Dr. Stewart Harris
Dr. Stewart Harris
Principal Investigator

Dr. Stewart Harris is a professor in the Department of Family Medicine with cross appointments in the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism/Department of Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and is a Research Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute.  

Dr. Harris is also the lead physician and Medical Director at the Primary Care Diabetes Support Program (PCDSP) at St. Joseph’s Health Care, London, ON – an integrated team-based diabetes clinic for disenfranchised and marginalized populations, which he founded in 2007. In addition to his published articles in peer-reviewed journals, he has participated extensively in clinical practice guideline development, including serving as chair of the CDA clinical practice guidelines committee.

Dr. Harris is a recipient of the Ontario Ministry of Heath Career Scientist award, the Dr. Gerald S. Wong Service Award of the Canadian Diabetes Association, the Hellmuth Prize for Achievement in Research at Western University, and a Fellow in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. On July 1, 2015, Dr. Harris was appointed to the Order of Canada for his contributions to the development of strategies to manage and reduce diabetes in Aboriginal communities and other vulnerable populations.

Jim Esler
Jim Esler
Research Technician

Jim has an Honors BA in Anthropology/History from Western, and an MA in Anthropology from McMaster. He also did postgraduate studies at The Pennsylvania State University. He worked as a field archaeologist in Ontario prior to coming to the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine.

Jim has worked on the CIRCLE, GRAND, FNDSS pilot, Healthy Moms Healthy Babies, FORGE AHEAD, SOAR and REACH programs, concentrating mainly on the quantitative aspects of the programs. He has advanced experience with MS Office (including Access and Excel).

Susan Webster-Bogaert
Susan Webster-Bogaert
Research Associate/Financial Officer

Susan has Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from Waterloo University and a Master’s degree in Physical Education from Western University. She joined Dr. Stewart Harris’ research team in 1998 and has been involved in project development, funding requests, or implementation of over 20 projects. Her current focus is contract agreements and project finances.

Daniel Wajsman
Daniel Wajsman
Web Communications & Design Coordinator

Daniel Wajsman is the Web Communications & Design Coordinator for the Diabetes Alliance at Western. He has a BA in Design from PUC-Rio. Additionally, he holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Web and Mobile App Design and Development from Langara, and completed a coding bootcamp at Lighthouse Labs. He loves technology and its use for communication.

Melanie Dissanayake
Melanie Dissanayake
Graduate Student Assistant

Melanie Dissanayake is a Graduate Student Assistant with the Diabetes Alliance team at Western. She completed her Masters of Health Sciences degree, which focused on palliative and oncological care. Currently, she is completing her PhD. at Western University, with a research focus on interprofessional models of care and chronic disease management. She has a passion towards improving healthcare through healthcare research.

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REACH Program,
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We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Chonnonton Nations, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. With this, we respect the longstanding relationships that Indigenous Nations have to this land, as they are the original caretakers. We acknowledge historical and ongoing injustices that Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) endure in Canada, and we accept responsibility as a public institution to contribute toward revealing and correcting miseducation as well as renewing respectful relationships with Indigenous communities through our teaching, research and community service.