Maria is presently enrolled in the Health Policy PhD program at McMaster University and is being supervised by Dr. John Lavis. Maria's doctoral dissertation is exploring the need for and role of trauma-informed care in health policy development and implementation across various levels of the health system. Her dissertation addresses the use of research evidence in policy: 1) about clinical issues outside the traditional boundaries of mental health; 2) at the health system level; and 3) in other sectors such as education, child welfare and the judicial system. Maria is particularly interested in the use of scientific evidence regarding the epidemiology and neurobiology of trauma as well as neuroplasticity and post-trauma growth to inform policies on trauma-informed care, specifically, and relevant policy development more broadly.
Maria completed her MSc in International Health from the University of Leeds. Her research examined the role of non-state actors in the development and implementation of the UK's Health is Global policy. Maria is a registered nurse with extensive experience across various specialized adult critical care units and in emergency departments. She also teaches in the School of Nursing at McMaster University and in the BScN Collaborative Program at Mohawk College. Maria has a range of clinical teaching experience as a course instructor in the practical nursing program and the bridging RPN – RN program at Mohawk College, as well as in the BScN basic stream and accelerated stream at McMaster University. Maria utilizes an innovative teaching style, drawing on her strengths as a curriculum developer for interactive workshops focusing on student knowledge gaps pertaining to clinical performance.