January 18th, 2021

Spenceley named acting dean of U of L Faculty of Health Sciences

By Yoos, Cam on June 18, 2020.

Greg Bobinec

Lethbridge Herald


Shannon Spenceley, a dedicated registered nurse who has advanced the study of primary health care and health system reform, has been appointed as the acting dean of the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Health Sciences.

Spenceley, who has served the faculty as assistant dean (nursing) and most recently as associate dean, is an associate professor who has had a number of roles in the delivery and administration of health care in southern Alberta. She previously taught at Lethbridge College and has been at the U of L in a full-time capacity since 2011.

“We’re very fortunate to have someone with Dr. Spenceley’s vast experience in a clinical setting, as a researcher and as an administrator to take over this role and solidify the leadership structure within the faculty,” says Erasmus Okine, provost and vice-president (academic), in a recent news release. “Her deep connections with the delivery of health care in southern Alberta create outstanding opportunities for our students and faculty members to engage with our community and advance health care for everyone involved, from practitioners to patients.”

Spenceley began her nursing career at Foothills Hospital in Calgary where she completed her registered nurse certification with top honours. She then graduated from the U of L, completed a Master of Nursing at the University of Calgary, and in 2007, earned her doctorate from the University of Alberta.

“I am excited to take on this challenge and feel so fortunate to be part of such a dynamic faculty,” says Spenceley. “Certainly, there are challenges ahead with the evolution of the pandemic, as well as our response to the dire budget situation, but I am confident in the bright future of our faculty and our university. Truly, I am honoured to serve in this role for the next year.”

Her research portfolio includes extensive work on primary care reform, care for the elderly and specifically those living with dementia. She is involved as a co-investigator with the U of L’s Julia Brassolotto on an Alberta Innovates Health Solutions-funded project titled Intersections in Rural Long Term Care. The $1-million study is a five-year project focusing on care for older adults living in rural Alberta.

“My recent completed study on the moral distress of health-care providers in long-term care settings with health sciences researchers Drs. Sienna Caspar, Em Pijl, Olu Awosoga and Sheli Murphy, has never been more relevant as it is in this current context that this sector is crying out for reform,” says Spenceley. “The synergy with Dr. Brassolotto’s work will be important in informing the substantial work to be done in this policy domain.”

Spenceley’s appointment as the acting dean of the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Health Sciences is for one year and started June 1. Her new position fills the one left by Robert Wood, who was appointed as the University’s interim vice-president (research).

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