Valorie Crooks
Associate Professor

Department of Geography
Robert C. Brown Hall (RCB 6141)
Phone: 778-782-3507
Facsimile: 778-782-5841


I completed my PhD at McMaster University in 2005. The following year I worked as a postdoctoral fellow at York University. Since 2006 I have been a faculty member in the Department of Geography here at Simon Fraser University.

I am a health geographer. As such, I am interested in the spatial and place-based dimensions of health and health care. I broadly conceive of myself as a health services researcher, and have an ongoing interest in understanding lived experiences of accessing needed/wanted health and social care services. Because of this experiential focus, I primarily engage in non-hypothesis-testing qualitative research, or lead qualitative components of mixed-methods studies. Click here to learn more about the health geography research group at Simon Fraser University.


My research interests are best characterized by four areas of inquiry: (1) disability and chronic illness; (2) primary health care; (3) palliative health and social care; and (4) medical tourism. I have received funding from numerous agencies, and especially the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, to pursue collaborative projects in each of these areas. Click here to learn more about my medical tourism research. Click here to link to a short video in which I speak about my interests in disability and chronic illness research.



· Johnston, R., V.A. Crooks, J. Snyder, S. Dharamsi (2013) “‘Our true role…is within the confines of our system’: Canadian family doctors’ roles and responsibilities towards outbound medical tourists.” Canadian Family Physician 59(12): 1314-1319.

· Adams, K., J. Snyder, V.A. Crooks, R. Johnston (2013) “Promoting Social Responsibility Amongst Health Care Users: Medical tourists’ perspectives on an information sheet regarding ethical concerns in medical tourism.” Philosophy, Ethics and Humanities in Medicine 8:19.

· Casey, V., V.A. Crooks, J. Snyder, L. Turner (2013) “Knowledge Brokers, Companions, and Navigators: Qualitatively examining informal caregivers’ roles in medical tourism.” International Journal for Equity in Health 12:94.

· Snyder, J., V.A. Crooks, R. Johnston, S. Dharamsi (2013) “‘Do your homework…and then hope for the best’: The challenges that medical tourism poses to Canadian family physicians’ support of patients’ informed decision-making.” BMC Medical Ethics 14:37.

· Johnston, R. and V.A. Crooks (2013) “Medical tourism in the Caribbean Region: A call to consider environmental health equity.”West Indian Medical Journal 62:3.

· Casey, V., V.A. Crooks, J. Snyder, L. Turner (2013) “‘You’re dealing with an emotionally charged individual…’: An industry perspective on the challenges posed by medical tourists’ informal caregiver-companions.”  Globalization & Health 9:31.

· Snyder, J., V.A. Crooks, R. Johnston, P. Kingsbury (2013) “Beyond sun, sand, and stitches: Assigning responsibility for the harms of medical tourism.”  Bioethics 27(5): 233-242.

· Li, L.C., S. Brooks, J. Cibere, V.A. Crooks, C.A. Jones, J.A. Kopec, S.A. Lear, J. Pencharz, R.E. Rhodes, J.M. Esdaile (2013) “Capitalizing on the teachable moment: the OPEN (Osteoarthritis Physical Activity & Exercise Net) for improving physical activity in early knee osteoarthritis.” JMIR Research Protocols 2(1):e17.

· Stone, S.D., V.A. Crooks, M. Owen (2013) “Going through the back door: Chronically ill academics’ experiences as ‘unexpected workers’ seeking accommodation in Canadian universities.”  Social Theory & Health 11(2): 151-174.

· Crooks, V.A., L. Turner, G. Cohen, J. Bristier, J. Snyder, V. Casey, R. Whitmore (2013) “Ethical and legal implications of the risks of medical tourism for patients: A qualitative study of Canadian health and safety representatives’ perspectives.” BMJ Open3(2):e002302.

