McMaster University

McMaster University

Ruta Valaitis

Associate Professor, School of Nursing

BScN (University of Windsor), BA (University of Windsor), MHSc (McMaster University), PhD (University of Toronto)

905.525.9140 Ext. 22298

Support: Ext. 28469

McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
 – HSC 3N25E
Hamilton, ON  L8S 4K1


For a full profile please visit


Dr. Ruta Valaitis has a BScN and BA (Psychology) from the University of Windsor, a Masters in Health Sciences (Health Care Practice) from McMaster University, and a PhD from the University of Toronto. In 2007, she became the inaugural Dorothy C. Hall endowed Chair in Primary Health Care Nursing and is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing. She is also a Co-Scientific lead of the Aging Community and Health Research Unit (ACHRU- ) Since 2009 she has been the Deputy Director of the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre on Primary Care Nursing and Health Human Resources. 




Dr. Valaitis has research interests that straddle a variety of areas related to improving the delivery of health services and policies in primary health care. Her research and scholarship activities map onto: the PRINCIPLES of primary health care; SETTINGS in which primary health care is delivered, and; PROCESSES or methodologies that can be applied to implement or investigate primary health care interventions. Dr. Ruta Valaitis' scholarly work has been organized under each theme which can be found at



Selected Grants

  • 2017- 2018; Etches, V., (Overall and Practice lead), Valaitis, R., (Academic Lead) Sanderson, R., Lefebrvre, M., Simmons, L., McElhone, S., Kothari, A., Martell, C. Strengthening a population health approach for health system planning. Locally Driven Collaborative Projects; Public Health Ontario, $110,943

  • 2016-2017; Markle-Reid, M., Ploeg, J., Valaitis, R. (Co-PI’s), McAiney, C., Ganann, R., & Duggleby, W.  The impact of caregiver support interventions for vulnerable populations. Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (MOHTLC) $300,000.

  • 2016-2017; Dolovich, L., Oliver,D  & Valaitis, R. (Co-PIs). Contributing to, and learning from, the lives of older adults: Practical learning experiences in the care of older adults as trained community volunteers for health care. Labarge Foundation, $100,000.

  • 2014–2018;  Markle-Reid, M., Valaitis, R. (Co-PIs), Akhtar-Danesh, N., Bender, D., Dufour, S., Fisher, K., Gafni, A., Green, T., Liu, L., Matthew-Maich, N., Ploeg, J., Sadowski, C., Taberner, C., Thabane, L. Strengthening Community-Based Stroke Care: Implementation and Evaluation of a Mobile Health Solution.  Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Catalyst Grant Program, $92,241.

  • 2017-2019; Markle-Reid, M., Valaitis, R. (Co-PIs), Archer, N., Bender, D., Gafni, A. Matthew-Maich, Ploeg, J., Taberner, C., Thabane. L., (2016-2018) Caring for Seniors with Multiple Chronic Conditions: A Team Approach to e-Health Supported Home Care; Max Bell Foundation ($250,000)

  • 2013-2016; Oliver D., Dolovich L., Agarwal G. (Co-PIs), Carr T., Chan D., Goeree R., Letts L., Mangin D., Pappaioannou A., Ploeg J., Price D., Raina, P., Richardson, J., Risdon, C., Straus S., & Valaitis, R. (Co-Is). TAPESTRY: Teams Advancing Patient Experience:  Strengthening Quality.  Health Canada ($6,500,000) Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative ($904,005), McMaster Family Health Organization ($725,000), Government of Ontario ($370,995), in kind ($277,600).


    Valaitis, R is the Scientific Lead for “Interprofessional Team” and “System Navigation” in the HealthTAPESTRY program (see


    Health Canada; 2014-2016; Exploring the use of personal network mapping as a component of the TAPESTRY Program  Valaitis, R., Risdon, C., Dolovich. L., Ploeg, J., Kothari, A., Cleghorn, L. (Awarded $196,912)


  • 2009- 2015; CIHR; CIHR Team in Public Health Services Renewal. MacDonald, M., (Co-PI); Bernie P. (Co-PI); Valaitis, R. (Co-PI); Hancock, T. (Principal Decision Maker); Co-investigators (listed alphabetically): Best, A., Bruce, T., Dobbins, M., Eisler, G., Garcia, J., George, A., Kothari, A., Mitton, C., O’Mara, L., Riley, B., Regan, S., Sangster-Gormley, E., Schreiber, R., Wharf Higgins, J., Wong, S.; Decision-makers: Beynon, C., Bruce, T., Etches, V., Farrally, V., Karmali, S., Manson, H., Ouellette, V., Pennock, M., Salamo, P., Storbakken, L., Strange K., & Wheeler, R., (Awarded, $1,471,250).

