Dr. Diane Sawchuck is a researcher with a PhD (Nursing, UBC) with a focus on population health, mixed methods research and KT implementation. She spent three years (2010-2013) as operations director for five international projects (co-PI, one project) related to global maternal health (Gates Foundation funded), with 50 percent of her time spent in South Asia and Africa. She learned approaches and skills to facilitate research and inquiry across cultures, as well as complex project management skills.
For the past six years with Island Health, she has been co-leading Indigenous-specific research and quality improvement projects. These include “Far Too Many Preterm Births in Cowichan Tribes: Generating Knowledge to Inform Service Delivery and Strengthen Motherhood Journeys” (Vancouver Foundation 2018-2021; $320,000, Scientific Advisor) and “Trauma Informed Emergency Care for Aboriginal Seniors at West Coast General Hospital” (MSFHR 2016-2017; $20,000, Collaborator).
She is principle investigator for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) award “Building Health Facilities and Primary Care Networks guided by local Indigenous Communities: A New Path in the Cowichan Valley Regional District using a Nations based Approach” (2018-2020; $49,610), and project director for a second SSHRC grant titled “Sharing & translating Indigenous knowledge to inform cultural safety and humility education, mobilize ceremonial and culture protocols, and transform health services to maintain community” (2021, $50,000).
She participated in the “Strengthening Indigenous Research Capacity National Dialogue” (Ottawa, 2019), where she had input into design of the national strategy for Indigenous health research. She is a collaborator with the BC Network Environment for Indigenous Health Research (NEIHR) – the Indigenous MPH student on this project team was identified through the NEIHR network.
Within Island Health, Sawchuck is a member of the Indigenous-Specific Anti-Racism Strategic Planning Committee and leads an evidence review to inform cultural safety training and anti-racism policies, guidelines and practices.