skip to main content

Celebrating 75 Years of Innovation in Nursing Education and Research

Learn More | Watch Video

Back to Top
Ruta Valaitis


Dr. Valaitis retired in 2019.

For a full profile please visit 

Dr. Ruta Valaitis has a BScN and BA (Psychology) from the University of Windsor, a Masters in Health Sciences (Health Care Practice) from McMaster University, and a PhD from the University of Toronto. ​Between 2007 and 2017, she was the inaugural Dorothy C. Hall endowed Chair in Primary Health Care Nursing. ​She is a Professor in the School of Nursing. She was also a Co-Scientific lead of the Aging, Community and Health Research Unit (ACHRU). From 2009 to 2019, she was the Deputy Director of the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre on Primary Care Nursing and Health Human Resources.

Select Publications


**denotes Senior Author

* denotes McMaster students who are co-authors

  • Valaitis, R., Cleghorn, L., Ploeg, J., Risdon, C., Mangin, D., Dolovich, L., Agarwal, G., Oliver, D., Gaber, J. (2020) Disconnected Relationships between Primary Care and Community-based Health and Social Services and System Navigation for Older Adults: A Qualitative Descriptive Study. BMC Family Medicine, 21:69
  •  Valaitis, R., Cleghorn, L., Dolovich, L., Agarwal, G., Gaber, J., Mangin, D., Oliver, D., Parascandalo, F., Ploeg, J., Risdon, C. (2020) Examining Interprofessional Teams Structures and Processes in the Implementation of a Primary Care Intervention (Health TAPESTRY) for Older Adults Using Normalization Process Theory. BMC Family Practice, 21: 63

  • Valaitis, R.K., Markle-Reid, M., Ploeg, J., Butt, M., Ganann, R., Bookey-Bassett, S., Kennedy, L., Murray, N., *Yousif, C. (2020) An evaluation study of caregiver perceptions of the Ontario’s Health Links program. PLOS ONE, 15(2):e0229579. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0229579.

  • Valaitis, R.K.., Gaber, J., Waters, H., Lamarche, L., Oliver, D., Parascandalo, F., Schofield, R., Dolovich, L. Health TAPESTRY: Exploring the potential of a nursing student placement within a primary care intervention for community-dwelling older adults. (2020) Sage Open Nursing February 27, 2020  DOI: 10.1177/2377960820909672

  • Ganann, R., Weeres, A., Lam, A., Chung, H., & **Valaitis, R.K.. (2019) Optimization of home care nurses in Canada: A scoping review. Health & Social Care in the Community, 27(5):e604-e621. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12797. 

  • Ploeg, J., Valaitis, R., Cleghorn, L., Yous, M., Gaber, J., Agarwal, G., Kastner, M., Mangin, D., Oliver, D., Parascandalo, F., Risdon, C., Dolovich, L. (2019). Perceptions of older adults in Ontario, Canada on the implementation and impact of a primary care programme, Health Teams Advancing Patient Experience: Strengthening Quality (Health TAPESTRY): A descriptive qualitative study. BMJ Open, 9:e026257. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026257.

  • Valaitis, R.K., Longaphy, J., Ploeg, J., Agarwal, G., Oliver, D., Nair, K., Kastner, M., Avilla, E., Dolovich, L. (2019). Health TAPESTRY: Co-designing interprofessional primary care programs for older adults using the persona-scenario method. BMC Family Practice, 20(1):122. doi: 10.1186/s12875-019-1013-9.

  • *Ziegler, E., **Valaitis, R.K., Yost, J., Carter, N., & Risdon, C. (2019). “Primary care is primary care”: Use of normalization process theory to explore the implementation of primary care services for transgender individuals in Ontario. PLoS ONE, 14(4):e0215873.

  • Markle-Reid, M., Valaitis, R.K., Bartholomew, A., Fisher, K., Fleck, R., Ploeg, J., Salerno, J., Thabane, L. (2019). Feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of an integrated hospital-to-home transitional care intervention for older adults with stroke and multimorbidity: A study protocol. Journal of Comorbidity, 9:2235042X19828241. doi: 10.1177/2235042X19828241.

