Canada’s Indigenous populations are at significantly higher risk than non-Indigenous Canadians of developing rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. As Canada Research Chair in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Autoimmune Diseases, Dr. Cheryl Barnabe aims to narrow and ultimately eliminate the disparities in health outcomes for Indigenous patients with these diseases.
She and her research team are helping to develop, implement, evaluate and scale models of care that better align with Indigenous patients’ realities. They are also determining Indigenous patients’ preferences for care and treatment. In addition, they are developing tools to assist discussions between Indigenous patients and health care providers to better align treatment choices with patients’ expectations and values in the context of what we know about rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune disease therapy.