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Primary Care Research Lab

School of Rehabilitation Therapy members working to advance primary care.

School of Rehabilitation Therapy members working to advance primary care

Submitted by: Jordan Miller, SRT Faculty

In January, I will have been a faculty member in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy for two years. Some days it feels like I have been here for many years and other days it feels like I have just arrived.

Two of the most rewarding parts of my transition to Queen’s have been building new collaborations and welcoming a stellar group of new students. In this blog post, I want to highlight an initiative that has involved both supporting student learning and conducting collaborative research.

Over the past year, Catherine Donnelly and I have been hosting joint lab meetings. We chose to join forces based on a shared research objective focused on improving team-based primary care and the desire to provide a wider network of students who can support each other as they develop into primary care researchers.

In May, we held a strategic planning retreat to set a direction for our lab. We shared personal research experiences, research goals, and values. We used these to inform the vision, mission, values, and research pillars for the lab as a whole. It was a really valuable process that helped us understand more about each other’s research, identify opportunities for supporting each other, and set the stage for collaborative projects. Below are the results of this retreat:

Lab name: Advancing primary health care (PHC) research lab

Vision: To revolutionize primary health care

Mission: Discover and translate knowledge to improve PHC and develop leaders in PHC research


Discovery: Our curiosity drives new discoveries in PHC

Community: We are in this together. We support each other and demonstrate compassion in what we do.

Impact: Our work makes a meaningful difference for people and communities

Shared leadership: We all share leadership roles in our community

Engagement: We engage and collaborate with stakeholders at community, regional, provincial, national and international levels to maximize our impact.

Research pillars:

  • Advancing team based models of primary health care
  • Developing and evaluating interventions in primary health care
  • Measuring impact, indicators, and outcomes of primary health care
  • Translating knowledge to improve primary health care

This fall, our small network has grown with the addition of a few new students. We now have 12 members in our lab: Catherine Donnelly, Jordan Miller, Abey Bekele, Nicole Bobette, Mulugeta Chala, Greg Cutforth, Emily Hladkowicz, Chris Mills, Amanda Mofina, Todd Tran, Kyle Vader, and Ashley Williams. Our group includes representatives from first to fourth year of study, from each of the Rehabilitation Science, Aging and Health, and Rehabilitation and Health Leadership programs; and from multiple professional backgrounds including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and a dietitian.

It has been quite exciting this fall to see this group working together to develop new research ideas, submit scholarship and grant applications, progress through coursework, as well as review and publish papers together.

I am pretty thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this group and look forward to reporting back on all of our accomplishments over the next few years!