Women Leaders in Digital Health: Dr. Gillian Strudwick

Dr. Gillian Strudwick, Independent Scientist, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

Dr. Strudwick is a nationally and internationally recognized digital mental health leader who has passionately devoted her career to the advancement of health informatics for the benefit of patients and clinicians. She is an accomplished researcher who has published in excess of 60 manuscripts and led large national and international projects with more than $1.5 M in funding. As a nurse with a deep practical understanding of compassionate care, Dr. Strudwick has creatively pursued technology as the means to improving quality of care for patients. She is a passionate and innovative advocate for digital health and the power of technology to transform healthcare. Dr. Strudwick’s impact on the field of digital metal health is profound and will undoubtedly continue for years to come.

Dr. Strudwick has shown exceptional leadership in advancing research related to digital health in the area of mental health and addictions. She has been instrumental in defining the field of digital compassion, having written ground-breaking papers and a book chapter on this topic. Dr. Strudwick co-leads an AMS Funded initiative defining digital compassion in health care, which is critical particularly with the recent proliferation of virtual care due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Strudwick is also co-leading a CIHR funded research grant focused on synthesizing knowledge on digital interventions to support population mental health during COVID-19. Her success in these large initiatives is indicative of her reputation as a leader in digital mental health.

Dr. Strudwick has been a strong advocate for patient and family engagement in health informatics as the patient voice is seldom included meaningfully in the development of the technology, processes, and polices that support the use of the tools. She has led patient engagement initiatives at CAMH which include transforming barcode medication administration identification practices and developing guidance and education to ‘demystify’ the concerns in support of the patient portal use.

At a health system level, Dr. Strudwick’s work focuses on advancing patient and family engagement in health informatics as a practice. Dr. Strudwick led a CIHR funded pan-Canadian engagement with patients and healthcare professionals culminating in a report, which detailed practical strategies for how to engage with patients and family members as well as implications on hospital and research policy. In collaboration with Canada Health InfoWay, Dr. Strudwick led a pan-Canadian team of researchers in developing a resource document to support clinicians in having a conversation with patients about digital health tools. This work is currently being disseminated and scaled up for implementation across health systems in Ontario. As the health informatics field has faced challenges with adoption and use, these initiatives follow a human-centred design philosophy and are critical in moving the dial in how we effectively design digital health technologies.

Over the last 2 years, I have had the pleasure of witnessing Dr. Strudwick’s leadership, collaborative approach, and innovation. Dr. Strudwick’s dedication to improving the quality of care for our patients through technology has personally inspired me. It has been equally inspiring to witness her mentorship of the next generation of leaders in digital health. The excitement and direction she passionately provides for these future leaders is palpable. She is compassionate, yet demanding of excellence. Dr. Strudwick is an outstanding candidate for this award as she is transforming the field of digital health and will continue to do so for years to come. – Damian Jankowicz, PhDVice President, Information Management, Chief Information Officer & Chief Privacy OfficerCentre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

Congratulations on being voted one of the 2020 Women Leaders in Digital Health, Dr. Gillian Strudwick!

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