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SPECTRUM Core Team Members

SPECTRUM's Core Team is made from members of community organizations, government, as well as academia. They meet regularly to maintain alignment of SPECTRUM goals and relationships with partners.

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Marni Brownell (she/her)
Director of SPECTRUM

Manitoba Centre for Health Policy

Marni Brownell (she/her) is a Professor in Community Health Sciences ( at the University of Manitoba, a Senior Research Scientist at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (, and a Research Scientist with the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba.  In her research she uses whole-population administrative health and social services databases from multiple sectors to examine child health and well-being, with a particular focus on social and structural influences. As Director of SPECTRUM, Marni recognizes how essential the partnership between community, government and academia is for moving research evidence into action and making positive social change. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, cycling, x-country skiing, yoga, and word games. Marni’s publication record can be found here: If you’d like to connect, please email

Amy Freier (she/her)
Research Associate

Manitoba Centre for Health Policy

Dr. Amy Freier is a Research Associate at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and also serves as the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Lead for Health Data Research Network (HDRN) Canada. Dr. Amy Freier (she/her) is a woman, a person with a disability, and an interdisciplinary researcher. Dr. Freier’s research interests include health equity, data equity, data curation, and human rights. At HDRN Canada, Amy has led the development of a national IDEA Community of Practice and a working group dedicated to the development, implementation, and evaluation of an IDEA Strategy aimed at cross-regional administrative data use. Together with her team, she examines how data centres can take a more equitable approach to research using administrative data, and ways to address these data biases in all phases of the research process. Amy became a core team member of SPECTRUM in 2021. She is passionate about the partnership approach to administrative data research SPECTRUM is taking and is working closely with the SEEK team to ensure the processes SPECTRUM develops are inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible. Some of Amy’s favourite hobbies include playing Zelda, napping, and going to the beach. Social media: •Twitter: @amyfreier •LinkedIn:

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Liz Decaire (she/her)
Nurse Program Advisor
Strengthening Families-Maternal Child Health program

First Nations Social Secretariate of Manitoba

Liz Decaire is a member of Cross Lake First Nation, in Treaty 5 Territory currently residing just outside Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba and is a 3rd generation First Nation Registered Nurse, providing nursing services in remote and isolated First Nation communities across Manitoba. Primary care settings, public health and program services has been a passion for Liz since she could remember. She is currently the Nurse Program Advisor for the Strengthening Families-Maternal Child Health program in First Nation communities and had previously been the Peer Support Specialist for the program for 9 years at First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba. Liz remains committed to serving Indigenous communities in Manitoba.

Jennifer Enns (she/her)
Research Associate
Manitoba Centre for Health Policy

Dr. Jennifer Enns (she/her) is a researcher at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy at the University of Manitoba. Her research interests include child development and health equity, the social determinants of health, and substance use/mental health, and she has an extensive knowledge mobilization portfolio in these areas. Jennifer has a passion for making research accessible to individuals and communities who bring their lived/living experience to the work we do together. Within SPECTRUM, she is currently working in the mental health research theme. She has also been instrumental in crafting funding proposals to ensure the sustainability of the partnership and is involved in writing articles describing the partnership’s research findings. Jennifer’s publication record can be found here: If you’d like to connect, please email

Karine Levasseur (she/her)
Research Associate, Public Administration
University of Manitoba

Dr. Karine Levasseur graduated with a PhD in Public Policy from Carleton University in 2009. She is Professor, Department of Political Studies, University of Manitoba. Karine teaches and researches in public administration, notably in areas related to accountability, collaborative governance, state-civil society relations and social policy. She teaches in the Masters of Public Administration degree and before arriving at the UM, she was a policy manager for the Government of Manitoba. Karine’s research challenges public administration in Canada to diversify itself from the traditional emphasis on bureaucrats/elected officials given international shifts towards more horizontal forms of governing. These new forms of governing are more porous and open to non-state actors such as charities, non-profit organizations, Indigenous communities, etc. Non-state actors have a meaningful role to play in governing and thus government must share its power with them and open-up the public policy decision-making process. At the highest level of collaboration, joint decision-making would occur with non-state actors having a vote at the public policy table alongside government. Her research explores this model: what implications exist in relation to this model (does accountability need to change to accommodate the introduction of non-state actors into governing; what are the implications for the state/non-state actors and their policy capacity; and, how the state must transform to become better partners). Her role as the Public Policy Co-Lead for SPECTRUM is perfectly aligned with her research interests in the area of collaboration. She will help transform the research data into feasible public policy options for the Government of Manitoba to consider. When Karine is not working, she loves gardening and swimming. She is also making an effort to read more fiction. Her best fiction book read in 2023 is: Chain Gang All Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah.


