Smita Pakhale profile picture

Contact Information

Smita Pakhale, MD, FRCPC, MsC (Epi & Biostat)
613-737-8899 ex.79469

The Ottawa Hospital
501 Smyth Rd, Ottawa, Canada

Our Community-Based Research Centre:
The Bridge Engagement Centre (The Bridge)
216 Murray St., Ottawa, Canada, K1N 5N1
Phone: 613-518-7172

Smita Pakhale

Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology Program
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology Program
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Staff Respirologist, Division of Respirology, Department of Medicine
The Ottawa Hospital
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine
University of Ottawa
Assistant Professor, School of Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventive Medicine
University of Ottawa

Research Interests

Dr. Pakhale started her research program after joining The Ottawa Hospital and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute in 2008. Dr. Pakhale's research interests are:

* Health Equity and Marginalized Populations
* Indigenous People's health and wellbeing
* Tobacco Dependence Management
* Chronic Lung Diseases (Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, COPD)
* Global Health
* Social Determinants of Health

Brief Biography

Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Assistant Professor, Division of Respirology, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa;Staff physician, Division of Respiratory Medicine, Ottawa Hospital

Dr. Pakhale completed her medical school training from the Government Medical College, Nagpur, India. Dr. Pakhale completed her Internal Medicine residency at the Columbia University, New York, NY, USA, and became an American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certified internist. She further completed Lung Transplantation and Cystic Fibrosis fellowship at the University of Toronto and Respirology and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. Upon completion of her fellowships at the University of Toronto and the University of Manitoba, she was awarded Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCPC) in Internal Medicine (2005) and Respirology (2006). She then went on to join McGill University as a post-doc research fellow and simultaneously completed training in Epidemiology and Biostatistics for which she received an MSc (2008).

Meaningful 'Patient Engagement' has always been the forte of Dr. Pakhale's research since her student project on school-based asthma in rural India.  Currently, she is leading a community-based research center in downtown Ottawa, The Bridge Engagement Centre (The Bridge) where she works in a  true partnership with the urban poor ("inner-city") population.The target population at the Bridge is homeless, at-risk for homelessness, and people of Indigenous origin. The overarching goal of all the Bridge projects is to improve the Quality of Life of all project participants. The Bridge projects are implemented by community peer researchers, with lived experience and truly representative of the target population.
Dr. Pakhale and her team operationalized a Patient Engagement model at the Bridge - The Ottawa Citizen Engagement and Action Model (OCEAM), which is being acclaimed globally. (
The whole-person, compassionate approach at the Bridge demonstrated unexpected downstream positive outcomes. Such as, the PROMPT project, despite providing ONLY support towards tobacco dependence, majority participants reduced/quit tobacco use, and also reduced/quit all other drug use including opioids like fentanyl. Over third of the participants improved their general socio-economic status by reuniting with their family, getting a better place to live, a better job, a pet, school and drug rehab enrolments!(

The Bridge has a Community Advisory Committee (CAC), where people from the local community are voting members and representatives of the neighbourhood organisations are the non-voting members. The Bridge CAC meets regularly to oversee all the projects at the Bridge and the mission and vision of the Bridge.
The ‘Team-Bridge’ runs every year, captained by Mr. Ted Bignell (research participant and the Bridge CAC member), for the May long weekend Ottawa Race. Please join our team or support the Bridge projects:  

Selected Publications

1. Pakhale, S, Tina Kaur, Charron, C, Florence, K, Rose, R, Jama, S, Boyd, B, Haddad, J, Alvarez, G, Tyndall, M. Management and Point-of-Care for Tobacco Dependence (PROMPT): a feasibility mixed methods Community Based Participatory Action Research project in Ottawa, Canada. BMJ open 8.1 (2018): e018416.

2. Pakhale, S., , Kaur T, Florence K, Rose T, Boyd R, Haddad J, Pettey D, Muckle W, Tyndall M. The Ottawa Citizen Engagement and Action Model (OCEAM): A Citizen engagement Strategy Operationalized Through The Participatory Research in Ottawa, Management and Point-of-care of Tobacco (PROMPT) Study, A Community Based Participatory Action Research Project in Inner City Ottawa. BioMed Central: Research Involvement and Engagement. 2016, 2:20

3. Pakhalé S, Folan P, Neptune E, Sachs D. Retail Tobacco Sale in the Community. Should Pharmacies Sell Tobacco Products? Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2015 Aug;12(8):1116-7.
4. Leone FT, Carlsen KH, Folan P, Latzka K, Munzer A, Neptune E, Pakhale S, Sachs DP, Samet J, Upson D, White A; ATS Tobacco Action Committee; American Thoracic Society. An Official American Thoracic Society Research Statement: Current Understanding and Future Research Needs in Tobacco Control and Treatment. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Aug 1;192(3):e22-41.

5. Pakhale S, Armstrong M, Holly C, Edjoc R, Gaudet E, Aaron S, Tasca G, Cameron W, Balfour L. Assessment of stigma in patients with cystic fibrosis. BMC Pulm Med. 2014 May 1;14:76.

6. Pakhale S, Doucette S, Vandemheen K, Boulet LP, McIvor RA, Fitzgerald JM, Hernandez P, Lemiere C, Sharma S, Field SK, Alvarez GG, Dales RE, Aaron SD. A comparison of obese and nonobese people with asthma: exploring an asthma-obesity interaction. Chest. 2010 Jun;137(6):1316-23

7. Pakhale SS, Hadjiliadis D, Howell DN, Palmer SM, Gutierrez C, Waddell TK, Chaparro C, Davis RD, Keshavjee S, Hutcheon MA, Singer LG. Upper lobe fibrosis: a novel manifestation of chronic allograft dysfunction in lung transplantation. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2005 Sep;24(9):1260-8.

Diseases, conditions and populations of interest

First Nations, Inuit and M├ętis Health; Health equity; Health in disadvantaged peoples; Lung disease; Sickle cell anemia

Research and clinical approaches

Clinical research; Clinical trials; Cohort studies; Epidemiology; Health economics; Health promotion; Health services research; Pragmatic trials; Public health; Quality Improvement