Who We Are

FIMS and Nursing Building, University of Western Ontario

Since 2014 we have built a lasting collaboration between physicians, nurses, scientists and policymakers that collectively produces significant contributions to the scholarly literature, advances best practice in the management of complex patients in primary care and ultimately improves the care of patients and their families living with chronic pain. Our core team is comprised of several investigators who have worked together over many years. Therefore, in addition to their extensive individual expertise this group brings considerable experience working together in a well-established multi-disciplinary team, including representation from public health, health policy, social science, family medicine, internal medicine, and nursing, epidemiology and evaluations of complex interventions. Our team also includes excellent representation from junior, mid-career and senior investigators.

Principal Investigator

Fiona Webster, PhD, is a Professor in the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western University. She is a qualitative sociologist and ethnographer in health care whose areas of specialization include: the sociology of chronic pain; critical ethnography and institutional ethnography; health equity and social determinants of health; and evaluation of complex interventions

Co-Investigators (alphabetically)

Craig Dale, RN PhD CNCC(C), is an Assistant Professor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing. He is also a CIHR IMHA Embedded Clinician Scientist in Oral Health at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (Toronto) and a Scientist at the University of Toronto Centre for the Study of Pain (UTCSP). Dr. Dale has expertise in institutional ethnography and bring his considerable research experience in relation to nursing work; an important but often overlooked aspect of pain care management

Joel Katz is a Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Health Psychology at York University in Toronto. He is also the Research Director of the Pain Research Unit in the Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management at the Toronto General Hospital, and a Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Pain, the official journal of the Canadian Pain Society. His research program is aimed at understanding the psychological, emotional, and biomedical factors involved in acute and chronic pain. He and his students and colleagues are exploring factors involved in the transition of acute, time-limited pain to chronic, pathological pain after surgery, accidents, and spinal cord injury. They are also evaluating interventions designed to prevent acute post-operative pain and the transition to chronicity

Andrew Pinto, MD, CCFP, FRCPC, MSc, is the founder and director of the Upstream Lab, a research group focused on integrating health and social care, population health management and using data to enable proactive care. He is a Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialist and family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. His research is focused on health economics, equity and the evaluation of complex population health interventions

Kathleen Rice, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and Assistant Professor at McGill University. Her theoretical and methodological expertise are in the areas of social theories of power and inequity, and ethnography. Kathleen’s areas of focus include rural and remote health, gender, and medical education. Her current SSHRC funded project focuses on the health and social care needs of low-income migrants who, having been priced out of housing in Southern Ontario, are now migrating to economically-depressed resource communities in Northwestern Ontario

Abhimanyu Sud, MD, CCFP, is Assistant Professor in The Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of Toronto, and Director of the Safer Opioid Prescribing course hosted by the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. He has played an active role in advocating for comprehensive and effective solutions for Canada’s opioid crisis and in particular for the role of evidence-informed education in chronic pain and opioid prescribing at all levels of medical training

Ross Upshur, MD, MA, MSc, is Division Head of Clinical Public Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. He is the Scientific Director of the Bridgepoint Collaboratory for Research and Innovation (Toronto). Dr. Upshur is a leading authority internationally on medical ethics and philosophy of medicine

Onil Bhattacharyya, MD, PhD, is a family physician, the Frigon-Blau Chair in Family Medicine Research at Women’s College Hospital, and Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is clinical lead of the Primary and Integrated Care Innovation network for Ontario (called Better Access to Care for Complex Needs), and co-Chair of the National Leadership Council, both funded by the CIHR Strategy for Patient Oriented Research. Onil studies innovative health service delivery models in both high and low income settings

David Juurlink, MD, PhD, FRCPC, is Eaton Scholar and professor of medicine, pediatrics and health policy at the University of Toronto, where he is director of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology. He is also a senior scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) where he maintains an active research program with a focus on medication safety and the consequences of drug interactions in clinical practice

Postdoctoral Associate

Laura Connoy, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Associate for the COPE II Study, and is located in the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western University. She is a critical qualitative sociologist whose research interests centre on the socio-political factors that shape healthcare experiences and inequities for mobile and marginalized populations. Specifically, her program of research aims to understand the mechanisms that underlie healthcare inequity, and how they intersect with broader social processes of marginalization in Canada.

Prior Graduate Student Assistants

Michelle Solomon received her PhD in Nursing at Western University. Her clinical background involves over ten years in mental health acute care and community nursing. She is the past founder and executive director of a not-for-profit consumer-survivor peer support organization that provided support, education, and outreach to individuals affected by mental illness. Michelle’s research interests include the role of psychosocial supports in mental health promotion and prevention. Her dissertation explores how youth living with bipolar disorder describe their understanding of and experiences of spirituality. Her research aims for a better understanding of spiritual health to promote the holistic practice of mental health care

Community Partners

Affiliated Universities

McGill UniversityUniversity of Toronto