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Expert Centre

Biography

Accessibility and knowledge translation of healthcare information ensures the best health outcomes and enables people to reach their full potential. This kind of empowerment motivates Jennifer Abbass Dick, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences, to lend her voice and expertise to issues that significantly impact family health. As a registered nurse and lactation consultant, she has worked extensively with young families in hospital and community settings throughout her career. Now, she’s making it her mission to equip young families with the tools needed for a healthy and rewarding transition to parenthood. Dr. Abbass Dick’s research agenda focuses on the design and evaluation of interventions for new parents to increase health outcomes among infants such as breastfeeding. She strives to enable mothers and fathers/partners to work seamlessly as co-parents in meeting their family goals. In collaboration with Dr. Caroline Barakat-Haddad and Dr. Winnie Sun, she is also examining the link between personal and household products and environmental toxins in pregnancy and breastfeeding, with the aim of reducing infant exposure to toxins through pregnancy and breast milk. She grew up with the belief that there’s nothing more important than health in achieving human potential. This prompted her to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. In 2009, she earned her Master of Nursing specializing in Community Health, and in 2013 she received her Doctorate in Nursing, both from the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. She has continued the research from her dissertation: Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Co-parenting Breastfeeding Support Intervention on Exclusive Breastfeeding Rates at 12 Weeks Postpartum, and collaborated on the development of an innovative online breastfeeding resource for mothers and fathers/partners, as well as resources for Indigenous families. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including, Pediatrics and Midwifery. Dr. Abbass Dick received the 2016 Durham Region Health Department Friends of Health Award for her contributions in developing evidence-informed resources for families. She serves as an Advisory Committee member with the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario Best Practice Guidelines for Breastfeeding, and the Best Start Resource Centre on Ontario Populations with Lower Breastfeeding Rates.

Expertise


Durham Region Health Department, Friends of Health of Health Award

January 1, 2016

This award recognizes recipients for their support and co-operation in working collaboratively with Health Department program staff in the delivery of programs and/or services.

Advisory Committee Member, RNAO Best Practice Guidelines for Breastfeeding

January 1, 2016

In this role, Dr. Abbass Dick works to improve breastfeeding outcomes for mothers and infants, and to assist practitioners to apply the best available research evidence to clinical decisions, and to promote the responsible use of health care resources.

Certified Lactation Consultant, International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners

January 1, 2006

Dr. Abbass Dick received her certification from one of the world's best lactation and breastfeeding organizations that upholds the highest standards of care.

University of Toronto, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

2013
PhD - Nursing

University of Toronto, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

2009
MN - Community Health

Queen's University

1995
BNSc - Nursing
  • Community and Mental Health Nursing Simulated Learning

    $7373  | June 1, 2016

    Awarded by: Centre for Faculty Enrichment Innovation Fund, Durham College
    This one-year research project aims to expand learning in a simulated mental health nursing environment through online videos and pdfs.

  • Community and Mental Health Nursing Simulated Learning

    $7373.50  | May 1, 2016

    Awarded by: Teaching Innovation Fund, Teaching-Learning Centre, UOIT
    This one-year research project aims to expand learning in a simulated mental health nursing environment through online videos and pdfs.

  • Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

  • College of Nurses of Ontario

  • Durham Breastfeeding Coalition

Involvement


  • Media appearances

    A digital breastfeeding tool for both mothers and fathers improves self-confidence and knowledge (Canada)
    Family Included online

    May 16, 2017

    An evaluation in Canada of a digital breastfeeding tool that engages both mothers and fathers/partners has been found to be effective in improving parents’ self-confidence in breastfeeding, their attitude to breastfeeding and their knowledge of breastfeeding. The study was led by Jennifer Abbass Dick at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in 2014-2015.

    Fathers are the biggest influence on breastfeeding according to many mothers
    Fatherhood Global online

    October 11, 2016

    Many studies have shown that mothers often rate the influence of the father on breastfeeding above all others, including professionals and other family members. Despite this, there is much other research that fathers often get no information about breastfeeding from health professionals. The world’s leading breastfeeding promotion programme, the 10 Steps, makes no reference to fathers and families at all.

