Thesandree comes from South Africa and is a health policy and systems researcher who holds an Honours degree in Speech and Language Pathology from the University of KwaZulu Natal (South Africa) and a Master’s degree in Evidence-Based Healthcare and Health Technology Assessment from the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom). Having followed a slightly non-traditional path to health systems research, Thesandree hopes her eclectic mix of skills will strengthen her ability to explore under-researched issues such as disability inclusion within the context of health policy and planning.
Thesandree works for Health Systems Trust as a Programme Manager for the Health Systems Research Unit and is currently pursuing a PhD in Disability Studies through the University of Cape Town under the supervision of Professor Harsha Kathard. Utilising health systems responsiveness frameworks and ecological systems theory, her research aims to interrogate how “continuity of care” for Persons with Disabilities can be strengthened within a primary health care context.
As an incoming Queen Elizabeth Scholar, she hopes to expand her knowledge and skills in the area of evidence synthesis and develop collaborative relationships at McMaster Health Forum to strengthen the impact of her work and her organisation’s ability to respond effectively and efficiently to the needs of South African policy and decision makers.