· Snyder, J., V.A. Crooks, L. Turner, R. Johnston (2013) “Understanding the impacts of medical tourism on health human resources in Barbados: A prospective, qualitative study of stakeholder perceptions.” International Journal for Equity in Health 12:2.

· Crooks, V.A., J. Snyder, L. Turner, K. Adams, R. Johnston, V. Casey (2013) “Canadian print news coverage of medical tourism: Examining key themes and ethical gaps.”  In G. Cohen (ed.) The Globalization of Health Care.  Oxford University Press. Chapter 3.

· Snyder, J., V.A. Crooks, L. Turner, R. Johnston, H. Fraser, L. Kadowaki, M. Choi, K. Adams (2013) “Caring for non-residents in Barbados: Examining the implications of inbound transnational medical care for public and private health care.” In G. Pennings, D. Botterill, T. Mainil (eds.) Medical Tourism and Transnational Health Care.  Palgrave MacMillan.  Pp. 48-63.

· Johnston, R., V.A. Crooks, J. Snyder (2013) “Exceptional Aspects of the Experiences of Canadian Medical Tourists from Patient Narratives.” In R. Labonté, V. Runnels, C. Packer, R. Deonandan (eds.) Travelling well: Essays in medical tourism.  Transdisciplinary Studies in Population Health Series, Vol. 4 Issue 1. Ottawa: Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa.  Pp. 103-118.

· Snyder, J., K. Adams, V.A. Crooks, L. Hoffman, R. Johnston, R. Whitmore (2013) “A reality check on medical tourism.” Canadian Medical Association Journal. eLetter published November 25, 2013.


· Randall, E., V.A. Crooks, L. Goldsmith (2012) “In search of attachment: a qualitative study of chronically ill women transitioning between family physicians in rural Ontario, Canada.”  BMC Family Practice 13:125.

· Crooks, V.A. and H. Castleden (2012) “All we really needed to know about tenure-track faculty positions we did not learn in graduate school.”  The Canadian Geographer 56(4): 393-397.

· Crooks, V.A., K. Cameron, V. Chouinard, R. Johnston, J. Snyder, V. Casey (2012) “Use of medical tourism for hip and knee surgery in osteoarthritis: A qualitative examination of distinctive attitudinal characteristics among Canadian patients.”  BMC Health Services Research 12:417.

· Giesbrecht, M.D., V.A. Crooks, A. Williams and O. Hankivsky (2012) “Critically examining diversity in end-of-life family caregiving: Implications for equitable caregiver support and Canada’s Compassionate Care Benefit.” International Journal for Equity in Health11:65.

· Crooks, V.A., M. Owen, S.D. Stone (2012) “Creating a (more) reflexive Canadian disability studies: Our team’s account.” Canadian Journal of Disability Studies 1(3): 45-65.

· Snyder, J., V.A. Crooks, R. Johnston (2012) “Perceptions of the Ethics of Medical Tourism by Canadian Patients: Comparing Patient and Academic Perspectives.”  Public Health Ethics 5(1): 38-46.

· Johnston, R., V.A. Crooks, J. Snyder (2012) “‘I didn’t even know what I was looking for…’: A qualitative study of the decision-making processes of Canadian medical tourists.”  Globalization & Health 8:23.

· Crooks, V.A. & N. Schuurman (2012) “Interpreting the results of a modified gravity model:  Examining access to primary health care physicians in five Canadian provinces and territories.”  BMC Health Services Research 12:230.

· Kingsbury, P., V.A. Crooks, J. Snyder, R. Johnston, K. Adams (2012) “Narratives of Emotion and Anxiety in Medical Tourism: OnState of the Heart and Larry’s Kidney.” Social & Cultural Geography 13(4): 361-378.

· Crooks, V.A., G. Agarwal, A. Harrison (2012) “Chronically ill Canadians’ experiences of being unattached to a family doctor: A qualitative study of marginalized patients in British Columbia.”  BMC Family Practice 13:69.

