Doctor of Philosophy candidate
She is passionate about humanitarian relief, says Reem Abbas who is currently completing a PhD in health informatics at AUT.
“I have experience working in international organisations, including the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the International Committee of the Red Cross, and I’ve worked in areas affected by disasters.
“I believe quality healthcare provision is a human right and should be maintained to preserve people’s dignity.”
Improving disaster healthcare
For her PhD research, Reem is focusing on cross-agency collaboration and information exchange in disaster healthcare.
“My technical background in computer science and my passion for humanitarian relief has inspired me to try and improve disaster healthcare through using information and communication technologies. Having the chance to investigate possible ways to improve collaboration between disaster response agencies will certainly enhance healthcare provision for disaster victims.
“Eventually, my goal is to design a disaster healthcare curriculum for combined groups of emergency managers and health professionals with the aim of creating more venues for cross-agency collaboration in disaster events.”
Her research is supervised by Associate Professor Dave Parry and Professor Tony Norris, and is part of an AUT-led research project funded by a Strategic Research Initiative Fund (SRIF) grant.
A chance to make a difference
There are endless opportunities to make a difference in the field of health informatics, Reem says.
“There’s a growing awareness of the critical role of information management in improving healthcare provision, and the creativity involved in doing so is simply unmatchable.”
She has enjoyed the friendly and supportive study environment AUT offers.
“My fellow PhD students are more like supportive family members than colleagues, and we share each other’s successes and burdens.
“AUT is quite supportive of their students. As a mother of three, commuting to the City Centre was not an easy thing for me, especially when I was pregnant. My supervisor supported me in getting a desk at the South Campus, which was much more convenient for me.”