October 2022: Professional of the Month

Our October Professional of the Month is Kristy Hancock, Evidence Synthesis Coordinator for the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit. Get to know her & the fantastic work she is doing!

Who are you and what is your institution’s mission? 

Hello! I’m Kristy and I work at the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit (MSSU) as an Evidence Synthesis Coordinator (fancy title for Health Sciences Librarian). The MSSU is a research unit dedicated to supporting and conducting patient-oriented health research in the Maritimes. MSSU staff work at various locations across the Maritime provinces, but I’m based in Halifax and am currently working from home. Outside of work I love doing yoga, attempting to play tennis, and eating my way around the city.

Tell us about any current or big projects you have going on

As Evidence Synthesis Coordinator I support research teams working on different types of literature reviews, including systematic reviews and environmental scans. I advise on the search approach and scope of the research topic, ensure that teams are adhering to best practices for conducting and reporting reviews, develop comprehensive searches in databases and other resources, and assist with describing search methods in publications. Right now I’m supporting several research teams that are working on systematic and scoping reviews.

What is an interesting or unique thing that people may not know about your institution? 

The focus on patient-oriented research is a very unique part of working at the MSSU. Patient-oriented research engages patients, caregivers, and members of the public as partners throughout the entire research process. It allows folks who have lived experience with a particular health condition to share their perspective and contribute to research that will impact the delivery of health care. It also helps ensure that the research being conducted is relevant to patients and addresses patient-identified health priorities.

What made you choose this position?

I graduated from the Dal MLIS program in 2019 and have been working in health research settings ever since. I was especially drawn to the position of Evidence Synthesis Coordinator because of the focus on working with research teams that are undertaking different types of literature reviews. I love the detail-oriented, puzzle-like, and often frustrating aspect of developing database searches that are comprehensive yet targeted…it’s like trying to figure out a challenging but rewarding puzzle.

Is there anything else you want to tell us? 

If anyone is interested in learning more about working in a health library or health research setting, joining the Maritime Health Libraries Association is a great place to start! For more info see the association website: https://library.nshealth.ca/MHLA/Membership