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Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba
Adjunct Faculty Appointment, Department of Community Health Sciences, College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba
Doctor of Philosophy, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary (2011)
Master of Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary (2002)
Bachelor of Science, Faculty of Science, University of Western Ontario (1996)
Registered Nursing Diploma, Fanshawe College (1987)
Dr. West has an extensive clinical background in child and family health. Her areas of practice specialization include pediatric oncology, pediatric palliative care and grief support, as well as neonatal intensive care. Within her graduate studies (MN, PhD), she received intensive clinical and research training in family systems intervention based on the Illness Beliefs Model (IBM) (Wright & Bell, 2009). Her PhD research used qualitative interpretive methodology to study family experiences of illness suffering in childhood cancer, as well as videotaped family intervention with children and families living with childhood cancer.
Dr. West’s program of research focuses on addressing the illness suffering of children and families living with serious pediatric illness. She is currently using a family systems-expressive arts framework to study what it is like for children and families to go through pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant. She is committed to the future development and testing of innovative clinical interventions that combine family systems practice frameworks with expressive art therapy approaches.
Currently, she is leading an interdisciplinary research team in completing a retrospective (children 6 months – 5 years post-transplant), qualitative study of the family transition through pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant (Funding: Operating Grant, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, 2014 – 2016). The Manitoba Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at CancerCare Manitoba has been an invaluable collaborative partner in this research initiative.
Dr. West is now pursuing research funding to study pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant prospectively (children and families to be followed pre-transplant, through hospitalization, to one year post-transplant). This subsequent study will integrate more diverse expressive arts data collection strategies, multiple research interviews, and participant observation. Children and families will have the opportunity to engage in expressive arts activities throughout the process of transplant, including drawing and story writing. A highly innovative, integrated knowledge translation approach using digital storytelling has also been developed for this study.