Linda Watson

Dr. Linda Watson



Adjunct Assistant Professor

Faculty of Nursing, Adjuncts

Scientific Director, Cancer Research and Analytics (Acting)

Alberta Health Services

Scientific Director Applied Research and Patient Experience Cancer Research and Analytics, Cancer Care Alberta

Alberta Health Services


Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute

Contact information

Web presence

Phone number

Office: 403.470.7146

For media enquiries, contact

Karen Cook, Director, Communications

Office: +1.403.220.4361
Twitter: @ucalgarynursing

Preferred method of communication

Administrative Assistant

Toni Gemmell

Office: 403.476.2606


Educational Background

PhD Oncology Nursing, University of Calgary, 2014

MN Oncology Nursing, University of Calgary, 2008

BScN University of Saskatchewan, 1990


Dr. Linda Watson is the Scientific Director for Applied Research and Patient Experience with the Alberta Health Services cancer program, Acting Scientific Director of Cancer Research and Analytics, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary. She has been an oncology nurse in Calgary, Alberta for over 30 years, having held a variety of nursing and inter-professional leadership roles within the CancerControl Alberta (CCA) provincial program. She is also a past President of the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology (CANO). She current is serving a four year term on the Board of Directors for the International Society for Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC).

Applied Research – Patient Experience aims to improve the quality of life and experience of cancer patients in Alberta through the collection and use of patient reported measures to tailor improvements in care and system design, provide targeted and personalized symptom management and improved integration between primary care and the cancer program across the cancer trajectory.  

She is the primary investigator on a nationally funded four year applied research study “Improving quality of life for cancer patients in Alberta through comprehensive application of Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs)” and co-investigator on the “Development, Implementation and Evaluation of an Innovative Integrated Supportive Care Pathway by Primary Care across Alberta” grant, funded by AHS, Alberta Innovates and CIHR.

She has lead the development, implementation and evaluation of several provincial programs with CancerControl Alberta including a Cancer Patient Navigation program, a “Post-Treatment Cancer Transitions in care Model” and a free consult recording mobile phone app. 


Areas of Research

Area of Focus
  • Applied Research and Patient Experience
  • Patient reported measures
  • Transitions in Care
  • Navigation
  • Survivorship
  • Person Centred Care
Research Summary

My program of health services research revolves around strategies, applied interventions, and digital health solutions that improve the person centredness of ambulatory cancer care and patient experience. As an embedded researcher in Cancer Care Alberta (CCA), I have had the unique privilege to lead several implementation science programs aimed at improving the person centredness of ambulatory oncology care provincially. The first major provincial implementation science project I led was the development of the CCA’s cancer patient navigation program. This involved the implementation of cancer patient navigator roles in all community cancer centres sites to better serve the unique care needs of rural Albertans with cancer. After a robust program evaluation, this program has been sustained and expanded upon.

I currently lead the provincial “Living well after Cancer” program aimed to support improved transitions between CCA and Primary Care post ambulatory oncology treatments. I also have led the CCA’s provincial Patient Reported Outcomes program, which revolved around routine collection, analysis and utilization of the information to guide clinical care in CCA. Over 80,000 cancer patients have completed a CCA PRO report, with just under 500,000 unique PRO entry time points and over 50,000 supportive care referrals associated with the clinical review of PROs. Further integration of PROs and visual trended reports into Connect Care are currently underway. Digital health strategies is another area where I have led work including the development of a patient centric consult recording app called “MyCare Conversations” to assist patient with recall of information shared by clinicians. 

Finally, I also lead the programmatic measurement, analysis and reporting back of patient experience trends within CCA to clinical teams and operational leadership for the purpose of guiding continual quality improvement. The next phase of implementation science research will revolve around testing a new model of care that integrates virtual care, digital health and person centredness