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About Us

The Lab provides a virtual shared space for collaborative research projects and cross-institutional training opportunities for students.

The Health Systems Research Lab is run by four Principal Investigators and assisted by staff.

Image of Agnes Grudniewicz

Agnes Grudniewicz


Associate Professor, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa

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Research Interests: Primary care, goal-oriented care, care coordination, integrated care, predatory publishing

Research Methods: Qualitative, knowledge synthesis


Agnes’  research is focused on primary and community care and aims to improve health care systems and services for patients with complex health and social needs. She also studies health system improvement for older adults, individuals living with mental illness, and people with multiple chronic conditions. Using qualitative and mixed-methods research designs, Agnes studies integrated care, coordination and collaboration across settings and care providers, and goal-oriented care.

Additional Expertise: Knitting, cats

Supervises Students at: 

Masters of Science, Health Systems – University of Ottawa

PhD Management, Health Systems – University of Ottawa

PhD Population Health – University of Ottawa


Image of David Rudoler



Research Interests: Mental health and addictions services, primary care services, health policy evaluation

Research Methods: Administrative data analysis, econometrics, biostatistics, data science


David is an applied health services researcher with expertise in health policy, health economics, econometrics, health economic evaluation, administrative data analysis, and mixed methods. He holds a Research Chair in Population Health and Innovation in Mental Health at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, and is also an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ontario Tech University. David is also an Adjunct Scientist at ICES in the Mental Health & Addictions Research Program. His research interests include health human resources, including the supply of community-based primary and mental health services; the evaluation of policy interventions, including provider responses to payment models and incentives; the evaluation of community-based interventions for people with serious mental illness; and the application of methods in data science to issues in population health and mental health care services.

Additional Expertise: Plays hockey (defense), guitar solos

Supervises Students at:

Masters of Health Science (MHSc); Community, Public and Population Health – Ontario Tech University

PhD; Community, Public and Population Health – Ontario Tech University

Master of Science (MSc), Health Services Research – University of Toronto

PhD, Health Services Research – University of Toronto

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ontario Tech University

Research Chair in Population Health and Innovation in Mental Health, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences


Image of Lindsay Hedden


BSc (hons), MSc, PhD

Research Interests: Primary care access and quality, health equity, health workforce, health system privatization and corporatization, virtual care

Research Methods: Mixed methods, administrative data, policy analysis, observational study designs


Lindsay is an applied health services researcher working in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. Past and current work has involved exploring the drivers of and solutions to the primary care access crisis with a particular focus on communities experiencing marginalization. She has also worked to identify and address gaps in health system data use and data infrastructure, and has studied the impact of those gaps on primary care accessibility and workforce planning. Other current work addresses the rapid shift to the use of virtual care, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic; measuring current and predicting future health system capacity and demand; and examining the effects of the increasing corporatization and privatization of primary care on equity, accessibility, and quality of care. Lindsay’s projects employ mixed methods and integrated knowledge translation approaches that feature ongoing partnerships with policy makers, clinicians, and individuals with lived experience.

Additional Expertise: Disney parks enthusiast, trapeze artist (in a past life), home organization guru

Supervises Students at:

Masters of Public Health (MPH) – Simon Fraser University

Masters of Science (MSc) – Simon Fraser University

PhD – Simon Fraser University

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University 


Image of Ruth Lavergne


MSc, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Dalhousie University

Tier II Canada Research Chair in Primary Care

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Research Interests: Primary care, health equity, workforce planning, mental health and addictions

Research Methods: Administrative data, observational studies, mixed-methods


Ruth is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Dalhousie University and holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Primary Care. Dr. Lavergne’s program of research aims to address disparities in access and build evidence to ensure primary care organization, delivery, and workforce meet the needs of Canadians now and in the future.


Her expertise is in quantitative analysis of population-based administrative health data and use of quasi-experimental designs to examine the impact of policy changes. She leads interdisciplinary mixed methods primary care studies in collaboration with experts in qualitative methods, patients, care providers and policymakers.


Current work examines changing practice patterns within the physician workforce, focusing on primary care and psychiatry. She also leads research exploring access to primary care for immigrant and refugee populations and integration of care for people who need services for mental health and substance use disorders.

