Epidemiologist and Health Policy Expert, EPI Research Inc.
Epidemiology and how data should be used to inform decision making is a passion. I excel in user-friendly non-academic discussion of how we identify health challenges, current barriers and how we use data to develop an evidence informed pathway to goals and outcomes.
I know from 25 years of experience that simply using "hard data" never tells the story - we must include community, leaders and front line providers in solution identification.
I am an expert in linking epidemiology ("the stats") to health policy but this concept of linking data to policy applies to all industries and I can speak to that.
In my 20 years of running a successful consulting company - EPI Research Inc. - I have focused on direct connection with community members and front line staff to help inform leadership about health priorities. I have worked with provincial and territorial governments but at least 60% of my clients are First Nations organizations and I understand and care about the true disparity in these communities compared to the rest of Canada and can speak to that extensively and respectfully.
Impact of social determinants of health, isolation, lack of understanding of the full picture by decision makers and the consequences are topics about which I am passionate and informed.
Understanding COVID-19 in audience friendly messaging
CTV Morning Winnipeg, March 4, 2020Television
A new concept in audience friendly messaging - "how is COVID-19 like a case of pop?"
CJAD 800 AM, April 9, 2020Radio/Podcast
Chatting about what we can take from Federal Government Projections - what is the role of healthcare, elected officials and ourselves? Analogy of our Youth to Team Canada. Empowered and action based messaging focus.
The Morning Show with Devon Peacock on Global News Radio 980 CFPL, March 31, 2020Radio/Podcast
Discussion of importance of investment in public health in all aspects, including pandemic planning.
CBC Edmonton, March 16, 2020Radio/Podcast
Discussion of concept of social distancing compared to quarantine and isolation. Discussion of purpose and I related to immune system and concept of reason for vaccine. In absence of vaccine, this is a positive preventative measure. Discussion of concept though and how it is reasonably achieved in daily life.
CBC Edmonton, February 18, 2020Radio/Podcast
Live on air discussion with Mark Connolly about reasons for use of emergency room and challenges with healthcare access among indigenous, northern and rural residents.
I tracekd everything I touched on my morning commute. Here's what public health experts had to say about it.
Toronto Star, March 15, 2020Print
Providing expertise on Toronto Star Reporter's journey using public transportation to work and her risk of disease exposure. Very audience friendly messaging commenting in five minute intervals about what she was doing on the way to work. Good choices and those that may offer higher risk.
Coronavirus could decimate small and isolated communities in Nunavut
Maclean's Magazine, April 17, 2020Online
Opinion piece authored by Dr. Michelle Cohen; Cynthia participated as an expert pertaining to risk in northern communities.
Has Alberta reacted well to COVID-19, and is what we're doing working?
CBC News, April 7, 2020Online
"There is nothing more important than an understanding of the [decision-making] structure," said Manitoba-based epidemiologist Cynthia Carr.
"And how those decisions are communicated with the command and control of the situation and outward to the public.
"Because you can see from our neighbours to the south, when the president and his chief medical officer of health are disagreeing on television, then that becomes the conversation for the next half hour on television. The result of that is absolute confusion."
Provinces show signs curve is flattening, but experts still wary
CTV News, April 16, 2020Online
Cynthia Carr said a decrease in cases doesn’t mean Canadians can stop physical distancing measures.
"Those numbers are only going down because we are doing the right thing. Hopefully these measures can decrease over time, but not yet," Carr said in a telephone interview with CTVNews.ca. "It looks like good news, but from an epidemiological perspective, it's not enough data points to say for sure if we are on a downward trend."
A 2nd wave of COVID-19? Alberta scientists warn of asymptomatic spread as province reopens
Global News, May 7, 2020Online
Epidemiologist Cynthia Carr, the founder of EPI Research Inc. in Winnipeg, MB., said she believes a key difference between the 1918 pandemic and the current COVID-19 situation is the public education effort from health officials.
