2018 in Review: A year of discovery and impact

year_in_review.jpgGuided by the four Signature Research Areas of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), researchers in FHS made a tremendous impact on defining health and on the health outcomes of people around the world over the past 12 months. Revisit the stories that made 2018 a year to remember and showcased how the Faculty of Health Sciences is pursuing its vision and achieving its mission.

Our Vision

To be a world leader in research and education in health.

Our Mission

Through transformative research and education, we will unleash innovative ideas and opportunities that enable living in health throughout the lifespan.

The Stories of 2018


How to build better nurses, through smarter tech

Nursing professor Richard Booth believes introducing greater technology into health care – even robot nurses – is not an ‘if’ but a ‘when.’ He is looking to bring this new technology and nursing students together with the creation of an intelligent, assistive technology home-of-the-future for older adults, to be built in a simulation lab in the School of Nursing. READ MORE.

Standing up for your health

Sedentary Canadians can put their prolonged chair-sitting days behind them with a few simple, strategic behavioural changes, says a new study by Western University researchers. READ MORE.

Against the Dying Light

At Western, researchers are working across the spectrum of dementias - from the cellular level, to caregiver support to big questions about end of life. Discover how Western is tackling a disease that could costs the Canadian health-care system more than $16 billion by 2031. READ MORE.

Astronauts' circulation woes can cue better health for all

Kevin Shoemaker, Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Health Sciences, examined how the lack of gravity for astronauts affects normal circulation and distribution of blood inside the body, and the problems it can cause when they return to Earth. Some of his finding could prevent falls among frail elderly people. READ MORE.

Research project is sound collaboration

A new collaboration is bringing together researchers from across Western, with the goal of changing how people hear the world around them. READ MORE.


Overdose prevention a key local health tool

Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing professor Abe Oudshoorn said plans for a permanent supervised-injection site in London – also dubbed an overdose prevention site – is essential for the city in fostering health and preventing overdose deaths. READ MORE.

Study shows massive scope of persistent pain experienced by firefighters

A recently released study by Physical Therapy professor Joy MacDermid is providing an eye-opening look into how physical pain and discomfort have become a way of life for many firefighters across the country. READ MORE.

Early help at shelters cuts homelessness, study finds

A new study led by Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing professor Cheryl Forchuk found that catching families just before they head to an emergency shelter - and providing them some intensive help - prevented most from falling into homelessness over the long term. READ MORE.

Tour answers physio's questions, raises more

School of Physical Therapy professor Dave Walton hopes the good, bad and the ugly he gleaned from more than 150 physiotherapy clinicians, clients and administrators will have an impact on the practice of physiotherapy in Canada and internationally. READ MORE.

Russian doping about more than one Olympic Games

Kinesiology PhD student Mikael Gonsalves shares his views on the Russian Olympic doping scandal that has dominated headlines leading up to and during the 2018 Pyeonchang Olympic Games. READ MORE.

New chair sees health literacy as social justice issue

Nursing professor Lorie Donelle, whose research addresses issues of health literacy, social justice and digital health, is the new Arthur Labatt Family Chair in Nursing at Western. READ MORE.

On Thin Ice: Sheldon's Story

A group of Western scientists, including members from the Faculty of Health Sciences, are at the forefront of discoveries related to concussions and are working to help those who experience a concussion return to, and fully experience daily life. READ MORE.


Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging helping seniors maximize independence

Programs offered through Western's Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging help members of the community minimize chronic disease and maximize physical function, independence and life expectancy. READ MORE.

Wise Words program helping bring child literacy to the community

Communication Sciences and Disorders professor Lisa Archibald is leading an initiative at Western's Child and Youth Development Clinic that is teaching children the logic of the English language and how to make meaningful connections between related words and their spellings. READ MORE.

OUTSIDE THE GATES: Bringing activism to the community

Western Nursing professor Abe Oudshoorn’s connection with the London Homeless Coalition has allowed him to advise, shape, and coordinate community responses to homelessness in London. READ MORE.

