NRIG Executive Team
Chair - Charlene Chu
Dr. Charlene Chu is an Assistant Professor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto, and an Affiliate Scientist at KITE Toronto Rehab at the University Health Network. She is also cross-appointment (status only) with the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work’s Institute for Life Course & Aging at the University of Toronto. As a Registered Nurse with 12 years of experience working with older adults across the health spectrum, Dr. Chu’s primary area of research is in designing interventions that support the mobility and daily function of older adults in post-acute care settings (e.g. long-term care, rehabilitation, community). The major focuses are:
person-centred interventions; co-designing and evaluating innovative technology that is translatable into practice; and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in patient care.
Her research to develop technology for older adults has been funded by the Canadian Nurses Foundation; Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Canadian Partnerships for Stroke Research, Centre for Brain + Health Innovation, and AGE-WELL Strategic Investment Program. She currently holds funding from Women’s College Hospital to design an exergaming system for older women living in long-term care. She has experience in health based technologies for clinicians, as well as developing technology for older adults in LTC to support their mobility and cognitive function.
As a steering committee member of The Consortium of Professional Nursing Practice in LTC and the Worldwide Elements To Harmonize Research In long-term care liVing Environments (WE-THRIVE) to support the use of common data elements in long-term care and support person-centred care globally. Notably, Dr. Chu has authored and co-authored 36 peer-reviewed full manuscripts focused on interventions for older adults, advancing gerontological nursing practice, or developing international clinical guidelines to support care.
Past Chair – Amy Wright
Amy Wright is a Neonatal NP with a passion for health equity and social justice. She is also an Assistant Professor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. Challenged by the health inequities experienced by Indigenous infants and their families in urban areas, she has focused her career to advocating for the unique needs of this population.
Amy has extensive experience as a board member on several other committees and organizations and an active research portfolio. She is excited to be the new Chair of NRIG and is looking forward to working with this team to meet the educational and research needs of its members.
Finance Officer - Michelle Heyer
Michelle Heyer is the Chair, Seniors Care at the Canadian Institute for Seniors Care at Conestoga College. Michelle started her health care career as a Nurses Aide in long-term care, sparking her interest in gerontology. Michelle graduated from the Practical Nursing program at Conestoga College in 2005. She then went on to complete her BScN from McMaster University in 2010, and finished her MSc from McMaster in 2017. The focus of her MSc thesis was on the quality-of-life of older adults in long-term care. Michelle has a vast array of clinical nursing experience including complex-continuing care, palliative care, mental health, acute care and gerontology. In Michelle’s role at Conestoga, she is dedicated to helping prepare health care providers to care for older adults with complex needs through gerontological research and education.
Secretary - Yehudis Stokes
Yehudis is a PhD candidate at the University of Ottawa with a research focus on implementing trauma-informed care in practice. While furthering her studies, Yehudis continues as RN at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, currently with the Child and Youth Protection team. Yehudis intends to continue her path in the future as a clinician scientist, integrating research and academia directly and indirectly with clinical practice. She also hopes to incorporate her art therapy education and experience with her nursing research and practice.
Communication Officer - Newsletter - Tara Lundy
Tara is a Registered Nurse and a graduate student workingtowards earning her Masters of Applied Health Sciences inNursing at Brock University. She has previously earned a BScNfrom Brock University and a BSc in Microbiology andImmunology from Dalhousie University.
Tara currently works as a RN in the Sexual Assault DomesticViolence Centre in Niagara. She is also a Research Assistantfor Dr. Joanne Crawford on a community-based project thatexplores social exclusion among newcomer immigrant women.Her current research interests include understanding healthdisparities and the well-being of vulnerable populations,particularly in women.
Communication Officer - Website - Linda Sheiban Taucar
Linda is a Registered Nurse who currently holds the position of the Associate Research Chair at the Canadian Institute for Seniors Care at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario. Linda utilizes her joint clinical and research knowledge to coordinate and conduct research, primarily focused on evidence-based care in gerontology and gerontological curriculum development. Linda is involved in conducting several research projects related to resident-centred care in long-term care.
In 2018, Linda received a NRIG research grant to explore the experiences of college faculty on integrating RNAO Best Practice Guidelines in nursing and social service curricula. This opportunity allowed her to grow as a nurse researcher. Linda appreciates the opportunity to continue to participate in NRIG’s initiatives by being on the Executive Board as the Communications Executive Network Officer- Website.
