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Brynne Redford

Lawyer, MPH grad defends kids’ rights

June 10, 2010

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When children in provincial care have a problem with the services they’re receiving they call the Offi ce of the Representative for Children and Youth. Since January, Brynne Redford has been working as a child and youth advocate with the Representative’s office. “I’m fighting to help children and youth make sure their voices are heard and their rights are upheld,” she says. “It’s nice to feel you’re actually making a difference.”

A lawyer, Redford graduates this month with a master’s degree in public health (MPH) and a graduate dean’s convocation medal for her high grade-point average and exemplary thesis.

“Immediately after I was called to the bar, I went back to school,” she says. “I wanted something more interesting and rewarding than a traditional legal practice.”

She chose SFU’s MPH program because it studies population and public health from a holistic perspective that includes emotional and psychological health as well as physical health.

“I think all of those are extremely relevant to what I’m doing now,” she says. “The program also focuses on vulnerable populations and that’s a big focus of my work here as well.”

She finds her new job gratifying and is pleased that it takes advantage of both her law and MPH degrees.

Redford is hoping that her thesis, completed prior to joining the Representative’s Office, may also make a difference—to individuals involved in Vancouver’s Drug Treatment Court (DTC). Her research found that these individuals are more vulnerable than other offenders, particularly when it comes to health outcomes and their use of health services.

“While the main focus of the DTC is treating addiction, I found that there is an opportunity to link these people with the health services they need at a time when they’re engaged and willing to take advantage of these services,” she says. It’s her hope that the DTC will use her thesis for future planning purposes.

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