SPPH recognizes our Postdoctoral fellows for National Postdoc Appreciation Week

A research collaborator meets with Dr. Gloria Puurveen to talk about living well with dementia.

September 17 to 21, 2019 is National Postdoc Appreciation Week and recognizes the significant contributions that postdoctoral scholars make to research and discovery across the globe.

The School of Population and Public Health is proud to host 25 Postdoctoral Researchers. These trainees are conducting cutting-edge research in a variety of areas including: workers compensation, health impacts of exposure to fine particulate matter, Hepatitis C treatment, mental health inequities among sexual minorities in Canada, Health Economics and Health Service Utilisation, and child development.

One such researcher is Gloria Puurveen, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the W Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics working under the mentorship of Dr. Susan Cox. Dr. Puurveen earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music at Kings University, followed by a Bachelor of Music Therapy from BC Open University and a Master of Arts from SFU. She first came to to UBC as a PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. After earning her PhD in September 2016, Dr. Puurveen has continued to conduct research around end-of-life care for people living with dementia. Her Postdoctoral Fellowship is funded through the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada.

Dr. Puurveen and Dr. Cox were recently awarded a CIHR Grant to further explore the use of art to include people with dementia in their own end-of-life care decisions. The project will involve interviews and arts workshops for people living with dementia and their care partners. The artistic works will then be displayed in a series of exhibitions open to the public. Dr. Puurveen’s goal is “to include all people with dementia, regardless of stage, modifying the data collection activities to align with the capabilities of the person” and she will also be ensuring “that the voice of the person with dementia is actively solicited at all stages of the research process”.

“I hope this research can help reshape the prevailing dementia narratives of disability and decline to a new narrative of capability and capacity.”
Postdoctoral Fellow Gloria Puurveen

As a Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Puurveen has found her time at SPPH to be most valuable. She is grateful for the support and mentorship from Dr. Cox, but also notes the benefits of connections to the wider academic community.