Knowledge Translation

Alexandria received her Knowledge Translation Professional Certification through the University of Toronto (November, 2022). She is pursuing continuing education through SickKids, Toronto in "Storytelling" knowledge translation beginning May 2024. She has a portfolio of science communication and knowledge mobilization materials available for review, including items such as infographs, posters, webinars, podcasts, video productions, newsletters, etc.  To date, Alexandria has led or been involved in:

·       + 30 Conference Presentations, nationally and internationally

·       + 25 Media Appearances across Canada

·       7 Technical Reports and Peer-Reviewed Publications

·        11 Invited Unscheduled Instructional Activities/Guest Lectures

·       Over two dozen additional creative media endeavours, and/or contributions to continuing education courses on wellness.

Sample Creative Publications

The Pawsitive Effect of Therapy Dogs in a Hospital Emergency Department

Ben Carey, Colleen Dell, & Alexandria Pavelich
Published April 14, 2023

Pain is the main reason people attend an emergency department. Our study examined the effect of a therapy dog visit on reducing patient pain in an ED. We found that pain improved after the dog visit compared to no change in control patients. Patient anxiety, depression, and well-being also improved. These findings help to establish the potential value of therapy dogs in an emergency setting.

Read more, at The ScienceBreaker.

Exploring the role of service dogs for Canadian military Veterans experiencing suicidality

Open access publication based on my MA research available at:

Academic Conference Proceeding Samples

Therapy Dogs in the Saskatoon Emergency Department for Mental Health and Substance Use Concerns

PhD and One Health & Wellness Office student, Alexandria Pavelich, presents: “Better than any medicine:” Understanding if and how therapy dog-handler teams benefit emergency department patients with mental health concerns.

This presentation, jointly authored by Pavelich, A., McKenzie, H., Dell, C., Stempien, J., Laliberte, L., Arisman, K., Smith, J., Hozack, A., Tupper, S., Acoose, S., Gunderson, J., & Pease, E., was presented on behalf of Congress 2023 | FHSS – the Canadian Sociological Association: Intervention-Focused Research in Mental Health Panel on June 2, 2023 at York University in Toronto, Ontario.

2024 Suicide Research Symposium - Therapy Dogs Helping Suicidal Emergency Department Patients

PhD Student Alexandria was able to present to the SRS and American Foundation of Suicide Prevention Annual Conference on April 18, 2024.

Pavelich, A., Dell, C., McKenzie, H., Stempien, J., Roswell, L., Gunderson, J., Smith, J., & Hozack, A. (2024). The Support Role of Therapy Dogs for Suicidal Patients Presenting to a Hospital Emergency Department. Suicide Research Symposium (SRS) – Annual Conference co-hosted by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention [Virtual], Mount Sinai Health System, New York City, NY on April 18.

Lightning Presentation on Service Dogs and Veterans

A three-minute overview of my MA Thesis work which is set for presentation March 3, 2021 at the "Anthrozoology as International Practice" academic conference at the University of Exeter, UK.

Critical Suicidology And the Depoliticization of Suicide

Pavelich, A. (2021). The depoliticization of suicide: A critical discourse analysis on the Government of Canada’s federal framework for suicide prevention.

This presentation of my UG Thesis work was set for presentation at the Critical Suicide Studies International Conference at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC June 12, 2020. Due to COVID-19, the conference was cancelled so I was able to later present through the University of Calgary's "Re-Imagining Social Futures" focused conference March 5, 2021.


Graphic Medicine Project

Starting in 2022, I began helping with the development of a solutions-focused story telling graphic medicine comic to help assist with care provider education. The stories focus on reducing negative experiences for those living with stigmatization and marginalization, as it intersects with chronic pain and substance use.

The poster describes the work to develop graphic medicine educational comics for healthcare provider education. In the next phase of our project (Summer 2023), our team will conduct focus groups and interviews with people living with pain, healthcare providers, and health services decision makers to collect feedback on the stories and plan how to use the stories to improve provider knowledge about pain/stigma. 

The Role of Service Dogs in Mattering for Veterans Living with Suicidality

An academic poster overview of my MA Thesis work which is set for presentation June 16th, 2022 at the Suicide Research Symposium Inaugural Conference at Mount Sinai, New York City, NY. 

