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.
Chair-Elect – Amanda McIntyre
Amanda McIntyre is an Assistant Professor at Western University in the School of Nursing, and a Registered Nurse in the emergency department at London Health Sciences Centre. As a clinician-scientist, her long-term goal is to improve heath care policy and practice via rigorous health systems and health service delivery research. Amanda has published extensively in the field of neurorehabilitation, currently holds three grants, and is the recipient of several local and national nursing awards.
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 working towards earning her MA in Applied Health Sciences in Nursing at Brock University. Her thesis work is focused on exploring the health and wellness of community-based workers who support women survivors of intimate partner violence. She has previously earned a BScN from Brock University and a BSc in Microbiology and Immunology from Dalhousie University.
Tara currently works as a RN in the Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Centre in Niagara. She is also a Research Assistant for Dr. Joanne Crawford on a community-based project that explores social exclusion among immigrant women, and she enjoys being a Teaching Assistant for the Brock University Nursing Faculty.
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 - Simon Donato-Woodger
I graduated from Toronto Metropolitan University’s BScN in 2020, since then I have worked on a variety of General Medicine, COVID-19 Relief, and Critical Care units. I currently work at the Intensive Care Unit at Scarborough General Hospital, and I assist Dr. Charlene Chu at the University of Toronto as a research assistant on the topics of gerontology and Artificial Intelligence. I also work in Community Health as an RN for the Parkdale Queen West Supervised Consumption Site.
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 – Nicole Serre
Nicole Serre is a Registered Nurse at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and a faculty member in the Health, Wellness and Sciences Department at Georgian College. Nicole completed her Master of Nursing degree from Toronto Metropolitan University and her thesis focused on nurses’ experiences with patient safety incidents in long-term care homes. Nicole hopes to continue to expand on her research findings to enhance gerontological care in nursing homes. Within this role, Nicole hopes to draw in the interest of nursing students, staff nurses, and future researchers to NRIG.
Student Representative - Kieran Blake
Hello, my name is Kieran Blake, and I am a third year BScN student at Nipissing University. I became interested in nursing research when I realized the widespread benefits it offered. I am currently an international student peer mentor and tutor at my university and I am elated for the opportunity to expand my passion for research in the NRIG student representative position.
Student Representative - Claire Stather
I am a fourth-year nursing student at Toronto Metropolitan University. My various experiences in research focused roles has inspired a passion for utilizing research-based evidence in my practice as a nursing student and furthering the discipline of nursing through the dissemination of research findings. In addition to the role of NRIG Student Representative, I also hold the role of Executive Coordinator for the Collaborative Nursing Big Buddies Program, where I frequently plan and facilitate engaging activities and events for students. In the future I hope to pursue a career in the field of public health or nursing informatics, while continuing to actively engage in nursing research!
Student Representative - Caitlin Cosgrove
Caitlin Cosgrove is a fourth-year nursing student in the BScN program at the Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU). She has been involved in over 15 research projects as both a Research Assistant and Student Advisory Member at the TMU and Centennial College. Her research experiences include co-authoring nursing open educational resources, building Virtual Gaming Simulations, performing qualitative research, and presenting research at conferences.