  • Buck‐McFadyen E, Akhtar‐Danesh N, Isaacs S, Leipert B, Strachan P, Valaitis R. Social capital and self‐rated health: A cross‐sectional study of the general social survey data comparing rural and urban adults in Ontario. Health Soc Care Community. 2018;00:1–13.

  • Valaitis, R. K., Meagher-Stewart, D., Martin-Misener, R., Wong, S., MacDonald, M., O’Mara, L. & The Strengthening Primary Health Care through Primary Care and Public Health Collaboration Team. Organizational factors influencing successful primary care and public health collaboration.  BMC Health Services and Policy Research, May 9, 2018.

  • Valaitis, R. K., O’Mara, L., Wong, S. T., MacDonald, M., Murray, N., Martin-Misener, R., & Meagher-Stewart, D. (2018). Strengthening primary health care through primary care and public health collaboration: the influence of intrapersonal and interpersonal factors. Primary health care research & development, 1-14.

  • Valaitis, R.K., Carter, N., Lam, A., *Nicholl, J., *Feather, J., Cleghorn, L. Implementation and outcomes of navigation programs linking primary care with community-based health and social services: A scoping literature review.  BMC Health Services Research, 2017. 2017 Feb 6;17(1):116. doi: 10.1186/s12913-017-2046-1.

  • *Yuille, L., Bryant-Lukosius, D. Valaitis, R.K., Dolovich, L. Optimizing Registered Nurse Roles in the Delivery of Cancer Survivorship Care within Primary Care Settings. Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership, 29(4) December 2016: 46-58.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2016.24984

  • Harbman, P., Bryant-Lukosius, D., Martin-Misener, R., Carter, N., Covell, C., Donald, F., Gibbins, S., Kilpatrick, K., McKinlay, J., Rawson, K., Sherifali, D., Tranmer, J., Valaitis, R. (2016). Partners in Research: Building Academic-Practice Partnerships to Educate and Mentor Advanced Practice Nurses. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 2016 Nov 1. doi: 10.1111/jep.12630. [Epub ahead of print].

  • *Martin-Misener, R., Kilpatrick, K., Donald, F., Bryant-Lukosius, D., Rayner, J., Valaitis, R., Carter, N., Miller, P.A., Landry, V., Harbman, P., Charbonneau-Smith, R., McKinlay, R.J., Ziegler, E., Boesveld, S., Lamb, A. (2016). Nurse Practitioner Caseload in Primary Health Care: Scoping Review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 62:170-182.

  • Valaitis R.K., Wahoush, O., Murray, N., Isaacs, S., Derbyshire, D., Semogas, D., Rolfe, S. (2016). Street Smarts ↔ Book Smarts: Three Neighbourhoods and One University School of Nursing Partnering for Health. Sage Open, July-September 2016, 1-15, DOI:10.1177/2158244016656392.

  • Oldenburger, D., De Bortoli Cassiani, S. H., Bryant-Lukosius, D., Valaitis, R. K., Baumann, A., Pulcini, J., & Martin-Misener, R. (2017). Implementation strategy for advanced practice nursing in primary health care in Latin America and the Caribbean. Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública41, e40.
  • Valaitis, R., MacDonald, M., Kothari, A., O’Mara, L., Regan, S., Garcia, J., Murray, N., Manson, H., Peroff-Johnston, N., Bursey, G., Boyko, J. (2016). Moving towards a new vision: Implementation of a Public Health Policy Intervention. BMC Public Health, 16:412. DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3056-3

  • MacDonald, M., Pauly, B., Wong, G., Schick-Makaroff, K., van Roode, T., Wilson Strosher, H., Kothari, A., Valaitis, R., Manson, H., O’Briain, W., Carroll, S., Lee, V., Tong, S., Dickenson Smith, K., Ward, M. (2016). Supporting Successful Implementation of Public Health Interventions: Protocol for a Realist Synthesis. Systematic Reviews, 5:54.  DOI: 10.1186/s13643-016-0229-1. 