Partners in Pain - Improving Pain in Saskatchewan

On May 11 to 13th, our Improving Pain in Saskatchewan team presented at the Canadian Pain Society Conference regarding our program evaluation findings from our "Partners in Pain" webinar pain education and community engagement events. The full citation is:

Jones, C., Jack, J., Hewson, M., Pavelich, A., Okeeweehow, S., Beckwell, E., McCreery, R., Baerg, K., Juckes, K., Coe, J., Dell, C., Downe, P., Lawson, K., Ugulini, C., and Tupper, S. (2022). Partners in Pain: Evaluation of a virtual community engagement group for people living with chronic pain in Saskatchewan. Canadian Pain Society - Annual Meeting in Montreal, Quebec on May 11-13, 2022.

Therapy Dog Programming Online During COVID-19

Carey, B. (Presenter), Dell, C., Williamson, L., Pavelich, A., McKenzie, H., Gibson, M., & Cruz, M. (2020). Transitioning a Therapy Dog Program Online during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned. Virtual Solutions for Substance Use Care Conference. University of British Columbia. Virtual Platform. In abstentia.

Preliminary Master's Research Findings on Service Dogs for Military Veterans

An academic poster overview of my MA Thesis work which is set for presentation March 3, 2021 at the "Anthrozoology as International Practice" academic conference at the University of Exeter, UK.

Online Webinars

An Online Webinar Webinar for Therapy Dog Teams and Volunteers

Want to learn more about the science behind therapy dog volunteering? How therapy dog teams help promote wellness for individuals receiving visits? Or interested in how to improve your own therapy dog team practice as an informed handler? This webinar features leading animal-assisted intervention researchers who are also therapy dog volunteers. They highlight their most recent hospital based studies, the latest evidence on the value of therapy dog in clinical settings, answer questions about the "Being An Informed Therapy Dog Handler Course", share stories, and more!

Partners In Pain - Webinar

On March 30th, 2022 I shared my lived experience story of pain with the SaskPain hosted "Your Partners in Pain" webinar series which was facilitated by pharmacist Kelly Kyzlyk and featured medical cannabis researcher, Dr. Robert Laprairie.

Skip to 35:35 for the lived experience portion, and the full listing of PiP Webinars can be found HERE.

Transitioning a Therapy Dog Program Online During the COVID-19 Pandemic

One Health Team Members Benjamin Carey, Shaneice Fletcher-Hildebrand, and Tonya Wirchenko (with Zaphod), and I presented at the #EMH2021  on March 4, 2021 - an event supported by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, CAMH, and UBC's Addictions and Concurrent Disorders Research Group.

Take a look if you want to learn more about Therapy Dogs, Animal Assisted Intervention, or how to transition a volunteer-based program from in-person to online in the context of COVID-19.

Human-Animal Interactions Bulletin Webinar on Service Dogs for Military Veterans

On September 15, 2021, I presented my MA thesis findings to scholars within the HAI network of the APA in Washington, DC.

Cited as:  Pavelich, A. (2021). Animal Assisted Intervention and Suicidality: The Impact of Service Dogs for Veterans at High-Risk for Suicide. Human-Animal Interaction Section of Division 17 of the American Psychological Association Annual Convention. Virtual Poster. Journal club presentation (:59).

Animal-Assisted Intervention & Suicidality: The Impact of Service Dogs For Veterans At High-Risk For Suicide (SHORT)

This presentation, by Alexandria Pavelich of the One Health & Wellness Research Lab, was originally entitled: " Animal-Assisted Intervention and Suicidality: The Impact of Service Dogs for Veterans at High-Risk for Suicide."

Cited as:  Pavelich, A. (2021). Animal-assisted intervention and suicidality: The impact of service dogs for Veterans at high-risk for suicide. American Psychological Association (APA) Convention - Human Animal Interaction Panel, in Washington, DC on August 12, 2021.

Suicidality among Canadian Post-Secondary Students

April 2021, I was able to present my first (ever) quantitative study to colleagues as apart of our Advanced Sociological Methods symposium. My analysis was examining the impact that social support has on student suicide within Canada. My results found that being within a relationship decreases suicide risk, with LGBTQ2+ students experiencing suicidality at rates that are5.1 times greater than male or female students. That is OVER 500%. Take a listen!


