Skip to main content
Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Winnie Sun profile photo

Winnie Sun
RN, PhD

Assistant Professor

Faculty of Health Sciences

Contact information

Science Building North Oshawa
2000 Simcoe Street North
Oshawa, ON L1G 0C5

905.721.8668 ext. 5349


Research topics

  • gerontology
  • community health
  • self-management
  • home care safety
  • adverse events
  • assistive technologies
  • information communication technology
  • dementia
  • social inclusion
  • disability
  • health services and policy

Research and expertise

  • Background and interests

    Research background and interests:

    • aging and gerontology
    • assistive technology
    • community health nursing
    • de-prescribing of medications
    • dementia care
    • disability
    • empathy in helping relationships
    • gerontechnology
    • health services and policy research
    • home care safety
    • information communication technology
    • mixed-methods research
    • opioid abuse
    • self-care in chronic disease management
    • social inclusion
    • vaccine hesitancy and uptake

    Dr. Sun is a research collaborator at the Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life, Network Centres of Excellence (AGE-WELL-NCE). Her research projects include:

    • Patient safety in home care.
    • Self-care in chronic disease management.
    • Ethics in relation to assistive technology access and procurement.
    • Use of information communication technologies for patients with dementia and their caregivers.
    • Use of social and recreational programs to promote social inclusion for older adults.
    • Development of remote-monitoring technologies for older adults in the community.
    • Health services and policy research in gerontology.
    • Best-practice guidelines utilization in home care.
  • Publications
    For a comprehensive list of publications, please visit ResearchGate.
    • Abbass-Dick, J., Sun, W., Stanyon, W., Papaconstantinou, E., D'Paiva, V. & Jiwani-Ebrahim, N. and Dennis, CL. (2020). Designing a mindfulness resource for expectant and new mothers and their families to promote maternal mental wellness during the transition to parenthood: An exploration of parents’ experiences and preferences. Journal of Child and Family Studies. 29 (1): 105-114.
    • Tashin, F., Stanyon, W., Sun, W., Gamble, B. (2020). A single mindfulness session with informal caregivers of seniors living with dementia: pilot qualitative descriptive study. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research. 1: 1-7.
    • Abbass-Dick, J., Newport, A., Xie, F., Pattison, D., Sun, W., Kenaszchuk, C., & Dennis, CL. (2020). Development , psychometric assessment, and predictive validity of the comprehensive breastfeeding knowledge scale. Journal of Midwifery. 83: 1-9.
    • Sun, W., Tashin, F., Barakat, C., Turner, J., Reid-Haughian, C., & Abbass-Dick, J. (2019). An exploration of home care nurse’s role in deprescribing of medications: A qualitative descriptive study.  BMJ Open, 9 (5), 1-9.
    • Sun, W., Tashin, F., Lam, A., & Pizzacalla, A. (2019). Raising awareness about nurse’s role in deprescribing of medication for older adults in the community.  Perspectives: Journal of the Canadian Gerontological Association, 40(4), 17-22.
    • Zou, P. Sun, W., Hallowell, S., Luo, Y., & Lee, C., & Ge, L. (2019). Use of guest speakers in nursing education: An integrative review of multi-disciplinary literature.  Advances in Medical Education and Practice, 10, 175-189.
    • Zou, P., Luo, Y., Krolak, K., Hu, J., Liu, L., Lin, Y., & Sun, W. (2019). Student’s experiences on learning therapeutic relationship: A narrative inquiry. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 1-10.
    • Sun, W., Wilson, M., Schreiber, D., & Wang, R. (2017). Ethical Challenges related to assistive product access for older adults and adults living with a disability: a scoping review. BMC Systematic Reviews. 6:24, 1-5.
    • Sun, W, Doran, D., Wodchis, D. & Peter, E. (2017). Examining the Relationship between Therapeutic Self-Care and Adverse Events for Home Care Clients in Ontario, Canada: A Retrospective Cohort Study. BMC Health Services Research. 17:206, 1-13.
    • Sun, W., & Doran, D. (2015). Integration of biophysiological information with a point-of-care decision support system to promote patient safety at home. In Y.C. Shih & S.F. Liang (Eds), Bridging Research and Good Practices towards Patient Welfare (pp. 199-206). London, UK: Taylor & Francis Group.
    • Sun, W. & Doran. D. (2015). Patient Safety in the Home: Examining the relationship between therapeutic self-care and adverse events for home care clients in Canada. In Y.C. Shih & S.F. Liang (Eds), Health Care Systems Ergonomics and Patient Safety (pp.79-86). London, UK: CRC Press.
    • Sun, W., Doran, D., Wodchis, D. & Peter, E. (2015). Improving Gaps in Home Care: Examining the Role of Therapeutic Self-Care in Supporting Home Care Safety for Older Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 63(Suppl 1), 72.

