Barb Fornssler


Barbara Fornssler PhD is an Assistant Professor, School of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan. Barbara has worked in the office of the provincial Research Chair in Substance Abuse since 2011. Barbara has a background in Women’s and Gender Studies and completed her doctoral work in the field of Media and Communications Philosophy at the European Graduate School in 2012. She holds a minor in dramatic arts and is also one half of the experimental research-creation entity Department of Biological Flow based in Toronto. Barbara’s research interests focus on intercultural communications, problematic substance use, participatory research-creation methods, gender, embodiment, and philosophies of technology.

Node Funded Project (December 2020)

Title: Perspectives, pathways and priorities of people with lived and living experience of substance use: Informing policies (P5)

Principal Investigator: Barb Fornssler, University of Saskatchewan


Ms. Maryellen Gibson (Co-applicant), Mr. Jason Mercredi (Decision Maker), Dr. Peter Butt (Health Care Provider), Ms. Brandi Abele (PWLLE Advisor), and Ms. Marie Agioritis (PWLLE Family Advisor)


CRISM Prairie Node Project Development funding will provide additional support for the patient-oriented research project titled Perspectives, pathways and priorities of people with lived and living experience of substance use: Informing policies (P5). This project was awarded a two-year Sprout grant of $180,000 in March 2020 as a joint initiative of the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR) and the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF). The purpose of this study is to amplify and mobilize the voices of people with lived and living experience (PWLLE) of problematic substance use (PSU), across three socioeconomic groupings to develop and enhance pathways to care. This patient-oriented project embeds PWLLE across the research team and within the research process, including research partnership with Prairie Harm Reduction (formerly AIDS Saskatoon) and OUTSaskatoon. A knowledge translation plan has also been integrated into the research methodology and an arts-based dissemination project will be created for increased distribution and uptake of study findings. This will be achieved using patient-oriented and community-based participatory action research approach; thus, voices of PWLLE are embedded within all aspects of the project and PWLLE are involved in overseeing and decision-making related to the research.


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