Kendra Mitchell-Foster

Postdoctoral Fellow, NMP
Kendra Mitchell-Foster

Kendra Mitchell-Foster is a Post-doctoral Fellow with the Northern Medical Program. Her background as a disease vector ecologist specializing in mosquito-borne disease began with the initial wave of West Nile virus avian, equine and human infections in Manitoba in 2002; later she worked in Tapachula, Chiapas contributing to dengue monitoring and control as part of the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública’s disaster response to Hurricane Stan in 2006. Her PhD work with the UBC Global Health Research Program centred around understanding the social, political and cultural determinants that influence knowledge valuation, use of evidence, evaluation strategies and equitable community participation as it pertains to participatory Dengue prevention and control programs and policy in Machala, Ecuador. Kendra’s key interest is developing knowledge translation and knowledge-to-action strategies with a strong emphasis on equitable community participation, empowerment and emancipatory collaborative practice. Challenging the institutional and broader discourse in health research regarding “community-based” and “participatory” research is central to acknowledging inherent power inequity in the social determination of health, and the social production of health inequity. Kendra is interested in how the application of useful conceptual frameworks such as EcoHealth, Eco-Bio-Social, Action Research, Transformative Emancipatory Paradigms and critical pedagogy in equitable collaborative partnerships can change the nature of intersectoral spaces, overarching research and development goals, knowledge use and evaluation practices to improve health equity, human security and community well-being.

Kendra also has a strong interest in ethics and ethical practice in health research with communities whose agency and voice have been limited. Kendra was first the coordinator of, and then a Co-Principal Investigator for the Ethics of International Engagement and Service Learning (EIESL) Project, a UBC-TLEF funded endeavour that seeks to provide tools and encourage critical dialogue within the UBC community to improve the ethical preparation of students, staff and faculty who are engaged with international and intercultural learning communities. Please visit the EIESL website for access to the developed toolkit and for more information.

EDUCATION

  • BSc (Hon.) – University of Winnipeg, Biology, 2004
  • MSc – Simon Fraser University, Biological Sciences, 2008
  • PhD – University of British Columbia, Interdisciplinary Studies/School of Population and Public Health, 2013

AWARDS

  • January 2010: Frederick Banting and Charles Best Doctoral Award Canadian Graduate Scholarship, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • August 2009: University of British Columbia 4-year Doctoral Fellowship
  • January 2007: Simon Fraser University Graduate Student Fellowship
  • January 2006: AUCC/CIDA Graduate Student Internship

GRANTS HELD

  • April 2010: Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Shafik Dharamsi: “Strengthening an Ethical Platform for International Engagement and Service-learning at UBC: Filling knowledge and educational resource gaps” Funded by the University of British Columbia Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund

PUBLICATIONS

  • K Mitchell-Foster, J Spiegel, E Beltrán-Ayala, J Breilh, A Rojas (2013) Social dynamics and intersectoral spaces in dengue prevention and control: Participation for health equity within a social justice frame. In submission.
  • J Quintero, H Brochero, P Manrique-Saide, M Barrera-Pérez, C Basso, S Romero, A Caprara, J Wellington, E Beltrán Ayala, K Mitchell-Foster, A Kroeger, J Sommerfeld, M Petzold (2013) Understanding the ecological, biological and social dimensions of dengue vector breeding in Latin America: a multi-centre study. In submission to BMC Public Health: 1366830179485484 (19 March 2013)
  • K Mitchell-Foster, B Ma, S Warsame-Ali, C Logan, M Rau and C Lowenberger. The influence of larval density and food stress and parasitism on the bionomics of the dengue vector Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae): implications for integrated vector management Journal of Vector Ecology 37(1): 221-229
  • DM Cooper and K Mitchell-Foster (2011) Death for survival: what do we know about innate immunity and cell death in insects? Insect Survival Journal 8: 162-172

INVITED PRESENTATIONS

  • K Mitchell-Foster. An Eco-Bio-Social Approach to Innovation in Dengue Prevention and Control in Latin America and the Caribbean: Results and Experiences. The 13th Annual International Dengue Course, Instituto de Medicina Tropical Pedro Kourí. La Habana, Cuba. August 12th – 23rd, 2013.