· Vuksan, M., A. Williams, V.A. Crooks (2012) “The workplace perspective on supporting family caregivers at end-of-life: Evaluating a new Canadian social program.” Community, Work & Family 15(3): 317-333.

· Vuksan, M., A. Williams, V.A. Crooks (2012) “Family Friendly Policies: Accommodating End-of-Life Caregivers in Workplaces.” International Journal of Workplace Health Management.  5(1): 4-14.

· Crooks, V.A., A. Williams, K. Stajduhar, S.R. Cohen, D. Allan, K. Brazil (2012) “Family caregivers’ ideal expectations of Canada’s Compassionate Care Benefit.” Health & Social Care in the Community.  20(2): 172-180.

· Snyder, J. and V.A. Crooks (2012) “New Ethical Perspectives on Medical Tourism in the Developing World.” Developing World Bioethics 12(1): iii-vi.

· Snyder, J., V.A. Crooks, A. Wright, R. Johnston (2012) “Ethical Concerns about the Roles and Responsibilities of Medical Tourism Facilitators.” In J. Hodges, A-M Kimball, L. Turner (eds.) Risks and Challenges in Medical Tourism: Understanding the Global Market for Health Services.  Praeger.


· Snyder, J., V.A. Crooks, L. Turner (2011) “Issues and Challenges in Research on Ethical Issues in Medical Tourism: Reflections from a Conference.” Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8: 3-6.

· Hynie, M., V.A. Crooks, J. Barragan (2011) “Immigrant and Refugee Social Networks: Determinants and Consequences of Social Support.”  Canadian Journal of Nursing Research 43(4): 26-46.

· Penney, K., J. Snyder, V.A. Crooks, R. Johnston (2011) “Risk communication and informed consent in the medical tourism industry: A thematic content analysis of Canadian broker websites.” BMC Medical Ethics 12:17.

· Stajduhar, K.I., L. Funk, F. Wolse, V.A. Crooks, D. Roberts, A.M. Williams, D. Cloutier-Fisher, B. McLeod (2011) “Core Aspects of ‘Empowering’ Caregivers Articulated by Home Health Leaders: Palliative and Chronic Illness Contexts.” Canadian Journal of Nursing Research 43(3): 78-94.

· Snyder, J., V.A. Crooks, P. Kingsbury, K. Adams, R. Johnston (2011) “The ‘Patient’s Physician One-Step Removed’: The evolving roles of medical tourism facilitators.”  Journal of Medical Ethics 37(9): 530-534.

· Snyder, J., V.A. Crooks, R. Johnston, P. Kingsbury (2011) “What do we know about Canadian involvement in medical tourism?  A scoping review.”  Open Medicine 5(3): 139-148.

· Johnston, R., V.A. Crooks, K. Adams, J. Snyder, P. Kingsbury (2011) “An industry perspective on Canadian patients’ involvement in medical tourism: Implications for public health.”  BMC Public Health 11:416.

· Williams, A.M, J.A. Eby, V.A. Crooks, K. Stajduhar, M. Giesbrecht, M. Vuksan, R. Cohen, K. Brazil, D. Allan (2011) “Canada’s Compassionate Care Benefit: Is it an adequate public health response to addressing the issue of caregiver burden in end-of-life care?”  BMC Public Health 11:335.

· Crooks, V.A. and J. Snyder (2011) “What Canadian Family Physicians Need to Know About Medical Tourism.”  Canadian Family Physician 57(5): 527-529.

· Snyder, J., S. Dharamsi, and V.A. Crooks (2011) “Fly-by medical care: Conceptualizing the global and local social responsibilities of medical tourists and physician voluntourists.” Globalization & Health 7:6.

· Crooks, V.A., L. Turner, J. Snyder, R. Johnston, P. Kingsbury (2011) “Promoting Medical Tourism to India: Messages, Images, and the Marketing of International Patient Travel.”  Social Science & Medicine 72: 726-732.

