Michelle LA Nelson MA, PhD
Michelle LA Nelson is an applied health services researcher with a focus on integrated care and community reintegration, interests she developed during her clinical work as a recreation therapist. Through these experiences she became attuned to the need for rehabilitation and community reintegration strategies that adequately accounted for the varying, and often intersecting needs, of people with multiple medical and psycho-social concerns.
Michelle is a strong advocate for teamwork – in clinical practice and in research. She is a Research Scientist within the Collaboratory for Research and Innovation (Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute) with an academic appointment in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Michelle has been actively growing an international research network focused on addressing issues experienced by people with complex care needs. She recently led the development of a consensus based research framework, identifying sixteen high-priority questions stemming from issues of multimorbidity, social determinants, patient characteristics, and stroke system factors. (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2017.08.488). As a result, Michelle and her colleagues put the emphasis on conducting research that focuses beyond a single disease/issue approach, helping to understand and address the needs of ‘real world’ stroke patients.
Michelle was on the Board of the Heart and Stroke Foundation (Manitoba) for 7 years, serving as the Chair of the Research Advisory Committee. This experience, combined with her strong understanding of the importance of interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral collaboration, led to her interest in the role of the third sector (civil society and non-government organizations) to support improved patient and family experience and outcomes. Michelle is a sought after research collaborator and discussant on this topic. She leads a Special Interest Group with the International Foundation for Integrated Care, focused on Volunteers and NGOs as Partners in Integrated Care (voluncaring.ca). Since her election to the Board of the WSO in October 2018, she has been actively collaborating with the Stroke Support Organizations committee to help these organizations generate evidence regarding the impact of SSOs in affecting the experience and outcomes of people who have had a stroke. Michelle is focused on relationships and community development, and is therefore keen to leverage her professional networks, expertise and enthusiasm to the important work of the WSO.
Achieving our vision of a life free from stroke is a task that WSO cannot achieve alone. We are committed to building our partnerships at the global, regional and national level to scale up and deliver improvements in prevention, treatment and support to reduce the burden of stroke.