Sask. research shows therapy dogs provide 'comfort' and 'connection' for emergency room patients

CTV News Online - May 29th, 2023
CTV News Saskatoon - June 3, 2023

Twice reported by CTV News Saskatoon, coverage for a study on the benefits of therapy dogs at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon is the first of its kind in Canada.

Full Article & Video: Available Here

Study brings therapy dogs to the emergency room (Radio Interview)

CBC Saskatchewan: Afternoon Edition with Garth Materie - May 12th, 2023

A new study examines how therapy dogs might help people in the emergency room with their mental health. Lead researcher, Alexandria Pavelich works with hospital staff to find patients who are interested in meeting with a dog and then they observe the interactions.

Listen to the full interview on CBC, HERE.

Gormley on Demand

 650 CKOM - May 17th,2023

Emergency rooms across Canada are experiencing patients suffering from mental health issues and unprecedented staff burnout. A way to combat that might be having access to therapy dogs. A new study from Alexandria Pavelich, a PhD student researcher in the University of Saskatchewan’s Office of One Health & Wellness looked at the impact of therapy dogs and she joins Gormley to explain how the benefit was not just on the patients.

Radio interview via CKOM: Available Here

Study shows therapy dogs help calm people in ERs

SaskToday - May 10th, 2023
SaskToday - May 29, 2023

Twice reported by, study shows that everyone in the ER gets a boost from a visit with a therapy dog.

Full Article: Available Here

News Release: Available Here

Sudbury, Ont., hospital expands therapy dog program that benefits patients and staff

CBC Sudbury –May 15th, 2023

Research shows petting a dog orcat decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Alexandria provides expertcommentary and support on the value of introducing therapy dogs into emergency departments.

Article available HERE

Young Innovators: Hounds of hope; U of S researcher investigates how service dogs can improve the mental health of veterans

On October 9, 2021 I was featured as a "Young Innovator" for my service dog research in the Sasktoon StarPhoenix.

"The human-to-animal connection may reduce the risk of suicide in military veterans by providing unique social support. University of Saskatchewan (USask) sociology MA candidate Alexandria Pavelich is exploring how suicidality in military veterans may be mitigated by the presence of service dogs and how this relationship positively influences mental health..." Read more:

Full Article Available HERE, as well as on the USask Website

CTV National News

May 13, 2022 

Regarding my service dog for suicide prevention research - click HERE for full video clip.

Gormley - Alexandria Pavelich & Open Lines (CKOM, Saskatchewan)
Wednesday, May 11, 2022

John Gormley & Alexandria Pavelich CKOM Interview

May 11, 2022 - The John Gormley Show (CJME/CKOM for Rawlco Radio - Gormley On Demand)

Every day, an estimated 11 Canadians will die by suicide, and a Saskatchewan researcher is the first to show service dogs can help to bring that number down.

A first-of-its-kind study by Alexandria Pavelich, a PhD student researcher in the University of Saskatchewan’s Office of One Health & Wellness, completed as part of a broader study led by University of Saskatchewan sociology professor Colleen Dell, followed four Canadian veterans over a 16-month period as they were paired with service dogs to help them deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance use and suicidal ideation.

She found the dogs were a direct catalyst in preventing suicidality among the veterans, and helped to make them feel socially supported, and she joins Gormley to tell us more. She’ll be speaking at the upcoming Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, which is open to the public. You can find out more and register at


How Service Dogs Help Veterans (CTV Saskatoon)

May 10, 2022 - Video & Reporting Coverage by Tyler Barrow at CTV News.


University of Saskatchewan study shows service dogs improve veteran mental health (GlobalTV Saskatoon)

May 10, 2022 - Print & Video Coverage Reported by Montana Getty for Gobal TV News.

Veterans are considered heroes by many, but to veteran Mike Richards, his service dog Felix is the one who saved his life. “I wouldn’t be here without a service dog,” said Richards. Richards got out of the military in 2008 and was diagnosed with severe PTSD in 2009. “And at that time, I didn’t really think life was worth living.” But he wanted to be there for his daughter to see her graduate and walk down the aisle. Richards got his first service dog in 2016, and has been a part of training and research programs ever since.

“The human-animal bond and the strong social support it provides can be the primary mental health support for people,” said PhD student researcher in the University of Saskatchewan’s Office of One Health & Wellness, Alexandria Pavelich. “We need people to start realizing service dogs can improve our mental health.”


