Last fall, Robin Walker was one of six graduate students at the University of Calgary who was awarded prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships for research and academic achievements. She is a research associate in the Department of Community Health Sciences and is currently pursuing her PhD under the supervision of Libin member Dr. Hude Quan.
The scholarship was created to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and to establish Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning.
“The Vanier scholarship will play a major role in facilitating my ability to reach my academic objectives and career aspirations,” says Walker. She says it will provide needed financial support allowing her to focus on her studies full-time and be involved in leadership activities.
By examining hospital admissions related to common chronic conditions—referred to as ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSC)—such as high blood pressure and diabetes, Walker’s research aims to develop new ways of identifying and measuring the number of avoidable hospital admissions in Canada.
Determining the number of avoidable ACSC hospitalizations will help to inform health policy decision-makers about the appropriateness of using ACSC hospitalizations as a measure of the quality and performance of primary health care. As a result, there is potential to improve the planning and delivery of primary services to better meet the needs of the Canadian population.
Story by Aisling Gamble