Additional Expertise: Smash passing, houseplant husbandry

Supervises Students at:

Community Health & Epidemiology (MSc & PhD) – Dalhousie University


Meet the Staff

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Catherine Moravac (she/her)

Research Associate

Research Interests: Access to health care for marginalized populations, health promotion, cancer screening, family medicine, health humanities, women’s health, and mental health

Research Methods: Qualitative, mixed methods

Current Projects: ECPCPCPC, and Papercuts

Additional Expertise: Classical ballet, listening to jazz, reading novels and non-fiction, cycling, gardening, baking, and hopefully one day writing children’s books

Catherine is a Research Associate with the Department of Family Medicine at Dalhousie University. She has research experience and interest in the areas of: HIV/AIDS prevention for adolescents, women's health, mental health, interprofessional collaboration in maternity care, access to healthcare services for under-housed/homeless individuals, cancer prevention, participatory action research, humanities education for postgraduate medical learners, access to primary care, healthcare reform in Canada, and equitable access to healthcare for all. In 2020, Catherine completed the two-year Education Scholars Program through the Centre for Faculty Development at the University of Toronto and St. Michael's Hospital. She has a BSc in Psychology and a MSc in Medical Science, both from the University of Toronto.

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Ellen Randall

Research Associate

Research Interests: Patient experience with primary care, mental health, end of life care

Research Methods: Qualitative methods, mixed methods

Current Projects: ECPC, PriSMI

Additional Expertise: Cat carer, bird and butterfly watcher

Ellen is a qualitative health services researcher. Her research work has encompassed data collection and analysis for qualitative and mixed methods studies, largely in the domains of primary care and trauma care. She has also worked as a research coordinator, managing a CIHR-PHSI grant exploring policy-relevant reporting on trauma system performance as well as being the provincial coordinator for a study on patient and family focused quality indicators for trauma care. Ellen is a PhD candidate with the School of Population and Public Health at UBC. Her PhD project is a mixed methods study examining long-term satisfaction with total knee arthroplasty.

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Myriam Juda (she/her)

Research Associate

Research Interests:  Psychology, human evolution, cognition, sleep and circadian rhythms, mental health and substance use, health systems. 

Research Methods: Quantitative

Current Projects: Management of Health Systems Research Lab

Additional Expertise: Food, travelling, day-dreaming, yoga

Myriam manages the Health Systems Research Lab, which includes the coordination of cross-project activities, grant and manuscript writing, and building opportunities for staff and student development. Myriam is also leading a study on the provision of substance use disorder treatment by psychiatrists in British Columbia (BC) using healthcare administrative data.  She completed her PhD in Psychology at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich and her postdoc at the University of British Columbia. 

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Image of Ridhwana Kaoser

Ridhwana Kaoser

Research Manager

Research Interests: Mental Health and substance use services, immigrant mental health, health promotion, harm reduction

Research Methods: Quantitative, qualitative, research using health administrative data

Current Projects: PCPC, PriSMI

Additional Expertise: Dog, turtle, and plant carer, weight training, Sci-Fi nerd

Ridhwana is a health service researcher with a strong background in mental health and public health and years of experience conducting research using health administrative data and interviewing health professionals to understand and improve mental health and substance use services. Prior to her work in research, Ridhwana worked as a frontline mental health worker in supportive housing projects all around Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to provide harm reduction support and care to individuals with mental health issues, substance dependencies, forensic history, and unhoused population.

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Image of Sarah Spencer

Sarah Spencer (she/her)

Research Manager

Research Interests: Health services, social policies, and laws that shape experiences of health for people/communities that experience marginalisation

Research Methods: Qualitative

Current Projects: EEPC

Additional Expertise: Coffee, field hockey, waterskiing, enticing dogs to swim, refining fonts and colour gradations in PowerPoint presentations

Sarah is a qualitative health researcher with an academic background in social policy. She is interested in how laws and policies structure social environments and affect experiences with health and health services. Sarah’s prior research has explored HIV prevention programmes, access to adolescent sexual and reproductive services, provision of gender affirming care, the criminalisation of HIV non-disclosure, and physicians’ mental health experiences. Much of Sarah’s work has involved working with and interviewing health professionals and service providers to understand inequities and barriers in access to essential health services and the impacts of these on communities that experience marginalisation. Sarah has a BA in History and Political Science from the University of British Columbia, an MSc in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics & Political Science, and an MPH from Simon Fraser University.

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