Congratulations to BC Cancer’s Mar’yana Fisher and Chantelle Recsky on receiving a 2023 Canadian Health Research Institute (CIHR) Health System Impact (HSI) Fellowship!

The HSI Fellowship is awarded to PhD students and postdoctoral researchers who will work directly with health organizations to tackle real-world health system challenges.

Mar’yana and Chantelle work with the Nursing and Allied Health Research and Knowledge Translation team at BC Cancer. They are under the supervision of Dr. Leah Lambert, executive director and senior scientist, Nursing and Allied Health Research and Knowledge Translation.

Get to know Mar’yana and Chantelle as they share about the focus of their Fellowships, and what receiving the HSI Fellowship means to them:

Mar’yana Fisher is a doctoral fellow. Her Fellowship work aims to provide evidence-based recommendations to advance equitable cancer care for the incarcerated population in British Columbia by examining the barriers to access cancer treatment and care. This involves learning about programs, services and community supports that enable people who are incarcerated to access and receive cancer screening and care. Moreover, identifying gaps in programming creates opportunities for improvement and development of high-quality cancer services that are equitable, accessible and respectful for all British Columbians.

What does the HSI Fellowship mean to you?

“The HSI Fellowship is an unmatched opportunity to enhance my doctoral research, foster interdisciplinary networking, and become immersed in the organizational culture and operation of BC Cancer. While I bring a unique skillset developed across two undergraduate degrees in psychology and nursing, a Master of Science and Nursing, and clinical expertise in palliative care, I am less familiar with organizational and clinical challenges faced by cancer care providers working with incarcerated individuals. HSIF has created space for me to receive supportive mentorship and provided timely feedback on my ideas, transforming them into applied research. Bridging the gap between research and practice is one of the key advantages of the Fellowship and is most paramount to my aspirations as I seek to reduce disparities within carceral spaces.”

How did you feel when you found our you were successful in receiving the Fellowship?
“To say that I felt excited about this amazing learning opportunity isn’t enough to encapsulate the true nature of my feelings. I experienced a unique mixture of delight and apprehensiveness about the work ahead. Moreover, I felt blessed and grateful for my project to be selected among many other deserving applicants across Canada and reflected on the weight of this privilege. I aim to work and serve in a way that upholds the dignity and rights of incarcerated people and honours the space I have been awarded with this Fellowship.”

How will this Fellowship help move you forward to the next stage of your career?

“This Fellowship will further my understanding of equity-oriented research, enhance my leadership skills and provide space for personal growth. I aspire to continue my career beyond academia and pursue health equity for justice-involved individuals within the federal government. The Fellowship helps me to advance towards this goal by providing exposure for my research through conference presentations, and organizing meetings for fellows with provincial and federal health care leaders.”

Chantelle Recsky is a postdoctoral fellow. Her Fellowship work focusses on how nurses use digital documentation technology such as Cerner. This involves examining current systems, analyzing challenges and unintended consequences, and testing changes to the system more intuitive, efficient, and better aligned with clinical workflows.

What does the HSI Fellowship mean to you?

“The HSI Fellowship is a huge opportunity for me. It draws on the perfect mix of my nursing experience, my expertise in informatics, and my passion for improving care, and it gives me the chance to really get involved in making health care better by using technology in smart, effective ways. The HSI program is unique in that it brings research activities right into care delivery and so as a researcher, I get to connect directly with people that are passionate about providing the best care for patients. I also get to see the challenges and questions they encounter, as well as the opportunities for research to support practice. I am always learning, and I get to try to help others by sharing my knowledge.”

How did you feel when you found our you were successful in receiving the Fellowship?

“I was absolutely thrilled when I heard I was awarded this prestigious fellowship. It is a huge honour for me, and an amazing opportunity to make a real difference in the field I am passionate about and for the communities we serve. I'm particularly appreciative of the encouragement from my mentors, Dr. Lambert, and Dr. Lauck from UBC, who were so supportive of my application and continue to guide and mentor me in leading this work.”

How will this Fellowship help move you forward to the next stage of your career?

“The HSI fellowship provides me with a unique experience to support my career path. I love research, informatics, nursing, and health system improvement – and in this role, I get to be involved in all of these things! At this point, I am not exactly sure what lies ahead for me beyond this Fellowship, but I am certain that the opportunity to continue strengthening my abilities in these areas will be invaluable, and I am grateful for that.”

About the program

The CIHR HIS Fellowship provides highly qualified PhD trainees and postdoctoral researchers in health services and policy research/related fields with the opportunity to develop embedded research projects/programs that address the most pressing problems faced by health system organizations and to support evidence-informed decision-making.


Please join us in congratulating Mar’yana and Chantelle on receiving this highly prestigious fellowship! 

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