    Articles in refereed conference proceedings

    • Sun, W., Bartfay, E., Smye, V., Newton, D., Pepin, M., Biswas, S., & Dacanay, M. (October, 2019). Living well with dementia: Examining the effectiveness of social recreational programs to promote social inclusion of persons with dementia. Canadian Geriatrics Journal 23(1), 37-38.
    • Biswas, S., & Sun, W. (June, 2019). Exploring the socio-cultural factors that influence equitable access to and social participation in dementia support programs among immigrant population living in Toronto and Greater Toronto Area. Witness: The Canadian Journal of Critical Nursing Discourse. Suppl, 1-2.
    • Sun, W. (2018). Living well with dementia: The role of community-based programs in promoting social connectedness for persons with dementia and their caregivers. The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. 14(7) Suppl, 947-948.
    • Sun, W., & Doran., D. (2018). Using mobile health technologies to support safer client care in the community.  Journal of the International Society for Gerontechnology, 17 (Suppl 1), 141-142.
    • Sun, W., Tahsin, F., Abbass-Dick, Jennifer., Barakat, C., Turner, J., & Reid-Haughian, C. (2018). A scaling-up approach to educating home care nurses about deprescribing to promote active living of frail older adults at home.  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 66 (Suppl 1), 83-84.
    • Coffey, S., Graham, L., Anyinam., C., Muirhead, B., De la Rocha, A., Zitzelsberger, H., Vogel, E., Ballantyne, N., Vanderlee, R., Chorney, D., Munro-Gilbert, P., Papaconstantinou, E., & Sun, W. (2018). Post-secondary education: The missing link in tackling the global opioid abuse epidemic.  12th Annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference Proceedings (IATED), 9674-9679.
    • Sun, W., Doran, D., Doherty, S., Goubran, R., Papinski, D, & Knoefel, F. (2018).  Developing mobile technologies for older adults to promote aging well in the community. 10th Annual International Conference on Technology, and New Learning Technologies Conference Proceedings (EDULEARN), 7372-7377.

    Refereed book chapters  

    • Sun, W., Lynne-Clarke, S., Madahey, H. & Zou, P. (2019). Recovery intervention to promote social connectedness through social recreational programs for persons with dementia: A Critical Analysis.  In G. Ashraf (Eds), Advances in Dementia Research (pp. 1-19). London, UK: Intech Open Publishing.
    • Sun, W., Srija. B., Dacanay, M. & Zou, P. (2019). An examination of factors influencing equitable access to dementia care and support programs among migrants and refugees living with dementia: A literature review. In D. Larrivee (Eds), Alzheimer's Dementia and Korsakoff's Disease - Linking Memory Pathology to the Autobiographical Self (pp. 1-17). London, UK: Intech Open Publishing.
    • Sun, W., & Doran, D. (2015). Integration of biophysiological information with a point-of-care decision support system to promote patient safety at home. In Y.C. Shih & S.F. Liang (Eds), Bridging Research and Good Practices towards Patient Welfare (pp. 199-206). London, UK: Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Invited lectures, media Interviews and conference (poster) presentations

