Bringing communities together to promote health equity & inclusion through collaborative research for action.


Peer Driven Work

The following is a reflection by Kaitlyn Widdup, CRHESI Student Collective, Community-Engaged Learning Placement, Bachelor of Health Sciences student, Western University.

I had little knowledge of community-based research and peer support in regard to health and homelessness when I began my placement with CRHESI. I spent quite a bit of time researching peer supports, specifically how their lived experiences make them uniquely valuable to those experiencing homelessness.

I felt nervous about attending our first team planning meeting for this event, but my nerves immediately disappeared because the team members were very welcoming and supportive of my role as a CEL student. The peer work discussions were enriching and contributed to the creation of an amazing event with incredible and open conversations on some of the challenges, rewards, and barriers encountered in peer work.

December 20, 2023

Food Insecurity Affects Us All

This series on food insecurity aims to provide a snapshot and raise awareness about the state of food insecurity in London, focusing on both the stories of students at Western University and the experiences of our local London community.

  1. Debunking Myths
  2. Food Insecurity: A Hidden Issue on Campus
  3. A Conversation about Food Insecurity at Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre in London Ontario
  4. System Level Solutions Needed to Address Food Insecurity

This series was developed by Samantha Campanella and Hooria Haider, Western University, Health Sciences Students, Community Engaged Learning placement with CRHESI. Christine Garinger, CRHESI Coordinator, edited the series.

August 15, 2023

CRHESI Interview: Safe Drug Use Sites Hold the Potential for Transformation

In an effort to understand the human impacts of the Temporary Overdose Prevention Site (TOPS) on those who used the facility, a collaborative project was undertaken by researchers from CRHESI and the Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU). Team members were former CRHESI Academic Director, Helene Berman, Michelle Sangster Bouck (MLHU), Abe Oudshoorn (Western), Melissa McCann (MLHU), Shamiram Zendo (Western), Jordan Banninga (MLHU), Marlene Janzen Le Ber (Brescia) and Zayya Zendo (Western).

March 16, 2023

Why we Need Trauma- and Violence-Informed Maternal and Child Health Services: New Research from Rwanda and Local Implications

Aimable Nkurunziza, Ph.D. Candidate (Nursing, Western University) and Berman Family Graduate Award Holder

February 22, 2023

EQUIPping London’s Health and Social Services for Equity

This 3-part series explores substance use stigma and the ways that health and social service providers can improve care. The series includes:

This series was developed by Samantha Campanella and Hooria Haider, Western University, Health Sciences Students, Community Engaged Learning placement with CRHESI.

December 15, 2022

Evolving a More Socially Conscious Medical School Curriculum

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

by Hooria Haider, Western University, Community Engaged Learning student, Health Sciences, Honours Specialization in Health Sciences with Biology

December 8, 2022

Our Commitment to Confronting Anti-Black Racism

The Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion (CRHESI) stands in solidarity with those who are speaking out and calling for the elimination of anti-Black racism in Canada and around the world. We recognize the deeply embedded racism that exists at all levels and across all sectors, in Canada, in Ontario, and in London.  We are firmly opposed to the rationalization, minimization, or denial of racism and its impacts on racialized groups and our society as a whole. 

June 26, 2020

CRHESI Student Collective on Mobilizing Knowledge for Health Equity

Welcome Aimable Nkurunziza, Berman Family Graduate Award recipient, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Western University

I am a fourth-year PhD student at Western University. My doctoral work explores the experiences of adolescent mothers accessing perinatal services in Rwanda to inform the delivery of trauma- and violence-informed care using an interpretive description. Aimable is actively involved in research with 17 peer-reviewed publications and nine grants. While at Western University, Aimable has received competitive awards, including Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Berman Family Graduate Award, and Irene E. Nordwich Foundation.
Aimable’s research aims to improve health outcomes for women, their children, and their families, which are relevant to national and international populations. The primary focus areas of interest are:
• Adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health.
• Maternal and child health services access and utilization.
• Gender-based violence and equity-oriented care.

Welcome Danica Facca, Eugenia Canas Memorial Award 2022 recipient, Health Information Science, Western University

I am a full-time PhD student, part-time Graduate Fellow, and casual Research Coordinator at Western University and St. Joseph’s Health Care London. To date, my body of published scholarship traverses understandings of digital health literacy across the lifespan with particular attention given to the sociocultural effects and consequences of digital health technology use from a critical lens. In continuing my work within the critical digital health sphere, my doctoral research focuses on exploring how menstruating persons engage with menstrual-tracking apps; how their practices influence their relationship to their bodies and conceptions of selfhood; how menstrual-tracking apps further play a role in the development of norms and assumptions surrounding menstruation and menstruating persons; and lastly, the health information needs and healthcare needs of menstruating persons. I have been fortunate to study at Western for many years under the brilliant instruction of Humanities and Health Science scholars which has made me into the interdisciplinary digital health researcher I am today. I have published on topics related to: digital surveillance within the health research context; digital health literacy; women’s use of digital technologies to support their transition to parenting; children’s use of digital technologies and information sharing practices across social media; as well as theoretical approaches to qualitative inquiry including critical understandings of ‘voice’ in research with young people. My research areas of interest include, but are not limited to: digital health; child/youth health; digital health technologies (i.e., smartphones, apps, wearables); critical digital health literacy; health equity; surveillance (technologies) in the health context; critical theory; digital methodologies; and qualitative inquiry, among others.