Jeanna Parsons Leigh

Associate Professor, Killam Memorial Research Chair

Phone: 902-494-8881
Fax: 902-494-6849
Mailing Address: 
Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building
2nd Floor 2A01, Office 2A08
5850 College Street
PO Box 15000
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2 Canada
Research Topics:
  • Enhanced Health Systems Performance
  • Health Communication
  • Social and Structural Determinants of Health
  • Health Inequalities
  • Recovery from Critical Illness


Dr. Jeanna Parsons Leigh, Ph.D. is a Sociologist and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University. She has a cross-appointment in the Department of Critical Care Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and is a member of the Policy, Programs, and Implementation group (PPI) at the Canadian Centre of Vaccinology. She also leads the Advocacy, Health Literacy and Knowledge Transfer team within Sepsis Canada – a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funded national network. Her program of research is broadly focused on optimizing the delivery of health services and public health interventions for improved public (citizen, patient, family caregiver) healthcare provider and system outcomes. Specific projects currently being led by Dr. Parsons Leigh include: improving public and health system responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, documenting levels of public awareness and understandings of Sepsis in Canada for improved public health literacy, improving transitions in care for survivors of critical illness, and developing evidence informed interventions to improve equity, diversity and inclusion in medical specialties. Dr. Parsons Leigh provides mentorship to students conducting applied health services, mixed methods, and qualitative research projects. She draws from a variety of research methods in her work including institutional ethnography, grounded theory, and narrative inquiry.


BA, First Class Honours, St. Francis Xavier University
MA, York University
PhD, University of Calgary
PDF, University of Calgary


  • Ethical Decisions in Health Administration (HESA 6100)

Selected Publications

  • Parsons Leigh, J., Fiest, KM., Brundin-Mather, R., Plinkoff, K., Soo, A., Sypes, EE., Whalen-Browne, L., Ahmed, SB., Burns, K., Fox-Robichaud, A., Kupsch, S., Longmore, S., Murthy, S., Niven, DJ., Rochwerg, B., Stelfox, B. A National Cross-Sectional Survey of the Public Perceptions, Knowledge, and Behaviors During the COVID-19 Pandemic. PLoS ONE October 23, 2020; 15(10): e0241259.

  • Fiest, KM., Krewulak, KD., Plotnikoff, KM., Kemp, LG., Parhar, KKS., Niven, DJ., Kortbeek, JB., Stelfox, HT., Parsons Leigh, J. Allocation of Intensive Care Resources During an Infectious Disease Outbreak: A Rapid Review to Inform Practice. BMC Med Dec 18, 2020; 18(404).

  • Fiest KM,* Parsons Leigh, J,* Krewulak KD, Plotnikoff K, Kemp L, Ng-Kamstra J, & Stelfox HT. Experiences and management of physician psychological symptoms during infectious disease outbreaks: a rapid review. BMC Psychiatry 21, 91 (2021).

  • Parsons Leigh, J., Krewulak, K.D., Zepeda, N., Farrier, C.E., Spence, K.L., Davidson, J.E., Stelfox, H.T., Fiest, K.M. “Patients, Family Members and Providers Perceive Family-Administered Delirium Detection Tools in the Adult ICU as Feasible and of Value to Patient Care and Family Member Coping: A Qualitative Focus Group Study” Canadian Journal of Anesthesia. November 18, 2020. doi: 10.1007/s12630-020-01866-3

  • Parsons Leigh, J., de Grood, C., Ahmed, SB., Ulrich, A., Fiest, KM., Straus, SE., Stelfox, HT. Towards Gender Equity in Critical Care Medicine: A Qualitative Study of Perceived Drivers, Implications and Strategies. Crit Care Med DOI: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000003625
  • Parsons Leigh, J., Stelfox, HT. (2017). Continuity of care for complex medical patients: How far do we go? Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017 Jun 1;195(11):1414-1416.