• Michelle Driedger
  • Professor and Department Head

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Community Health Sciences
    Room P120, Pathology Building
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3E 0W2

    Phone: 204-789-3434

Research themes

  • New and emerging health risks
  • Health risk communication
  • Public health and primary care
  • Indigenous health


  • Qualitative methods
  • Vaccine hesitancy
  • Risk communication
  • Risk perception
  • Métis health
  • Public health
  • Science policy
  • Knowledge translation

Research affiliations

  • Ongomiizwin Institute of Health and Healing - Research

Research groups

  • Monarch Collaboration - An international collaboration looking at immunization and migrant and refugee health
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Network, Canadian Immunization Research Network

Research summary

Dr. Driedger’s research program focuses on public health and primary care health risk communication, risk perception, and knowledge translation under conditions of uncertainty.

Drawing primarily on qualitative methods, her research focus involves the study of how new and emerging risk and public health controversies develop in science, policy and public forums. She is particularly interested in how public health risk communicators can meaningfully engage public audiences to enable informed decisions about risk recommendations including protective behaviours that can be adopted for themselves and their family.

Her research examines these issues in areas of vaccine and other health communication with an emphasis of the important role between health providers and the people they serve in clinical encounters. 

Her research and teaching interests intersect throughout: decolonizing methodologies in community based research with Manitoba Métis, engaging different affected audiences through participatory methods, and partnership development with relevant knowledge users to ensure research results are meaningful. Her research uses a variety of data sources: interviews, focus groups, documents (e.g., policy, reports), traditional news media and, more recently, social media.

Dr. Driedger has several projects looking at vaccine decision-making processes, both in terms of routine immunizations and COVID-19 with a keen interest in examining the interplay of factors that lead to acceptance, or not, of a vaccine. Embedded within this work are the information needs and preferences of different groups. 

Dr. Driedger also works in close partnership with the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) Health and Wellness Department. Some of her projects include engaging Métis youth in health promotion messaging through culture camps as an intervention. Youth are brought together with elders and Métis community members for exposure with traditional on the land skills while also exploring health concerns of importance to them in their community. The aim is to develop interventions for testing within specific communities with youth as co-leads. She is also working in partnership on MMF led grants regarding opioids, cannabis and tobacco.

Last, Dr. Driedger is exploring tensions in doctor-patient conversations regarding unnecessary tests or procedures with both general population Manitobans and Métis Citizens.  

A copy of her survey consent form is available here.


Dr. Michelle Driedger (she/her/elle) is a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences and a proud member of the Manitoba Métis Nation. She is a former Tier II Canada Research Chair in Health Risk Communication (2006-2017). Although her career path has been fairly traditional from undergraduate to graduate degrees, her journey has been one of curiosity and passion shaped by several experiences. A geographer by training and background, her research questions have often focused on the intersections between people, structures and environment. She started her career at the University of Ottawa, Department of Geography (2002-2005) before being recruited to the University of Manitoba. Her return home to Winnipeg, provided opportunities to develop strong partnerships and relationships with the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) Health and Wellness Department. Her program of research carries a dual trajectory of examining a variety of topics in public health and primary care, through the lens of Manitoba Métis and general population Canadians. 


  • PhD, School of Geography and Geology, McMaster University (2001)
  • Master of Arts, Geography, Carleton University (1997)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Geography, University of Winnipeg (1995)


  • Canada Research Chair in Environment and Health Risk Communication, CIHR (2006; renewal 2012)
  • Science Leadership Fellow, University of Toronto (2013)

Contact us

Community Health Sciences
Max Rady College of Medicine
Room S113 - 750 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0W3 Canada