Our People

Eva Purkey

Dr. Eva Purkey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and the Department’s Global Health director. She has completed her MPH at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with a certificate in International Health. Her clinical and research interests focus on vulnerable populations in Canada and overseas, with an emphasis on women's health. She has worked with refugee populations on the Thai-Burmese border, with aboriginal populations in northern Canada, and with underserved populations in Kingston including seven years at Kingston Community Health Centre where she had a general family practice with intrapartum obstetrics prior to moving to Queen's.

Her teaching interests involve introducing learners to global health and health equity issues in Canada and abroad, and increasing medical student and resident awareness of health disparities and their ability to engage in effective health advocacy.

Geoffrey Hodgetts

Dr. Geoff Hodgetts is a Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Queen's University. For fifteen years he was seconded by Queen’s to be Director of the Queen's University Family Medicine Development Program in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a large health sector reform project funded by CIDA and the World Bank. He also acted as Health Advisor to CIDA on Kosovo and the western Balkans region.

From 2007 to 2014 he served as the Senior Health Advisor to the Afghanistan-Pakistan Task Force of the Canadian Government, conducting health sector assessment missions to Kabul, Kandahar, Bamyan and the far northern provinces of Afghanistan. As a spin-off from this, from 2009 to 2014 he was also a member of a group of civilian advisors to the NATO military command in Afghanistan, providing analysis of progress in public health sector initiatives. Through these experiences he has been able to apply the guiding principles of primary health care to innovative approaches to health education and capacity building in the complex environment of conflict and post-conflict countries.

Dr. Hodgetts has taught extensively on the impact of conflict on health and on the cultural heritage of countries.

Ian Casson

Dr. Ian Casson has a Master's degree in Community Health and Epidemiology. Dr. Casson is involved in research in the care of adults with developmental disabilities and in the assessment of curriculum in developmental disabilities for Family Medicine residents. Prior to moving to Kingston he was a family physician in northern Canada for 13 years.

Cathy Vakil

Dr. Cathy Vakil has had a family practice at the Queen's University Family Medicine Centre since 2005, and prior to this did locum work for many years. Her main interest outside of her practice is environment and health. Dr. Vakil is on the Board of Directors of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, as well as of Physicians for Global Survival. She is also on the Environmental Health Committee of the Ontario College of Family Physicians. She actively pursues advocacy work for these and other environmental and activist organizations whose mandate is a clean environment for a healthy population.

Susan Phillips

Dr. Susan Phillips is a Professor in Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences at Queen’s and a visiting Professor at the Centre for Gender Studies, Umea University, Umea, Sweden. She has research funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) as principal investigator (Gender Differences in Mobility: The International Mobility and Aging Study, 2010-2016) and co-investigator (Gender, Environment and Health, 2009-2014), from the Ontario Health Services Research Fund as a principal investigator (Quality in Primary Care) with responsibility for a gender focus, and from Queen’s University as PI studying how resilience can be fostered in children and youth to improve long-term health. With Swedish colleagues she is writing a series of papers on gender and research methodology. Although primarily a quantitative researcher she has recently completed a qualitative study of the hidden curriculum in medical education. Dr. Phillips’ research on how social factors intersect with biology to shape health has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Social Science and Medicine, JAMA, Medical Education, etc, and has led to invitations from the WHO, World Bank, Swedish and French Research Councils, governments of Bosnia and Serbia, and Australian, Dutch, Swedish and Canadian universities to speak and collaborate.

Shayna Watson

Dr. Shayna Watson is the director of undergraduate family medicine in the Queen's School of Medicine, She has practiced in a variety of clinical environments, from isolated rural to urban, including with Aboriginal communities in northern Ontario and is happy to practice within the Queen's Family Health Team where she continues to develop her understanding the social determinants of health in day to day practice.

Dr. Watson's's academic interests include: medical education, knowledge translation, interprofessional education and collaborative practice, the use of online learning to support theory to practice integration, compassion, reflective practice, and the medical humanities. Camping with her children and playing with wool and fibre ground her in the most important ways.

Meg Gemmill

Dr. Meg Gemmill is a family physician and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Queen’s University. She joined the Department in April 2014 as the Director of Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Gemmill’s clinical work, research and teaching interests focus on the application and dissemination of evidence-based primary care for adults with developmental disabilities. Her current research project involves the identification and diagnosis of patients with mild intellectual disabilities.

Ruth Wilson

Dr. Ruth Wilson is the president of the North American region of WONCA, the world organization of family doctors. Her research interests lie in the area of health policy, particularly health human resources, the promotion of family medicine and primary care worldwide, and the determination of factors which support a high-performing primary care system. In addition, Dr. Wilson chairs the board of the Institute for Safe Medicine Practice (Canada), and has an area of research interest in promoting and supporting the safe use of medications.

John Geddes

Dr. Geddes' first exposure to International Development was as Clinical Educator with the Queen's Family Medicine Development Program in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).  From 1998 to 2009 he traveled regularly to BiH to teach physicians and nurses and help development the discipline of Family Medicine in the country as it recovered from war. From 2004 to 2013 he was Medical Director for the McGill Canadian Field Studies in Africa programme and in 2008 he founded a registered Canadian charity, the CanAssist African Relief Trust. Since then, this charity has supported over $600,000 in infrastructure development in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in schools, clinics and communities. This work is aimed at improving the factors that we consider social determinants of health and well-being. Dr. Geddes presently spends half his time as Director of Operations for CanAssist, both in Canada and in Africa.
Visit his blog here.

 Matt Simpson

Dr. Matt T.W. Simpson, MD, CCFP, MSc, CD, Flight Surgeon, Major (Ret’d)

Dr. Simpson became interested in Global Health during his time in the military. As a medical officer for the Canadian Armed Forces he travelled extensively, including short trips to the Middle East, north Africa, and Afghanistan, witnessing the reality of caring for local populations with limited infrastructure and resources. Practicing in those environments, using first-world military medical infrastructure was at times both demanding and ethically challenging and opened his eyes to how very lucky we are to have a home in this great country. Dr. Simpson is proud of the military's work, and his own work within it, but the reality is the military has very specific objectives to meet wherever it goes, and the medical system that accompanies it, although second to none, is there primarily to care for the soldiers first. Hence, he feels we certainly can do more. He is hopeful that this global health curriculum and research community will be a step toward improving the lives of those less fortunate throughout the world.

 Mike Green

Meredith Mackenzie

Rupa Patel