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Winnie Sun, RN, PhD - University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Oshawa, ON, CA

Winnie Sun, RN, PhD Winnie Sun, RN, PhD

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences | University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Oshawa, ON, CANADA

Innovating ways for older adults to manage therapeutic self care safely, and stay connected while living at home

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Biography

Many older adults face physical and mental barriers to enjoying a good quality of life. Often, a lack of understanding on how to best manage their overall health, limits their physical activity, social engagement, and independence, which can be debilitating and isolating for this population. An expert in gerontology and community health nursing, Winnie Sun, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences focuses her research on patient safety in home care, self care in chronic disease management, and the use of information communication technologies, particularly among older adults whom she is passionate about helping them live independently at home for as long as possible.

While mobile technology and social media have helped connect millions of people, for many older adults it can seem overwhelming to navigate. Dr. Sun’s latest research examines the perspective of older adults in using technology to improve social isolation and community engagement, and investigates how caregivers can support older adults in staying connected. She is also collaborating on the development of simulation training for nursing students that focuses on empathy in patient care, and addresses opioid overdose.

As a research collaborator at the Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life (AGE-WELL) Network Centres of Excellence, Dr. Sun has received awards for her work including the 2017 Early Professional, Inspired Career (EPIC) Innovators of Tomorrow Award, and the 2016 ACCESS Award. She also earned the 2015 Emerging Scholar and Professional Award from the Gerontological Society of America. Before joining UOIT, Dr. Sun spent six years teaching in the Collaborative Trent University/Fleming College Bachelor of Nursing Program.

Dr. Sun previously held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Lab at the University of Toronto. In 2014, she received her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science from the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto (U of T), and a Collaborative Graduate Program Doctorate in Health Services and Policy Research from the Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, Faculty of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies at U of T. She earned her Master of Nursing – Administration, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Honours) from the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at U of T.

Industry Expertise (4)

Education/Learning Elder Care Health and Wellness Research

Areas of Expertise (15)

Aging Adverse Events Assistive Technologies Community Health Community Health Nursing Dementia Disability Gerontology Health Services and Policy Research Home Care Safety Information Communication Technology Patient Safety in Home Care Self-Care in Chronic Disease Management Self-Management Social Inclusion and Exclusion

Accomplishments (3)

Early Professional, Inspired Career (EPIC) Innovators of Tomorrow Award (professional)

2017-01-01

Awarded to Dr. Sun by AGE-WELL (Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life).

2016 ACCESS Award (professional)

2016-01-05

Awarded to Dr. Sun by AGE-WELL for her national research into the barriers facing older adults in staying connected and engaged in society through technology.

2015 Emerging Scholar and Professional Award (professional)

2015-01-11

Award to Dr. Sun by the Gerontological Society of America for doctoral and post-doctoral research contributions to her field.

Education (4)

Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto: PhD, Philosophy in Nursing Science 2014

Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, Faculty of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto: PhD, Collaborative Graduate Program in Health Services and Policy Research 2014

Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto: MN, Administration 2002

Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto: BScN (Honours), Nursing 1995

Affiliations (7)

  • Assocation of Gerontology of Higher Education
  • American Geriatrics Society
  • Canadian Association of Gerontology
  • Gerontological Society of America
  • Nursing Research Interest Group
  • Nursing Leadership Network of Ontario
  • Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Event Appearances (10)

Poster Presentation: The Importance of Therapeutic Self-Care in Promoting the Safety of Older Adults in Home Care

The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education 43rd Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference  Miami, Florida

2017-03-09

Poster Presentation: Therapeutic Self-Care is an Enabling Factor that Promotes the Safety of Older Adults in Home Care

The Gerontological Society of America 69th Annual Scientific Meeting  New Orleans, Louisiana

2016-11-16

Poster Presentation: Safety in the Home: Exploring the Experiences of Self-Care and Caregiving for Older Home Care Clients and Their Caregivers

Canadian Association on Gerontology 45th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting  Montréal, Québec

2016-10-20

Poster Presentation: A Scoping Review Protocol: Ethical Concepts and Challenges related to Assistive Technology Access