Lorna Turnbull (elle/she/they)
Professor, Faculty of Law
University of Manitoba

Dr. Lorna A. Turnbull (elle/she/they) is a professor and former Dean in the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba. She teaches in the areas of income tax law and policy; children, youth and families; and human rights. Her research focuses on how legal frameworks (Canada’s constitutional and international obligations) support or fail the work, and relationships, of caring for dependents. She is the holder of grants (from SSHRC, CIHR, PRA, the Province of Manitoba, Justice Canada) that support projects looking at the leading court decisions regarding motherwork and equality, the overlap between children in the child welfare system and the youth criminal justice system, domestic violence, and economic supports for caregivers. Economic inequality of women and children, especially in indigenous communities, is central to her work. She is the author of Double Jeopardy: Motherwork and the Law (2001) and a co-editor of Mothering and Welfare: Depriving, Surviving Thriving (2020). Lorna sees her work in SPECTRUM as the culmination of everything she has done before, working in a collaborative environment to promote change that will bring greater equality and inclusion to all, in keeping with our Constitutional guarantees. Lorna has helped lead the partnership in work on governance and decolonization and inclusion, as well as creating the work integrated learning framework for students’ engagement as SPECTRUM Fellows. When she is not working to make a fairer society she enjoys hanging out with her family and cooking, traveling and reading.

Nathan Nickel (he/him)
Manitoba Centre for Health Policy

Dr. Nathan Nickel is the Director of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, an Associate Professor in the departments of Community Health Sciences and Kinesiology at the University of Manitoba, and Scientist at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. He received his Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Community Health Sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles and his PhD in Maternal and Child Health Policy from the Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Nickel is an applied population health scientist who leverages whole-population administrative data to conduct health and social policy research. He has authored over 95 peer-reviewed publications and held over $16M in grant funding as PI or Co-PI. Nickel’s research program uses a cross-disciplinary, team-science approach, partnering with scientists, community, and government policy- and decision-makers to generate actionable evidence to improve population health and well-being. His trainees have received over $800K in funding from local, provincial, and federal agencies including CIHR Vanier awards. Nathan’s work examines parent-child health and mental health outcomes within the contexts of the social and structural determinants. In 2019, he was inducted into the US National Honor Society for Public Health for excellence in research and service in population health. Dr. Nickel leads the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP), a research centre of excellence at the University of Manitoba with 60 research staff and Scientists. MCHP maintains and curates the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository, a collection of administrative data documenting Manitobans’ experiences with health and social services. MCHP partners with system stake holders to harness the information rich environment of the Repository to conduct policy-focused research in support of Manitobans’ health and well-being.

Scott Sinclair (he/him)
Deputy Minister, Department of Health
Provincial Government of Manitoba

Scott Sinclair is currently the Deputy Minister of Health. Prior to assuming his current role Scott was Deputy Minister of Consumer Protection and Government Services and prior to that Deputy Minister of Labour, Deputy Minister of Crown Services and Deputy Minister of Infrastructure. Scott has held other senior roles as the Associate Deputy Minister of Finance | Central Services and Assistant Deputy Minister, Advanced Learning Division in the department of Education and Advanced Learning. Scott has worked in the public sector since 1999 at both the Provincial and Federal levels with experience in a number of departments and portfolios including agriculture, transportation, education, health, social services, economic development and the labour market. Scott’s expertise is in the area of public sector administration and policy and program development and is a champion of evidence informed decision making through research and evaluation methodologies. Scott has also been a faculty member in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba where he taught a variety of courses including Research Methods in the Study of Politics, Multivariate Research Methods and Managing Modern Government. Scott has degrees in economics and mathematics from Brandon University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Victoria.

Selena Randall (she/her)
Associate Director
Manitoba Centre for Health Policy

Dr. Selena Randall (She/Her) is an Associate Director at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy at University of Manitoba. She supports strategic activities at the centre and leads the knowledge translation team which supports many of the SPECTRUM Knowledge Mobilization activities. Within SPECTRUM she leads overall Knowledge Mobilization planning and supports the planning of events with partners. The Knowledge Translation Team has developed templates and materials for presentations, developed and maintained the SPECTRUM team website and manages the SPECTRUM social media counts, as well as supporting the development of knowledge mobilization materials for partners.

Stephanie Sinclair (she/her)
Data Sovereignty Lead
First Nations Health and Social Secretariate

Stephanie Sinclair is an Anishinaabe woman from Sandy Bay First Nation. She is a mother of two children and the daughter of a residential school survivor. Stephanie works at the First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba as the lead for Data Sovereignty. Stephanie is also completing her Ph.D. in Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. Stephanie has worked in various positions over the last 20 years with the goal of improving health and mental wellness services for First Nations people. Her most recent research looked at the impact of Indigenous birth helpers (doulas) in the 'Supporting the Trajectories of our Spirit' Research Project.

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