imgres-2Abe Oudshoorn is Assistant Professor in the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western University, the Department of Psychiatry Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, and Associate Scientist with Lawson Health Research Institute. Having worked as a nurse with people experiencing homelessness, Abe’s research focuses on health, homelessness, housing policy, and poverty. Outside of the University, Abe has the privilege of chairing the London Homeless Coalition, is a board member with the United Way of London & Middlesex, and sits on the Mayor’s Advisory Panel on Poverty.



Carri Hand is Assistant Professor in the School of Occupational Therapy in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University. Carri’s research explores physical, social, policy and cultural contextual factors that impact social connectedness, social inclusion and participation in occupations among older adults — all to inform the development of innovative strategies to promote inclusion of older adults in community life. Carri collaborates with community organizations and community members, focusing on vulnerable older adults who may be experiencing poverty, disability, or social isolation. Her current work explores the complex ways in which neighbourhoods can support social connectedness and inclusion; how primary care and neighbourhoods can be integrated to support inclusion and participation; and measurement of meaningful outcomes in primary care as a basis for addressing health inequities.

Debbie Lalibertimgres-4e Rudman is Associate Professor in the School of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University. Debbie carries out equity-oriented, collaborative research that works with marginalized collectives and community organizations to optimize opportunities for participation. Her work enhances understanding of how social, economic, gendered and other contextual factors lead to situations of inequity in relation to health, social inclusion, and occupation (the range of activities people need and want to do). Debbie’s research has examined social, health and occupational inequities in relation to: retirement and later life work; aging with disabilities; post-secondary education and First Nations youth; barriers to successful integration for immigrants; and precarious employment and long-term employment. She aims to provoke awareness of inequities and highlight alternative ways stakeholders can re-shape contextual features such as policies and institutional practices to promote equity and social inclusion.

Gerda ZonruiterGerda Zonruiter has 15 years experience working as a social policy and planning researcher with the City of London. During her tenure she has provided research support for a range of portfolios, including homelessness, housing, poverty, social assistance and childcare. Prior to leaving the City to pursue freelance research and consulting work, Gerda was the co-chair of London’s Child and Youth Network’s, Income Security Working Group, working with community members to identify systemic issues of poverty; and recommending changes in the areas of social assistance, minimum wage and affordable housing. Well-versed in the issues of social inclusion, poverty and health equity, Gerda’s involvement with London’s Bridges Out of Poverty ❘ Circles initiative keeps her grounded in the everyday challenges associated with living with poverty


Marlene Janzen Le Ber is Assistant Professor, Leadership at Brescia University College and Adjunct Research Professor at the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership at Western University. Her PhD in Business Administration – Strategy followed a MScN, a career in mental health and public health nursing, and over 20 years in hospital and health research administration. Marlene’s research focuses on the complex processes of leadership in social innovation at both the micro/individual level and at the more macro/organizational/systems level. The two ongoing projects at the individual level are: “Women’s Leader Identity Development” and “Organizational Culture and Leadership: Exploring the Practice of Leadership in a Women’s Circle.” Two additional projects, “From Intractable to Tractable: Transdisciplinary Processes of Innovation” and “Develop and Test Indicators of Ontario Local Public Health Agency Work to Address the Social Determinants of Health to Reduce Health Inequities” are at the organizational/systems level, with a focus on how social systems change. More specifically, Marlene focuses on the processes of social innovation that address issues of social (in)justice and equality for vulnerable, disenfranchised and marginalized populations.

imgres-1Melanie Katsivo is Research Officer and Adjunct Research Professor at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, where her interests and work are focused on innovative and disruptive approaches to dealing with factors that deter the enjoyment of acceptable levels of good health and overall wellness by individuals in communities. Melanie uses a gender- and human-rights framework to interrogate socio-cultural determinants of wellness.



Nadine WathenNadine Wathen PhD ( is Associate Professor & Faculty Scholar at Western Univeristy, a Research Scholar at Western’s Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children, and a Member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada. Her research examines the health and social service sector response to violence against women and children, interventions to reduce health inequities, and the science of knowledge translation, with a focus on enhancing the use of research in policy and practice. Nadine co-leads a number of research initiatives, including: the PreVAiL Research Network, VEGA: A Public Health Response to Family Violence, EQUIP: Research to Equip Primary Health Care for Equity and the Domestic Violence @ Work Network.