Professor Michaela Hynie appointed acting director of YIHR

Professor Michaela Hynie, associate director of the York Institute for Health Research (YIHR) at York University, has been appointed acting director while director and Professor Marcia Rioux is on sabbatical. 

Left: Michaela Hynie

YIHR promotes health research that is conducted within interdisciplinary teams and cross-sectoral networks, bridging the divide between the sciences and social sciences. The institute draws together a range of social, biomedical, environmental and behavioural scientists, as well as researchers from business, law, education and the physical sciences. The National Network on Environments and Women’s Health, the Centre for Disease Modeling, Disability Rights Promotion International and a SSHRC-CURA are housed within the centre, and a new Program Evaluation Centre is being developed. YIHR also houses the Ontario Training Centre graduate diploma in health services and policy research.

“It’s an honor to be asked to take up this position,” said Hynie. “Interacting with research colleagues across the University is a great opportunity to find and strengthen unexpected synergies between complementary projects.”

Hynie, a professor in the Faculty of Health’s Department of Psychology, earned her doctorate at McGill University and joined York in 1997. From 2004-06 she served as chair of the Psychology Department in the Atkinson Faculty of LIberal & Professional Studies. She served as the Faculty of Health’s associate dean (research) from 2006-07.

Her research examines how social norms, emotions, and cultural value systems shape people’s personal values, moral decisions, and behaviour within health contexts. Currently, through an interdisciplinary collaboration with York Professors Susan McGrath and Nancy Johnston, Prof. Valorie Crooks of Simon Fraser University, visiting scholars Nighat Gilani and Kyle Killian, and several community agencies, Hynie is researching the role that cultural variables and immigration status play in immigrant women’s access to mental health treatment in primary care settings.

Hynie’s other current research interests include the effects of culture and immigration in a variety of areas, including parenting and family relationships, social inclusion and sense of community, counseling, and responses toward shame and guilt. She also studies how emotions influence intentions and decision around health behaviours.

The appointment took effect July 1, 2007, and continues until July 1, 2008.