    Papers/posters presented at conferences and symposia (peer-reviewed)

    • Dale, W., Magda, D., & W. (Nov 2019). Poster presentation titled: “The Development of Deprescribing Gerontology Framework in the Nursing Education Curriculum: A Literature Review.” Quality Intervention Fair for Toronto Health Region. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
    • Sun, W., Tashin, F., Barakat, C., Turner, J., Reid-Haughian, C., & Abbass-Dick, J. (Nov 2019). Poster presentation titled: “Deprescribing of Medications for Older Adults in the Community: Perspectives from Homecare nurses.”. 2nd Asia-Pacific Conference on Integrated Care (APIC2).  Melbourne, Australia.
    • Sun, W., Tashin, F., Barakat, C., Turner, J., Reid-Haughian, C., & Abbass-Dick, J. (Oct 2019). Poster presentation titled: “Homecare Nurse’s Experiences in Deprescribing of Medications for Older Adults in the Community.” The 48th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting: Canadian Association on Gerontology.  Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.
    • Sun, W., Bartfay, E., Smye, V., Newton, D., Pepin, M. (October 2019). Poster presentation titled: “Living well with dementia: Examining the effectiveness of social recreational programs to promote social inclusion of persons with dementia.” The 9th Canadian Conference on Dementia.  Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
    • Biswas, S., & Sun, W. (June 2019). Poster presentation titled: “Exploring the socio-cultural factors that influence equitable access to and social participation in dementia support programs among immigrant population living in Toronto and Greater Toronto Area”.  Social Justice Nursing Conference.  Toronto, Canada.
    • Sun, W., & Martignetti, L. (June 2019). Poster presentation titled: “Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Barriers and Facilitators to Equitable Access to Naloxone in Ontario”.  Social Justice Nursing Conference.  Toronto, Canada.
    • Coffey, S., Anyinam, C., Graham, L., da Silva, C., de la Rocha, A., Chorney, D., Munro-Gilbert, P., Robertson, L., Papaconstantinou, E., Vogel, E., Muirhead, B., & Sun, W. (June 2019). Exploring New Frontiers in Post-Secondary Teaching-Learning Class Preparation: The Graphic Novel. World Congress on Nursing and Healthcare, London, England.
    • Coffey, S., Anyinam, C., Graham, L., da Silva, C., de la Rocha, A., Chorney, D., Munro-Gilbert, P., Robertson, L., Papaconstantinou, E., Vogel, E., Muirhead, B., & Sun, W. (June, 2019). Opioid Simulation with Nursing Students and HELPERS© (Humanistic, Empowering, Learner-centred, Professionally-oriented, Evidence-based/informed, Reflective, Simulation) Model. Conference of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
    • Sun, W., Abbass-Dick, Jennifer., Barakat, C., Turner, J., & Reid-Haughian, C. (May, 2019). Poster presentation titled: “Examining Experiences of Home Healthcare Nurses about Deprescribing of Medications for Older Adults”.  Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research Conference.  Halifax, Canada.
    • Sun, W., Tashin, F., Lam, A., & Pizzacalla, A. (May, 2019). Oral presentation titled: “Raising Awareness about Nurse’s Role in Deprescribing of Medication for Older Adults in the Community”. Canadian Gerontological Nurses’ Association Conference. Calgary, Canada.
    • Sun, W., Abbass-Dick, Jennifer., Barakat, C., Turner, J., & Reid-Haughian, C. (March, 2019). Poster presentation titled: “Deprescribing of Medications for Older Home Care Clients in the Community: A Qualitative Study”.  Nursing Leadership Network of Ontario (NLN) Conference.  Toronto, Canada.
