Bio (Alisa Harrison)
Alisa Harrison trained as a historian with specialization in 20th-century U.S. politics and culture, African American history, women’s and gender history, and comparative colonialism. Her scholarly studies focused on the politics of memory, epistemology, social movements, power relations, intersectionality and organizing for social justice. For the last decade, she has integrated this knowledge with growing expertise in applying anti-oppressive, trauma-informed, culturally safe, person-centered and recovery-oriented practice to health strategy, policy and service delivery. Harrison now leads action research processes in a variety of organizations to develop service models, practice standards, programs, program evaluations, policy and strategic guidance for improving primary care and mental health and substance use service delivery.
For over a decade, Harrison has worked closely with health care providers, service users, system leaders and decision-makers, and community partners to improve access and quality, encourage evidence-informed practice and create a safer, more sustainable health system. She is Principal at A. Harrison Research and Consulting, and has led the start-up of two non-profit health organizations: the Woodstone Residence, operated by the Looking Glass Foundation (she also designed Woodstone’s initial model of care, which secured a multi-million-dollar funding agreement with the Province of British Columbia); and the Victoria Division of Family Practice, where she was founding executive director from 2012 to 2018. Harrison also has an extensive teaching background, including instructor appointments in African American Studies at Duke University, History at Vancouver Island University, and History and Women’s Studies at the University of Victoria.
Harrison holds a PhD in History (2008) and Graduate Certificate in African & African American Studies from Duke University (2008), and a Master of Arts in History (2001) and a Bachelor of Arts in History (1999) from the University of British Columbia.