A post-doctoral researcher from the University of Northern British Columbia has been named the recipient of this year’s Banting Fellowship from the Canadian Institute of Health Research.
Dr Alison Gerlach works with Indigenous communities throughout northern BC and will use the fellowship grant to conduct a study in to understanding how to provide early intervention therapy services, such as speech therapy and physiotherapy, in a culturally sensitive and effective way.
Dr Gerlach says that early intervention therapy can be key in helping children with developmental delays or disabilities participate in everyday life, but these initiatives come from a western-based philosophy and throughout Canada, there is no approach that takes in to account Indigenous culture or ideologies.
This two year research program will take a look in to communities in Northern BC and how programs can be adapted to better help Indigenous families.
The program will look in to how to provide these programs in respectful, meaningful and effective.
Dr. Gerlach is looking for participants in the area who would like to participate in the study. Information gained from this research will be shared with early childhood and early intervention programs here in the north, along with the Minister for Children and Family Development and programs like the First Nations Health Authority.
She can be reached at Alison.firstname.lastname@example.org and through the University of Northern BC.