An inveterate world traveler, Carrie Kolewaski admits that she always had a heart for the less-fortunate individuals and communities that she often came upon during her adventures.
Emotionally drawn to those that were sick or disabled, she became acutely aware of the inaccessibility that many of these people faced when it came to basic medical care. Carrie was shocked to find that some of the most glaring examples came from within the universal healthcare system of our own country.
Her experiences motivated her to become an occupational therapist, assisting individuals with chronic illnesses or disabilities and engaging them to develop the skills necessary to lead optimal, independent and healthy lifestyles. Carrie has since chosen to accelerate her course down this career path by pursing her Ph.D in Rehabilitation Science at Queen's University.
Carrie's graduate studies brought her in direct contact with Cree of the Mushkegowuk Territory, from Moose Factory, Ontario. Conducting her studies from Kingston General Hospital, Kingston, Ontario, Carrie explored the personal, cultural and social struggles which aboriginal individuals must undergo as they negotiate through the Canadian health care system. In affiliation with community members, Carrie is advocating for equitable health care services to be provided in rural and remote communities across Canada. Carrie sees her research as a way to collaborate with Aboriginal peoples in having their voices heard, to help create a lasting, positive impact within their communities.
Carrie chose Queen's University for her graduate studies because of the cross- disciplinary approach offered by her program. "It was an asset to have the input and association of other disciplines," she says. Her advice to others who are considering Queen's for graduate studies? "Get ready for an incredible journey." For Carrie Kolewaski, that journey has many exciting milestones ahead.