November Researcher of the Month
- What is your official current position and title?
Dr. Kelly Scott-Storey, Associate Professor at the University of New Brunswick, Faculty of Nursing
- What is your educational background?
Bachelor of Nursing (BN); Master of Nursing (MN); and PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on health research.
- Tell us about your current project.
iHEAL, Intervention for Health Enhancement and Living, is a health promotion intervention for women who have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV). iHEAL is delivered by a community health nurse working in partnership with women in ~10-18 sessions over about 6 months, in the context of supports and services available locally. As a health promotion intervention, iHEAL is designed to address a broad range of issues that affect women’s health and well-being. iHEAL is women-led, with a strong focus on complementing and extending, rather than duplicating existing resources.
- Tell us a little bit about your career path. Where did your passion for the research you do originate?
I was a cardiac care nurse for many years and was always interested in best practice, research and evidence but it was actually through a serendipitous conversation with my supervisor, Dr. Judy Wuest that started me on my current path and my fueled my passion for research. Dr. Wuest, who is a well-respected violence researcher, asked me one day whether I thought women who had experienced IPV were at greater risk for heart disease. I responded with ‘of course they are’ and she said, ‘prove it’. That conversation became the foundation of my entire program of research.
- How do you see your research contributing to evidence based decision making and public policy?
Research is the crux of evidence based decision making and as a nurse, the foundation of our profession. iHEAL is an evidence informed intervention developed as a result of greater than 20 years of cumulative research and evidence by Dr. Judy Wuest, Dr. Marilyn Ford-Gilboe, Dr. Colleen Varcoe and Prof. Marilyn Merritt-Gray. iHEAL has been tested in two feasibility studies conducted in New Brunswick and Ontario, as well as more recently adapted to be appropriate for use with Indigenous women living in an inner city context in British Columbia. Collectively, lessons learned and evidence have been drawn from these three studies to inform the current version of iHEAL that is to be tested in a Randomized Control Trial. Trials of interventions, such as iHEAL, are needed to determine whether promising interventions are ‘worth it’ before public investment and changes in programs or services are made.
- Tell us about any past achievements that were significant to your professional path
I do not believe there is one past achievement that I could single out, but rather I recognize how incredibly fortunate I have been to work alongside and be mentored by leaders in the field. The mentorship I have received in my master’s degree, my doctorate and now as an emerging researcher is really what I credit my success to. I work with amazing and talented colleagues across Canada and internationally which enables me to be a part of a bigger, global movement to address violence and health.
- Any last thoughts?
I am proud to be part of the important work that is being done to better understand and mitigate the pervasive effects of IPV in the lives of women. I believe that iHEAL has enormous potential to support women to heal from the effects of IPV and lead more satisfying lives and to positively influence practice and social policies.