· Crooks, V.A., M. Hynie, K. Killian, M. Giesbrecht and H. Castleden (2011) “Female Newcomers’ Adjustment to Life in Toronto, Canada: Sources of Mental Stress and their Implications for Delivering Primary Mental Health Care.”  GeoJournal 76(2): 139-149.

· Crooks, V.A., H. Castleden, N. Hanlon, N. Schuurman (2011) “‘Heated political dynamics exist…’: Examining the politics of palliative care in rural British Columbia, Canada.”  Palliative Medicine 25(1): 26-35.

· Crooks, V.A., N. Schuurman, J. Cinnamon, H. Castleden, R. Johnston (2011) “Refining a location analysis model using a mixed-method approach: Community readiness as a key factor in siting rural palliative care services.”  Journal of Mixed Methods Research5(1): 77-95.

· Crooks, V.A, S.D. Stone, M. Owen (2011) “Problem-focused coping strategies used by Canadian academics with multiple sclerosis to enable university teaching.”  Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy 78(1): 45-49.


· Giesbrecht, M., Crooks, V.A., Williams, A. (2010) “Scale as an Explanatory Concept: Evaluating Canada’s Compassionate Care Benefit.” Area42(4): 457-467.

· Johnston, R., V.A. Crooks, J. Snyder, P. Kingsbury (2010) “What is known about the effects of medical tourism in destination and departure countries? A scoping review.” International Journal for Equity in Health 9:24.

· Giesbrecht, M., V.A. Crooks, A. Williams (2010) “Perspectives from the Frontlines: Palliative Care Providers’ Expectations of Canada’s Compassionate Care Benefit Program.” Health & Social Care in the Community 18(6): 643-652.

· Crooks, V.A., P. Kingsbury, J. Snyder, R. Johnston (2010) “What is known about the patient’s experience of medical tourism? A scoping review.” BMC Health Services Research. 10:266.

· Schuurman, N, V.A. Crooks, O. Amram (2010) “A protocol for determining differences in the consistency and depth of palliative care service provision across community sites.” Health & Social Care in the Community 18(5): 537-548.

· Castleden, H, V.A. Crooks, N. Hanlon and N. Schuurman (2010) “Providers’ perceptions of Aboriginal palliative care in British Columbia’s rural interior.” Health & Social Care in the Community 18(5): 483-491.

· Williams, A.M., V.A. Crooks, K. Whitfield, M-L. Kelley, J-L. Richards, L. DeMiglio, S. Dykeman (2010) “Tracking the evolution of hospice palliative care in Canada: A comparative case study analysis of seven provinces.” BMC Health Services Research 10:147.

· Crooks, V.A., H. Castleden and I. Tromp-van Meerveld (2010) “Teaching Research Methods Courses in Human Geography: Critical Reflections.” Journal of Geography in Higher Education 34(2): 155-171.

· Andrews, G.J. and V.A. Crooks (2010) “Geographies of Primary Health Care.” Aporia: The Nursing Journal 2(2): 7-16.

· Schuurman, N., M. Berube and V.A. Crooks (2010) “Measuring Potential Spatial Access to Primary Health Care Physicians Using a Modified Gravity Model.” The Canadian Geographer 54(1): 29-45.

· Castleden, H., V.A. Crooks, N. Schuurman, N. Hanlon (2010) “‘It’s not necessarily the distance on the map…’: Using place as an analytic tool to elucidate geographic issues central to rural palliative care.” Health & Place 16(2): 284-290.

· Castrodale, M. and V.A. Crooks (2010) “The Production of Disability Research in Human Geography: An introspective examination.” Disability & Society 25(1): 89-102.

· Crooks, V.A. and J. Snyder (2010) “Regulating medical tourism.” The Lancet 376(9751): 1465-1466.

· Snyder, J. and V.A. Crooks (2010) “Medical tourism and bariatric surgery: More moral challenges.” American Journal of Bioethics 10(12): 28-30.

