Researchers Advocate for Positive Approach to Rural, Community Health

A noted expert in rural nursing and community health issues will deliver a province wide teleconference and in-person seminar about rural and community health issues on Monday, July 25.

Alberta Health Services, Community & Rural Department and the University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Health Sciences are jointly presenting a talk by Dr. Jeri L. Bigbee, who is currently serving as the Faculty of Health Sciences first visiting Fulbright Scholar at the University of Lethbridge.

Bigbee is a leader in rural nursing whose research focuses on public health nursing in rural and frontier communities in the United States. Bigbee's talk takes place on Monday, July 25, beginning at 10 a.m. in County Hall at Chinook Regional Hospital. It will also be broadcast to healthcare workers province-wide via the Telehealth network.

"We are extremely lucky to have Dr. Bigbee here in Alberta. Her expertise in rural health is a wonderful resource for Alberta Health Services and our partner organizations," said Rosalie Case, AHS Executive Director, Rural & Suburban Hospital Services & Supports.

"Her knowledge and research will help us better understand the unique needs in rural health and how to plan services according to those needs."

Case added that Dr. Bigbee's in depth understanding and emphasis on population health needs is in-line with the current direction of rural health planning in Alberta.

A Nurse Practitioner and Jody DeMeyer Endowed Chair at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho, Bigbee earned her doctorate from the University of Texas in Austin and has been a nurse educator since 1980 in Wyoming, Nevada and California.

"One of the goals for Dr. Bigbee's visit is to forge collaborative research relationships with individuals here who are involved in rural nursing," said Dr. Judith Kulig, a U of L Health Sciences rural nursing expert.

"Jointly-conducted research would provide an opportunity to determine the differences and similarities between our countries in terms of the number of rural nurses providing care and the impacts they have on population health."

Kulig said that while Bigbee is in the community, she will meet with faculty and graduate students to share her expertise in rural nursing and in nursing education in general. "We are really hopeful that Jeri's visit will lead to future collaborations including visits by our faculty to Boise State University."

Event details:

Date: Monday, July 25, 2011
Time: 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Location: Chinook Regional Hospital County Hall (Telehealth available)
RSVP: Romina Senneker (403-388-6013 or