AGE-WELL’s 2nd Annual Conference & Annual General Meeting  Montréal, Québec

2016-10-18

Poster Presentation: Using RAI-Home Care Data to Examine the Occurrence of Adverse Events among Home Care Clients

2016 World interRAI Conference  Toronto, Ontario

2016-04-11

Poster Presentation: A Mixed Methods Study: The Importance of Therapeutic Self-Care in Promoting the Safety of Older Adults in Home Care

American Society of Aging Annual Aging in America Conference  Washington, DC

2016-03-20

Focus on Safety: Understanding the Relationship between Therapeutic Self-Care Ability and the Occurrence of Adverse Events for Older Home Care Clients

The 41st Association for Gerontology in Higher Education Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference  Nashville, Tennessee

2015-02-26

Aging, Disability and Technology: Understanding and Advancing Canadian Policies to Enhance Access to Assistive Technologies

Ageing Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement and Long Life (AGE-WELL) 1st Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting  Calgary, Alberta

2015-10-21

Poster Presentation: Improving Gaps in Home Care: Examining the Role of Therapeutic Self-Care in Supporting Home Care Safety for Older Adults

American Geriatrics Society Annual Scientific Meeting 2015  National Harbor, Maryland

2015-05-15

Focus on Self-Care: An Important Priority for Safety at Home for Older Adults

Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research Conference 2015  Montréal, Québec

2015-05-25

Research Grants (7)

A Scaling-Up Approach to Educating Home Care Nurses About De-Prescribing to Promote Active and Independent Living of Frail Older Adults at Home

SSHRC Small Partnership Grant $15000

2017-06-01

Dr. Sun is principal investigator on this one-year research project to better understand how to educate home care nurses about de-prescribing approaches to manage the issues of polypharmacy, and to promote health and wellness of older adults in home care settings.

Development of Empathy in Helping Relationship

University of Ontario Institute of Technology Teaching Innovation Fund $8000

2017-05-01

Dr. Sun is principal investigator on this one-year research project to develop simulation-based training modules on empathy in patient care for nursing students.

Evaluation of ‘Living Well with Dementia’ Project

Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant $18000

2016-09-01

In partnership with the Alzheimer's Society Durham Region, this two-year research project explores ways of using social and recreational programs to help support older adults with cognitive impairments in reducing isolation and engaging with the community.

Simulations and Standardized Patient Innovation for Year Three Community Health Nursing Students

University of Ontario Institute of Technology Teaching Innovation Fund $14000

2016-09-01

Dr. Sun is a co-investigator on this one year research project to develop community health nursing educational program using simulation activities and standardized patients.

Perspectives on Information and Communication Technology for Daily Activities and Social Inclusion Among Older Canadians with Cognitive Impairments and Their Caregivers

SSHRC Insight Development Grant Award $30000

2016-06-01

Dr. Sun is co-investigator on this two-year research project to better understand how older adults view the use of technology in improving social isolation and community engagement; and how caregivers can support older adults in staying connected.

Aging, Disability and Technology: A Framework for Research, Implementation and Policy

Network Centres of Excellence, Canada $50000

2015-10-01

Dr. Sun is a collaborator on this three-year research project which examines the equitable access and barriers to assistive technologies. This project is in partnership with Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life (AGE-WELL) University of Toronto and McMaster Health Forum.

Tackling the Opioid Abuse Epidemic with Simulation-Based Learning for Nursing Students

University of Ontario Institute of Technology Teaching Innovation Fund $8000

2017-05-01

Dr. Sun is co-investigator on this one-year research project to developing simulation-based learning for nursing students in dealing with opioid overdose.