New study shows that cigarette enjoyment isn't enhanced during exercise-aided quit attempt

A new study from Western Kinesiology professor Harry Prapavessis confirms that exercise is an excellent 'gateway' behaviour for setting a smoker up both mentally and physically to quit the highly-addictive habit. READ MORE.

Health Sciences members earn four Western Teaching Awards

Western's University Awards for Excellence in Teaching are the institution's highest honours for inspiring active and deep learning in students and members of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) were presented with four of the eight awards handed out in 2018. READ MORE.

Research examines causes and risk factores related to 131 cycling deaths in Ontario

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences PhD candidate Rebecca Henderson, and professors Jacob Shelley and Andrew Johnson, spent about two years evaluating pre-emptive causes and risk factors related to 131 reported cycling deaths in Ontario between 2010 and 2015. READ MORE.

Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging develops new fitness opportunities for older adults

Western University’s Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging (CCAA), in consultation with London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), is pleased to have developed new fitness opportunities at the CCAA as a meaningful option for members of LHSC’s Cardiac Fitness Institute (CFI), which is slated to close on April 27, 2018. READ MORE.

Berman and Cardy earn prestigious awards recognizing scholarly activities

Nursing professor Helene Berman and Communication Sciences and Disorders professor Janis Cardy were recently recognized with two of Western's most prestigious awards recognizing research and teaching. READ MORE.

April – May

Breaking the uncomfortable silence

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Western, including members from the Faculty of Health Sciences, is using education to prevent domestic violence from impacting people like Dawn and Ed Novak. READ MORE.

Proposing cutting-edged solutions to combat health inequities

Health Studies students Erik Elliott, Leah Marsot-Shiffman, Cameron Feil and Dory Abelman developed the winning idea in the annual Health Studies Students' Association Health Care Challenge, which tasks students with coming up with innovative ways to build resilient health systems in Canada and beyond. READ MORE.

Apples vs. Doctors: Using exercise and lifestyle to improve health outcomes

Kinesiology graduate student Taniya Nagpal delivered a Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) about her research on exercise and lifestyle and placed second in Western's annual 3MT competition. READ MORE.

Providing incentives for physical activity can lead to healthier decision making

Kinesiology professor Marc Mitchell is part of a team that has developed a mobile app that provides small financial rewards to users for participating in physical activity and motivates user to make healthy lifestyle choices. READ MORE.

Helping divert families from homelessness

A pilot project, led by Nursing professor Cheryl Forchuk and aimed at keeping families at risk of homelessness off of the streets, is showing promising results thanks to diversion efforts that appear to be an effective measure at combatting the issue long-term. READ MORE.

Nursing faculty member earns prestigious award

Barbara Sinclair, the Coordinator for Simulated Clinical Education in the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, was recently honoured by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education with the 2018 D2L Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning. READ MORE.

June – July – August

Collaborative grant backs work offering tremor relief

Physical Therapy professor and Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences Jayne Garland is collaborating with colleagues from the Faculty of Engineering and Intronix Technologies to investigate the creation of a wearable device that assists the suppression of tremors in Parkinson's patients. READ MORE.

'Recovered' concussed athletes returning to play too soon

According to research conducted by professors in the School of Kinesiology, doctors who give student-athletes the ‘all clear’ to return to play following a concussion may be under-estimating the lingering cognitive impairment that persists. READ MORE.

Exercising while attempting to quit smoking can combat weight gain

According to research out of Western's Exercise and Health Psychology Laboratory, women interested in quitting smoking, who are worried about post-cessation weight gain, can combat the weight gain side effect by incorporating exercise into their quitting attempt. Watch more courtesy of CTV News to learn about the work of Kinesiology professor Harry Prapavessis and PhD student Scott Rollo.

Study: 'Sound' differences between age groups

Ingrid Johnsrude, Western Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, and her collaborator Björn Herrmann, a BrainsCAN Postdoctoral Scholar, examined the auditory cortex responses of participants in their 20s and 60s. What they found was differences in responses to soft and loud sounds. The findings were published in the Journal of Neuroscience. READ MORE.

