Liane (Soberman) Ginsburg
My undergraduate degree (McGill) was in education, my Master’s focused on immigration and ethnicity (OISE) and my PhD focused on healthcare organization and management – I recall many IHPME students with equally diverse backgrounds. Following my doctoral work at IHPME, I completed a postdoc at the University of Calgary and am currently an Associate Professor in the School of Health Policy & Management at York University. I hold an Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Career Scientist Award. My doctoral thesis looked at the utility of performance data and since my postdoc my research has focused on patient safety culture and learning from patient safety events in hospitals. I love the work I am doing now and I found the flexibility of the HPME PhD, in terms of course availability from within HPME and from across the university, to be a real strength of the program. It allowed me to create a program of study that was entirely consistent with my interests.
I moved to Toronto in 2005 to begin Doctoral studies in HPME (health policy stream) after completing an undergraduate and Masters degree in Social Work at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay Ontario. In the department of HPME I was able to build a program of research around topics that I am passionate about (home and community care, rural health, aging, and policy). In my thesis I explored factors that facilitate and constrain opportunities for older persons to age in their own homes in rural and remote settings. During data collection I worked alongside clinicians, care managers, and policy makers, which culminated into an incredible learning experience. My experience in the department of IHPME far surpassed my expectations.
Coming from a relatively small community and small university (in comparison to Toronto/U of T!),I did not expect to feel the strong sense of community and support that HPME students, faculty, and staff extended to me. In addition to that, the department provided many opportunities for personal growth (e.g., student research day, curriculum committee, student union) and supported my extracurricular involvement in the broader university community. For instance, while completing my studies I competed on the Varsity Track and Field Team and sat on the Council of Athletics and Recreation. HPME faculty and students demonstrated their support by nominating me for a Gordon Cressy Leadership Award in 2010, a gesture for which I will always be extremely grateful. I am now a Postdoctoral Fellow at Bridgepoint Health (a complex continuing care and rehabilitation hospital in Toronto, Ontario) where I am leading a study on complex chronic disease and patient experience. As part of this post, I will be spending 6 months as a Visiting Researcher at Oxford University in the UK to train alongside leading researchers in qualitative research methods; an incredible opportunity to gain international experience and expand my skill set. My experience in the department of IHPME was an important stepping-stone, in both research and personal development, and overall, an amazing chapter of my research career!
I am interested in how people are rehabilitated after injury, and so I began my career with Bachelor’s (University of Ottawa) and Master’s (University of Western Ontario) degrees in physical therapy. After a few years of clinical practice in Ontario, I decided to work in the area of humanitarian aid. While working globally, I was struck by similarities that existed between Canada, and other middle and low-income countries in terms of limited access to rehabilitation services. I decided to pursue this health policy research agenda regarding ‘access’ at IHPME. The national reputation and diversity of faculty, along with the tremendous scope of the greater Toronto clinical and academic community were key factors in my decision.
In my doctoral research, we explored the historical development of physical therapy funding and delivery in Ontario. My time as a doctoral student at IHPME was one of my greatest learning experiences, and helped set in place my academic career path. After post doctoral work in the United States, I returned to the University of Toronto as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. I hold a Career Scientist Award with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. We are creating a methodology to forecast demand for rehabilitation services, and exploring ways in which to create sustainable health human resource capacity to meet future demand.
I received my undergraduate science degree at Queen’s University, where I did my Honour’s thesis in health psychology. Upon graduating, I took a nine month trip around the world and then decided to pursue a career in health policy at Cancer Care Ontario (CCO). I was fortunate to come under the guidance of several mentors at CCO who recommended that I pursue a graduate degree at HPME. I completed my MSc at IHPME in Health Administration, focusing on health economics. My thesis research was an economic evaluation using decision analysis to compare the cost-effectiveness of three cancer drugs. I am currently on maternity leave, but will be returning to the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer in the spring, where I work as a Policy Advisor. One of the most valuable aspects about the program at IHPME is the flexibility it allows its students. Students have the option to work part-time while pursuing their degrees – an option that I found to be very enriching. While working three days a week, I was also fully involved in student life – through participating in Research Day, presenting posters at conferences (ISPOR, ASCO), and participating in the Toronto Health Economics Network.