Monica is an Associate Professor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto. She is an active supervisor in the international visiting PhD program, where she assists students to publish in a broad range of areas, including sex/gender and self-management strategies for heart disease across various ethnic populations. Monica has been a Visiting Associate Professor at Oslo Metropolitan University and at the Xiang Ya Nursing School, Central South University in China. As a Visiting Associate Professor in China, she informed the development of the first graduate level Nurse Practitioner Program in China; knowledge gained from her 10-year tenure as the Director/Coordinator of the Nurse Practitioner Programs at the University of Toronto.
Monica continues to practice as a Nurse Practitioner in the Cardiac Program at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre in Kingston, Ontario. She has worked with individuals with cardiovascular disease for over 35 years and has met the national standard for specialized knowledge and skill in cardiovascular nursing through the Canadian Nurses Association Certification in Cardiovascular Nursing since its inception in 2006.
Monica’s program of research focuses on reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease in women by 2030. She is interested in gender equality, reducing inequalities within and among countries, improving health and well-being, and forming partnerships to achieve these goals. This includes collaborating with patient partners (people with lived experiences), building capacity, and enhancing regional and international cooperation and knowledge sharing. Monica is currently leading a research team to develop and test at heart: A Tailored Digital Health Innovation for Women with Heart Disease. She is also collaborating with Clinical Trials Ontario to develop and evaluate Patient and Investigator Decision Aids, designed to build capacity for patient-oriented research in Canada. Decision aid development is guided by the International Patient Decision Aid Standards, a User-Centred Co-Design, and the Ottawa Decision Support Framework. Building partnerships, improving research quality and impact, and developing best practices underpin Monica’s program of research.
Monica is also an investigator with the Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) Collaborative, a multidisciplinary research collaboration based at the University of Toronto. She is an investigator with Diabetes Action Canada, the Banting & Best Diabetes Centre, and is core faculty and an investigator in the Collaborative Program in Resuscitation Science in the Division of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. Monica is also a co-investigator in GOING-FWD (https://www.mcgill.ca/going-fwd4gender/), an international consortium aimed to integrate and evaluate sex and gender dimensions in applied health research in noncommunicable diseases (e.g., diabetes, CVD).
Monica’s beliefs about adult learning were developed during her Master of Education and have been heavily influenced by the writings of Malcolm Knowles. He believed that teaching adults (andragogy) was different than teaching children (pedagogy). Adults bring developed motivations, goals, and expectations to learning. The techniques used to teach adults must reflect these differences. Monica believes the natural orientation of the adult learner is task or problem-centered and experience-based, and good teaching must reflect this orientation to learning. The focus of her teaching is on the learner; and the understanding, mastery, retention, and acquisition of critical thinking skills based on active and cooperative learning, and an inductive approach to teaching. Monica’s approach to effective teaching mirrors her approach to effective leadership; she is an authentic leader – is self-aware and genuine, mission-driven and focused on the long-term. Her actions and decisions are based on the core values of integrity, trust and genuine caring. She values the unique experiences of students and their diversity of thought and believes that teaching with authenticity reflects a true sense of self-awareness and self-understanding.