    • Sun, W., Abbass-Dick, J., Barakat, C., Turner, J., & Reid-Haughian, C. (October, 2018). Poster presentation titled: “Home Care Nurses’ Perspectives on Deprescribing of Medications for Older Adults in the Community”.  The 47th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting: Canadian Association on Gerontology.  Vancouver, Canada.
    • Sun, W., Bartfay, E., Smye, V., Newton, D., Pepin, M., Biswas, S., Clarke, S., & Dacanay, M. (July, 2018). Poster presentation titled: “Reducing Social Isolation with Social Recreational Programs:  An Exploration of the Volunteer’s Perspectives at the Alzheimer Society of Durham Region”.  Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, Chicago, USA.
    • Coffey, S., Muirhead, B., Graham, L., Zitzelsberger, H., De La Rocha, a., Chorney, D., Papaconstantinou, E., Vogel, E., Sun, W., Anyinam, C., Munro-Gilbert, P., Vanderlee, R., Service, D., Trivedi, H. (June, 2018). Paper presentation titled: “Saving Lives with Simulation-Based Learning: The Opioid Epidemic”. International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation & Learning Conference (INACSL) 2018, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Sun, W., Abbass-Dick, J., Barakat, C., Turner, J., & Reid-Haughian, C. (May, 2018). Poster presentation titled: “Educating Home Care Nurses about Deprescribing to Promote Active Living of Frail Older Adults at Home”.  S.-Hong Kong 2018 Conference: Aging Across Time and Context.  Hong Kong, China.
    • Sun, W., Bartfay, E., Smye, V., Newton, D., Pepin, M., Biswas, S. (May, 2018).  Poster presentation titled: “Community-Based Programs in Promoting Social Connectedness for Persons with Dementia”.  Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research 2018.  Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
    • Sun, W., & Doran., D. (May, 2018). Paper presentation titled: “Using Mobile Health Technologies to Support Safer Client Care in the Community”.  11th World Conference on Gerontechnology.  Petersburgh, Florida, USA.
    • Sun, W., Tahsin, F., Abbass-Dick, Jennifer., Barakat, C., Turner, J., & Reid-Haughian, C. (May 2018). Poster presentation titled: “A scaling-up approach to educating home care nurses about deprescribing of medications for older adults”.  American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Annual Meeting 2018. Orlando, Florida, USA.
    • Coffey, S., Muirhead, B., Graham, L., Zitzelsberger, H., De La Rocha, a., Chorney, D., Papaconstantinou, E., Vogel, E., Sun, W., Anyinam, C., Munro-Gilbert, P., Vanderlee, R., Service, D., Trivedi, H. (March, 2018).  Paper presentation titled: “Tackling Opioid Overdose Situations with Simulation-based Learning”. ICERI 10th Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, Seville, Spain.
    • Tahsin, F., Sun, W., Abbass Dick, J., Barakat-Haddad, C., Turner, T., Reid-Haughian, C. (February, 2018). Poster presentation titled: “De-prescribing Approaches in Home Care:  A Qualitative Descriptive Study”. Ontario Shores 7th Annual Mental Health Conference. Whitby, Ontario, Canada. 
    • Sun, W., Bartfay, E., Smye, V., Newton, D., Pepin, M., Biswas, S., & Madahey, H. (February 2018).  Poster presentation titled: “Living Well with Dementia: Recovery Intervention to Promote Social Connectedness through Social Recreational Programs for Persons with Dementia”.  Ontario Shores 7th Annual Mental Health Conference. Whitby, Ontario, Canada.

