Timothy Disher

Killam Doctoral Scholarship Recipient

Dalhousie University

A Registered Nurse, Tim’s research is focused on promoting family-centric care within the neonatal intensive care environment. Tim would like to further the understanding of what factors predict how much time mothers provide kangaroo care while their infants are in the neonatal intensive care unit and then identify not only the supports parents may need, but also which parents would benefit most. The final result will be individual programs tailored to increase parental involvement in the care of their newborns.

It’s a surprise Tim is doing this at all because if you’d asked him during his nursing degree he would have emphatically stated he wanted nothing to do with maternity or neonatal nursing.  Thankfully once he witnessed a birth and supported new parents he knew this was going to be his specialty.

“We have a long way to go in understanding how we can optimally include parents in the care of their preterm newborns, and I hope that I can be a part of marking the path to get there.”

Tim exemplifies caring and nurturing in the classroom as well, citing his experience watching the success of the summer student he mentored as one of his proudest moments.  Feeling that he had fabulous support from teachers and mentors made Tim aware of the importance of the role he can play in the lives of others.

Winning the Killam award at Dalhousie has inspired Tim to work harder towards his dreams as he feels it has given him something to live up to.  However, he’s not all work.  A newlywed, Tim enjoys visiting the beautiful scenery of Nova Scotia with his wife and playing in part of a bluegrass duo with another graduate student.


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