Ms. Atina Boonchit


Affiliations: University of Toronto Mississauga

Teaching Assistant, Ethics and Creativity in Organizations (ECO) Lab

Research Interests:

Teaching health concepts, arts and medicine, mental health, neuropsychology, social determinants of health

Brief Bio:

Passionate about creative communication in health, Atina completed her HBSc in 2018 in Biological Sciences and Psychology: Brain & Cognition, and further went on to acquire experience in medical editing, clinical research, and diverse educational settings (i.e. ESL, undergraduate students, children with learning disabilities, etc.). She is a passionate advocate for intersecting the fine arts with science and finding creative ways to communicate complex concepts in health and medicine to diverse groups of people. She has recently been inspired by the field of Graphic Medicine, especially given the uptick in the number of people using creative ways to send out important health-related messages during the COVID-19 pandemic! Going forward, she is keen on finding opportunities to get involved with knowledge translation, knowledge dissemination, and in finding new opportunities to teach.

Capstone Project:

Organ transplantation is a life-saving practice that requires extensive coordination and communication for timely and safe care during a pandemic. The rise of viral diseases, such as “HIV in the late 1980s/early 1990s, SARS-CoV, West Nile Virus, pandemic influenza A/H1N1, Zika, Ebola, and now pandemic COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2”, have demonstrated that during a pandemic, as resources are redirected, transplantation activities are reduced.1 Transplant teams have historically been creative in developing ways to optimize the volume of organ transplants conducted during such times, but the COVID-19 pandemic presented new and unprecedented challenges.1 The SARS-CoV-2 virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic is highly contagious and difficult to control and individuals infected by the virus may be asymptomatic.2 COVID-19 has both posed unique challenges to the safety and management of organ transplantation. The Toronto General Hospital (TGH) has been a world leader in providing recommendations for healthcare systems across different levels on how to best optimize procedures during this pandemic.1 Despite TGH’s prioritization of essential surgeries during the pandemic, a considerable number of patients on the organ waiting list continue to have their transplants delayed, with some even dying during this time.3 Our team is interested in addressing these challenges by considering the response at TGH’s Multi-Organ Transplant Program (MOTP) during the COVID-19 pandemic by exploring the perspectives of donor and recipient patients, healthcare professionals, administrative staff, organ procurement institutions, and government representatives involved in transplant activities conducted during pandemics.


1. Kumar D, Manuel O, Natori Y, et al. COVID-19: A global transplant perspective on successfully navigating a pandemic. Am J Transplant. 2020;20(7):1773-1779. doi:10.1111/ajt.15876
2. World Health Organization. Coronavirus. Published 2020. Accessed July 26, 2020.
3. Canadian Blood Services. National COVID-19 Impact Data. Published 2020. Accessed July 24, 2020.

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