Academic Qualifications: 
  • Ph.D. in Nursing, Queen's University, Canada, (2018)
  •  MN, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil (2003)
  •  Nurse Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence - NSWOC (2020)
  •  BScN, Federal University of Mato Grosso, Brazil (1997)
Date joined Lakehead: 
August, 2018
Previous Teaching/Work: 

Who I am

I am originally from Brazil where I grew up and lived great part of my life before I relocated to Canada with my family where I have lived since 2012. I am educated in Brazil and Canada as a registered nurse and researcher. I have had the opportunity to practice nursing in both countries in a variety of clinical areas including health promotion and disease prevention, women health, older adult care, medical-surgical, emergency room, critical care, and chronic wounds. My experience of living in a developing country for most of my life, practicing nursing in both Brazil and Canada and providing care for people with different backgrounds, has undoubtedly shaped my social consciousness and view that the global community holds a variety of realities and possibilities of making changes.

Past and Current Teaching Experience

My first opportunity to teach nursing students came one year after I finished my BScN in June 1997. In 1998, I took the role as an adjunct professor and clinical instructor in the maternal and women’s health course in the Faculty of Nursing at Federal University of Mato Grosso, Brazil.  After that first opportunity I became passionate about sharing my experience and involved in a variety of academic roles. From 2000 to 2005 I was an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Cuiaba (UNIC) where I taught: Health Assessment, Emergency, Medical-Surgical, Maternal/Women’s Health (including pre- and post-partum practicum), Critical Care and Nursing Research courses. I also held a position as an adjunct professor at the school of public health in Mato Grosso, Brazil (2003 to 2005), where I taught the Health Research and Application course at graduate level and supervised graduate students in specialty programs such as Public Health, Critical Care Nurse and Occupational Health and Safety. In 2005 I started my first tenure track position at the University of Diamantino, MT-Brazil where I taught: Nursing Theory, and Nursing Research and served as the director of the Faculty of Nursing (2005 to 2012).

Currently in the School of Nursing, Lakehead University I am teaching the following courses:

NURS 1511: Relational Nursing Practice 1- focuses on the role of self within a professional    therapeutic nurse-client relationship

NURS 3515: Relational Nursing Practice 7 - Facilitates a link between theory and practice, where students will develop their clinical experiences with older adults, employ knowledge as they respond to the comprehensive and holistic needs of older adults.

NURS 3035: Complex Care of older Adults - Examines concepts and theories relevant to older-adult aging and to the holistic health and function of older persons.

NURS 4051: Nursing Research - Focuses on knowledge acquisition of the research process, including appraisal of evidence, application of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, critical reasoning, and the key steps of the research process.

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is rooted in the transformative learning theory described by Mezirow and is drawn from the work of Paulo Freire, a Brazilian Educators well-known for his influential work, ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’, which is generally considered one of the foundational texts of the critical pedagogy movement. The whole notion of transformative learning is to make sense of experience and recognize the importance of giving opportunities to learners to engage in meaningful discussion. In order to enact this approach, I position myself as a learning facilitator. As a facilitator, I strive to create an inclusive learning environment where students are actively involved in dialogue and collaboration, and where they can learn effectively by sharing experience and understanding their role in the social world.

Research Interests: 

Building on my previous clinical and research experiences, I am dedicating my research program to investigate and address gaps to advance healthcare practice and improve quality of life and safety of minority groups (e.g., older adults, immigrants/refugees and Indigenous populations) living with chronic conditions including diabetes and chronic wounds. To this end my research interests can be categorized into four correlated streams: 1) identify and address factors that affect individuals’ engagement in everyday management of their chronic conditions; 2) explore initiatives to increase awareness of health inequities and mechanisms to reduce or eliminate them among minority groups with chronic conditions, 3) develop and apply innovative strategies to improve healthcare system, and accessibility to services and resources and, 4) implement strategies that encourage patients active engagement in management decisions of their health care and sustain self-care management of chronic conditions. The overall goal of my research program is to advance healthcare practices that will ultimately impact patient safety and quality of life, engage patients as active subjects in their own health care, improve access to resources and services and decrease health inequities.

*I am available to supervise, be a committee member, or provide examination of students' theses.

National Research Projects

  • Digital storytelling: A tool for promoting critical reflection, advancing inclusivity and creating trauma ­informed wound care. Funded by SSHRC Insight Development Grant.  (Principal Investigator) - In progress
  • Creating Foundations for Improving the Health of Populations with Diabetes-Related Wounds: A Research Mobility Program for nursing students to visit Brazil while engaging in research. Funded by CALAREO (Principal investigator) - Completed 
  • Our voices, our stories: A national exchange on humanizing trauma-informed wound care, healing and recovery.  Funded by SSHRC Connection grant. (Principal Investigator) - completed 
  • Reimaging Diabetes Self-Management Education for Seniors in rural Ontario through a Participatory Knowledge Exchange Process: Leveraging Lived Experiences for Current Priorities, Strategies for Change, & New Directions. Funded by CIHR - Planning and dissemination Grant. (Co-investigator with Colleagues from Queen's University) - In progress
  • Impact of multimorbidity and other characteristics on susceptibility to and clinical outcomes of COVID-19 in Northwestern Ontario: an analysis of regional health data. Funded by COVID19 Strategic Research Development Fund (Co-Investigator with colleagues from Lakehead University and University of Toronto) - Completed 
  • Exploring diabetes status and the impact of care management and social determinants of health on diabetes-related outcomes in the Norwestern community: A mixed method study. Funded by Senate Research Committee (SRC) CIHR Research Development Fund (Principal Investigator in partnership with a colleague from Dalhousie University) - in Progress
  • A Randomized Control Study Examining the Effectiveness of DermGEN™ a Decellularized Dermal Matrix Versus Standard of Care in the Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers in First Nations People Living in the Northwestern Ontario Communities. Funded by CIHR – Research Project (Co-PI with researcher from Dalhousie University) - In progress
  • Revisioning self-care management for seniors living with diabetes: A community consultation. Funded by CIHR Planning and Dissemination Grant- - Institute Community Support. (Co-PI with researcher from Queens’ University) - completed 

