Jennifer Walker is a Haudenosaunee member of Six Nations of the Grand River with a Ph.D. in Community Health Services (Epidemiology). Dr. Walker’s work focuses largely on Indigenous community-engaged research using large health services databases. Her program of research is supported by a Canada Research Chair for Indigenous Health at Laurentian University and through her work as a Core Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). Dr. Walker’s primary academic appointment is at Laurentian University within the School of Rural and Northern Health; she also holds professor status at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Walker’s research program aims to work with Indigenous populations so that they are able to take ownership and control of their health data in order to use it toward the benefit and wellbeing of their people and communities. Much of her recent collaborations have focused on addressing community health data priorities related to COVID-19. Notably, her program has produced COVID-19 epidemiological models to support the Chiefs of Ontario, the Ontario Regional Chief and other First Nations leadership to develop their pandemic planning and response. Dr. Walker’s program has also completed models for two individual First Nation communities and one First Nations health authority and supported one other community to produce their own models. Dr. Walker also provides weekly reports on the COVID-19 testing and test results data of First Nations people living in Ontario using the laboratory testing data linked with ICES data. These weekly reports – now in their eighth week – are developed for use by the PTO and First Nations community who submitted the AHRQ request.