Profile: Valorie Crooks

Valorie Crooks, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Valorie’s research interests are situated at the intersection of social and health geography and is informed by critical social theory. She was a recipient of the 2006 MGSG Jacques May Thesis Prize.

Valorie Crooks completed an undergraduate degree in geography at the University of Western Ontario in 1999. She then moved on to McMaster University and earned master’s and Ph.D. degrees, finishing in 2005. Her dissertation, Life with Fibromyalgia Syndrome: A Socio-spatial Examination of Chronically Ill Women’s Experiences of Everyday Life, Doctor-patient Interactions, and Health Care Services, was awarded the 2006 MGSG Jacques May Thesis Prize. The following year, Valorie held postdoctoral fellowships at York University (Canada) and the University of Toronto.

Valorie’s research agenda involves four interrelated areas of inquiry: Socio-Spatial Processes of Disablement (roles that space and specific places play in how people experience illness/impairment); Medical Tourism (decision-making processes that patients engage in when deciding to go for care overseas); Geographies of Primary Health Care (how both service providers and consumers/patients experience and use primary health care); and Social Policies and Programs (how individuals’ experiences are shaped by processes that take place at a variety of scales).

Valorie is engaged in several funded research projects that draw on her disciplinary background and expertise in qualitative methods and techniques. She presently leads a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada-funded study that is examining the experiences that academics with Multiple Sclerosis have of the university workplace environment. See her on YouTube discussing this study at: She also leads the first study funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research examining the practice of medical tourism.

Valorie may be reached by email at Information on the health geography group at Simon Fraser can be found at

Updated: January 2011