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Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research

CRaNHR's mandate is to conduct interdisciplinary research on rural and northern health with a view to improving health service delivery, access to health care, and our understanding of the health care system.

Working under the auspices of CRaNHR and with the support of research staff, investigators from various faculties at Laurentian University, Lakehead University, and the health care community (see Researchers) conduct studies on the organization, delivery, and effectiveness of rural and northern health services, as well as on health workforce issues. 


Research Programs

Our research program focuses on transforming health policy, systems and practice to improve health equity for vulnerable and special health needs populations in northern Ontario. People in this region have poorer health status and face unique challenges due to culture and geography. This applied research program aims to improve access, delivery, and quality of care across ages, genders, ethnicities and cultures.

Our research program uses ethically and culturally appropriate methods with continuous involvement of knowledge users including the North East and North West Local Health Integration Networks, Aboriginal and Francophone Health Organizations, Public Health Units and other health organizations to improve health equity in northern populations. Research programs and individual projects are inter-connected across the following thematic areas:

  • Aboriginal and First Nations Health
  • Francophone Health
  • Health Human Resources
  • Rural and Northern Health
  • Virtual Care (e-health, Telehealth, Telemedicine)


Details on individual projects can be found here.



Pitblado, J. Roger, Ph.D.
Geography; CRaNHR 
Professor Emeritus

Pong, Raymond W., Ph.D.

Rukholm, Ellen E., Ph.D., R.N., F.C.A.H.S.
Nursing; CRaNHR 
Executive Director, Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing
Professor Emeritus, Nursing

Tesson, Geoffrey, Ph.D.
Sociology; CRaNHR 



Cheu, Hoi F., Ph.D.
Film Studies Program, Department of English

Cote-Meek, Sheila, Ph.D.
Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Programs, Office of Academic Native Affairs

Gauthier, Alain P., Ph.D. 
Associate Professor, School of Human Kinetics

Gauthier-Frohlick, Denise, Ph.D.
Transition Program Coordinator, Indigenous Program
Part-time Professor, Thorneloe University
Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Jacklin, Kristen M., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Medical Anthropology
Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Koren, Irene, M.Sc., R.N. 
School of Nursing

Larocque, Sylvie, Ph.D., R.N.
School of Nursing

Lightfoot, Nancy, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, School of Rural and Northern Health

Maar, Marion, Ph.D.
Chair, Undergraduate Departmental Research Ethics Board,
Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Marsh, David C., MD, CCSAM, ASAM, ISAM
Senior Associate Dean, East Campus
Associate Dean, Community Engagement
Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Ritchie, Stephen, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor, School of Human Kinetics  

Strasser, Roger P., A.M.
Medicine; Dean and Professor, Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Lakehead University and Laurentian University

Tobe, Sheldon, M.D.
Heart and Stroke Foundation / Northern Ontario School of Medicine Chair
Aboriginal and Rural Health Research

Urajnik, Diana, Ph.D.
Theme Chair in Social and Population Health, Northern Ontario School of Medicine,
Psychology, School of Rural and Northern Health and School of Human Kinetics

Warry, Wayne, Ph.D.
Director, CRaNHR
Full Professor, School of Rural and Northern Health

Wenghofer, Elizabeth, Ph.D.
Director and Associate Professor for the School of Rural and Northern Health

Yantzi, Nicole, Ph.D.
Department of Geography

Young, Nancy, Ph.D.
Canada Research Chair in Rural and Northern Children's Health /
School of Rural and Northern Health


Carter, Lorraine, Ph.D.
Academic Director, Centre for Flexible Teaching and Learning, Nipissing University 
Faculty Member, Human Sciences Division, Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Rebeiro Gruhl, Karen L., Ph.D., M.Sc.O.T., O.T. Reg (ON)
Health Sciences North/Horizon Santé-Nord 
Adjunct Professor, School of Rural and Northern Health, Laurentian University
Adjunct Professor, Occupational Therapy, University of Western Ontario

Smith, Lynn, Ph.D.
Faculty of Health Sciences, Northern College



Blind, Melissa, Ph.D. (Candidate) 
Research Associate


French, Margaret G., M.P.H. (On Leave 2015-2016) 
Research Assistant


Guérin, Vincent G., B.Sc.
Systems Analyst


Hawthorne, Lauren,
Research Assistant


Hogenbirk, John C., M.Sc.
Senior Research Associate


Jones, Louise, M.S.W., R.S.W.,
Research Assistant


Lacarte, Sara A., M.A.
Research Associate


Mian, Oxana M., Ph.D. (Candidate)
Research Associate


Neufeld, Eva, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate


Pitawanakwat, Karen, R.N.
Research Assistant


Sherman, Jill E., M.P.H.
Research Associate


Sutinen, Jessica, M.A.,
Research Assistant


Timony, Patrick E., Ph.D. (Candidate),
Research Associate


Tverdal, Jody


Walker, Jennifer D., Ph.D. 
Senior Research Associate


Warry, Wayne, Ph.D.

CRaNHR strives to achieve academic excellence, enable open access and facilitate knowledge exchange through its publications, presentations and other dissemination modalities. Please follow the links below for more details.