    Breastfeeding as family teamwork: a research to practice briefing (Vietnam, Canada)
    The Family Initiative online

    October 3, 2016

    Support from family is critical for the success of breastfeeding: if fathers and family members are supportive of breastfeeding, the mother is more likely to initiate breastfeeding and to breastfeed for longer. Family influence is particularly salient where decision-making is more of a cooperative effort, such as in many developing countries.[1]

    FHS researcher reports benefits of educating dads about breastfeeding
    UOIT News online

    February 12, 2015

    The World Health Organization recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed until six months of age. Health Canada goes as far as to encourage sustained breastfeeding for up to two years or longer with appropriate complementary feeding as an important source of nutrition, immunologic protection, growth and development for infants and toddlers.

    Number of dads taking parental leave on the rise says UOIT professor
    Durham Region, Northumberland News, and The Hamilton Spectator online

    April 12, 2015

    “Fathers are more involved with their infants than they have been historically and this has proved to be very beneficial for both fathers and their children,” says Dr. Jennifer Abbass Dick, with the faculty of health sciences at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

    Teaching Dads About Breastfeeding May Help Moms Stick To It, Study Says
    Huffington Post online

    December 3, 2014

    When new dads were involved in a breastfeeding support program at the hospital, new moms were more likely to still be breastfeeding three months later, a new study showed. “This is consistent with what is in the literature suggesting fathers play an important role in breastfeeding,” said lead author Jennifer Abbass-Dick of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Canada.

    Teaching dads about breastfeeding may help moms stick to it
    Reuters online

    December 1, 2014

    When new dads were involved in a breastfeeding support program at the hospital, new moms were more likely to still be breastfeeding three months later, a new study showed. “This is consistent with what is in the literature suggesting fathers play an important role in breastfeeding,” said lead author Jennifer Abbass-Dick of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Canada.

    5 powerful ways to help you cope when you're fed up with breastfeeding
    Bravado Designs online

    December 31, 1969

    You see the subject lines on online forum posts once in a while: “Sick of breastfeeding” and “Breastfeeding and bored,” where moms candidly share and vent a bit. And it’s true—there are times when breastfeeding is blissful and bonding, and times when breastfeeding is a frustrating puzzle, and yes, there are times when you’re going to be a little tired of it.

  • Past speaking engagements
    • Design and Evaluation of an eHealth Intervention: Breastfeeding Resources

      Calgary, Alberta
      October 21, 2016

      Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women's Health Nurses 6th National Conference

    • Investigating the Effectiveness of a Breastfeeding Education Session Delivered in Secondary School Reproductive Curriculum on the Breastfeeding Intentions, Knowledge and Attitude...

      Calgary, Alberta
      October 21, 2016

      Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women's Health Nurses 6th National Conference

    • Explore the Lived Experience of Clinical Teachers to Assess Their Perceptions of Strategies and Resources Utilized to Enhance Clinical Teaching

      Toronto, Ontario
      May 30, 2016

      2016 Canadian Nursing Education Conference in Toronto

    • The Development and Evaluation of Weekly Online Learning Objects for Community Health Nursing: A Work in Progress

      Toronto, Ontario
      May 30, 2016

      2016 Canadian Nursing Education Conference

    • Poster Presentation: Designing an Online Breastfeeding Resource For Indigenous Families

      Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario
      May 26, 2016

      Indigenous Health Conference

    • The Design, Creation and Evaluation of Three Online Breastfeeding Courses for Targeted Populations: Fathers/Partners, Young Mothers and Indigenous Families

      Toronto, Ontario
      April 4, 2016

      Ontario Public Health Conference

    • Designing ehealth Breastfeeding Resources for Targeted Populations (Couples, Young Mothers, and Indigenous Families)

      Toronto, Ontario
      February 16, 2016

      Best Start Resource Centre Annual Conference

    • The Creation and Evaluation of an Online Co-parenting Breastfeeding Course

      Québec City, Québec
      November 5, 2015

      5th CAPWHN National Conference

    • Poster Presentation: Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Co-parenting Breastfeeding Support Intervention (COSI) on Exclusive Breastfeeding at 12 Weeks Postpartum

      Ottawa, Ontario
      October 18, 2013

      23rd Annual National Breastfeeding Conference

    • #1 Source of Support: Assisting Fathers in Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers

      Toronto, Ontario
      October 18, 2013

      23rd Annual National Breastfeeding Conference

  • Links

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