skip to main content
Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis


CHEPA welcomes new students to Health Policy PhD program

20 Oct 2010

Six students with a broad range of training and research backgrounds have joined the Health Policy PhD program at McMaster University.

Sarah Boesveld, Edward Gariba, Sandra Jelovac, Mustafa Ornek, Daniel Patino and J. Zhao began studies in September in the four-year program that is unique in Canada. CHEPA provides a dynamic and collegial environment for the program that offers interdisciplinary training in the field of health policy.

Boesveld, who was awarded a Harry Lyman Hooker Senior Fellowship from McMaster, previously earned a M.Sc. in Health Systems and Public Policy from the University of Edinburgh, and a BScN from McMaster. She worked as a registered nurse with Hamilton Health Sciences before moving to Edinburgh to pursue her master’s degree, where she also worked as a research intern with the Centre for International Public Health Policy in the area of socially relevant research in health policy focused on the principles of equity, access and universality. Through her PhD studies, she plans to advance her understanding of the design, governance and delivery of health systems. Her research interests include policy-relevant health systems research focused on the organization and financing of health systems for achievement of equitable access and health outcomes. Boesveld will be supervised by CHEPA Director Julia Abelson.

Gariba earned a BA in political science at the University of Ghana before coming to Canada where he earned two master’s degrees – one in political science from Brock University and the other in public policy and administration from Carleton University. Most recently he has been working as a policy analyst and researcher with the Citizen Service Branch, Service Canada, of the Canadian government, focusing on policies related to people with disabilities. His research interests are focused on knowledge transfer and exchange in health care policymaking, and he plans to examine capacity building, knowledge transfer and implementation issues in health care policymaking and reform in Africa. Gariba will be supervised by John Lavis.

Jelovac earned both a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in international economics and finance from Ryerson University, and has been a teaching assistant at Ryerson and McMaster. She has also worked in financial services in Serbia and Canada. She has a particular interest in the determinants of health status, the evolution and differences in health care policies across the globe, and the influence and economic effect that health policies have on a nation. She plans to use her academic training to further contribute to examining the effectiveness of health policies and health systems. Jelovac is supervised by Phil DeCiccca.

Ornek, who also earned both a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in international economics and finance from Ryerson, has a keen interest in health economics theory and practice, which he believes is one of the most important aspects of life. He has researched evaluations of national health care systems, and plans to pursue his investigation of how health economics affect people’s lives. He previously worked as a teaching assistant and a research assistant at Ryerson, and was a teaching assistant at McMaster during the past academic year. Ornek is supervised by Paul Contoyannis.

Patino comes to McMaster from Medellin, Columbia, where he has studied and worked in health-related fields for the past several years. He is a graduate of the Ulysses International Master’s Program in Health Technology Assessment and Management, and holds a degree in biomedical engineering from the Antioquia School of Engineering in Medellin. He has taught at the University of Antioquia and at the Hospital Paublo Tobon Uribe, and was involved in the establishment of a health technology assessment centre at the university. In addition to HTA, Patino’s research interests are centred on economic evaluation and knowledge transfer. He is also supervised by Lavis.

Zhao comes to McMaster from Harvard University, where she obtained a master’s degree in public health, and was a research fellow in the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She previously was a research fellow at the National Institute of Injury Prevention with the Ministry of Health in Mexico. Zhao also earned a medical degree and a master’s degree in medical molecular biology in China, before moving to North America. She has been involved in various research projects examining health outcomes, health care expenditures and decision-making. She plans to use her interdisciplinary training background in health to further her studies in evidence-based health policy research on health expenditure determinants, and the balance of equity and efficiency of health resource allocation. She is supervised by Jeremiah Hurley.

Please send questions, comments or suggestions to the Webmaster ( ).
Please review our Copyright Disclaimer policy

Interactive Marketing | Cubicle Fugitive