Ms. Joanna Law

BSc, BSc

Affiliations: St. Michael's Hospital

Research Assistant, Research Assistant

Research Interests:

Public Health Evolutionary Psychology and Modern Medicine

Brief Bio:

I recently graduated from the University of Waterloo in Biomedical Science and Psychology, where I was involved in peer health education for 4+ years. The experience helped me understand the importance of public health education along with ease of access to health care and resources in communities. I have also dedicated my time to working on a project on Traumatic Brain Injuries in vulnerable populations. These projects led me to pursue translational health to better serve the needs of our community.

Capstone Project:

Social isolation is a significant public health concern in the senior population. The National Seniors Council defines social isolation as “a low quantity and quality of contact with others, [that] includes number of contacts, feeling of belonging, fulfilling relationships, engagement with others, and quality of network members”. Social isolation can lead to worsened health outcomes including an increase in falls, depression, heart attacks and strokes as well as increased healthcare costs. Current events and research strongly indicate a need for social connectedness in seniors to increase their physical and mental well-being. The Health and Wellness programs at Etobicoke Services for Seniors (ESS) are an opportunity to facilitate social connectedness; however, due to the challenges created by COVID-19, the creation of effective virtual programming requires translational research methods. The goal of our project is to work in collaboration with ESS Support Services to create virtual programming that addresses the need for social connectedness in seniors. Through our collaboration, we will incorporate the perspectives of users (seniors) and facilitators (staff), which will be essential in approaching this problem holistically.

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