“[In 1918] It was actually Spain that was saying, ‘Hey everybody, there’s a serious flu going around here,'” she said. “But the countries that were at war were saying, ‘Nope, nothing wrong here. Soldiers, get on those crowded ships… because we’re not going to admit that we’re sick.’
“Transparency in communication is absolutely key in stopping the spread of a virus,” Carr said.
Don’t get too confident about COVID-19 numbers — just do more testing: Winnipeg epidemiologist
Global News - CJOB, April 15, 2020Online
Excerpt from radio interview.
Two of the last three days have seen zero new cases of the novel coronavirus in Manitoba, but according to a local epidemiologist, it’s too soon to get excited about the numbers. Cynthia Carr of EPI Research told 680 CJOB it’s positive news that there have been a low number of new cases in the past few days, but the more testing is done in Manitoba, the better.
“In epidemiology, we’re always being a little bit careful about making comments about short-term data points, because when we look at time trends, things can go up and down a little bit.”
Coronavirus: Winnipeg biotech company says COVID-19 treatment nearing production
Global News, March 23, 2020Online
Winnipeg epidemiologist Cynthia Carr tells 680 CJOB while any vaccine could still be over a year away, it's important to remember we might not get one at all, as none of the previous six strains of the coronavirus has had a vaccine, so developing treatment is equally important.
"We don't know if someone would become more ill [in the future], but we hope it follows the typical pattern where our immune system is a little bit educated about the virus and you are a little less ill the next time."
Lots to consider before reopening Manitoba schools amid coronavirus pandemic: epidemiologist
Global News - CJOB, May 7, 2020Online
Excerpt from radio interview with 680 CJOB Winnipeg pertaining to risks related to school re-opening in COVID-19 climate.
Epidemiologist says Sask. residents have to be diligent to beat COVID-19
Saskatoon/650 CKOM, April 28, 2020Online
Print excerpt of radio interview with John Gormley regarding outbreak in LaLoche SK and importance of ongoing testing to control spread of Covid-19.
Exposing yourself to COVID-19 to "build immunity" won't work!!!
Huffington Post Canada, April 7, 2020Online
Important discussion to ignore internet rumours and ideas that "we're going to get this anyway - expose yourself and get it over with." This is the OPPOSITE of what we should do. As Canadians we have the power to BLOCK the spread.
‘A sinking feeling’: Canadian experts on when coronavirus first felt like a serious risk
National - Globalnews.ca, April 4, 2020Online
Along with others, provided my thoughts about when I first noticed the discussion of COVID-19, when I realized the importance and how I feel about the situation. In summary, I am very proud to be a Canadian and see the efforts of Public Health and Leadership in their commitment to uniform, action based messaging. I encourage all to remember the value of investment in public health as we see the results in the USA when insufficient resources were allocated to pandemic preparedness.
Edmonton Rural Albertans use ERs more than those in Edmonton and Calgary, review shows
CBC Edmonton, February 17, 2020Online
https://informedopinions.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Leadership-final-March-10-2020.pdf“> How does DATA help Leaders EMPOWER not MANAGE
https://informedopinions.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/What-is-Your-Supportive-Care-Plan-March-11-2020.pdf“> COVID-19 What is YOUR Supportive Care Plan? Let's Educate and Empower
Cynthia Carr B.A. (Psychology), M.P.A. (Health Policy), M.Sc. (Community Health & Epidemiology) is an independent consultant who has been working for 25 years in the fields of epidemiology, community health assessment, evaluation, focus group facilitation and health planning. Cynthia completed her education at Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario and started her career with the Government of the NWT in 1994. Since then she has worked with the Government of Nunavut, Government of Manitoba and numerous health authorities, tribal councils and First Nations communities in Manitoba, Ontario and Alberta. She has particular expertise in the areas of Community Health Assessment and working with communities and governments to identify indicators to identify baseline needs and track success in program outcomes. Cynthia is a volunteer board member as Vice Chair for MANTRA Inc. and board member for the Chronic Disease Innovation Centre.