Membership Officer - Kylie Teggart
Kylie Teggart is an oncology RN with a passion for integrating research evidence into front-line nursing practice. She began her MSc in the School of Nursing at McMaster University in 2019 and will transition into the PhD program this fall. Her thesis work is focused on exploring knowledge translation strategies to support oncology nurses in providing evidence-based cancer symptom management in outpatient settings. She also has an interest in home/community care and methods that engage patients and other stakeholders in research. Kylie has been an RNAO member since 2012 and is excited to join the NRIG Executive as the new Membership Officer.
Policy and Political Action Officer - Marzieh Moattari
Marzieh Moattari is an internationally educated nurse with a PhD. degree in nursing. As the holder of two Master’s degrees in Medical-Surgical Nursing and Medical Education, she is very passionate for learner-centered education in nursing. As a nursing scholar she has taught many aspects of medical-surgical nursing to undergraduate and graduate nursing students. Also, she is expert in teaching of the subjects related to education and research such as curriculum development and evaluation, teaching strategies, assessment, and research methodologies. She also has supervisory skills and has supervised more than 40 theses and dissertations.
She has an extensive publication record and possesses an author impact factor (H Index) of 20 in google scholar and 7 in Scopus. She is an expert in both quantitative and qualitative methodology and has more than 40 published articles in peer-reviewed journals. Her research interest can be categorized in the following areas: Medical-Surgical Nursing to improve patients’ health and or quality of life in challenging situations, Primary Health Care, Ethics, Critical Thinking, Social Responsibility, and Nursing Education and Assessment. She continuously presents her research findings in national and international conferences.
To obtain the registration license to work in Canada, she completed the York University Post RN program in 2017 and currently works as a registered nurse in a Nursing Clinic where she has the opportunity to empower the clients who live with different challenges across the life. Also, she is engaged in on-line teaching of graduate nursing students of Azad University since 2015.
Members at Large - Awards Program – Kristine Newman
Dr. Kristine Newman obtained her Bachelor of Nursing Science (2003) and Master of Science in Nursing (2005) from Queen’s University. Dr. Newman completed her PhD in Nursing Science (2012) from the University of Toronto and a Knowledge Translation Canada: Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2013) at McMaster University. Dr. Newman’s program of research relates to Knowledge translation – health evidence; Gerotechnology; Dementia awareness and intergenerational relations, Young Caregivers & their Families, and Formal & Informal Caregivers. She is a founding member of the World Young Leaders of Dementia (WYLD). She has built a research program surrounding her expertise in rehabilitation gerontological nursing practice and knowledge translation. Her knowledge dissemination involves an arts-based approach that makes research accessible and impactful to various audiences. Such projects include: Spare a Thought for Dementia (T4D) campaign, http://thoughtsfordementia.com/ and Embody – Experiencing Dementia through New Media, https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/mobile/video?clipId=1520005 link.
Members at Large - Social Media – Kamika Sylvester
Kamika Sylvester, BScN is a new graduate registered nurse working in Emergency Medicine. She is a graduate of the Scholar Practitioner Program at Nipissing University in 2021 after completing an undergraduate degree in Life Sciences at McMaster University in 2016. During her time in Hamilton, she developed a passion for research and advocating for health equity for minority populations. Over the past 5 years, she has worked in a number of departments at Toronto General Hospital and in Home and Community Care. Throughout her community volunteer work and administrative roles, Kamika developed her communication and social media skills which led her to begin consulting for small businesses and community organizations in 2018. As social media coordinator, she will leverage these skills to promote NRIG initiatives and support the executive team.
Student Representative - Destiny Javier
I am a fourth year nursing student at Ryerson University. My developing knowledge for research has simultaneously progressed my enthusiasm for sharing my interest and passion in nursing research with fellow nursing students. I am currently Co-Director of Student Life and Events at Ryerson University's Nursing Course Union as well, and enjoy reaching out to the nursing student community through educational and recreational initiatives. I have recently been exploring my interests for maternal and pediatric health, and hope to pursue a nursing career within these areas! I also enjoy trying new recipes, hiking, and riding ferry boats.
Student Representative - Rachel Ng
I am a fourth year nursing student at Ryerson University. I became immersed in nursing research after I realized the potential to fix issues on the individual, organizational, community, and systemic level. As Vice President of the Nursing Course Union, I have engaged students in great opportunities, and I plan to do the same for students hoping to enter research across Ontario. My personal nursing goals are to become an Emergency/Trauma nurse. I also enjoy kickboxing, gymnastics, and sitting by the pool! We hope you have a great year progressing in your research journey!