivery, with the goals of mitigating barriers to care and ultimately maximizing care benefits.

Tell us about a recent highlight of your research.

Although not specifically related to my thesis, I am a co-author on a scoping review that explores neonatal hypoglycemia accepted for publication in BMJ Open. In particular, the review identified the nature of evidence supporting neonatal hypoglycemia diagnosis and treatment, and by extension, gaps in the literature, in order to inform policies and procedures for hypoglycemia screening and treatment for babies.

What impact could your research have on Canadian healthcare systems?

My doctoral research elucidates the importance of tailored, socially-driven approaches to healthcare delivery designed to mitigate social and structural barriers to care for vulnerable populations, supporting equitable and accessible patient-centred care. The results of the study can be used to inform health system transformation, particularly in primary care in Canada.

About the Author

Rania Nasrallah a rejoint le bureau de recherche Telfer en 2019. Elle a obtenu son doctorat en médecine à l'Université d'Ottawa et apporte à ce rôle plus de deux décennies d'expérience en recherche. Rania participe à tous les aspects du mandat du Bureau de la recherche et est responsable de fournir un large éventail de services aux membres du corps professoral et aux étudiants de recherche de deuxième et troisième cycle. Elle gère les subventions internes et les bourses d'études, et participe à la stratégie de communication de la recherche. Elle fournit également un soutien aux chercheurs avant l'attribution des subventions afin de maximiser le succès du financement au niveau national et international. En outre, elle travaille en étroite collaboration avec le Vice-doyen à la recherche pour élaborer et mettre en œuvre des stratégies visant à améliorer le financement et la vélocité de la recherche à Telfer, conformément à notre vision pour créer un meilleur Canada et un meilleur monde pour tous.<br/><br/>Rania Nasrallah joined the Telfer Research Office in 2019. She completed her PhD in Medicine at the University of Ottawa and brings over two decades of research experience to this role. Rania is involved in all aspects of the mandate of the Research Office and is responsible for providing a wide range of services to faculty members and research based graduate students. She manages internal grants, student awards, and participates in the research communication strategy. She also provides pre-award support to researchers to optimize funding success nationally and internationally. In addition she works closely with the Vice Dean Research to develop and implement strategies to enhance research funding and intensity at Telfer following our vision to create a better Canada and a better world for all.

Profile Photo of Rania Nasrallah