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Dr. Elizabeth VanDenKerkhof appointed Sally Smith Chair in Nursing

Published Thu Jun 4th 2015

Dr. Elizabeth VanDenKerkhof appointed Sally Smith Chair in Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences

Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Alan Harrison is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Elizabeth VanDenKerkhof as the inaugural Sally Smith Chair in Nursing for the Faculty of Health Sciences. This appointment is for a five-year period from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2020. 

After graduating in 1981 from St. Lawrence College with her diploma in Nursing, Dr. VanDenKerkhof pursued her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Ottawa, graduating in 1986. Shortly afterwards, Dr. VanDenKerkhof completed her diploma in International Development, also at the University of Ottawa. She returned to Kingston to complete her Master of Science with the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at Queen’s University, graduating in 1991. Dr. VanDenKerkhof completed her final degree, a Doctor of Public Health from the Department of Population Dynamics at Johns Hopkins University, in 1998. 

She returned to Queen’s University in 2000 as an Assistant Professor with the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine and as the Research Director for the Queen’s University Anesthesiology Informatics Laboratory at Kingston General Hospital (KGH). In 2004, Dr. VanDenKerkhof accepted a joint appointment with the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine and the School of Nursing. She was then promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2006, and further to the rank of Professor in 2010. During her career at Queen’s, Dr. VanDenKerkhof has also held the position of Research Investigator for the Clinical Research Centre at KGH,  Senior Scientist with the Practice and Research in Nursing Group at Queen’s University and Adjunct Scientist with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) Queen’s. From 2008 to 2013 she held a Mid-Career Investigator Award from the Ontario Women's Health Council and CIHR Institute of Gender and Health. 

Dr. VanDenKerkhof’s research interests have focused on acute and chronic pain and women’s health, and she has conducted research at both the population and individual levels in Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Rwanda. In particular, she has concentrated her research on the development of chronic post surgical pain and associated healthcare utilization in women, as well as on predictors of chronic pain. Her work has been well funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, Pfizer Canada, and various Queen’s University funds. 

She is an active member of several professional associations including the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, the Council of Ontario Universities, the Canadian Pain Society, the International Association for the Study of Pain, and the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research. 

At Queen’s, Dr. VanDenKerkhof has overseen the studies and work of more than 70 graduate students and residents. She also sits on the Queen’s University Research Strategic Plan Advisory Committee and the university’s Chronic Pain Network.