RECENT PRESENTATIONS

  • K Mitchell-Foster, E Beltrán-Ayala, J Spiegel, J Breilh. The Machala Model for knowledge translation: a participatory approach. 13th Annual International Dengue Course Instituto de Medicina Tropical Pedro Kourí, La Habana, Cuba, August 12th – 23rd 2013
  • K Mitchell-Foster, J Spiegel, B Henry, A Rojas, M Morshed, E Beltrán-Ayala, J Breilh. Mapping Stakeholder Priorities to Re-establish Intersectoral Spaces: Knowledge Translation for the Scaling-up of Local Success. IDC Research Days, Prince George, Canada, November 16th 2012.
  • K Mitchell-Foster, B Henry, A Rojas, M. Morshed, J. Breilh, J. Spiegel. Knowledge translation and the social determinants of Dengue fever in Machala, Ecuador: A participatory approach to scaling-up local success. 19th Canadian Conference on Global Health, Ottawa, Canada, October 21st – 23rd 2012.
  • K Mitchell-Foster. Estrategias comunicacionales en proyectos con participación comunitaria. 2ndo Congreso Internacional de Salud Comunitaria con Enfoque Ecosistémico, Machala, Ecuador, August 24th – 27th 2011
  • K Mitchell-Foster, Beltrán Ayala E, Arichabala Wilches A, Breilh J, Spiegel J. Manejo innovador basado en la comunidad para la prevención del dengue con enfoque ecosistémico: Resultados preliminarios del Fase 1. 2ndo Congreso Internacional de Salud Comunitaria con Enfoque Ecosistémico, Machala, Ecuador, August 24th – 27th 2011.
  • K MitchellFoster, Beltrán Ayala E, Arichabala Wilches A, Breilh J, Spiegel J. Network analysis and ethnography as a foundation for community evidence-based Dengue prevention programs in Machala, El Oro, Ecuador. Canadian Conference on Global Health, Ottawa, Canada, October 31st – November 3rd 2010
  • K Foster, Tremblay J, Yassi A, Spiegel J. Meeting capacity-building and scaling-up challenges to prevent and control dengue in Ecuador through an innovative multi-level community of practice.  Canadian Conference on International Health, Ottawa, Canada, October 25th – 28th 2009.
  • K Foster, Morshed M, Bonet M, Spiegel J. The use of community-based scientific knowledge in constructing relevant public health policy: Can an interdisciplinary approach better facilitate effective knowledge translation? 70th Anniversary Conference of Instituto Pedro Kouri, Havana, Cuba, July 1st – 4th 2009.

WORKSHOPS & WORKING GROUP MEETINGS

  • Fourth Community of Practice Workshop on Innovative Community-based Ecosystem Management Intervention for Improved Chagas disease and Dengue Prevention in Latin America and the Caribbean, Community of Practice Unicef/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) in collaboration with International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Fortaleza, Brazil, March 5th – 8th
  • Third Community of Practice Workshop on Innovative Community-based Ecosystem Management Intervention for Improved Chagas disease and Dengue Prevention in Latin America and the Caribbean, Community of Practice Unicef/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) in collaboration with International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Mérida, Mexico, August 29th – September 3rd 2011
  • First network meeting of the Principal Investigators of the Eco-Bio-social Research Initiative on Dengue and Chagas, Community of Practice Unicef/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) in collaboration with International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Guadalajara, Mexico, October 16th 2010
  • Collaborative workshop with Community of Practice Unicef/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) in collaboration with International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and IDRC’s EcoHealth Communicable Disease Research Initiative, Guadalajara, Mexico, October 17th & 18th 2010
  • Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research (CCGHR) 7th Summer Institute for New Researchers in Global Health (SI-7) in collaboration with Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Quito, Ecuador, July 4th – 12th 2010
  • Proposal Development,Study Design and Methods workshop on Innovative Community-based Ecosystem Management Interventions for Improved Chagas and Dengue Disease Prevention in Latin America and the Caribbean, Community of Practice Unicef/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) in collaboration with International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Antigua, Guatemala July 12th – 18th 2009.