Kathryn (Katie) Birnie, PhD RPsych
Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, and Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary
Full Member, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary
Full Member, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary
Full Member, Owerko Centre, University of Calgary
Associate Scientific Director, Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP)
Psychologist, Alberta Children’s Hospital
Dr. Kathryn (Katie) Birnie is a Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine, and the Department of Community Health Sciences, at the University of Calgary where she leads the Partnering For Pain program. She is the Associate Scientific Director of Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP), a national knowledge mobilization network working to improve evidence-based children’s pain management through coordination and collaboration.
Dr. Birnie completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Dalhousie University in 2016, including a predoctoral residency in Pediatric Health Psychology at the IWK Health Centre. She completed a CIHR-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children. Dr. Birnie also spent time as a clinical research postdoctoral fellow and clinical psychologist at the University Health Network, including with the Transitional Pain Service at Toronto General Hospital and the Interventional Pain Program at Toronto Western Hospital. Dr. Birnie joined Alberta Children’s Hospital as a medical psychologist in 2018, where she continues to provide clinical care through the Vi Riddell Children’s Pain and Rehabilitation Program.
Dr. Birnie is a recognized leader in pain research and patient partnership, for which she has received a number of national and international accolades. She was the recipient of the 2022 Early Career Award and the 2020 Pain Awareness Award from the Canadian Pain Society. She was also selected as a 2020-2021 MAYDAY Fellow, a prestigious fellowship focused on communications and advocacy for improved pain care. Previous highlighted awards include the Dr. John T. Goodman Award for Trainee Research in Pediatric Pain, the Brain Star Award from the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, and a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.
Dr. Birnie has more than 80 peer reviewed publications. Her research integrates patient and family partnership and multi-stakeholder engagement to improve the prevention, assessment, and management of pain experienced by children and their families. Dr. Birnie’s work spans the knowledge-to-action continuum including creating new knowledge, synthesizing existing evidence, and mobilizing knowledge to inform health practice and policy. Her work has contributed to recommendations by the World Health Organization for reducing vaccination pain, and international practice standards for pain assessment and management in children diagnosed with cancer. She is chair of the national working group developing a standard in pediatric pain management with the Health Standards Organization. Dr. Birnie’s research has been featured in media outlets including CBC News, CTV News, Radio Canada International and The Globe and Mail. She holds research funds from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Pain Society, the Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit, and the Chronic Pain Network. Dr. Birnie is a strong advocate for the partnership of patients and families in health research, health care delivery, and health systems design.
Our Team: Trainees
BSc (Honours) Student in Psychology, University of Calgary
Rayna is currently a student at the University of Calgary completing her honours degree in psychology under the supervision of Dr. Birnie. She is interested in ways to prevent the transition from acute to chronic pain following surgery, as well as psychological interventions to manage pain. Rayna has a lovely puppy named Bounce and enjoys taking her on walks.
Jaimie Beveridge, BA (Hons), MSc
PhD Student in Clinical Psychology, University of Calgary
Jaimie is interested in the connections between adversity, chronic pain, and mental health in parents and their children. Her Master’s research examined adverse childhood experiences among parents of youth with chronic pain including their prevalence and association with the physical and mental health of parents and children. Her doctoral research will continue to examine the role of parent chronic pain and mental health in pediatric chronic pain, with the aim of identifying factors that can be targeted in interventions to improve the outcomes of families living with chronic pain. Outside of the lab, Jaimie enjoys biking, cooking, and watching the Blue Jays. Jaimie is co-supervised by Dr. Melanie Noel
Nicole MacKenzie, BA MEd
PhD Student in Clinical Psychology at Dalhousie University
Nicole's research is focused on pain in pediatric populations, knowledge mobilization, and shared decision making. In her spare time, she enjoys baking and reading. Nicole is supported by a Maritime SPOR Support Unit (MSSU) Student award and a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship award. Nicole is co-Supervised by Dr. Christine Chambers.
Mica Marbil, BA (Honours)
MSc Student in Clinical Psychology, University of Calgary
Mica is a first-year Master of Science student under the supervision of Dr. Katie Birnie in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Calgary. She completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology, First Class, at the University of Calgary, where she examined posttraumatic headache in children with mild traumatic brain injury. Her current research interests include cross-cultural research, behavioural health equity, and assessment and treatment for pain in marginalized groups. When not doing research or coursework, Mica enjoys singing in choirs, learning other languages, and listening to musical theatre.
