• Simran Jawanda

Exploring Quality Improvement Research

The UNBC community is comprised of many academics and students who are dedicated to the field of health research. One of those students is Andrew Schulz! Andrew is in his fourth and final year in the Bachelors of Health Science (Honours): Community and Population Health degree at UNBC. For his Undergraduate Honours research project, he is working collaboratively with Carrier Sekani Family Services. I had the opportunity to connect with Andrew and learn more about his research work and how he used a quality improvement approach.

How did you get involved in health research?

Growing up in the rural Northern BC community of Fraser Lake, I experienced a shortage of health care professionals for the better part of my childhood, and was inspired to enter the field of health care in an attempt to improve the current outlook for many rural and remote communities across Northern BC. Having exposure to the world of research during my years in high school, I was always interested in exploring research on a deeper level, and knew that the degree path I had chosen was a good fit to fulfill these interests. At the end of my third year, I was accepted into the Undergraduate Honours program under the supervision of Dr. Tammy Klassen-Ross and Dr. Henry Harder, both from the School of Health Science at UNBC. The project, “Carrier Sekani Family Services Care Team Perspective on Diabetes Care and Management: A Quality Improvement Project” was established in collaboration with the Diabetes Service Improvement Team at Carrier Sekani Family Services, which has been developed to optimize team based diabetes care.1

Tell me about your Honours Research project and how you used a quality improvement approach.

As this project took a quality improvement approach, it stepped outside of the ‘traditional’ realm of academic research that I was accustomed to. This project was designed following guiding principles of the Tri-Council Policy Statement 2 definition of ‘quality improvement,’ with the primary objective of assessing, managing and improving processes for Carrier Sekani Family Services.2 As an emerging researcher, this presented a welcomed learning opportunity which has added value to completing an Honours Thesis. For this project, a qualitative interview format following a Hermeneutic Phenomenological theoretical approach is being used as I have able to collect real world perspectives from those working on a Carrier Sekani Family Services care team in a community within the Carrier Sekani Region. At the time of this article, data analysis is concluding with the final report scheduled for release April 2019.

Why is quality improvement valuable?

Through working on this project, I see quality improvement as a valuable practice, as it can be tailored to the specific context and population of interest, maximizing applicability and meaningfulness of outcomes. I look forward to future work with quality improvement practices and other areas of academic research.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about his research work, you can contact Andrew at


  1. Schulz, A. J. (2018). Honours Thesis Proposal: Carrier Sekani Family Services Care Team Perspective on Diabetes Care and Management: A Quality Improvement Project. Retrieved from Personal Communications.

  2. Panel on Research Ethics (2018). TCPS 2 – Chapter 2. Retrieved from

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