Danica Facca, CRHESI Affiliate, Trainee

My name is Danica Facca and I’m a PhD candidate in Health Information Science at Western University, where I work and study as a Graduate Fellow under the supervision of Dr. Lorie Donelle. I also work as a Research Coordinator at Lawson Health Research Institute and St. Joseph’s Health Care London under the supervision of Dr. Jacobi Elliot. I’m a past recipient of the Eugenia Canas Memorial Award in Health Equity (2022) and current Trainee Affiliate with CRHESI, where I further participate as a member of CRHESI’s Knowledge Mobilization for Health Equity Student Collective. Throughout my doctorate, I’ve consistently served my academic communities to further health equity and health information research within local and national contexts. I currently sit on the Board of Directors for The Canadian Association of Information Science and The Women’s Health Coalition of Canada, while remaining an active co-founder of Safe Campus Coalition, a non-profit which aims to educate, support, and build community across Canadian post-secondary campuses to work against the perpetuation of gender-based sexual violence. Alongside my research and activism, I’ve committed significant time over 2020-2023 to university governance and graduate student affairs through my elected Executive Officer appointments as Vice-President Academic (2020-22) and President (2022-23) at the Society of Graduate Students, Western University’s graduate student advocacy and government non-profit organization.

My doctoral research resides at the intersections of gender studies, health equity, critical menstrual studies, and critical digital health studies. Specifically, my research takes a narrative inquiry approach to understanding gender diverse menstruators’ experiences of menstrual health through an intersectional feminist lens, in addition to troubling the gendered nature of ‘femtech’ (women’s health technologies) and its broader impact within women’s health research and related disciplines. Given that menstrual health is experienced in diverse context-specific ways, and directly impacts a menstruator’s physical and emotional well-being, gender diverse menstruators may face structural health inequities related to their menstrual health including accessing reproductive health services and menstrual products, or social isolation when dealing with dysphoria. As an allied health researcher, I hope to contribute toward advancing menstrual health research by offering a more diverse and comprehensive picture of menstrual health that works to breakdown cisnormative stereotypes and reduce the stigma associated with both menstruation and diverse gender identities.

As a graduate student who wears many hats, I’m constantly reconciling my place in the world and how I can put my training to use for the good of my local communities. Becoming a CRHESI Trainee Affiliate has provided me with invaluable learning opportunities to deepen my graduate education and put my health research training into practice through community-based knowledge mobilization initiatives and generative conversations among dynamic stakeholder groups. For example, this past spring I worked with fellow CRHESI Student Collective members to co-create a community spotlight blog series on food insecurity among Western students and London residents which bridged a timely public health issue between my academic and local communities in an impactful way. Through my involvement with CRHESI, I continue to connect with a community of like-minded others who remain deeply committed to addressing the roots and consequences of health and social inequities through intentional research and knowledge mobilization. My affiliate status keeps me accountable to living by my values and showing up as the most honest, truest version of myself in all that I do, within and beyond academia.


Laura Gibbs, CRHESI Affiliate, Community

Hello! My name is Laura Gibbs and I am very excited to be a CRHESI Affiliate. I want to change the way people think about the way the world could and should work so that everyone has the opportunity to reach their full health potential – and that’s exactly the impact of CRHESI’s work. I am passionate about integrating evidence and lived experience to produce more accessible systems and equitable health outcomes. As an evaluator with ten years’ experience working in local public health and the provincial mental health and substance use care system, I work to understand the ways the social systems we create influence how people seek, access, receive, and benefit from services. I would love to stop finding the same thing: that the experiences of living are unjustly influenced by the colour of their skin, the language that they speak, their gender, and a myriad of other things that shouldn’t negatively influence their lives.  

For me, it’s not just about making services better, it’s about making everything better: but how? We know the health and social systems we have in place aren’t working for most people and the system flaws are fatal. This isn’t news. What we need is to make people want to change them for the better. I’m interested in re-thinking how we do research and evaluation and communicate the findings. I want to make these inequities so unacceptable that it’s not enough to make a small change or two or demand large-scale changes. I want people to be moved to create new, more equitable, and sustainable systems. What lessons can we learn from marketing, politics, and grassroots movements? Are we getting the right information to the people who can make those big changes? 

I’m also passionate about changing the way we do evaluation so that we aren’t reproducing those inequities. I’m interested in exploring new ways to incorporate the lived experience and traditional knowledges of communities, clients, and providers in our assessments of what interventions work, who they work for, and how they produce equitable outcomes. How do we tap into the wisdom of others? What pushes our own methodological comfort zones? It’s time to look at the world of research and evaluation differently. 


Abiodun Awosusi, CRHESI Affiliate, Trainee

I am a doctoral researcher at the Ivey Business School with a focus on health systems management, value chain development and international business. I explore how multinational health enterprises succeed (and fail) in new markets and their role in achieving equitable access to health technologies in different institutional contexts.  

I trained as a physician in Nigeria, graduating medical school with distinction in physiology and pharmacology. I earned master’s degrees from the Quantic School of Business and Technology, the University of Oxford and the University of Liverpool. I have worked for multiple domestic and international organizations on clinical care management, health system reforms and market analyses in developing countries.    

I believe CRHESI’s work is vital in view of the growing interest in equity, diversity and inclusion across multiple spheres and the need for interdisciplinary and community-oriented research to address grand challenges. Guided by the ethos of integrity, compassion and excellence, I look forward to engaging in research collaborations that enhance the output of the Centre and deepen its impact across London and adjoining communities.