Julia Rodgers is a second-year PhD student at Dalhousie University in the Department of Political Science. She is the recipient of the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Graduate Scholarship and the Research Nova Scotia Maritime SPOR Support Unit Student Award for her work in health policy and patient-oriented practices. Primarily, this research activity centres on existing public engagement practices in Nova Scotia, evaluating both public deliberation models and patient engagement models to understand the democratic process of patient recruitment and cooperative policy deliberation. Recently, she became a member of the SafetyNET-rx research team, a quality improvement initiative aimed at increasing patient safety within public policy in the Canadian context. The team is rooted within the Rowe School of Business at Dalhousie University but spans across many institutions. Though focused in Atlantic Canada, her research initiatives translate into national or international contexts regarding patient-oriented health care and health policy.
In her own words
Why does policy matter?
Whether we realise it or not, policy dictates our everyday lives. Therefore, it is essential to have inclusive deliberation processes that span diverse opinions. For example, we often consider “patients” as the sole focus of the health care system. By concentrating only on patients, we lose sight of the ways in which people within communities can influence (and be influenced by) health promotion strategies, thereby keeping them from being patients in the first place.
What do you hope to accomplish during your time as a founding fellow?
During my time with the MacEachen Institute, I hope to achieve a diverse set of goals. As my academic career has been developed on the foundation of interdisciplinary research, I aim to champion a civic panel discussion on public engagement practices, bringing together stakeholders from business, public and community sectors. From this, I hope to organise a student-led research team from a variety of disciplines, enhancing our impact on public policy in Nova Scotia.