Dr. Marilou Gagnon, RN, PhD is Associate Professor at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Human and Social Development at UVic. Her program of research seeks to address gaps in knowledge that have the potential to inform public debate and policies, while also advancing the rights and the health of marginalized communities.


She served on the board of directors of the Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (CANAC) (09–13) and was Expert Advisor Research, Policy and Advocacy for CANAC from 2013-16. She also served on the board of the Bureau Régional d’Action Sida (BRAS) in Gatineau (12-14) and joined the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network’s board of directors in 2013 for a first mandate and a second mandate in 2015. She was the founder of the Coalition of Nurses for Supervised Injection Services. The Coalition played a key role in advocating for supervised injection services between 2015-2017. She is creator and manager of the Facebook campaign Harm Reduction = Nursing Care, founder and editor of the blog The Radical Nurse, and co-president of the Nursing Observatory. She is the current President of the Harm Reduction Nurses Association. She sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Mental Health and Addiction Nursing and the International Journal of Drug Policy.

Awards and distinctions

  • 2018 Hero Nurse Contest (2nd prize), Hospital News
  • 2018 Leadership in Political Action Award, Registered Nurses Association of Ontario
  • 2018 Transformative Change Award (awarded to the organizers and volunteers of Overdose Prevention sites in Ottawa and Toronto), Association of Ontario Health Centers
  • 2015 Outstanding Advocate Award, Canadian Association of Nurses in HIV/AIDS Care
  • 2013 Journal of Forensic Nursing Clinical Article of the Year Award
  • 2012 Dean’s Award of Excellence (Teaching), Health Sciences, University of Ottawa
  • 2011 New Tenure Stream Faculty Contribution Award, COUPN
  • 2010 Doctoral Dissertation Award, COUPN
  • 2009 Journal of Forensic Nursing Clinical Article of the Year Award