Dr. Argerie Tsimicalis is an Assistant Professor in the Ingram School of Nursing with an Associate Member Status in the Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University. Her clinical appointments include two Nurse Scientist positions at the Shriners Hospitals for Children-Canada ® and Montreal University Health Centre (MUHC). She is one of the few nurses trained as a Child Health Scientist in Canada, showcasing her distinctive training and career trajectory, where less than 1% of nurses hold a PhD in Canada. Her program of research is devoted to understanding the costs (and benefits) of childhood illness (e.g. cancer) and disability (e.g. osteogenesis imperfecta) in the family to ensure the proper health services, resources and policies are in place.
Drawing from her doctoral (University of Toronto, 2010) and postdoctoral (Columbia University, 2012) training in health economics, child health, informatics, and health policy, she seeks to render the costs and benefits associated with a childhood illness or disability visible, and (when permitted) seek to value these costs and benefits monetarily-- a currency understood by all. As economic agents, children with a chronic illness or disability, their families and members of their support network expend time, engage in productive work, and participate in activities all of which are impacted with the (sudden) onset of an illness or disability. Currently, the ‘family perspective’ in the health economic evaluation of health services, interventions, and technologies is poorly captured, neglected or ignored, and the ‘child perspective’ is absent. Consequently, policy and decision makers risk offsetting further costs to children and families who at risk of incurring, or presently bearing, catastrophic costs associated with a childhood illness or disability in the family, including the decision of abandoning their child’s cancer treatment in low and middle-income countries.
To date, Dr. Tsimicalis has published 21 original peer-reviewed articles in nursing and non-nursing journals with over 80 co-authors worldwide who are scientists, clinicians, decision makers, students, patients, and philanthropists from Australia, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Norway, India, Indonesia, Guatemala, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Her students come from an astonishingly wide range of backgrounds including nursing, medicine, music, aging, psychology, education, biochemistry, epidemiology, business administration, and informatics. She also supervises students with childhood onset illnesses (e.g. cancer, lupus, arthritis) and the siblings of a child with a childhood onset illness (e.g. cerebral palsy, scoliosis). She strives to ignite the research spark in her trainees, which finds its expression in the many ongoing collaborations that she maintains with her former students.