Denise Spitzer

Prof Denise Spitzer

Full Professor, Associate Director and Graduate Studies Coordinator
Institution: Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies, University of Ottawa
Current Insitution Location: Canada

Email: dspitzer@uottawa.ca
Phone Number: 011-613-562-5800 x1222
Website: Go to website

Address:
FSS 11042, 120 University Pvt., Ottawa, Ontario K1S 6N5 Canada

Migration Health Research Area/Expertise:
I am a medical anthropologist with over 25 years of experience working in the area of gender, migration, and health. My work focuses on the ways in which global processes interact with various forms of social stratification and are implicated in health and wellbeing of mobile persons (migrants, immigrants, refugees, etc.) and their families at the level of the body, household/family, and community. Among other initiatives, I have over the years: examined the interactions amongst hospitals, health care professionals, and racialized women (mostly foreign-born), which contributed to the establishment of cultural brokers in area hospitals; helped to illuminate the loss of the healthy immigrant effect by highlighting the role that social effects play in the development of stress-related conditions or amorphous complaints I call the embodiment of marginalization; engaged in numerous studies on the meanings of social support among various immigrant and refugee communities in Canada and have tested social support interventions for African refugee new parents; generated a series of inter-linking research projects focused on migration, work, gender, and health with foreign domestic care workers across both urban and rural Canada as they moved from temporary worker status to permanent residency and permanent resettlement with their families; conducted research with Indonesian and Filipino domestic workers in Malaysia on their work, health status, and access to health care; examined the impact of the global recession on the health and wellbeing of Indonesian and Filipino migrant workers and their families who were subject to or threatened with repatriation from other countries due to retrenchment; and co-led the Filipino team of a cross-national study that explored the impact of health worker migration on source countries. My current research projects include: a study with rural-to-urban migrant women in the Lao PDR, Thailand, and Cambodia who work as beer sellers that highlights both the gendered occupational health issues they confront and how they are resisted; an investigation that follows both financial and social remittances from Filipino and Indonesian migrant workers in Hong Kong back to their hometowns to assess their impact on health and wellbeing of migrant families; as assessment into the impact of a health centre turned community economic and educational hub on the livelihood and wellbeing of IDPs and refugees in the Somali Region of Ethiopia; and participate in an Ontario-based study as Ottawa team lead on healthy aging amongst Arabic- and Spanish-speaking seniors.

Research Focus/Expertise on Relevant Migrant Categories:
Internal Migration
Internally displaced persons (Adolescents, Adults, Elderly)
Left-behind migrant families (Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly)
Migrant Workers (Adults)

International/Cross-Border Migration
Asylum seekers (Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly)
International migrant workers (Adults)
Refugees (Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly)
Family Reunification (Children, Adolescents, Adults)


General Research Focus/Expertise: 
Community participation in health
Gender
Health and human rights
Health of detainees/ incarceration
Health policy
Human resources for health
Labour migration and health
Maternal and child health
Medical anthropology
Refugee health
Research ethics
Sexual and reproductive health

Relevant Projects

Title Year Published Region/Country Role in the Project Main Outcome Link to Study Reports and publications
The Lives of Migrant Remittances 2017 Asia and the PacificHong Kong Special Administrative Region, China
Asia and the PacificIndonesia
Asia and the PacificPhilippines
Principal Investigator research, policy
Orienting Live-In Caregivers 2014 Asia and the PacificPhilippines
Central and North America and the CaribbeanCanada
Principal Investigator research, policy
The Ottawa-Ogaden Region Research Partnership 2014 East AfricaEthiopia Principal Investigator evaluation, policy
Migrant Beer Sellers in Southeast Asia 2014 Asia and the PacificCambodia
Asia and the PacificLao People's Democratic Republic
Asia and the PacificThailand
Principal Investigator research, policy
Perspectives of Kyrgyz Migration 2013 South-Eastern Europe Eastern Europe and Central AsiaKyrgyzstan Principal Investigator research, policy
Images of a Globalized Work: Visual Ethnography, Intersectionality and Health 2012 Central and North America and the CaribbeanCanada
European Economic AreaUnited Kingdom
South-Eastern Europe Eastern Europe and Central AsiaKazakhstan
South-Eastern Europe Eastern Europe and Central AsiaKyrgyzstan
Principal Investigator
Improving Access to RH Services for Migrant Asian Women 2011 Asia and the PacificCambodia
Asia and the PacificLao People's Democratic Republic
Asia and the PacificThailand
Asia and the PacificViet Nam
Principal Investigator research planning
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged People in Canada 2010 Central and North America and the CaribbeanCanada Principal Investigator research, policy
Transnational Families in Transition 2008 Central and North America and the CaribbeanCanada Principal Investigator research, policy
Picture This… Migrant Lives, Healthy Lives 2008 Central and North America and the CaribbeanCanada Principal Investigator research, methodologies
Foreign Domestic Workers in Malaysia 2008 Asia and the PacificMalaysia Principal Investigator research, policy
Aging Well: Older Immigrants In Ontario 2016 Central and North America and the CaribbeanCanada Co-Investigator research, health services
Human Trafficking in Eastern Ethiopia 2014 East AfricaEthiopia Other research, policy
Source Country Perspectives on the Migration of Highly Trained Personnel 2010 Asia and the PacificPhilippines Co-Investigator
The Facilitators/Barriers to SRH of Migrant Women 2010 Asia and the PacificCambodia
Asia and the PacificLao People's Democratic Republic
Asia and the PacificThailand
Asia and the PacificViet Nam
Co-Investigator research, policy, health services
Canada's Global Commitment/Investment in Health of Women in Trafficking in LMICs 2008 Central and North America and the CaribbeanCanada
South AmericaBolivia (Plurinational State of)
Co-Investigator
Social Support Intervention for Sudanese and Zimbabwean Refugee New Parents 2011 Central and North America and the CaribbeanCanada Co-Investigator research, intervention
Globalization and the Health of Canadians 2006 Central and North America and the CaribbeanCanada Co-Investigator research, policy
Health in an Unequal World: Global Ethics 2006 Central and North America and the CaribbeanCanada Co-Investigator research, policy
Support Intervention Preferences for Immigrant Seniors 2006 Central and North America and the CaribbeanCanada Co-Investigator research, policy, health services