  • Dolovich, L., Oliver, D., Lamarche, L., Agarwal, G., Carr, T., Chan, D., Cleghorn, L., Griffith, L., Javadi, D., Kastner, M., Longaphy, J., Mangin, D., Richardson, J., Papaioannou, A., Ploeg, J., Raina, P., Risdon, C., Santaguida, P.L., Straus, S., Thabane, L., Valaitis, R., Price, D. (2016). A protocol for a pragmatic randomized controlled trial using the Health Teams Advancing Patient Experience: Strengthening Quality (Health TAPESTRY) platform approach to promote person-centred primary health care for older adults. Implementation Science, 11:49. DOI: 10.1186/s13012-016-0407-5.  

  •  Matthew-Maich, N., Harris, L., Ploeg, J., Reid, M., Valaitis, R., Ibrahim, S., Gafni, A., Isaacs, S. (2016). Designing, implementing and evaluating mobile health technologies for managing chronic conditions in older adults: A Scoping Review.  JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 4(2):e29. doi: 10.2196/mhealth.5127.
  • Valaitis, R.K., Schofield, R., Akhtar-Danesh, N., Baumann, A., Martin-Misener, R., Underwood, J., and Isaacs, S. (Sept. 2014). Community Health Nurses' Learning Needs in Relation to the Canadian Community Health Nursing Standards of Practice: Results from a Canadian Survey. BMC Nursing, 2014, 13:31.

  • Valaitis, R., Longaphy, J., Nair, K., Agarwal, G., Griffith, L., Kastner, M., Oliver, D., Ploeg, J., Strauss, S., & Dolovich, L. (2014). Persona-scenario exercise for co-designing primary care interventions. Canadian Family Physician, 60(3), 294-296.

  • Valaitis, R.K., Schofield, R., Akhtar-Danesh, N., Baumann, A., Martin-Misener, R., Underwood, J., and Isaacs, S. (Sept. 2014). Community Health Nurses' Learning Needs in Relation to the Canadian Community Health Nursing Standards of Practice: Results from a Canadian Survey. BMC Nursing, 2014, 13:31.
  • Kothari, A., Regan, S., Goore, D., Valaitis, R., Garcia, J., Manson, H., & O’Mara, L. (2014). Using an integrated knowledge translation approach to build a public health research agenda. Health Research Policy and Systems, 12, 6. doi: 10.1186/1478-4505-12-6  (Highly Accessed BMC in first month of publication)


  • 2017 - Nominated for the President’s Awards for Outstanding    Contributions to Teaching and Learning
  • 2012 - CIHR Best Brains Exchange Travel Award
  • 2007 - 2008 - NHSRU Post Doctoral Fellow
  • 2000 - 2002 - SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship $ 32,840
  • 1997 ​- Nominated for the President’s Award for Excellence in Course or Resources Design,  McMaster University
  • 1994 - 1995 ​- McMaster Students Union (Faculty of Health Sciences) Teaching Award
  • 1990 - 1991 ​- McMaster Students Union (Faculty of Health Sciences) Teaching Award


  • 2017- 2018; Etches, V., (Overall and Practice lead), Valaitis, R., (Academic Lead) Ali, A., Kothari, A., Labrecque, L., Lefebvre, Martell, C., McElhone, S., Murray, N., Sanderson, R., Simmons, L., Strengthening a population health approach for health system planning. Locally Driven Collaborative Projects; Public Health Ontario, $110,943
  • 2016-2017; Markle-Reid, M., Ploeg, J., Valaitis, R. (Co-PI’s), McAiney, C., Ganann, R., & Duggleby, W.  The impact of caregiver support interventions for vulnerable populations. Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (MOHTLC) $300,000.

  • 2016-2017; Dolovich, L., Oliver,D  & Valaitis, R. (Co-PIs). Contributing to, and learning from, the lives of older adults: Practical learning experiences in the care of older adults as trained community volunteers for health care. Labarge Foundation, $100,000.

  • 2014–2018;  Markle-Reid, M., Valaitis, R. (Co-PIs), Akhtar-Danesh, N., Bender, D., Dufour, S., Fisher, K., Gafni, A., Green, T., Liu, L., Matthew-Maich, N., Ploeg, J., Sadowski, C., Taberner, C., Thabane, L. Strengthening Community-Based Stroke Care: Implementation and Evaluation of a Mobile Health Solution.  Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Catalyst Grant Program, $92,241.