  • 2013 – 2015; Hamilton Community Foundation Health and Education Research (CHER) Fund.  Carter, N. (Co-PI), Valaitis, R. (Co-PI), Nicholl, J., & Feather, J. Evaluation of a Community Nurse Navigator in a Priority Hamilton Neighbourhood.  ($33,670).

  • 2013 – 2014; Public Health Agency of Canada Valaitis, R. Literature Review: In What Ways and How Effectively is Technology Being Used to Support Health Behaviour Change. (Awarded $9,895).

  • 2008 – 2012; Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF); Building Primary Health Care Nursing Leadership to Enhance Collaboration between Primary Health Care and Public Health.  Valaitis, R. (Research Lead); Nelligan, P. & McCarthy, J. (Co-Decision-Making Leads); MacDonald, M., Martin-Misener, R., Meagher-Stewart, D., O’Mara, L., Wong, S., Akhtar-Danesh, N., Baumann, A., Beatty, G., Blatherwick, J., Burge, F., Dicenso, A., Dobbins, M., Ehrlich, A., English, P., Gould, L., Harris, S., Kaczorwoski, J., Lee, J., Munroe, V., McDonald, J., Troy, C., Woodman, M., & Young, L. (Award $798,761)

Courses Taught

Graduate Teaching

Dr. Valaitis supervises numerous Masters, PhD and post-graduate students in the School of Nursing as well as in the Masters in E-health program. See for current and past graduate students study focus.


Undergraduate Teaching

Dr. Valaitis contributes to community health nursing courses in the undergraduate program as well as tutors nursing students in their final year in various community-based clinical placements.

Selected Awards & Honours

  • 2017                           Nominated for the President’s Awards for Outstanding    Contributions to Teaching and Learning
  • 2012                        CIHR Best Brains Exchange Travel Award
  • 2007 - 2008              NHSRU Post Doctoral Fellow
  • 2000 - 2002              SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship $ 32,840
  • 1997                         Nominated for the President’s Award for Excellence in Course or Resources Design,                                 McMaster University
  • 1994 - 1995              McMaster Students Union (Faculty of Health Sciences) Teaching Award
  • 1990 - 1991              McMaster Students Union (Faculty of Health Sciences) Teaching Award

Selected Publications

  • Valaitis, R.K., Carter, N., Lam, A., *Nicholl, J., *Feather, J., Cleghorn, L. Implementation and outcomes of navigation programs linking primary care with community-based health and social services: A scoping literature review.  BMC Health Services Research, 2017. 2017 Feb 6;17(1):116. doi: 10.1186/s12913-017-2046-1.



  • *Bryant-Lukosius, D., Valaitis, R., Martin-Misener, R., Donald, F., Morán Peña, L., Brousseau, L. Advanced practice nursing: a strategy for achieving universal health coverage and universal access to health. Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem, 2017, 25:e2826. DOI:


  • *Yuille, L., Bryant-Lukosius, D. Valaitis, R.K., Dolovich, L. Optimizing Registered Nurse Roles in the Delivery of Cancer Survivorship Care within Primary Care Settings. Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership, 29(4) December 2016: 46-58.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2016.24984


  • Harbman, P., Bryant-Lukosius, D., Martin-Misener, R., Carter, N., Covell, C., Donald, F., Gibbins, S., Kilpatrick, K., McKinlay, J., Rawson, K., Sherifali, D., Tranmer, J., Valaitis, R. (2016). Partners in Research: Building Academic-Practice Partnerships to Educate and Mentor Advanced Practice Nurses. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 2016 Nov 1. doi: 10.1111/jep.12630. [Epub ahead of print].


