VHA’s Our People: Katherine Zagrodney, Research Associate
Every role at VHA contributes to something amazing. Our People tells the stories of those who make up VHA Home HealthCare. Meet Katherine Zagrodney, a Research Associate at VHA. She is also a PhD candidate in Health Economics, Health Services Research at IHPME, University of Toronto.
What do you love most about your role at VHA?
Katherine: I love that VHA is investing in research. I feel that makes them a true leader in the field of home care-based research and I am proud to be a part of that. Within VHA’s Research Department, I am surrounded and supported by a group of intelligent, hard-working, and like-minded people interested in making a difference in home care.
Based on your work, how does research make a positive difference?
Katherine: One overarching goal of my research is to put the spotlight on PSWs and increase recognition of PSWs in home care. Compared to other frontline health care workers, historically PSWs have often been overlooked in research, planning, and policy – I want to change that. For instance, my work provides insight and information that can be used to address health human resource challenges as a key issue for the PSW workforce.
What inspired you to focus on PSWs in your research?
Katherine: There are many Nurses in my family and my Mom is a Social Worker, so I grew up hearing about health care topics from the frontlines at the dinner table. I was inspired to focus on PSW research more specifically after volunteering in a setting that provided older adult care. I saw how vital PSWs were to providing care to older adults and my eyes were also opened to the various issues faced by PSWs. I have been deeply invested in both learning about and contributing as much as I can to information that can be used to address challenges faced by PSWs ever since. Through my research, I hope to increase awareness, advocate, and address challenges faced by many PSWs.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Katherine: Thank you to every single PSW for the work that you do.