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IN CONVERSATION WITH: Donna Fitzpatrick-Lewis, Research Coordinator, McMaster Evidence Review and Synthesis Team

Oct 15, 2020

Donna Fitzpatrick

Photo above: Donna Fitzpatrick-Lewis  

McMaster Evidence Review and Synthesis Team (MERST) is part of School of Nursing and our work is focused on research evidence. Our primary work is systematic reviews, which means that we work to answer research questions by gathering, assessing and synthesizing evidence. Our work primarily supports clinical practice guidelines with evidence of effectiveness. Recently our work has supported guidelines for the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Healthcare; Diabetes Canada; and Canadian Obesity Network.  

How long have you worked with the School of Nursing?

I have worked with MERST for about 15 years. During that time, I have worked with amazing faculty including Helen Thomas (retired); Dr. Donna Ciliska (retired); and currently with Dr. Diana Sherifali.  

Tell me about your role.  

As the Senior Research Coordinator of MERST, my role involves understanding all aspects of the research projects our team works on. On any given day I could be developing a budget, supporting staff, mentoring students or writing reports or manuscripts.  

What do you like best about working at McMaster?  

What I like best about working at McMaster is hard to answer but here are a few things. My relationship with McMaster started years ago when I was a student in the Department of Religious Studies. Later I earned a BSW and MSW at the McMaster School of Social Work. I love the campus, the historic buildings side by side with the new buildings and the vibrancy those images instill. But of course I like the people best. I have been given the opportunity to meet so many great people who also work at McMaster. Our group collaborates with other research groups on campus and beyond; this is always exciting. I work with a small but awesome team. I have also been given the opportunity to work with faculty who have challenged and supported me to be successful in my job.  

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