IHPME Health Policy Rounds: Paula Rowland

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At the critical moment: Exploring purpose and meaning in patient engagement for Profile of Paula Rowlandhealth care improvement

Dr. Paula Rowland, Scientist, The Wilson Centre, Associate Director Research, Centre for Interprofessional Care, Associate Professor, Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto

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Having completed her PhD in Organizational Studies in 2013, Paula explores processes of organizational change within clinical workplaces. This area of study is inspired by Paula’s 17 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist and health care leader across multiple organizations within Canada.

Paula’s primary interest is in the intersections between health care policy and practice, examining the relationships between organizational forms, institutionalized professional practices, and the societal contexts within which all of these processes of organizing are operating. To do so, Paula makes use of knowledge and theory from organizational studies, medical sociology, and the sociology of the professions.

Her doctoral dissertation work involved an analysis of patient safety discourses operating within a community hospital, examining the potential effects on the relationships that are possible between hospitals, professionals, and patients. Recently, Paula has focused on patient engagement at the organizational level. This line of inquiry explores questions of patient voice, power, and the politics of knowledge.

Ultimately, Paula’s research aim is to elaborate our understanding of how we learn in workplaces: what do we learn, how do we learn, and who do we learn from? This program of research has implications for continuous professional development, health care policy and reform.

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