Dr. Donna Patricia Manca is Associate Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Family Medicine. Her research interests include primary care, privacy, ethics, research networks, chronic disease prevention, screening, and management. Dr. Manca was the Co-Principal Investigator of the BETTER trial and BETTER Program (Building on Existing Tools to Improve Chronic Disease Prevention and Screening in Primary Care). This role included: overseeing and coordinating the entire project; clinical engagement; conduct of research and evaluation; translation and dissemination of findings to various groups; and finally implementation of meaningful findings.
Dr. Manca became acutely aware that family physicians need to seek answers to their questions to improve their practice; however they are isolated in their practices. Family physicians lack good sources of information and lack the infrastructure to engage in practice improvement and research. She saw research networks as a method to improve knowledge exchange between policy, research and practice. She is the Clinical Director of the Alberta Family Practice Research network (AFPRN), an initiative of the Alberta College of Family Physicians and and the Director of the Northern Alberta Primary Care Research Network (NAPCReN), a network contributing data to the Canadian Primary Care Research Network (CPCSSN). Dr. Manca received the 2011 Alberta College of Family Physicians Recognition of Excellence Award for commitment to furthering primary care, community practice-based research, and she contributed to the implementation of privacy and information security system for the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network which obtained the international association of privacy professionals 2013 privacy innovation award.