Scollie tapped to lead National Centre for Audiology

Communication Sciences and Disorders professor Susan Scollie took the helm of Western’s National Centre for Audiology (NCA) this summer. She followed Prudy Allen, who served as director for 13 years, to the role. READ MORE.


Seniors' simple falls prompt costly paramedic visits

New research led by Health Studies professor Aleksandra Zecevic shows that London-area paramedics are spending at least a month's worth of time each year literally picking up seniors who have called emergency services for help in getting up after a fall. READ MORE.

Nursing professor's 'brilliant approach' to homelessness earns federal grant

A research project aimed at preventing homelessness before it starts has landed Nursing professor Cheryl Forchuk a grant from the federal government to help people who are discharged from medical wards. READ MORE.

Celebrated innovation aids patients in swallowing

Communication Sciences and Disorders professor Ruth Martin, whose invention - Abilex - helps exercise and strengthen the jaw, tongue and mouth for people who have difficulty swallowing or speaking, has been recognized by WORLDiscoveries with its Innovator of the Year Award. READ MORE.

Study shows wellness app and 'loyalty points' fuel physical activity

A new study led by Western University Kinesiology professor Marc Mitchell shows that relatively small financial incentives – as little as pennies a day – and goal setting can increase physical activity. READ MORE.


New study shows that familiar voices are easier to understand

A new study, led by Communication Sciences and Disorders professor Ingrid Johnsrude, shows that familiar voices are easier to understand even if a person doesn’t recognize them as familiar. The findings were published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. READ MORE.

Study: Authentic leaders can address workplace bullying

Western Nursing PhD student Edmund Walsh’s latest research has identified possible strategies to address bullying in the nursing profession, as well as potential policy changes in the hiring, training and evaluation of managers. READ MORE.

Symposium to focus on impact of sport on society

An elite lineup of athletes, officials and academics will come together this week to provide an in-depth discussion on the milestones, events and people that have shaped human rights in Canada with respect to four areas of sport – Gender equity, Parasport, Indigenous/Aboriginal; and Doping. READ MORE.

Physical activity throughout pregnancy enhances physical and mental health

Physical activity is a critical component of achieving a healthy pregnancy according to a new evidence-based pregnancy & physical activity guideline, co-led by Western University Kinesiology professor Michelle Mottola. READ MORE.

$1.5 million gift honours pioneer of Special Olympics

The Faculty of Health Sciences is ‘carrying the torch’ that Special Olympics pioneer Frank Hayden lit so many years ago as it celebrates a $1.5-million donation for research into how sports benefits people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. READ MORE.

Severe breastfeeding pain can impact infant health

A new study, co-authored by Nursing and Health Studies researchers at Western, has discovered that breastfeeding pain experienced by new mothers is often severe and could have health implications for the feeding child. READ MORE.

November – December

SPACE study yields insights into physical activity of young children

With the goal of creating childcare environments that are supportive and encouraging of physical activity, a team of Western researchers are investigating ways to increase the activity behaviours of young children in these settings. READ MORE.

Brain, body linked to cardiovascular health

Kinesiology PhD candidate Nárlon C. Boa Sorte Silva and Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Kinesiology professor Robert Petrella are researching the benefits of exercise for older adults with high blood pressure or hypertension. READ MORE.

National Centre for Audiology showcasing its leadership in the field

The November issue of Canadian Audiologist - the online magazine of the Canadian Academy of Audiology - featured a series of articles written by members of Western's National Centre for Audiology (NCA), which showcase the NCA's leadership in the field. READ MORE.

Nursing professor listed among 2018 Newsmakers of the Year

Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing professor Abe Oudshoorn, a prominent voice for homeless and health-compromised Londoners, has been named a 2018 Western Newsmaker of the Year. READ MORE.

Study shows inclusive primary care improves health outcomes

Co-led by Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing professor Marilyn Ford-Gilboe, a new study from the University of British Columbia and Western University shows that respectful, inclusive practices in primary care clinics can significantly improve the health of low-income, marginalized people who may have previously experienced trauma or discrimination in society. CTV News | London Free Press | Western Media Release