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Dalhousie Family Medicine faculty Dr. Ruth Lavergne named Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Primary Care

Posted by Jane Gaffney on January 25, 2022 in News
DFM Dr Lavergne02
DFM Dr Lavergne02

We are proud to share that on January 14, the federal government announced that the Department of Family Medicine's Dr. Ruth Lavergne was named a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Primary Care. To enable Canadian universities to achieve the highest levels of research excellence, Canada Research Chairs are selected for their potential to make an impact now and in the future—and Dr. Lavergne's dedication and passion for primary care is sure to have an impact.

Dr. Lavergne joined the Department of Family Medicine as an Associate Professor in August 2021. Choosing Dalhousie came naturally to her, having completed her master's here in 2009. Dr. Lavergne also led an inter-provincial study about the family physician workforce, with Dr. Emily Gard Marshall and other colleagues based out of Dalhousie Family Medicine.

She established collaborations and developed relationships with faculty at Dalhousie, Dr. Lavergne states, "Professionally, there is a strong tradition of primary care research at Dal. It is a terrific opportunity to work with fantastic people around a topic I care a lot about and to build on a great foundation of primary care research."

Quality primary care is key to effective, efficient, and equitable health systems. Dr. Lavergne's research aims to strengthen primary care and address disparities in access. Her research involves analyzing routinely collected data from health care delivery to explore how people access care and examine the impact of policy changes.

There have been many changes to primary care in recent years, but people still struggle to access the care they need where and when they need it—now, in the context of the pandemic, we are seeing that more than ever. Dr. Lavergne explains that primary care should be like the healthcare system’s front door; it is a welcoming and accessible place where people can meet with a trusted care provider and get the advice that they need to support their health and wellness.

Dr. Lavergne's passion for primary care is evident. To help ensure that her research asks questions that matter, with results that will guide improvements to health care systems, Dr. Lavergne's research teams include patients, care providers, and people who plan health services. It is a collaborative effort, she explains, "Dalhousie is an exciting place to be where I can work with people towards the common goal of making sure that our health system has a warm and welcoming front door.”

It feels like a homecoming of sorts, Dr. Lavergne shares, "I am so glad to be back in this area and closer to family. But I am also so excited about how much the city of Halifax has changed. It feels like such an exciting place to live and to work."

The Canada Research Chairs Program invests up to $295 million per year to attract and retain some of the world's most accomplished and promising minds. Their work will advance the depth of our knowledge and the quality of our lives.

Canada Research Chairs

More on Dr. Lavergne's work and research