Meet Our Team

Erin Bigney, MA Experimental and Applied Psychology

Head of Research

Erin Bigney is the Head of Research for Canada East Spine Center. Ms. Bigney holds a Master’s degree in Experimental and Applied Psychology and has worked in the field of research for the past 15 years.  Ms. Bigney’s educational and work experiences have focused on experimental design, methodology and program evaluation. She has multiple peer-reviewed publications and has presented at national and international scientific conferences.

Eden Richardson, B.A. Political Science & English, Graduate Certificate-Human Resources Management

Research Manager

Eden oversees one of the largest sites for CSORN (Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network) of the 20 participating sites in Canada through the Canadian Spine Society. Eden also works for the Canadian Spine Society nationally as the Data Quality Coordinator for CSORN because of her fantastic work with CSORN registry. Eden has hosted national training sessions for research coordinators and surgeons on data quality for CSORN. Eden also runs all the sub-studies for CSORN which includes sub-studies on adult deformity, cervical spondylotic myelopathy, and degenerative spondylolisthesis. Eden also coordinates most of the clinical and non-clinical trials at Canada East Spine Centre. Eden completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of New Brunswick, Saint John campus with a double major in Political Science and English and graduated with First Division. She has also completed her Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management at Seneca College.

Dana El-Mughayyar, B.Sc. Biology Psychology

Research Coordinator

Dana El-Mughayyar, Research Coordinator of Canada East Spine Centre completed her BSc. in Biology Psychology and is currently undergoing her Master degree. She is the head of the Volunteer Mentorship Program offered to undergraduate and graduate students and the head of CESC's social media accounts. She is the main research coordinator for the Praxis Spinal Cord Injury Registry which specializes in spinal cord injury and traumatic inpatients. You might recognize El-Mughayyar from clinic as she is our main patient contact and is always happy to engage with patients for follow-up or consenting. El-Mughayyar is also in the process of writing 8 manuscripts for publication. Outside of CESC, El-Mughayyar also participates as one of the writers for the Atlantic Student Research Journal and recently started to write articles for editions of the Canadian Spine Society Newsletter – Spinal Columns.

Donna Eastwood RN, MN, ONC(c)

Clinical Research Associate

Donna Eastwood RN, MN, ONC(c), Recently retired from the Orthopaedic Nurse Associate role, Donna remains involved in development and implementation of methods to improve access to care for adults with back pain. This has lead to a local preoperative class for adults about to have spinal fusion surgery. In addition, she remains a leader in the development of NB-ISAEC, a New Brunswick program to improve access to care for adults with back pain. Donna’s academic achievements include presentations at Canadian Spine Society and North American Spine Society scientific meetings. She is lead author on May 2019 Spine Journal article: Improving postoperative patient reported benefits and satisfaction following spinal fusion with a single preoperative education session.

Amanda Vandewint, BSc. Biomedical Science with option in Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Research Coordinator

Amanda Vandewint, Research Coordinator began her journey with Canada East Spine Centre through the volunteer mentorship program. She completed her BSc. in Biomedical Science with option in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Summa Cum Laude at the University of Ottawa. She is the team lead on the double blinded, randomized, controlled clinical trial exploring the effects of a single intra-operative epidural injection of Ropivacaine® on post-operative outcomes along with the prospective observational study looking at the predictors of post-operative urinary retention in spine surgery patients. Amanda also regularly interacts with patients in clinics or over the phone for the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network (CSORN) registry.

Janice (Loop-D) Kenny RN, BN

Neurosurgery Case Manager

Loop-d graduated with a Diploma in Nursing from the Saint John School of Nursing in 1981, and completed Post-Graduate studies in Neuroscience Nursing from the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University in 1987. More recently, she completed her undergraduate degree in Nursing from UNBSJ in 2006. Loop-d has held the National CNA Certification in Neuroscience Nursing since 1991. She has served on the National Board of Directors for the Canadian Association of Neuroscience Nurses and was the National President in 1995. She is currently practicing Nursing in the Neurosciences. Loop-D's clinical interests are in Neuro Trauma, and Neuro Critical Care in the management of Brain & Spinal Cord Injuries.

Heidi Kelly BNRN, CPN(c)

Clinical Leader, Orthopaedic Spinal Surgery and Neurosurgery

Heidi Kelly completed her Bachelor of Nursing degree in 2006 from the University of Calgary. Prior to working in Saint John, she gained valuable clinical experience in rural nursing and private surgical practice nursing. She joined the OR team in 2009 where she developed an interest spinal surgery and assisted in various neurosurgery research projects, including the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry.
As Spine resource nurse, Heidi collaborates with our interdisciplinary team to provide the best care and outcomes possible for our patients in the operating room. Her clinical interests are spinal cord injury, infection prevention and the impact of technological advances in the operating room on patient outcomes.

Sharon MacEwan RN

Clinical Leader Neurosurgery Operating Room

Sharon provides extensive OR experience in neurosurgery and spine surgery specifically. She contributes to intraoperative technique and technology decisions to optimize patient outcomes in the OR and postoperatively. She has been working in Saint John since 1998.