Sara is Manitoba Research Chair in Health System Innovation, Assistant Professor, Community Health Sciences, and a member of the CHI Health Systems Performance Platform. Her research centres on the question of how best to design and implement models of health-services delivery. She conducts multi- and mixed-methods research and synthesis to help inform decisions on system-level issues, and also explores the dynamics of organizational decision-making and system change. Her most recent project was a region-wide investigation of why past initiatives to improve patient flow have fallen short of expectations; findings are now being used to inform the region’s flow strategy, and will also form a basis for further research.
Sara has written a variety of knowledge syntheses for the region, including a directional document on the prevention and management of chronic disease; a theoretical synthesis on how the social identity approach can be used to understand and overcome healthcare silos; concept papers on such topics as wait times, patient involvement approaches, integration, and health human resources; and a systematic review on the organization of surgical services (currently being redeveloped as a Cochrane Review). As recipient of a 2010-11 Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice, she undertook a US-based study of social dynamics in new models of healthcare integration; this work provides a foundation for her current research on engaging local physicians in primary care networks.
A Rhodes Scholar, Sara obtained her doctorate in Social Psychology at Oxford University (2004), and her expertise in social identity theory and organizational psychology continue to inform her work. She taught at the University of Manitoba, Department of Psychology for two years before changing direction towards health-services research.