November 16, 2022

2022 Women Leaders in Digital Health: Dr. Charlene Ronquillo

Dr. Charlene Ronquillo, Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia

Dr. Ronquillo is a true emerging leader in digital health and health equity. I have so much respect for her accomplishments, her exceptional commitment to meaningful and solutionfocused approaches to systemic challenges in the healthcare system, and to addressing the impact of health technologies upon outcomes and quality of care for marginalized and underserved groups.

Dr. Charlene Ronquillo is an Assistant Professor at the UBC Okanagan School of Nursing. Her main interest within the realm of digital health is centring the human experiences and values to improve equity and thoughtful, meaningful, and inclusive technology use in healthcare. As a health informatics researcher, her work is interdisciplinary and underpinned by critical theories and implementation science, with an emphasis on ensuring the meaningful inclusion of non-dominant groups in the conceptualization, design, development, and implementation of health technologies in health systems. Dr. Ronquillo uses innovative and inclusive methods in her research, including participatory, person-centred, rapid prototyping, co-production approaches, and employing critical perspectives throughout the technology lifecycle. Dr. Ronquillo is also a Registered Nurse and brings a wealth of expertise and experience from clinical practice to her work in digital health; she is a strong advocate for developing nursing informatics competencies and supporting technology adoption and usage to enhance the quality of care. As an emerging and influential leader, Dr. Ronquillo is also deeply committed to mentorship in nursing and digital health, and developing and supporting a community of scholars, practice leaders, and clinicians focused on harnessing the power of digital technologies in healthcare.

Dr. Charlene Ronquillo is clearly deeply passionate about highlighting how we can better deliver healthcare and achieve more equitable outcomes through digital health. This extends beyond her intensive program of research, her knowledge translation and invited contributions to organizations, policymakers, and healthcare systems. Dr. Ronquillo is also very committed to education, capacity-building and mentorship in digital health. She co-founded the successful peer-mentorship infrastructure for early career scholars in health informatics through the International Medical Informatics Association that has providing ongoing and sustained support for mentees and early scholars in: securing academic jobs in high-ranking health informatics institutions internationally; and in their work being recognized through awards, publications, and funding. Additionally, her ongoing dedication to inviting and including academic and clinical colleagues – in particular those from equity-deserving groups at all career stages – to join productive and diverse research teams, has served to build capacity and enhance the important work in which she is engaged. Recognizing the challenge for systemically marginalized and excluded individuals and groups to find academic mentors, Dr. Ronquillo is especially committed to, and has engaged meaningfully in mentoring the next generation of digital health leaders, particularly those belonging to under-represented groups in academia and health leadership.

Learn more about the Women Leaders in Digital Health Award here.