Faculty of Health professor awarded Labelle Lectureship

York University Professor Tamara Daly, a health services researcher and political economist in the School of Health Policy & Management in York’s Faculty of Health, has been awarded the 2010 Annual Labelle Lectureship in Health Services Research.

Left: Tamara Daly

The lectureship, which is awarded by McMaster University, honours the late Roberta Labelle, a researcher, professor and one of the founding members of the Centre for Health Economics & Policy Analysis (CHEPA) at McMaster University. Her death in 1991 was unexpected and occurred when broad recognition for her research in health economics was just starting to emerge. In her memory, the CHEPA and the Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics in the Faculty of Health Services at McMaster University collaborated on establishing the Annual Labelle Lectureship Series.

Daly, in addition to her Faculty of Health duties, holds appointments in York’s graduate programs in health policy & equity, critical disability studies and women’s studies.

The Labelle Lecture takes place today, from 3 to 4:30pm, in 1A1 Health Sciences Centre at McMaster University.

In her lecture titled “It’s about time to care! Can we learn from Scandinavians about care for the elderly?”, Daly will examine the concept of universally accessible healthcare. Unlike Canada, Sweden maintains a universally accessible long-term care system, despite having the highest proportion of people over 80 in all of Europe. Called “special housing”,  the Swedish system is governed by national objectives, is publicly funded from tax revenue and is almost entirely publicly delivered at the local level by the 280 municipalities. In contrast, Daly explains. Canadian long-term care facilities are extended health services under the Canada Health Act, with funding, delivery and ownership arrangements differing in each province. Access to a bed is neither universal nor guaranteed at the one of 2,182 “homes for the aged”, which are owned by a mix of private commercial, non-profit and municipal operators.

Though each country’s system differs in terms of its organization, delivery, financing and administration, in both countries women are the majority of the residents and the majority of the care providers, contributing to the sectors’ highly gendered health and social care contexts. As part of her lecture, Daly will present results from a mixed-method Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded study of long-term care workers – comparing Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia to the Scandinavian countries – that highlights aspects of care that affect working and living conditions. She will explore two aspects of “time to care” and these are the extent to which workers have time to adequately care for elderly residents and how it is time to align care for the elderly at the top of provincial and national policy agendas.

More about the Labelle Lecturer

In October each year, a health services researcher with emerging recognition and an interdisciplinary approach to research gives a general interest lecture on a topic in the broadly defined areas of health economics and/or health policy. The Labelle Lecturer is also available for consultations with individuals in and outside McMaster University during the period of his/her visit. The lectureship is given to one young investigator from around the world who has a background in health economics and who challenges existing methods or accepted ideas in the health services community. The recipient must deliver a lecture for special publication for McMaster’s Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis working paper series.

More about Tamara Daly

Daly studies health care work, aging and long-term care policy, and gender and health policy. She is currently a co-theme leader on a seven-year Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada-funded Major Collaborative Research Initiative titled “Re-imagining Long-Term Residential Care: An International Study of Promising Practices”. The initiative, which is headed by York Professor Pat Armstrong, includes an international team of experts studying promising practices in long-term residential care for older adults across six different countries.

Daly has worked for many years in the area of long-term care, and several co-authored publications have been produced, including those intended to directly address the policy debates. She is also engaged in an ongoing study that explores the experiences of women living with HIV in accessing emotional and social supports, and another that looks at illness, injury and violence experienced by Ontario nurses in hospital, long-term care and home care settings.