Dr. Wilfreda (Billie) Thurston has a BA in psychology, and a Masters and a doctorate in health research and social epidemiology. She worked in family and children’s services, addictions, and was director of a shelter for women escaping abusive relationships. She is a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and in the Department of Ecosystem and Public Health in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. She is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Nursing.
Her program of research and training includes development and evaluation of population health promotion programs that address social inequities. Particular foci include the interplay of gender, culture and socioeconomics as determinants of health; prevention of gender based interpersonal violence (IPV) against women through the health sector; and public participation as a key tenet of population health. Current projects include a national study on youth resilience with inclusion of Aboriginal youth; best practices in addressing intergenerational trauma with Aboriginal youth; a longitudinal study of the health of women who have experienced IPV; community health promotion around cultural persistence in Fort Chipewyan; urban Aboriginal homelessness; and evaluation of a sexual assault resistance program. She is also supervises doctoral, masters and undergraduate theses.