University of Saskatchewan study shows service dogs improve veteran mental health (GlobalTV)

May 10, 2022 - Print & Video Coverage Reported by Montana Getty

Service dog 'makes my life kind of back to normal,' says veteran diagnosed with PTSD (CBC Saskatchewan)

University of Saskatchewan PhD student researcher Alexandria Pavelich looked at the concept of mattering — the need to feel valued by others — and how dogs can provide this personal significance to their human companions.

"The concept of mattering is important to someone's overall mental health and to reduce suicide risk," said University of Saskatchewan sociology professor Colleen Dell, who supervised the research.


University of Saskatchewan research shows bond between veteran and service dog can be life-saving (CBC Radio)

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan spent 16 months recently, keeping tabs on war veterans and their service dogs. We hear about the special relationship between service dogs and veterans -- and how they can help vets who are dealing PTSD.

Full Length Radio Interview Available Here.

Saskatoon Morning Live with Leisha Graninski.

Gobal TV Morning Show (Saskatoon)

On January 31st, 2022, I was able to speak on behalf of SaskPain to Chantal Wagner on the Global TV Morning Show.

Sask. residents with chronic pain can feel 'quite abandoned by the system'

On October 8, 2020 Alexandria gave an interview to the Star Phoenix that was the front page story on January 2, 2021  re: the state of chronic pain treatment and access in Saskatoon. 

Online version is available, HERE.


Understanding If and How Therapy Dog-Handler Teams Help Mental Health Patients in the Emergency Department
Media Blitz: April 28 – June 2, 2023

U of S-developed guide highlights benefits of pet ownership in rental housing
January 10, 2023
Link to StarPhoenix Article

USask guide aims to help put the welcome mat out for pets
December 21, 2022
Link to USask News Release

2022 Studentship Announcement – Mental Health Research Canada, Alexandria Pavelich
December 5, 2022
Mental Health Research Canada Website Link

Mental Health Impact Studentships spark collaborative work in First-Responder and ER Settings – Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation
December 5, 2022

Saskatchewan Researcher is First to Show Service DogsCan Prevent Suicide
Media Blitz: May 9 – 13, 2022

How Service Dogs Help Veterans (CTV Saskatoon)
May 10, 2022
Link to CTV Saskatoon Video & Interview

University of Saskatchewan study shows service dogs improve veteran mental health
May 10, 2022
Link to Global TV News Saskatoon Interview & Article

Q+A: Sask. researcher says service dogs prevent suicides
May 10, 2022
FRONT PAGE (Print) - Link to Saskatoon StarPhoenix Article

Dealing With Chronic Pain In Saskatchewan - Live TV Interview
January 31, 2022
Link to Global TV News Interview for SaskPain

Veteran Service Dogs Can Save a Life

November 11, 2021
CJWW News Article & 24-Hour Radio Interview Clips 

Hounds of hope: USask researcher investigates how service dogs can improve the mental health of veterans
October 9, 2021
Newspaper article in the Star Phoenix for my Young Innovator feature

Hounds of hope: USask researcher investigates how service dogs can improve the mental health of veterans

October 8, 2021
News Release for my Young Innovator feature through the University of Saskatchewan

Sask. Residents with chronic pain can feel‘quite abandoned by the system’
January 2, 2021
StarPhoenixnews article and interview

Online therapy dog program showing positive results, USask professor says

June 10, 2020
News Release for Therapy Dogs & PAWS Your Stress moving online for USask community

New USask podcast series focuses on mental health, wellness amid COVID-19
May 11, 2020
News Release for Be Well Podcast Series featuring PAWS Your Stress

Therapy dogs give One Health benefits.
November 1, 2019
PAWS Your Stress Official USask Video Release

Major scholarships awarded to USask Students

July 17, 2019
USask Research Profile and Impact

8th Annual LA&PS Celebration of Student Academic Achievement
May 3, 2019
Sociology Department Announcement

Globe & Mail - York University Strike
May 10, 2018
‘We feel like pawns’: York University students grow increasingly angry over strike


"Your Partners in Pain" Podcast

In collaboration with SaskPain, I am a patient partner and advocate in a knowledge translation role helping with communication via resource development and education. I am also the developer and host of the "Your Partners In Pain" podcast which is programming targeting chronic pain patients, care providers, and health professionals. The goal is to provide education while also giving a voice to those living with chronic pain in the province of Saskatchewan.

