Our Research Team is here to answer your questions about psychosocial (stress) hazards in the human-services workplace. Collectively, they represent many years of service and expertise in assisting child and family, disability, home visitation, and youth counseling workers build there dedication into strength.
Dr. Thomas Barker Principal Investigator
Thomas is Professor of Communication in the Faculty of Extension and Professor in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta. He has directed doctoral studies in public policy writing, professional issues in technical communication, intercultural communication, document design, and writing program administration. His current work is in risk communication with an emphasis on public health and occupational health and safety. He has published work in software documentation, risk communication for information dissemination, and community involvement in academic programs. His positive attitude and sense of humour combined with his over 30 years of academic, research, and leadership experience makes him an esteemed member of our team.
Morag is from the Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta (CYCAA) and a core member of the HWHP project. With more than 40 years of experience working in helping professions field, Morag brings valuable and practical wisdom to the HWHP project. With an academic background in Nursing, Child and Youth Care, Sociology and Health and Safety, Morag combines her years of experience with her diverse education and restorative empathy to promote Healthy Workplaces. Her frontline experience provides a voice of advocacy to our team.
Lavonne is the provincial director for the Alberta Home Visitation Network Association(AHVNA), since 2002. Lavonne and her organization provides support and training for funded home visitation programs supporting families with children 0 to 5 years of age in Alberta Human Services. Lavonne is particularly interested in the HWHP project as it will support the staff that are working with the children and families that are in our province. This is congruent with the philosophy of parallel process where we are modelling the behaviour within our organizations that we hope will be beneficial for families. Lavonne's hope for the project is to define a model of good self care that will reduce burnout and retain healthy staff. Lavonne’s positive attitude and desire to set a healthy standard of self-care is an essential part of our team.
Cathy Mitchell BSW, RSW
Cathy Mitchell is a Registered Social Worker and works part-time as a project consultant with ALIGN Association of Community Services. Cathy has a Bachelor of Social Work with over 35 years on employment in the human services field. he experience is vast as she has worked in front line, supervisory and management positions withe the Government of Alberta (GOA). She believes strongly that specific skills are required to be a good leader and that leadership can occur at any level within an organization given a healthy culture. One of her passions is to mentor individuals and assist them in their leadership potential and growth.
While employed with the GOA, Cathy successfully completed the Level 2 Accelerator Coaching Certificate and had a formal opportunity as an Executive Coach to assist individuals in reaching their potential. Cathy has facilitated many workshops to caregivers, employees of both the education and human services fields. One of her fondest moments was recently being presented with the 2015 President's Award from the Alberta Foster Parents Association.
Cathy is excited to be part of the Healthy Workplaces for Helping Professions project and for the opportunity to share her experience through Be a Wellness Leader Certificate presentations.
Meet the Project Team
Our Project Team is dedicated to collecting data on psychosocial hazards in the human-services workforce and to using that information to tailor educational materials to improve the safety culture for all workers, supervisors, and staff.
The Healthy Workplaces project is fortunate to have the capable assistance of the Research Support Services unit of the Faculty of Extension. These persons include Meaghan Trewin, Communications, Iwona Faferek, Design, Sandra Oldarte, Research Design, and Vivian Hu, Budget Manager.
Nathan Foerger, MA, Communications Consultant Nathan holds a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Trinity Western University. His work on the HWHP project is to provide a template and voice for the project. His work as a therapist at the Walk-In Counselling Society of Edmonton (WICSOE) and a consultant to Community Initiatives Against Family Violence (CIAFV) provides an important perspective on the micro and macro experiences of an individual who may use the services of helping professions. His work as a co-founder of Insight Kit (a mobile app start up) is interested in providing new avenues to deal with stress. An energetic and organized team player, Nathan provides a strengths based perspective to the HWHP team.
Hoa Tran, MA, Research Assistant
Hoa Tran is a well traveled and knowledgable member of the HWHP team. She contributes her expertise to the project through her experience in international public health. She holds a Master of Health Sciences from La Trobe University (Australia) and she uses her unique abilities to help develop, coordinate, and implement many different aspects of the HWHP project. Her ability to be a critical thinker and communicate the goals of the project makes her an important member of our team.
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