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Karen M Benzies


Professor and Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Nursing

Adjunct Research Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine

(403) 220-2294

Faculty of Nursing, PF2222
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary Alberta, T2N 1N4

Research Activities: 

Selected Studies

Family Integrated Care (FICare)

The purpose of this project is to test a new way to integrate parents into the care of their baby through a program called Family Integrated Care (FICare). In FICare, parents are educated and supported by nurses to provide care for their baby; nurses and doctors still provide medical procedures. FICare has been tested in Ontario and shows promise as a better model of care for the small percentage of babies born more than 8 weeks early, who have to spend a long time in hospital. Now we want to test FICare with the greater percentage of preterm babies who are born 4 to 8 weeks early to see if parents are able to take their baby home sooner, and if their babies are healthier. We also want to know if FICare can reduce distress for parents.


Welcome to Parenthood

The purpose of this project is to support families during their transition to parenting so that babies can grow up healthy and strong. A key piece of this project is linking parents with parenting supports, mentors, and other vital community resources. Through integrated community supports we will provide specialized information and support to parents and their adult mentor. Through mentorship and a research based kit to take home, we will ensure that all families have the support when they bring home a new baby.

The goal of the project is to improve awareness of the core story of early brain and biological development, and understanding of community resources and supports that are aimed at preventing adverse childhood experiences, and ultimately, improving the health and well-being of vulnerable children in Alberta. We envision that W2P will provide (1) enhanced prenatal and early parenting education opportunities to promote the importance of early relationships to lifelong learning and well-being, (2) tangible and emotional supports for early parenting, and (3) facilitated access to evidence-based community resources and supports, which over the longer term will embed new learning and behaviors into patterns that promote resilience.

Additional website:

Research Areas: 
Parenting; Early Childhood Development; Child and Family Health; Early Interventions; Longitudinal Research
  • Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)