    Invited lectures and media interviews

  • Grants

    Purpose: Canadian Frailty Network 2020 Interdisciplinary Fellowship Program
    Name of agency: Canadian Frailty Network
    Date of award: May 2020
    Duration: One year
    Title of project: Goal-Setting and Decision-Making with Persons with Dementia in Geriatric Services
    Total award: $35,000
    All investigators: Ms. Stacey Hawkins and Dr. Winnie Sun ((Matching Funds of $17,500 from Senior Care Network)

    Purpose: Government of Ontario
    Name of agency: New Horizons for Senior Program
    Date of award: January 2020
    Duration: One year
    Title of project: The Beauty of Aging: An Anti-Ageism Campaign
    Total award: $25,000
    All investigators: Ms. Sonya Hardman; Dr. Winnie Sun; Dr. Emma Bartfay; Ms. Colleen Zavrel; Ms. Julia McCrea; Ms. Lynda Lawson and Mr. Michael Smith

    Purpose: Ontario Shores-Ontario Tech Joint Funding Call in Dementia Care 2019
    Name of agency: Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
    Date of award: November 2019
    Duration: One year
    Title of project: Reminiscence Therapy through Virtual Reality Application to Promote Social Connectedness of Persons with Dementia
    Total award: $25,000
    All investigators: Dr. Winnie Sun, Dr. Akira Tokuhiro; Dr. Alvaro Quevedo; Dr. Bill Kapralos; Dr. Emma Bartfay; Ms. Julie Earle; Dr. Manon Lemonde; Dr. Ramiro Liscano; Ms. Sheri Hornsburgh  

    Purpose: Government of Ontario
    Name of agency:  Ontario Seniors Community Grant Program
    Date of award: November 2019
    Duration: One year
    Title of project: Anti-Ageism Public Education Campaign
    Total award: $25,000
    All investigators: Ms. Sonya Hardman; Dr. Winnie Sun; Dr. Emma Bartfay; Ms. Colleen Zavrel; Ms. Julia McCrea; Ms. Lynda Lawson and Mr. Michael Smith  

    Purpose: SSHRC Small Explore Grant Program
    Name of agency:  Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
    Date of award: May 2019
    Duration: One year
    Title of project: An exploratory study to examine the social aspects of influenza vaccine hesitancy in persons with dementia
    Total award: $5,000
    All investigators: Dr. Emma Bartfay and Dr. Winnie Sun (Ontario Tech University)

    Purpose: UOIT and Seniors Care Network Experiential Learning Program
    Name of agency: UOIT Experiential Learning Funds
    Date of award: September 2018
    Duration: One year
    Title of project: Developing Experiential Learning Program to Educate Students in Supporting Older Adults to Age in Place
    Total award: $5,000
    All investigators: Ms. Kelly Kay, Dr. Winnie Sun; Ms. Stacey Hawkins; Dr. Brenda Gamble
    (Partnership with Ontario Tech and Seniors Care Network)

    Purpose: Research Award: Ontario’s Age-Friendly Community Grant Program
    Name of agency: Durham Council on Aging
    Date of award: December 2018
    Duration: One year
    Title of project: The Development of Age-Friendly Health System Navigation Directory for Older Adults
    Total award: $5,000
    All Investigators: Ms. Sonya Hardman; Ms. Denyse Newton; and Dr. Winnie Sun
    (Partnership with Ontario Tech and Durham Council on Aging)

    Purpose: SSHRC Insight Development Grant Award
    Name of agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
    Date of award: July 2016
    Duration: Three years
    Title of project: Perspectives on Information and Communication Technology for Daily Activities and Social Inclusion among Older Canadians with Cognitive Impairments and Their caregivers
    Total award: $75,000
    All investigators: Dr. Winnie Sun, Dr. Rosalie Wang Dr. Michael Wilson, Dr. Jeff Jutai, Dr. Virginie Corbigo, Dr. Hajer Chalghoumi, Dr. Vanessa Chenel (Partnership with Ontario Tech, University of Toronto, McMaster University, University of Ottawa and University of Montreal)

    Purpose: Women’s Xchange
    Name of agency: Women’s College Research Institute
    Date of award: November 2017
    Duration: Two years
    Title of project: The Effectiveness of an eHealth Breastfeeding Co-Parenting Educational Resource on Overcoming Early Breastfeeding Challenges and Increasing Exclusivity Rates in the First Four Weeks Postpartum
    Total award: $ 15,000
    All investigators: Dr. Jennifer-Abbass-Dick, Dr. Winnie Sun; Dr. William Goodman; Ms. Fangli Xie; Ms. Amber Newport; Ms. Shannon Gainey; and Ms. Joanne Huizinga)
    (Partnership with Ontario Tech and Durham Region Health Department)