  • *Martin-Misener, R., Kilpatrick, K., Donald, F., Bryant-Lukosius, D., Rayner, J., Valaitis, R., Carter, N., Miller, P.A., Landry, V., Harbman, P., Charbonneau-Smith, R., McKinlay, R.J., Ziegler, E., Boesveld, S., Lamb, A. (2016). Nurse Practitioner Caseload in Primary Health Care: Scoping Review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 62:170-182.

  • Valaitis R.K., Wahoush, O., Murray, N., Isaacs, S., Derbyshire, D., Semogas, D., Rolfe, S. (2016). Street Smarts ↔ Book Smarts: Three Neighbourhoods and One University School of Nursing Partnering for Health. Sage Open, July-September 2016, 1-15, DOI:10.1177/2158244016656392.


  • Oldenburger, D., Cassiani, S., Bryant-Lukosius, D., Valaitis, R., Baumann, A., Pulcini, J., Martin-Misener, R. Implementation Strategy for Advanced Practice Nursing in Primary Care in Latin America and the Caribbean. Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública/Pan American Journal of Public Health, in press 2016.


  • Valaitis, R., MacDonald, M., Kothari, A., O’Mara, L., Regan, S., Garcia, J., Murray, N., Manson, H., Peroff-Johnston, N., Bursey, G., Boyko, J. (2016). Moving towards a new vision: Implementation of a Public Health Policy Intervention. BMC Public Health, 16:412. DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3056-3


  • MacDonald, M., Pauly, B., Wong, G., Schick-Makaroff, K., van Roode, T., Wilson Strosher, H., Kothari, A., Valaitis, R., Manson, H., O’Briain, W., Carroll, S., Lee, V., Tong, S., Dickenson Smith, K., Ward, M. (2016). Supporting Successful Implementation of Public Health Interventions: Protocol for a Realist Synthesis. Systematic Reviews, 5:54.  DOI: 10.1186/s13643-016-0229-1.


  • Dolovich, L., Oliver, D., Lamarche, L., Agarwal, G., Carr, T., Chan, D., Cleghorn, L., Griffith, L., Javadi, D., Kastner, M., Longaphy, J., Mangin, D., Richardson, J., Papaioannou, A., Ploeg, J., Raina, P., Risdon, C., Santaguida, P.L., Straus, S., Thabane, L., Valaitis, R., Price, D. (2016). A protocol for a pragmatic randomized controlled trial using the Health Teams Advancing Patient Experience: Strengthening Quality (Health TAPESTRY) platform approach to promote person-centred primary health care for older adults. Implementation Science, 11:49. DOI: 10.1186/s13012-016-0407-5.


  • Matthew-Maich, N., Harris, L., Ploeg, J., Reid, M., Valaitis, R., Ibrahim, S., Gafni, A., Isaacs, S. (2016). Designing, implementing and evaluating mobile health technologies for managing chronic conditions in older adults: A Scoping Review.  JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 4(2):e29. doi: 10.2196/mhealth.5127.



  • Valaitis, R.K., Schofield, R., Akhtar-Danesh, N., Baumann, A., Martin-Misener, R., Underwood, J., and Isaacs, S. (Sept. 2014). Community Health Nurses' Learning Needs in Relation to the Canadian Community Health Nursing Standards of Practice: Results from a Canadian Survey. BMC Nursing, 2014, 13:31.


  • Valaitis, R., Longaphy, J., Nair, K., Agarwal, G., Griffith, L., Kastner, M., Oliver, D., Ploeg, J., Strauss, S., & Dolovich, L. (2014). Persona-scenario exercise for co-designing primary care interventions. Canadian Family Physician, 60(3), 294-296.


  • Valaitis, R.K., Schofield, R., Akhtar-Danesh, N., Baumann, A., Martin-Misener, R., Underwood, J., and Isaacs, S. (Sept. 2014). Community Health Nurses' Learning Needs in Relation to the Canadian Community Health Nursing Standards of Practice: Results from a Canadian Survey. BMC Nursing, 2014, 13:31.


  • Kothari, A., Regan, S., Goore, D., Valaitis, R., Garcia, J., Manson, H., & O’Mara, L. (2014). Using an integrated knowledge translation approach to build a public health research agenda. Health Research Policy and Systems, 12, 6. doi: 10.1186/1478-4505-12-6  (Highly Accessed BMC in first month of publication)


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