· Crooks, V.A. (2010) “Geography of Disability.” In B. Warf (ed.) Encyclopedia of Geography. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

· Crooks, V.A. and A. Williams (2010) “Becoming an informal caregiver for a dying family member.” In Family Geographies: The spatiality of families and family life, B. Hallman (ed.), Oxford University Press. Pp. 208-217.

· Crooks, V.A. (2010) “Women’s Changing Experiences of the Home and Life Inside it After Becoming Chronically Ill.” In V. Chouinard, E. Hall and R. Wilton (eds.) Towards Enabling Geographies: ‘Disabled’ Bodies and Minds in Society and Space. Aldershot and Vermont: Ashgate Publishers. Pp. 45-62.


· Crooks, V.A., H. Castleden, N. Schuurman, N. Hanlon (2009) “Visioning for Secondary Palliative Care Service Hubs in Rural Communities: A qualitative case study from British Columbia’s interior.” BMC Palliative Care 8:15.

· Schuurman, N., J. Cinnamon, V.A. Crooks, M. Hameed (2009) “Pedestrian Injury and the Built Environment: An environmental scan of hotspots.” BMC Public Health 9:233.

· Evans, J.D, V.A. Crooks and P.T. Kingsbury (2009) “Theoretical Injections: On the Therapeutic Aesthetics of Medical Spaces.” Social Science & Medicine 69: 716-721.

· Giesbrecht, M., V.A. Crooks, N. Schuurman, A. Williams (2009) “Spatially Informed Knowledge Translation: Informing Potential Users of Canada’s Compassionate Care Benefit.” Social Science & Medicine 69: 411-419.

· Crooks, V.A. and G. Andrews (2009) “Community, Equity, Access: Core Geographic Concepts in Primary Health Care.” Primary Health Care Research & Development 10(3): 270-273.

· Cinnamon, J., N. Schuurman and V.A. Crooks (2009) “Assessing the suitability of host communities for secondary palliative care hubs: A location analysis model.” Health & Place 15(3): 792-800.

· Crooks, V.A., S.D. Stone and M. Owen (2009) “Multiple Sclerosis and Academic Work: Socio-spatial strategies adopted to maintain employment.” Journal of Occupational Science 16(1): 24-30.

· Crooks, V.A. and G. Andrews (eds.) (2009) Primary Health Care: People, Practice, Place. Aldershot and Vermont: Ashgate Publishers.

· Crooks, V.A. and G. Andrews (2009) “The Geographies of Primary Health Care: A Summary and Agenda.” In V.A. Crooks and G.J. Andrews (eds.) Primary Health Care: People, Practice, Place. Aldershot and Vermont: Ashgate Publishers. Pp. 261-274.

· Andrews, G.J. and Crooks, V.A. (2009) “Geographical Perspectives on Health Care: Ideas, Disciplines, Progress.” In V.A. Crooks and G.J. Andrews (eds.) Primary Health Care: People, Practice, Place. Aldershot and Vermont: Ashgate Publishers. Pp. 21-41.

· Crooks, V.A. and G. Andrews (2009) “Thinking Geographically About Primary Health Care.” In V.A. Crooks and G.J. Andrews (eds.) Primary Health Care: People, Practice, Place. Aldershot and Vermont: Ashgate Publishers. Pp. 1-20.

· Crooks, V.A. and G. Agarwal (2009) “Considering the Clinic Environment: Implications for Practice and Primary Health Care.” In V.A. Crooks and G.J. Andrews (eds.) Primary Health Care: People, Practice, Place. Aldershot and Vermont: Ashgate Publishers. Pp. 187-202.


· Crooks, V.A. and G. Agarwal (2008) “What are the roles involved in establishing and maintaining informational continuity of care within family practice? A systematic review.” BMC Family Practice 9:65.

· Egeli, N., V.A. Crooks, D. Matheson, M. Ursa and E. Marchant (2008) “Patients’ views: improving care for people with fibromyalgia.” Journal of Clinical Nursing 17(11c): 362-369.

