Norma Jutan, PhD

Public Health and Health Systems (Aging, Health and Well-being). Methodologist, Canadian Institute for Health Information

Norma Jutan profile photo 

Improving the lives of older Canadians using big data

Norma Jutan’s experiences during her doctoral studies in Aging, Health and Well-being made her ideally suited for her Norma Jutan talking with two colleaguesrole as a Methodologist at the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). In this role, she helps clinicians and health system decision-makers use data that informs policy and practices in both home care and long-term care settings. Specifically, she promotes understanding and use of the interRAI suite of assessment instruments. Having analyzed this data during both her Masters and PhD studies, Norma is well versed in how it can be used to help improve the lives of older adults. As a Methodologist, she also takes great pride in mentoring CIHI analysts in the use of comprehensive data sets. In this way she helps to build their knowledge, capacities, and passion for health information.

Path to doctoral studies and beyond

Coming from a family of academics, the idea of becoming a professor was always a consideration; however, after hearing about the innovative work done at CIHI to better the lives of older adults, Norma knew that CIHI would be the perfect fit. Here, she is able to work with the data that she knows and loves, attend conferences where she can share her knowledge, and continue to grow as an expert in her field.

Impact of a mentor

Speaking with Norma, it’s clear that a big part of her learning and development was the result of Professor John Hirdes’ supervision and teaching approach,

“He really encourages independent thinking and building your own confidence”, Norma says, “just because he knows the answer doesn’t mean he’s going to give it to you!”

Norma also appreciated Hirdes’ commitment to the well-being of his students,“So many unexpected challenges arise in one’s life over the course of 6 years, and John is always there for you, fighting on your side.”

Hearing John’s voice from down the hall at CIHI on his regular visits will have to wait a few more months, as Norma is currently on maternity leave taking care of her little girl. But she stays in close contact with John, sending lots of photos of baby.

Canadian Institute for Health Information