Name: Ruth Lavergne
Graduate Program: PhD
Award: Margaret Fulton Award, UBC (2013)
“Experiences with family and community members made it clear to me how fortunate we are to live in a society that values and provides health care, but that there are persistent gaps in our system.”
For Ruth Lavergne, health care has always interested her. Growing up in Canada, her respect for the Canadian healthcare system developed with age. However, Ruth simultaneously noticed faults in the system, ultimately shaping her goal of contributing to a stronger public healthcare system.
She began her career in public health with a PhD program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. However, by the end of Ruth’s first year, various factors prompted her to transfer to UBC’s School of Population and Public Health.
Transferring to SPPH’s PhD program was the perfect move for Ruth. She received a CIHR Doctoral Award and UBC four-year fellowship upon arriving in Vancouver, and more recently received the Margaret Fulton Award for her exceptional contribution and involvement in UBC’s community.
“Through training in population and public health, I’ve developed skills to conduct research that can inform health policy and service delivery. My hope is that this may play a small role in shaping a system that delivers better outcomes for patients, greater equity, and more efficient use of society’s resources.”
After completing her PhD, Ruth wants to conduct research that compares methods and the outcomes of health care delivery between British Columbia and Quebec. She hopes to create more opportunities for cross-provincial collaborations.
In the long run, Ruth aspires to work in academia, working closely with various trained individuals and companies to distinguish research priorities and furthermore, make an impact in the Canadian healthcare system.
When asked about the most valuable knowledge gained while at SPPH, Ruth replied, “my experience at SPPH has definitely made it clear to me that the people you have around you make all the difference. Being part of a great team has been so important to me, and people are generally keen to provide help and input. If you have an idea and know of someone who might help, reach out! This can be daunting as a student, but the worst they can say is no.”