Healthcare & Health Technology
At Red Deer Polytechnic, our ongoing commitment to the intellectual, economic, cultural and social development of central Alberta resonates through our applied research work in Rural and Community Health and Wellness. Anchored in good stewardship, this research not only enriches the fabric of our communities but also contributes to their vitality and well-being.
Community-Driven Research Initiatives
Faculty at RDP spearhead diverse research initiatives that significantly impact community health. For example, Dr. Choon-Lee Chai is deeply engaged in community-based research on immigrant settlement and integration into Canada, and has led sociology students on several important projects. His partnership with the Red Deer Local Immigration Partnership (RDLIP) aimed to identify anti-racism organizations and programs, emphasizing their services and disseminating crucial information within the community.
Employing asset mapping for anti-racism programs, this applied research initiative nurtured community networks, heightened awareness of available social support systems, and celebrated the contributions of anti-racism organizations. Through comprehensive data collection methods like online surveys, interviews and focus group discussions, the project empowered the community by highlighting strengths, fostering collaboration and enhancing awareness of the invaluable resources combating racism in Red Deer and surrounding regions.
Pioneering Applied Health Research
Dr. Greg Wells, an expert in Human Development, Disability, and Cognitive Aging, serves as Principal Investigator on numerous applied research projects focusing on critical issues in aging, dementia, disability and child well-being. His collaborative partnerships span various institutions and agencies, including Early Onset Dementia Alberta, Alberta Health Services, and the Red Deer Public School Board.
Dr. Wells' supervision of fourth-year student research projects extends across diverse topics such as Early Onset Dementia and Bullying Prevention, fostering experiential learning opportunities for RDP’s students and contributing to important findings in these crucial areas.
A current project is Empowering Wellness: Design Thinking for Assistive Technology in Long-Term Care. This project, in collaboration with Bethany Care Society, introduces design thinking as a creative engagement process for young adults living in long-term care who require assistive technology to address physical and medical challenges.
The goal is to empower residents to actively participate in identifying wellness barriers, then brainstorming and prototyping solutions that foster a sense of autonomy, purpose, and improved overall well-being. By leveraging design thinking principles, a person-centered approach will be created that enhances the health and wellness of individuals in long-term care while promoting the effective use of assistive technology.
Fostering Vibrant Communities Through Research
At Red Deer Polytechnic, our dedication to community health and wellness opens pathways for our students to engage in collaborative and impactful research. While our work with partners like Bethany CollegeSide and local non-profit agencies continues to evolve, our commitment remains steadfast: to empower communities, enrich lives and cultivate a healthier, more resilient future for all. Through innovation, collaboration and evidence-informed practices, we endeavour to drive positive change and uplift the well-being of our communities today and for generations to come.