• Kendiss Olafson headshot
  • Assistant professor

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Internal Medicine, Section of Critical Care
    University of Manitoba
    Room GF333 – 820 Sherbrook Avenue
    Health Sciences Center
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3A 1R9

    Phone: 204-787-1634

Research summary

Dr. Kendiss Olafson is a leading researcher in the field of critical care medicine, bringing her expertise in epidemiology and quality improvement to the forefront of the field.

Dr. Olafson's research focuses on understanding the epidemiology of critical illness, with a particular emphasis on resource use and its impact on patient outcomes. She has been utilizing the Manitoba Health data repository at Manitoba Centre for Health Policy to explore these areas, providing valuable insights into the care of critically ill patients.

In addition to her work on critical illness epidemiology, Dr. Olafson has also been leading innovative projects in quality improvement. She has been working on optimizing care for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and improving communication at the time of hospital discharge, leading to improved outcomes for patients and their families.

Dr. Olafson is also a pioneer in investigating the impact of critical illness on mental health outcomes. Her work on using ICU diaries as an intervention to mitigate the effects of critical illness among survivors and their families is groundbreaking and has the potential to revolutionize how we support patients and their families after critical illness.

Her research efforts are recognized by her peers, as a member of Canadian Critical Care Trials Group, and have been published in reputed journals. Dr. Olafson's dedication to improving the lives of critically ill patients and their families, as well as her innovative approach to research, make her a valuable asset to the critical care research community.

  • Research themes

    • Critical care epidemiology
    • Mental health
    • Patient and family centered care
    • Post-ICU syndrome

    Research groups

    • Canadian Critical Care Trials Group
    • CANCOV (The Canadian COVID-19 Prospective Cohort Study)
  • Research interests

    • Patient and family centered care
    • Post-ICU syndrome with focus on mental health
  • Keywords

    • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
    • Communication
    • Critical illness
    • Critical care
    • Epidemiology
    • ICU diaries
    • Mental health
    • Patient and family centered care
    • Patient outcomes
    • Quality improvement
    • Resource use


Dr. Kendiss Olafson is a trailblazer in the field of critical care medicine, bringing innovation and dedication to improving the lives of critically ill patients and their families. As an assistant professor within the section of critical care, department of internal medicine, Dr. Olafson has been working to improve the quality of care for critically ill patients since 2003.

Dr. Olafson's passion for critical care medicine began during her internal medicine residency, where she found herself drawn to the fast-paced and high-stakes environment of the ICU. She went on to complete a fellowship in critical care medicine, solidifying her commitment to this field. Her work in quality improvement has been instrumental in reducing the use of potentially harmful sedation in critically ill patients, instituting early mobility strategies and promoting patient-family centered care initiatives. She helped form an ICU patient and family advisory board for the critical care program. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she developed the family liaison role within the intensive care units to support patients and families during pandemic-induced visitor restrictions.

Dr. Olafson is also highly dedicated to education, having established an annual critical care symposium for quality improvement at the University of Manitoba. She is a sought-after speaker and mentor, sharing her knowledge and experience with the next generation of critical care physicians. Her commitment to her patients, her field and her students is unwavering and truly inspiring.

  • Education

    Master of Public Health (MPH) from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2008)

    Critical Care Medicine Fellowship from the University of Manitoba (2003)

    Internal Medicine Residency from the University of Manitoba (2001)

    Doctor of Medicine (MD) from the University of Manitoba (1997)

    Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Chemistry from the University of Winnipeg (1993)

  • Awards

    Joe Lee Award in Critical Care Medicine from the University of Manitoba (2003)

    Dale Iwanoczko Award in Internal Medicine from the University of Manitoba (2000)

Contact us

Internal Medicine
Room GC430, Health Sciences Centre
820 Sherbrook Street
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3A 1R9 Canada