International Research Partnership

  • Creating Foundations for Improving the Health of Populations with Diabetes-Related Wounds: A   Strategic Partnership between Lakehead University and University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Funded by VPRI Strategic - International Research Partnership Award. (Principal-Investigator) - Completed 
  • Dementia Across Borders: Exploring Opportunities for Collaboration, a partnership between Lakehead University and Federal University of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Funded by VPRI Strategic - International Research Partnership Award. (Co-Principal Investigator) - Completed 

National and International Awards

  • People choice award: (Abstract # 4, 2022). Using Digital Technology to Facilitate Access to Wound Care Specialists in Times COVID-19 Pandemic in Northwestern Ontario Communities, Canada. Wounds Canada National Conference, Oct 14 to 16., Virtual and on-site, Toronto, On, Canada.
  • Silver Medal, Wounds Olympic by the Journal of Wound Care and World Union of Wound Healing Societies Awards, Abu Dhabi, United Arab, March 10th, 2020. Category: Outstanding achievement in Patient Care
  • Winner of best oral/poster presentation: Patient’s Journey toward healing: A grounded theory study of engagement in self-management of diabetic foot ulcer. Wound Cana Fall’s conference, Niagara Falls-ON, October 3-6, 2019
  • Silver Medal, Wounds Olympic, by the Journal of Wound Care Awards, 2018, London, UK. Category: Best Diabetic Foot Intervention


  • Expert Panel Member to review RNAO Diabetic Foot Ulcer Best Practice Guideline, Remote, Ontario, Canada (2022-present)
  • RNAO Sharing Circle-Indigenous Context (2022 - present)
  • Member of the Scientific Planning Committee, Wound Care Champions Program, joint initiative by Wounds Canada and RNAO (2022- Present).
  • Chair and co-founder of Patient Journey Initiative: Our Voices Our Stories, Joint Conference by Wounds Canada and Lakehead University, (2021-present)
  • Co-Chair of Wounds Canada Fall Conference (National event), Oct Wounds Canada National Fall conference (Online-3D): Connect, Collaborate, Co-create (2021)
  • Education Chair for the Gerontological Nursing Association of Ontario, Nortwest Chapter  (2018 –present)
  • Age Friendly Thunder Bay, Bord Member, Thunder Bay, On (2020-2021)
  • Collaborator for North West Regional Geriatric Education Collaborative Group (2019-2021)
  • Stakeholder reviewer of the latest guideline on the topics of continence and constipation for Registered Nurse's Association of Ontario (RNAO) (2020)
  • Reviewer of the Standard of Practice for Nursing Specialized in Wounds, Ostomy and Continence (NSWOC) (2020)

Other Interests

  • Partnership with companies/industries to 1) identify the safety and feasibility (Phase I of clinical trials), 2) examine the effectiveness (Phase II of clinical trial) of innovative technologies for improving healing of chronic wounds and 3) compare the safety and effectiveness of the new technology against the current standard of care.
  • Collaborating with healthcare services and community to implement and/or evaluate health promotion programs that focus on improving quality of life for populations with chronic conditions including diabetes and chronic wounds
  • Research collaboration with interdisciplinary team, from Canada and abroad, who share the research interests to advance healthcare practice for minority population with chronic conditions.

Book Chapters

  • Costa, I.G. (2022). Nursing care for the skin, nails and feet of people with diabetes. In E. S. Brandão & M. H. S. Mandelbaum. Nursing in Dermatology in the life cycle (Portugues). Publisher CRV: Curitiba, Brazil
  • Costa, I. G., Tregunno. D. & Camargo-Plazas P. (2020). The constructivist grounded theory methodology: Considerations on its use in the area of nursing in wound care (Portuguese). In: L. Fornari, F. Freitas, E. S. F. de Oliveira, C. Oliveira & A. P.  Costa. Qualitative health research: Advances and challenges. Ludomedia: Aveiro, Portugal. Available at
  • Camargo-Plazas, P., Costa, IG., Duhn, L., Alvarado B., & Tregunno, D. (2020). Using participatory methods in developing a diabetes self-care education program in older adults in Canada (Spanish). In: L. Fornari, F. Freitas, E. S. F. de Oliveira, C. Oliveira & A. P. Costa. Investigación Cualitativa en Educación: avances y desafíos. Ludomedia: Aveiro, Portugal. Available at
  • Rabeh, S.  A. N., Costa, IG., Valdebenito, P., Nogueira, P.C & Salazar, M. E. (2020).  Assessment and care of older adults’ skin in primary healthcare in times of pandemic (Portuguese and Spanish). In:  R. A. P.  Rodrigues, Care o folder adults in primary health care in times of pandemic.  REDESAM- Brasil published by  OPAS/PAHO. Available at: .

Peer-reviewed Publications

To view my peer-reviewed publications, please visit my ResearchGate link:

In the News:

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April 8, 2022

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March 4, 2021

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