Audrey McFarlane, B.CR, MBA — Executive Director
Ms. McFarlane is the Executive Director for the Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network. She was one of the founders of the Lakeland Centre for FASD and led this organization for almost 20 years. In the past 20 years she has been passionate about working with individuals with FASD, their families and service system to develop best practice service models in rural diagnosis; community outreach and prevention. Audrey has presented at the local, regional, national and international level on many issues related to FASD. As, Executive Director of the national research network in FASD, she directs and encourages research in areas of FASD that is meaningful to families, individuals with FASD, policy makers, service providers and to promote healthy pregnancies.
She lives in a small rural community in the province of Alberta, Canada with her husband. She has two children who are young adults. She is also the primary caregiver of her aging parents and sister with Down Syndrome.
FASD continues to challenge and motivate Audrey to find and share solutions for meeting the needs of those engaged in this field.
Kathy Unsworth, MPH, MBA — Managing Director
Kathy Unsworth works at CanFASD as the Managing Director and is responsible for provincial and federal government relations, working with researchers to translate science into policy as well as managing the National FASD Database, employing her background in public health and community development to use evidence-based research to inform programs and policies to improve the lives of those with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
Andrew Wrath — Research Assistant
Andrew received his Bachelor of Arts Honors Specialization in Psychology from Western University in 2011. In 2009 he began his career in research at a specialized clinical service for youth experiencing their first episode of a mood or anxiety disorder. While there he gained experience in brain imaging research and evaluation of novel health care provision models. In 2015 Andrew began working at the University of Saskatchewan as a research coordinator in the Attachment Research Lab where he continues to work on several projects related to the impact of peoples’ relationship styles on their mental health. This is Andrew’s first adventure into the world of FASD research and is excited about the opportunity.
Katherine Flannigan, PhD, R. Psych. — Research Associate
Dr. Katherine Flannigan received her PhD in School and Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Alberta, and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia through Kids Brain Health Network. She is a Registered Psychologist in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Dr. Flannigan’s research and clinical interests are on the implications of atypical brain function, and factors related to high risk and criminal behaviour among vulnerable populations, with a special focus on FASD. Katherine has been involved in the field of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder since 2006, both through research and as a service provider with children and adults affected by the disability.
Kelly D. Harding, PhD — Research Associate
Dr. Kelly Harding received her PhD in Interdisciplinary Rural and Northern Health from Laurentian University (2017) in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Harding is currently the Research Coordinator for the Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network (CanFASD). Dr. Harding is also an adjunct faculty and sessional instructor in the Psychology Department at Laurentian University and a part-time instructor in the Communication Studies program at Huntington University. She is a member of the Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities (OADD) Research Special Interest Group (RSIG) and a community network member of the FASD Network Sudbury/Manitoulin. Her research focuses on health services in rural and Northern Ontario, with a particular focus on health care professionals in training and their preparation regarding FASD. As an FASD researcher, her research interests focus primarily on health care professionals’ knowledge, self-efficacy, and attitudes regarding FASD and alcohol consumption during pregnancy, families raising children with FASD, and health services delivery in rural and Northern regions. Dr. Harding has been involved in the field of FASD since 2010, predominantly through research and working with families raising children with FASD.
Lindsay Wolfson, MPH — Researcher
Lindsay Wolfson holds a Master of Public Health, Social Inequities and Health from Simon Fraser University. Lindsay is a researcher with the Canada FASD Research Network and Research Coordinator at the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health. Lindsay’s background is in the anti-violence field. She is currently responsible for research and collaboration on projects relating to Indigenous health and wellness, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder prevention, and the integration of gender-, trauma- and equity-informed approaches into policy, research, and practice.
Victoria Bailey, BAS, M.S.Com — Communications Coordinator
Victoria received her Bachelor of Arts and Science degree from the University of Guelph in 2016 and her Masters of Science Communication degree from Laurentian University in 2019. Her master’s research was conducted in partnership with Public Health Sudbury and Districts and focused on developing effective message frameworks to communicate information about the social determinants of health. Victoria is passionate about health communication and is excited for the opportunity to be able share the incredible work that CanFASD does with the rest of the world.
Rochelle Blaak-Herron — Admin Support
Rochelle Blaak-Herron brings a wealth of administrative and communications experience to her role as Administrative Assistant for CanFaSD. Originally from London, Ontario, she travelled to the Western Provinces to explore and find her place in Canada, which is now Burnaby, BC, where she lives with her husband and 7-year-old son. She has worked in tourism, not-for-profits, and member-driven organizations for more than 15 years. She thrives on efficient communications, creativity, and strong relations between stakeholders and staff. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Professional Writing, she is passionate about the written word. She writes her own blog and personal stories in her free time, as well as volunteering for several organizations. She is looking forward to the challenges and motivations that working for CanFASD will bring, and is dedicated to their vision of mission of bringing awareness to all Canadians.