University of Calgary

Researcher to share insights on making health care equitable, efficient

UToday HomeMarch 26, 2013

Nathalie Jetté gives the final lectureOn April 5, Nathalie Jetté gives the final lecture in the Eyes High on Research speaker series sponsored by the Office of the Advisor to the President on Women’s Issues.The Faculty of Medicine’s Dr. Nathalie Jetté is dedicated to improving health for those with neurological conditions, with a particular focus on individuals with epilepsy.

“‘Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.’ That is my motto,” says the Canada Research Chair Tier 2 in Neurological Health Services Research, drawing inspiration from a line by Goethe. “It’s important that our research improves patient care. We must take our research one step forward and ensure it changes lives.”

Jetté’s research focuses on health services research – the study of how to make healthcare more equitable and efficient – and epidemiology for individuals with neurological conditions. This includes the appropriateness of care, health resource use and access to care, and surveillance of neurological conditions.

On April 5, Jetté will share insight into her work as part of the Eyes High on Research lecture series.

An epilepsy specialist, Jetté recently developed a national, web-based rating tool for physicians to assess if patients with epilepsy should be referred for a surgical evaluation. She is also the co-chair of an international task force guiding the creation of epilepsy guidelines for physicians and researchers with the aim to decrease disparities in care, decrease the treatment gap, and improve outcomes for people with epilepsy.

Jetté’s comprehensive approach and involvement of both the patient and his/her family in decision-making ensures patient-centred care, her ultimate priority.

“It’s important not only to focus on the patient’s seizures, but to be comprehensive in our assessments of their health and to involve their family unit,” says Jetté, who is also a member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the Institute for Public Health. “We must also make sure our patients are not experiencing side effects, that other co-existing conditions they may be affected by are addressed – for example, depression is common in those with epilepsy – and that their psychosocial needs are also explored.”

In addition to her research, Jetté provides inpatient and outpatient care to those with brain conditions and mentors medical students, graduate students, residents and fellows. For Jetté, the roles of clinician, teacher and researcher complement each other and keep her excited about coming into work every day.

“There’s nothing like improving a patient’s quality of life, seeing one of your students excel, and being invited to chair an important international task force aimed at enhancing epilepsy care and outcomes because of your research expertise.”

Jetté’s talk will take place from noon – 1 p.m. in PF 120. Dr. Adrienne Kertzer, the Advisor to the President on Women’s Issues, created the free public series to profile women with named chairs or women who hold Canada Research Chairs. “Having read about the work these research leaders did, I wanted to know more,” says Kertzer. “My assumption that others across campus would also want to know more has proved to be true.”

To register for Jetté’s talk, click here.


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