Brock alumna using data to improve Ontario patient care

Brock’s first Public Health graduate is using primary and secondary data collection to improve the experience of cancer patients in Ontario.

When Adele Carty (BSc ’09) learned about Brock’s newly developed Public Health program back in 2008, it seemed a perfect fit.

At the time, Carty was a Community Health Science student who was busy completing a directed study and internship at the Port Colborne hospital under the supervision of Health Sciences Professor Madelyn Law.

While her existing program was rewarding, the benefits of transferring into the innovative new offering proved a real draw.

“Being versed in searching for job opportunities within research, and through the mentorship of Health Sciences Professor Brent Faught, I realized my future career would benefit greatly if I switched programs,” Carty said.

Since making the leap and becoming Brock’s first-ever Public Health graduate, Carty has been working in various sectors of government with an aim to improve the health of patients. Now a doctoral student in Epidemiology at another Ontario university, she has built her career on using data to make an impact on the health of populations.

After completing her undergraduate degree at Brock, Carty worked as a research analyst in the Department of Rheumatology at Toronto Western Hospital.

“As a member hospital of the University Health Network, the clinic I worked with gathered primary data from arthritis patients who were participating in a longitudinal study,” she said. It was Carty’s responsibility to use the physician-collected information to analyze the data.

“Working in a teaching hospital was a great opportunity,” she said. “I was afforded the opportunity to simultaneously work on multiple research projects with an international team of investigators. The group was dedicated to gaining insights into the etiology and progression of arthritic diseases.”

Carty was presented with a new opportunity in October 2016, working as a senior analyst for Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) to help improve the patient experience.

“My role looks at data collected in Ontario to assess the patient experience of cancer patients,” she says. “Working internally, I help to develop analytic plans and methodologies which are reported to the provincial government to help improve patient care.”

One major difference between Carty’s work at the Toronto Western Hospital and CCO is she now spends a lot less time with patients.“At CCO, I am really in-depth with the data, but I think everyone, including myself has a personal connection to someone with cancer,” she said.

Despite working with data, Carty remains “appreciative of the fact that there is a face on the other side of what we are analyzing.”

Working alongside researchers has inspired Carty to continue her own graduate work.

“I’ve always had a passion for child health and being able to conduct my own research. This is why I’m now exploring the relationship between environmental exposures and neuro-developmental disorders in children for my doctoral work,” she said.

“I really see Brock as giving me that foundational stepping stone of real-world experience that has prepared me with the necessary skills to embark on this non-linear career path.”

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