As associate dean of nursing for graduate programs and Research, Kathryn Pfaff aims to promote compassionate and interprofessional healthcare models while emphasizing collaboration in her approach to leadership.
Associate professor Kathryn Pfaff (BScN 1988, MScN 2008) began a five-year appointment effective July 1 as associate dean, graduate programs and research, in the Faculty of Nursing.
Dr. Pfaff’s nursing career spans over 35 years in acute care, community care, and academics. Born in Edmonton, Pfaff moved with her family to Windsor in the early 1970s. After earning undergraduate and master’s degrees in nursing at the University of Windsor, she completed a doctorate at McMaster University.
Pfaff’s work has prioritized the implementation of interprofessional and compassionate models of healthcare delivery. As a champion of “Compassionate Communities” (CC), Pfaff co-developed Ontario’s CC framework and is a founding member of Ontario’s CC Research Leadership team.
She believes that as members of society, it is everyone’s responsibility to advocate for, support, and empower others to provide physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and practical support for people navigating precarious health and life situations.
“People should not have to go it alone,” says Pfaff.
As she settles into her new role, this same philosophy of collaboration resonates in her vision for the graduate program.
“As a collaborative leader, I recognize that no one person has all the solutions,” says Pfaff. “It is my role to empower our team’s collective wisdom in redefining and carrying out the vision of the Faculty of Nursing’s graduate programs and research especially in such a rapidly evolving world. Nurses and nursing scholarship positively influence nursing practice, health care systems, and the health of persons, families, communities, and populations.”
Professor Pfaff has published 10 peer-reviewed publications in the last 5 years with a scholarly focus on improving health and social care for vulnerable and marginalized people and groups. She has received over $550,000 in funding while teaching, designing undergraduate and graduate curricula and supervising graduate students.
Pfaff expresses gratitude for the continued support of associate professor Jody Ralph, who completed her term as acting associate dean prior to Pfaff’s appointment.