Dr. Patricia Janssen

RN, BSN, MPH, PhD (epidemiology).

Professor, UBC School of Population and Public Health

Senior Scholar, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute.

March 2, 2022 1:05 pm
SmartParent - Teaching Parents by Text

SmartParent is Canada’s first parenting education program delivered by text messaging. Messages arrive
on mobile devices three times weekly to guide parents through the first year of their baby’s life. Each
message has links to additional online resources to address growth and development, infant feeding,
safety, immunization, social development and the health and well-being of new parents. SmartParent is
a collaboration between UBC researchers, the Ministry of Health, BC regional Health Authorities, Child
Health BC, First Nations Health Authority, and clinical experts. It has been endorsed by the Canadian
Paediatric Society.


A perinatal epidemiologist, Patricia co-leads the Maternal Child Health Theme at the University of British Columbia School of Population Health. Patricia leads Optimal Birth BC, a consortium of clinician-scientists and public health practitioners who partner with BC Health Authorities to conduct primary research in maternal child health, develop evidence syntheses for practitioners, and decision-aids for childbearing women. She has led several clinical trials to evaluate methods for managing pregnancy and labor and currently leads a UBC-funded Research Cluster on the Science of Physiologic Birth. Patricia is currently studying the utility of SMS text messaging as a modality to improve health literacy and motivate health behavior change among expectant and new parents. Most recently, she has developed and implemented SmartMom and SmartParent, Canada’s first prenatal and parent education programs delivered by text messaging. In 2020 she was named one of the top 50 Changemakers in Public Health among all alumni of the University of Washington School of Public Health.