Profile: Nadine Schuurman

Dr. Nadine Schuurman, Associate Professor, Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator, Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada, and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar. Nadine s research interests are at the intersection of population health, health services and geographic information science (GIS).

Nadine Schuurman was born in Newfoundland and raised in circumpolar regions including Greenland, Northern Norway and the Canadian North West Territories. She completed an undergraduate degree at Memorial University of Newfoundland in GIS and earned her Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia in 2000. Her Ph.D. research examined theoretical bases for GIScience.

She landed in health research serendipitously based on a research collaboration with Dr. Michael Hayes a fellow population health researcher. Since 2001, she has worked on a variety of projects at the intersection of GIScience and health research. These include development of ultra-high resolution urban data sets that allow researchers to better understand the links between deprivation and population health by accounting for variables other than income and education (e.g. home assessment value and taxation rates). Dr. Schuurman is also involved in building decision frameworks for location of health services. These modelling tools identify the populations served by regional hubs and tertiary centres as well as regional age/sex proportions. Another health services project involves using Multi-Criteria Evaluation (MCE) to evaluate optimal locations for adding or subtracting maternity care services in rural British Columbia.

Nadine is also co-leader (with Dr. Morad Hameed) of a trauma surveillance group. Their goal is to build new spatial approaches to analyzing and characterizing access, availability and outcomes of trauma cases as well as create an information sharing platform (ISP) to share peer-reviewed and grey trauma literature with community and health authorities. Most recently, Drs. Hameed and Schuurman have initiated a global health project focused on reducing the burden of injury in Low and Medium Income Countries.

This is the only GIS research program in Canada dedicated to the development of new technologies, methodologies and protocols for studying population health and health services using GIS and spatial data. The goal is to create a research environment that can assist policy makers and health administrators understand and rationalize choices about service provision based on spatial data, population vulnerability, access, service availability, trajectories and outcomes.

Nadine may be contacted at: nadine@nullsfu.ca and more information can be found on her web site at www.sfu.ca/gis/schuurman.

Updated: January 2009