    Purpose: SSHRC Small Partnership Grant
    Name of agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
    Date of award: June 2017
    Duration: One year
    Title of project: A Scaling-up Approach to Educating Home Care Nurses about De-Prescribing to Promote Active and Independent Living of Frail Older Adults at Home
    Total award: $15,000
    All investigators:  Dr. Winnie Sun, Dr. Jennifer-Abbass-Dick, Dr. Caroline Barakat-Haddad, Dr. Justin Turner, Ms. Cheryl Reid-Haughian
    (Partnership with Ontario Tech, Canadian Deprescribing Network, and ParaMed Home Health Care)
     
    Purpose: Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant (OTF)
    Name of agency: Alzheimer’s Society Durham Region
    Date of award: March 2017
    Duration: Two years
    Title of project: Evaluation of ‘Living Well with Dementia’ Project
    Total award: $18,000
    All Investigators: Dr. Winnie Sun; Dr. Emma Bartfay, Dr. Vicki Smye, Denyse Newton, Michelle Pepin (Partnership with Ontario Tech, University of Western Ontario, Alzheimer’s Society of Durham Region)

    Previous grants:

    • Purpose: SSHRC Insight Development Grant Award
      Name of agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
      Title of project: Perspectives on information and communication technology for daily activities and social inclusion among older Canadians with cognitive impairments and their caregivers
      In collaboration with: Dr. Rosalie Wang Dr. Michael Wilson, Dr. Jeff Jutai, Dr. Virginie Corbigo, Dr. Hajer Chalghoumi, Dr. Vanessa Chenel (Partnership with Ontario Tech, University of Toronto, McMaster University and University of Ottawa 

    • Purpose: Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant (OTF)
      Name of agency: Alzheimer’s Society Durham Region
      Title of project: Evaluation of ‘Living Well with Dementia’ Project
      In collaboration with: Dr. Emma Bartfay, Dr. Vicki Smye, Denyse Newton, Michelle Pepin (Partnership with Ontario Tech and Alzheimer’s Society of Durham Region)

    • Purpose: Ontario Tech University Teaching Innovation Fund
      Name of agency: Ontario Tech Teaching and Learning Centre
      Title of project: Teaching Innovation Fund: Simulations and Standardized Patient Innovation for Year Three Community Health Nursing Students
      In collaboration with: Dr. Jennifer Abbass-Dick; Dr. Wendy Stanyon; June McDonald; Sandra Mairs; Elaine Salmers (Partnership with Ontario Tech and Durham College)

    • Purpose: Ontario Tech University Teaching Innovation Fund
      Name of agency: Ontario Tech Teaching and Learning Centre
      Title of project: Development of Empathy in Helping Relationship
      In collaboration with: Dr. Jennifer Abbass-Dick; Dr. Manon Lemonde; Dr. Wendy Stanyon

    • Purpose: Ontario Tech University Teaching Innovation Fund
      Name of agency: Ontario Tech Teaching and Learning Centre
      Title of project: Tackling the Opioid Abuse Epidemic with Simulation-Based Learning for Nursing Students
      In collaboration with: Dr. Sue Coffey; Dr. Hilde Zitzelberger; Leslie Graham; Arlene de la Rocha; Dr. Bill Muirhead; Dana Chorney; Dr. Efrosini Papaconstantinou; Dr. Ellen Vogel

  • Education
    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, 1995
    • Master of Nursing - Administration, Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, 2002
    • PhD Collaborative Graduate Program in Health Services and Policy Research, Institute of Health Policy and Management, Faculty of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto, 2004