· Agarwal, G. and V.A. Crooks (2008) “The Nature of Informational Continuity of Care in General Practice.” British Journal of General Practice 58(556): e17-e24.

· Crooks, V.A., V. Chouinard and R.D. Wilton (2008) “Understanding, Embracing, Rejecting: Women’s negotiations of disability constructions and categorizations after becoming chronically ill.” Social Science & Medicine 67: 1837-1846.

· Crooks V.A. and A. Williams (2008) “An evaluation of Canada’s Compassionate Care Benefit from a family caregiver’s perspective at end of life.” BMC Palliative Care 7:14.

· Crooks, V.A., M. Dorn and R.D. Wilton (2008) “Emerging Scholarship in the Geographies of Disability.” Health & Place 14(4): 883-888.

· Cinnamon, J, N. Schuurman and V.A. Crooks (2008) “A method to determine spatial access to specialized palliative care services using GIS.BMC Health Services Research 8:140.

· Chouinard, V. andV.A. Crooks (2008) “Negotiating Neo-Liberal Environments in British Columbia and Ontario, Canada: Restructuring of state-voluntary sector relations and disability organizations’ struggles to survive.” Environment & Planning C: Government and Policy26(1): 173-190.

· Dunning, H., A. Williams, S. Abonyi and V.A. Crooks (2008) “A Mixed Method Approach to Quality of Life Research: A Case Study Approach.” Social Indicators Research 85(1): 145-158.

· Crooks, V.A. and N. Schuurman (2008) “Reminder: palliative care is a rural medicine issue.” Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine 13(3): 139-140.

· Williams, A.M. and V.A. Crooks (2008) “Space, Place, and the Geographies of Women’s Caregiving Work.” Gender, Place, & Culture 15(3): 243-347.

· Crooks, V.A. and G. Agarwal (2008) “Chronically ill patients’ and family caregivers’ perspectives on the use of computer technologies in family practice: implications for the development of informational continuity of care.” In J.B. Garner and T.C. Christiansen (eds.) Social Sciences in Health Care and Medicine. New York: Nova Science Publishers.  Pp. 167-180.


· Crooks, V.A., A. Williams, K. Stajduhar, D. Allan and S.R. Cohen (2007) “The Information Transfer and Knowledge Acquisition Geographies of Family Caregivers: An Analysis of Canada’s Compassionate Care Benefit.” Canadian Journal of Nursing Research 39(3): 36-54.

· Crooks, V.A. (2007) “Women’s experiences of developing musculoskeletal diseases: employment challenges and policy recommendations.” Disability & Rehabilitation 29(14): 1107-1116.

· Crooks, V.A. (2007) “Exploring the altered daily geographies and lifeworlds of women living with fibromyalgia syndrome: a mixed-method approach.” Social Science & Medicine 64(3): 577-588.

· Masuda, J.R. and V.A. Crooks (2007) “(Re)thinking the scales of lived experience.” Area 39(3): 257-258.

· Crooks, V.A.and J.D. Evans (2007) “The writing’s on the wall: decoding the interior space of the hospital waiting room.” In A. Williams (ed.)Therapeutic Landscapes. Aldershot and Vermont: Ashgate Publishers. Pp. 165-180.


· Crooks, V.A. (2006) “‘I go on the Internet; I always, you know, check to see what’s new’: Chronically ill women’s use of online health information to shape and inform doctor-patient interactions in the space of care provision.” ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies 5(1): 50-69.

· Crooks, V.A. and V. Chouinard (2006) “An Embodied Geography of Disablement: Chronically Ill Women’s Struggles for Enabling Places in Spaces of Health Care and Daily Life.” Health & Place 12(3): 345-352.

· Williams, A., Crooks, V.A., Stajduhar, K., Cohen, R. and D. Allan (2006) “Canada’s Compassionate Care Benefit: Views of family caregivers in chronic illness.” International Journal of Palliative Nursing 12(8): 438-449.