Dr. Fran Racher


R.N., B.Sc.N., B.A., M.Sc., Ph.D.
Professor Emerita

Dr. Racher’s areas of interest are rural health, access to health services, health promotion, community development, gerontology, and philosophy of nursing. She takes great pride in her almost 20 years as an educator in nursing, psychiatric nursing, and health studies. Dr. Racher is an avid supporter of the graduate program in psychiatric nursing and has participated in the ongoing development and delivery of the program. In addition to several years as a member of the Health Studies Graduate Committee, she will assume the role of Coordinator of the program while Dr. Renee Robinson takes a sabbatical leave from July 1 to December 31, 2015. Dr. Racher’s extensive experience in research is an asset as she focuses on supporting the work of graduate students in conducting their theses research.

Dr. Racher has conducted a variety of research studies and received funding from SSHRC, CIHR, MHRC, BURC, Rural Secretariat, and the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada. Dr. Racher and colleagues developed the Community Health Action Model as a result of the research project Determinants of Health of Rural Populations and Communities funded by SSHRC. She shared the role of principal investigator on the project Rural Postsecondary Students Collaborate to Improve the Health of Their Campus Communities, funded by CIHR-MHRC. This two-phase campus project saw the use of participatory action research, online surveys, focus groups, and town hall meetings to determine the feasibility of using the Community Health Action Model with post-secondary student communities.

As principal investigator, Dr. Racher and research partners received funding from the Alzheimer’s Society and completed the project Living with Dementia: The Experiences of Older Couples in Managing their Lives Together. A Manitoba-Saskatchewan partnership was funded by CIHR to conduct Community Collaboration to Improve Health Care Access of Northern Residents. Dr. Racher’s interest in access to health services has led to research with elderly couples, users of mental health services, rural communities, as well as northern and Aboriginal communities. She used photovoice to conduct projects with rural youth and northern youth to portray their perspectives of community. She was a co-applicant on the CURA project Age-Friendly Communities, Active Aging Research Alliance, with principal investigator Dr. Verena Menec at the Centre on Aging, University of Manitoba. Dr. Racher continues as a research affiliate with the Rural Development Institute of Brandon University, and the Centre on Aging at the University of Manitoba.

Prior to joining the faculty, Dr. Racher spent five years as a health consultant and project manager with Westarc Group, of Brandon University. She concentrated on projects related to community development, population health, and health system organization at local, regional, provincial, and national levels. Her previous nursing career included several years as an administrator in long-term care and direct care nurse in the community and in rural facilities. She completed her nursing diploma at Brandon General Hospital and holds a BScN and BA (Psychology) from Brandon University; a MSc in Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba; and a PhD from the Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary. Dr. Racher may be contacted by email racher@brandonu.ca

Racher, F., Hyndman, K., Anonson, J., Arries, E., & Foster, C. (2014). Taking the right action in the right way: A comparison of frameworks for assessing the health and quality of life of a post-secondary student campus community. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice: An International Journal, 28(3), 228-251.

Racher, F., & McPherson, N. (2014). Sustaining couplehood while living with dementia: Implications for public education, practice, program, and policy. Paper presented at Landscapes of Aging, Canadian Association on Gerontology, Niagara ON, October 18.

Racher, F. (2014). Rural women’s health. [book review]. Great Plains Research, 24(1), 103-104.

Racher, F., Mullins, S., Miller, T., McPherson, N., & Epp. D. (2013). Couples share their experiences in living with dementia. [Invited Panel] 30th Annual Spring Research Symposium, Centre on Aging, University of Manitoba, May 6.

Racher, F. (2012). When one is more than two: The older couple as the unit of care. [Keynote] Dementia Care 2012. Alzheimer Society of Manitoba Annual Conference, Winnipeg, March 5-6.

Racher, F. (2012). The interdependent independence of older couples: Generating strength and opportunity. [Invited Workshop] Dementia Care 2012. Alzheimer Society of Manitoba Annual Conference, Winnipeg, March 5-6.

Moss, A., Racher, F., Jeffery, B., Hamilton, C., Burles, M., & Annis, R. (2012). Transcending boundaries: Collaborating to improve northern access to health services in MB & SK. In J. Kulig & A. Williams Health in Rural Canada (pp. 159-177). Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.

Racher, F. (2012). Ethics for community practice. In A. Vollman, E. Anderson, & J. McFarlane (Eds.), Canadian community as partner: Theory and multidisciplinary practice (3nd ed., pp. 26-43). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Racher, F., & Annis, R. (2012). Honouring culture and diversity in community practice. In A. Vollman, E. Anderson, & J. McFarlane (Eds.), Canadian community as partner: Theory and multidisciplinary practice (3nd ed., 154-176). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Healey, G., & Racher, F. (2012). Assessing the health of communities in northern Canada. In A. Vollman, E. Anderson, & J. McFarlane (Eds.), Canadian community as partner: Theory and multidisciplinary practice (3nd ed., pp. 370-384). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Pachkowski, K., Moss, A., Racher, F., & Annis R. C. (2009). Indicators of northern health: A resource for Northern Manitobans and the Bayline Regional Round Table. Final report. Brandon, MB: Rural Development Institute, Brandon University Press.

Racher, F., & Annis, R. (2008). The Community Health Action Model: Health promotion by the community. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice: An International Journal,22(3), 181-192.

Moss, A., Hamilton, C., Racher, F., Jeffery, B., & Annis, R. C. (2008). Health care access of northern residents: MB/SK workshop. Final report.

Racher, F., & Annis, R. (2007). Respecting culture and honouring diversity in community practice. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice, 21(4), 255-270.

Racher, F. (2007). The evolution of ethics for community practice. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 24(1), 65-76.

Racher, F., & Gibson, R. (2006). Capacity building with Manitoba communities for chronic disease prevention: Final report. Submitted by RDI to Manitoba Health.

Racher, F., & Annis, R. (2005). Community partnerships: Translating research for community development. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research,37(1), 169-175.

Racher, F., Vollman, A., & Annis, R. (2004). Conceptualizations of ‘rural’: Challenges and implications for nursing research. Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care, 4(2).

Ryan-Nicholls, K., & Racher, F. (2004). Investigating the health of rural communities: Toward framework development. Rural and Remote Health, 4(#244). Available: http://rrh.deakin.edu.au

Racher, F., & Robinson, S. (2003). Are phenomenology and postpositivism strange bedfellows? Western Journal of Nursing Research, 25(5), 464-481.

Racher, F. (2003). Using conjoint interviews to research lived experience of elderly rural couples. Nurse Researcher, 10(3), 60-72.

Ryan-Nicholls, K., Racher, F., & Robinson, R. (2003). Rural consumers’ utilization of mental health services and resources: Mental health service providers’ perceptions. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, 41(6), 34-43.

Racher, F. (2002). An interdisciplinary rural health course: Opportunities and challenges. Nurse Education Today, 22(5), 387-392.

Racher, F., & Vollman, A. (2002). Exploring the dimensions of access to health services: Implications for nursing research and practice. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice: An International Journal, 16(2), 77-90.

Racher, F. (2002). Synergism of frail elderly couples influences their interdependent independence. Journal of Gerontological Nursing 28(6), 32-39, 52-53.