  • 2017-2019; Markle-Reid, M., Valaitis, R. (Co-PIs), Archer, N., Bender, D., Gafni, A. Matthew-Maich, Ploeg, J., Taberner, C., Thabane. L., (2016-2018) Caring for Seniors with Multiple Chronic Conditions: A Team Approach to e-Health Supported Home Care; Max Bell Foundation ($250,000)

  • 2013-2016; Oliver D., Dolovich L., Agarwal G. (Co-PIs), Carr T., Chan D., Goeree R., Letts L., Mangin D., Pappaioannou A., Ploeg J., Price D., Raina, P., Richardson, J., Risdon, C., Straus S., & Valaitis, R. (Co-Is). TAPESTRY: Teams Advancing Patient Experience:  Strengthening Quality.  Health Canada ($6,500,000) Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative ($904,005), McMaster Family Health Organization ($725,000), Government of Ontario ($370,995), in kind ($277,600).


    Valaitis, R is the Scientific Lead for “Interprofessional Team” and “System Navigation” in the HealthTAPESTRY program (see


    Health Canada; 2014-2016; Exploring the use of personal network mapping as a component of the TAPESTRY Program  Valaitis, R., Risdon, C., Dolovich. L., Ploeg, J., Kothari, A., Cleghorn, L. (Awarded $196,912)


  • 2009- 2015; CIHR; CIHR Team in Public Health Services Renewal. MacDonald, M., (Co-PI); Bernie P. (Co-PI); Valaitis, R. (Co-PI); Hancock, T. (Principal Decision Maker); Co-investigators (listed alphabetically): Best, A., Bruce, T., Dobbins, M., Eisler, G., Garcia, J., George, A., Kothari, A., Mitton, C., O’Mara, L., Riley, B., Regan, S., Sangster-Gormley, E., Schreiber, R., Wharf Higgins, J., Wong, S.; Decision-makers: Beynon, C., Bruce, T., Etches, V., Farrally, V., Karmali, S., Manson, H., Ouellette, V., Pennock, M., Salamo, P., Storbakken, L., Strange K., & Wheeler, R., (Awarded, $1,471,250).

  • 2013 – 2015; Hamilton Community Foundation Health and Education Research (CHER) Fund.  Carter, N. (Co-PI), Valaitis, R. (Co-PI), Nicholl, J., & Feather, J. Evaluation of a Community Nurse Navigator in a Priority Hamilton Neighbourhood.  ($33,670).

  • 2013 – 2014; Public Health Agency of Canada Valaitis, R. Literature Review: In What Ways and How Effectively is Technology Being Used to Support Health Behaviour Change. (Awarded $9,895).

  • 2008 – 2012; Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF); Building Primary Health Care Nursing Leadership to Enhance Collaboration between Primary Health Care and Public Health.  Valaitis, R. (Research Lead); Nelligan, P. & McCarthy, J. (Co-Decision-Making Leads); MacDonald, M., Martin-Misener, R., Meagher-Stewart, D., O’Mara, L., Wong, S., Akhtar-Danesh, N., Baumann, A., Beatty, G., Blatherwick, J., Burge, F., Dicenso, A., Dobbins, M., Ehrlich, A., English, P., Gould, L., Harris, S., Kaczorwoski, J., Lee, J., Munroe, V., McDonald, J., Troy, C., Woodman, M., & Young, L. (Award $798,761)


Dr. Valaitis' research interests straddled a variety of areas related to improving the delivery of health services and policies in primary health care. Her research and scholarship activities mapped onto: the PRINCIPLES of primary health care; SETTINGS in which primary health care is delivered, and; PROCESSES or methodologies that can be applied to implement or investigate primary health care interventions. Dr. Ruta Valaitis' scholarly work has been organized under each theme which can be found at


Graduate Teaching

Dr. Valaitis supervised numerous Masters, PhD and post-graduate students in the School of Nursing as well as in the Masters in E-health program. See for current and past graduate students' study focus. 

Undergraduate Teaching

Dr. Valaitis contributed to community health nursing courses in the undergraduate program as well as tutored nursing students in their final year in various community-based clinical placements.

© 201​​7 McMaster University  |  1280 Main Street West  |  Hamilton, Ontario ​L8S 4K1  |  905-525-​9140905-525-​9140   |  Contact Us | Terms of Use & Privacy Policy