University Research Associate
Dr. Sharon Koehn is a Limited Term Clinical Research Professor in the Department of Gerontology at Simon Fraser University and a Research Associate at the Centre for Healthy Aging at Providence Health Care. She has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Victoria that combined Medical Anthropology and Gerontology. The primary focus of her work has been on the constructions of health, illness and health care provision and on organizational barriers and solutions to health care access for ethnocultural minority older adults. Dr. Koehn’s community-based research approach encourages partnerships between the health and multicultural sectors, academics, and older adults in order to conduct research aimed at identifying solutions to ‘real-life’ problems. To this end, she has organized multi-stakeholder forums on health care access, issues specific to older women, chronic disease self-management supports, and the determinants of mental health, all with a focus on ethnocultural minority older adults. She has also led intersectoral teams of researchers and knowledge users to develop research proposals, conduct research, and engage in knowledge translation on these topics. Recently she led an extensive scoping review of the published and grey literature on the health and health care access of ethnocultural minority older adults in Canada. She is also an active member of a national researcher/knowledge-user collaborative (“Moving Forward”) aimed at coordinating research on elder abuse and prevention among immigrant older adults. As a member of the DementiaNET collaborative, she led the BC team in a national study to understand the pathways to a diagnosis of dementia experienced by elders from different ethnocultural groups. Dr. Koehn has also applied her action-oriented qualitative research skills to the investigation of the social and cultural dimensions of health among all seniors. For example, she has also examined the effects of physical and social environments on challenging behaviours of cognitively impaired residents in long-term care.