Courses (7)

Development of Self as Nurse

NURS 1420U, 1st Year Undergraduate Course

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Health and Healing: Older Adult Nursing Theory and Practicum

NURS 1700U, 1st Year Undergraduate Course

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Knowing Through Inquiry

NURS 2420U, 2nd Year Undergraduate Course

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Health and Healing: Health Communities Nursing Theory and Practicum

NURS 3700U, 3rd Year Undergraduate Course

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Perspectives in Aging

HLSC 4807U, 4th Year Undergraduate Course

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Research Practicum I

HLSC 4998U, 4th Year Undergraduate Course

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Research Practicum II

HLSC 4999U, 4th Year Undergraduate Course

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Articles (6)

Examining the Relationship Between Therapeutic Self-Care and Adverse Events for Home Care Clients in Ontario, Canada: a Retrospective Cohort Study BMC Health Services Research

2017-03-14

In an era of a rapidly aging population who requires home care services, clients must possess or develop therapeutic self-care ability in order to manage their health conditions safely in their homes. Therapeutic self-care is the ability to take medications as prescribed and to recognize and manage symptoms that may be experienced, such as pain. The purpose of this research study was to investigate whether therapeutic self-care ability explained variation in the frequency and types of adverse events experienced by home care clients.

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Ethical Challenges Related to Assistive Product Access for Older Adults and Adults Living with a Disability: a Scoping Review Protocol Systematic Reviews

2017-02-01

Despite the surge of research and development in assistive products for older adults and/or people living with disabilities, policies on access and procurement have lagged in responding to the growing demand from users. Developing policies to address these concerns require an understanding of the ethical challenges underlying approaches for providing assistive products. The purpose of this scoping review is to identify and map the literature pertaining to ethical challenges related to assistive product access and procurement to inform policy development.

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Using Remote Activity Monitoring and Guideline System for Home Care Clients to Support Geriatric Nursing Care in the Community Journal of Nursing and Healthcare

2014-06-01

There is increasing concern to support older adults who want to live independently in their own homes. The purpose of this study is to investigate the integration of two non-intrusive approaches to monitoring home care clients activity level, along with access to best practice guidelines for clinicians at the point of care. A prototype Remote Activity Monitoring and Guidelines System has been developed that uses a GPS-equipped BlackBerry to monitor a person’s mobility outside the home. The System includes a pressure-sensitive mat that is placed under a regular bed mattress and can monitor sleep disturbances, and how long it takes to enter and exit the bed. This research study provided valuable information about the feasibility and effectiveness of integrating bio-mobility information obtained through remote monitoring with decision support technologies to support safer client care for seniors.

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The Relationship Among Evidence-Based Practice and Client Dyspnea, Pain, Falls, and Pressure Ulcer Outcomes in the Community Setting Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing

2014-08-05

There are gaps in knowledge about the extent to which home care nurses’ practice is based on best evidence and whether evidence-based practice impacts patient outcomes.

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Book Chapter: Integration of Biophysiological Information with a Point-of-Care Decision Support System to Promote Patient Safety at Home Bridging Research and Good Practices Towards Patients Welfare: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Healthcare Ergonomics and Patient Safety

2014-06-01

Ergonomics is a human-centered discipline. This is particularly true for healthcare systems and patient safety where the human's well-being will undergo critical impacts if solutions are not properly designed and practiced. Effective handling of these concerns involves knowledge from healthcare work (e.g., shift work, patient handling, and medical teamwork), to safety research (resilience, medical process control, intensive care, surgery/anesthesiology, and patient involvement), and to more general issues such as community participation in public affairs.

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The Development of Remote Monitoring and Guideline System for Safer Client Care in the Community International Congress on Nursing Informatics

2012-06-23

There is increasing concern to support older adults who want to live independently in their own homes. The purpose of this study is to investigate the integration of two non-intrusive approaches to monitoring home care clients activity level, along with access to best practice guidelines for clinicians at the point of care. A prototype Remote Activity Monitoring and Guidelines System has been developed that uses a GPS-equipped BlackBerry to monitor a person’s mobility outside the home. The System includes a pressure-sensitive mat that is placed under a regular bed mattress and can monitor sleep disturbances, and how long it takes to enter and exit the bed. This research study provided valuable information about the feasibility and effectiveness of integrating bio-mobility information obtained through remote monitoring with decision support technologies to support safer client care for seniors.

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