Relevant Publications

Title Author Year Published Link to Publication
Engendering Migrant Health: Canadian Perspectives DL. Spitzer 2011
Migration and Health through an Intersectional Lens DL. Spitzer 2016
Oppression and Im/migrant Health in Canada DL. Spitzer 2012
Engendered Movements: Migration, Gender, and Health in a Globalized World DL. Spitzer 2016
Cultures of Menopause: Biomedical Perspectives, Women’s Perspectives DL. Spitzer 2011
Challenges Faced by Immigrant Seniors in Canada E. Makwarimba, M.J. Stewart, E. Shizha, D. L. Spitzer, E. Khalema, and C. Nsaliwa 2010
Crossing Cultural and Bodily Boundaries of Migration and Menopause DL. Spitzer 2009
Policy (In) Action: Policy-Making, Health and Migrant Women DL. Spitzer 2009
Hard Labour: Minority Women, Nurses and the Childbirth Experience DL. Spitzer 2007
Double Identities: The Lived Experience of Motherhood among Hmong Immigrant Women in Australia P. Liamputtong and DL. Spitzer 2007
Globalization and the Health Worker Migration Crisis R. Labonté, C. Packer, and DL. Spitzer 2007
Return Migrant Entrepreneurship and the Migration and Development Agenda: A Focus on Filipino and Indonesian Migrant Workers DL. Spitzer 2016
Retrenched and Returned: Filipino Migrant Workers During Times of Crisis DL. Spitzer and N. Piper 2014
Working With, Working Through: Towards Equitable Partnerships in Health Research DL. Spitzer 2012
Immigrant and Refugee Women: Re-Creating Identities DL. Spitzer 2007
The Impact of Policy on Somali Refugee Women in Canada DL. Spitzer 2006
The High Cost of Living/Leaving: A Look at Philippines’ Migration of Highly Trained Health Personnel: A Mixed Method Study E. Palaganas, DL. Spitzer, I. Bourgeault, et al. 2017
Supporting Refugee New Parents’: Knowing You’re Not Alone M. Stewart, DL. Spitzer, K. Kushner, et al. 2017
Support Intervention Impacts for Zimbabwe and Sudanese Refugees Parents: ‘I am not alone' M. Stewart, E. Makwarimba, E. Shizha, DL. Spitzer, et al. 2017
Cultural Influences on Palliative Family Caregiving: Service Recommendations Specific to the Vietnamese in Canada A. Williams, R. Donovan, K. Stadjuhar, DL. Spitzer 2015
Globalization and the Health of Canadians: ‘Having a Job is the Most Important Thing’ R. Labonté, E. Cobbett, M. Orsini, DL. Spitzer, T. Schrecker, and A. Rückert 2015
Improving Health Equity: The Promising Role of Community Health Workers in Canada S. Torres, R. Labonté, DL. Spitzer, C. Andrew, and C. Amaratunga 2014
The Strategies for an Organizational Self-Assessment of Diversity-Inclusiveness of Policy and Practice in a Hospital Setting S. Reitmanova and DL.Spitzer 2014
Community Health Workers in Canada: Innovative Approaches to Health Promotion Outreach and Community Development Among Immigrant and Refugee Populations S. Torres, DL. Spitzer, R. Labonté, et al. 2013
The Need for Engendering Health Research of Tuberculosis in Canada: Making (In)Visible Minority Foreign-Born Women Truly Visible S. Reitmanova and DL. Spitzer 2013
Migrant Beer Promoters’ Experiences Accessing Reproductive Health Care in in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam: Lessons for Planners and Providers G. Webber, D.L. Spitzer, R. Somrongthong, et al. 2012
Challenges and Barriers to Services for Immigrant Seniors in Canada: “You are among others, but you feel alone.” MJ. Stewart, E. Shizha, E. Makwarimb, DL. Spitzer, et al. 2012
Limited Official Language Proficiency and Decline in Self-Reported Health Status: A Dynamic View from the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada E. Ng, K. Pottie, and DL. Spitzer 2011
The Sexual and Reproductive Health of Southeast Asian Beer Promoters: A Qualitative Pilot Study G. Webber and DL. Spitzer 2010
Social Support: Immigrants’ and Refugees’ Perspectives M. J. Stewart, E. Makwarimba, M. Beiser, A. Neufeld, L. Simich, and DL. Spitzer 2010
Multicultural Meanings of Social Support among Immigrants and Refugees M. J. Stewart, E. Makwarimba, M. Beiser, A. Neufeld, L. Simich, and DL. Spitzer 2008