Samantha Noyek, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Calgary
Sam is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Psychology Department. Her PhD work involved exploring the emotional well-being of children and youth with complex health care and communication needs. She is passionate about creative qualitative research methods and better understanding the lived experiences of groups who are often overlooked in research. Her current projects span topics related to pain assessment of youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities, youth telling their major surgery stories through photo-based methods, and intergenerational chronic pain of Canadian Veterans and their Children. Sam is originally from Thornhill, Ontario; She loves to play Bananagrams and go on camping trips!
Brittany Rosenbloom, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, The Hospital for Sick Children
Brittany completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at York University under the supervision of Dr. Joel Katz. Her main area of research is on the transition from acute to chronic pain in youth. She has projects spanning from the assessment of pain to evidence-based treatments for pain. She is also a clinical psychologist in supervised practice in Ontario. On her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors and spending time with family and friends. Brittany is co-supervised by Dr. Jennifer Stinson at The Hospital for Sick Children.
Our Team: Staff
Raad Fadaak, PhD
Raad joined Katie and the Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP) team in September 2022 as a ‘Knowledge Broker’ to help drive forward a national-level project looking at opioid use and prescribing in youth with acute and chronic pain. Raad has a PhD in medical anthropology from McGill University, and has previously worked on ethnographic projects related to traumatic brain injury, global health security and pandemic preparedness, and responded to the COVID-19 pandemic here in Alberta with the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. Raad is a qualitative researcher at heart, but his interests are pretty much unlimited to anything others are really curious about, including all the work going on at the Partnering For Pain Lab! Raad loves to be active, play games, is a voracious consumer of media, and a techie.
Justin Bonhomme, RKin, MHK
Clinical Research Coordinator
Justin completed his BSc (Hons) and Master of Human Kinetics degrees at Laurentian University in his hometown of Sudbury, Ontario. His master’s thesis was in the area of sport psychology, focusing on talent development and career transitions in the context of elite professional boxing. Prior to joining the Partnering for Pain Lab, Justin coordinated clinical research in bone and joint health at the University of Calgary. Justin is passionate about research with the potential to improve standard of care and make a positive impact in the lives of patients and families. In his spare time, Justin trains and competes as a boxer, and volunteers helping osteoarthritis patients manage pain and restore function through exercise.
Jenna Jessa, BSc
Jenna completed her Bachelor of Science at the University of British Columbia in 2021. During her undergraduate degree, she had the opportunity to study pediatric populations in a variety of clinical settings at British Columbia Children’s Hospital and found that pain was prominent in across childhood disease. She is currently a Master of Science student in the Medical Science program at the University of Calgary, with a research focus in prenatal stress and maternal pain in relation to child brain development. As a Research Assistant, she assists with a variety of quantitative and qualitative studies within the lab. In her free time, Jenna loves to explore new restaurants around the city!
Megan MacNeil, MPH
Megan MacNeil is a Knowledge Broker with Solution for Kids in Pain (SKIP), a national knowledge mobilization network. She supports the knowledge mobilization activities of the Immunizing Children with Confidence project. Megan is also a PhD student in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta and is studying school and community-based approaches to sleep education. Megan has over 15 years of experience leading programs focusing on community health and digital technology. Megan is passionate about children’s health and helping families, and caregivers access quality, evidence-based care where and when they need it.
Our Past Team Members
Violeta Faulkner, BSc
Clinical Research Coordinator, 2020-2023
Sabine Soltani, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, 2022-2023
Mentorship & Training
Dr. Birnie provides opportunities for mentorship and supervision for emerging health research trainees from various disciplines within the Partnering For Pain program. Contact her to explore training opportunities at the undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate level within the University of Calgary.
Dr. Birnie is actively seeking Master's or PhD students for the 2023-2024 academic year. She supervises in these graduate programs at the University of Calgary.
Patient & Parent Partners
The contributions of patient and parent partners are central to the Partnering For Pain team. Our work is more impactful and meaningful with the expertise of lived experience. Our incredible gratitude to all of the individuals who have joined as compensated members of the research team.