Episode Listings can be found here: - as well as on all major listening platforms (Spotify, AppleMusic, GooglePodcast, AmazonMusic).

Fall 2021, I helped produce and co-direct a video on the "PAWS Your Stress"
Therapy Dog program on the University of Saskatchewan campus.

Animal-Assisted Intervention Pamphlet

As apart of my Mental Health Research Canada and Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation study, I create a "Therapy Dogs" and Working Dogs information pamphlet to be disseminated to the Saskatoon emergency departments, as well as for their use for the PAWSitive Connections Lab.

"PAWS In Places"

As apart of my Professional Knowledge Translation Training Certification offered through SickKids (Toronto), I was able to develop a KT plan for our "PAWS in Places" pet housing project initiative operating through the One Health and Wellness Office.

In addition to publications and presentations and a pet-friendly housing guide, poster creation and dissemination has occurred to help educate the community about their rights as potential tenants or landlords dealing with animals in rental properties.

More information on the project is available HERE.

NEWS RELEASE - USask Guide Aims to Help Put The Welcome Mat Out For Pets

December 21, 2022
University of Saskatchewan News Release

Connecting for Veteran Wellness - COURSE

My MA research findings on mattering and Veteran wellbeing helped inform information in the "Connecting for Veteran Wellness" Online course.

Therapy Dog Podcast for BE WELL At USask

One Health & Wellness Office colleague, Holly McKenzie, and I spoke to Peter Hedley, Director of Student Affairs, regarding the PAWS Your Stress program on USask campus. We  discuss how mental health and well-being is supported through the program, the role that the Student Wellness Centre and other community partners have in supporting USask community wellness, and evidence-based facts regarding the benefit of human-animal interaction.

Also available via Spotify:

Preliminary Findings from Service Dog Project - Mattering & Suicidality

My MA thesis involved looking at dimensions of suicidality and mattering among Canadian Military Veterans working along Service Dogs at high risk for suicide.

Overview of findings are visualized here, as presented to the Veterans on May 28, 2021.

The One Health & Wellness Office were able to take a digital storytelling methodology workshop, and this is the outcome of my project as apart of our Additional team member videos can be found HERE

Be Well: Therapy Dogs & Animal-Assisted Interventions (2019).

Developer of the University of Saskatchewan Student Wellness Center Information Pamphlet on Animal-Assisted Intervention

Non-Academic  (Journalistic) Published Work

Service Dog Research Blog - How Zola The Dog Helps with My Chronic Pain and Health Management

Featured Blog on the website can be found HERE

Excerpt: "My name is Alexandria, and I am a current Master’s student working in the One Health and Wellness Office! Prior to COVID-19, I used to work alongside St. John Ambulance and help coordinate the PAWS Your Stress Therapy Dog program on the University of Saskatchewan campus. However, when the world went into lockdown and the university closed in 2020, that meant that Therapy Dogs were no longer able to visit the USask campus… so, I ended up adopting a “Therapy Dog in Training” of my own: Zola! "

Relive Bengough, Saskatchewan’s Gateway Festival
July 24, 2017
Photo Essay Feature Exclaim! Music Magazine - Toronto, Ontario

Is the U of S Capable of Dealing with Addictions?
May, 2017
Health Feature - Print and Online in at The Sheaf Publishing Co. - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The Truth About Students Eating Gluten-Free

March, 2017
Health Feature - Print and Online in at The Sheaf Publishing Co. - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Seasonal Affective Disorder: More Than Just the Winter Blues
February, 2017
Health Feature - Print and Online in at The Sheaf Publishing Co. - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Why A Dry January Should Be A 2017 Resolution For You
January, 2017
Health Feature - Print and Online in at The Sheaf Publishing Co. - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

"Don’t Believe Everything you Read: How To apply Science to Your Daily Life" - MoveU Blog, May 2019

Content Creator / Blog Consultant

"Don’t let the name of this blog fool you, evidence-based research ABSOLUTELY has its place. Think of all the significant medical advancements we’ve made that have started with pure science: anaesthesia, vaccines, and antibiotics to name a few. However, we feel the need to raise awareness about the issues surrounding…"

Full blog posting available HERE.

academic health researcher & photojournalist.
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