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College of Nursing

Faculty and Staff

Nathaniel  Bell, PhD

Title: Assistant Professor
College of Nursing
Phone: (803) 777-9861
Fax: (803) 777- 3771


Dr. Bell received his PhD from Simon Fraser University and completed a three-year Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship in Trauma Outcomes at the University of British Columbia, Department of Surgery.


Currently, Dr. Bell teaches NURS720 and NURS810. Both are methods-based courses that are part of the core curriculum for the DNP and PhD program. In addition, he has developed and taught numerous seminars, workshops, and graduate-level courses focusing on the social determinants of health, GIS for public health surveillance, and health advocacy for health practitioners. At its core, his courses are framed within the context and philosophy of a population health perspective, emphasizing the empirical relationships between socio-economic gradients and population health inequities.


Dr. Bell's research program intersects the fields of GIScience, social epidemiology, and injury epidemiology. His current research focuses on functional outcomes and quality of life after major trauma, exploring frameworks for classifying outcomes of trauma care and the design and application of GIS-based tools for health services studies relevant to injury. He is also interested in working with health care systems towards routinely collecting outcome data on injury survivors, with particular interest in developing best practices for the transition from hospital to recovery.


Dr. Bell's dissemination activities include peer-review publications and book chapters, yearly presentations at international conferences in the fields of public health, trauma, and geography, research seminars, white paper reports, hospital rounds, and volunteer contributions to non-profit agencies that focus on health inequities and social justice. In the past five years he has remained active as a scientific reviewer for BMJ Injury Prevention, Canadian Geographer, Journal of Geographic Systems, BMC Public Health, Canadian Medical Association Journal, and Accident Analysis & Prevention. His research has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals such as Canadian Journal of Public Health, Canadian Geographer, Injury, Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, Journal of Urban Health, Injury Prevention, International Journal of Health Geographics, Open Medicine, Canadian Journal of Surgery, and American Journal of Surgery.

Professional Service

Dr. Bell is a member of the American Public Health Association, the Association of American Geographers, and the Trauma Association of Canada.

Professional Practice

Dr. Bell has worked in education and research institutions affiliated with academic universities in Canada and the United States. He has also worked for Trauma Services at Vancouver General Hospital, as a consultant for the British Columbia Trauma Registry, and the Canadian Red Cross.

Research Studies (Selected)

Geographic disparities in access to outpatient rehabilitation services after spinal cord injury. South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund – $28,478. 01/15 – 12/15. Principal Investigator.

When cancer is identified after injury: What are the outcomes? Health Sciences South Carolina - $10,000. 09/14 – 08/15. Principal Investigator.

Geographic disparities in access to post-acute health care services after injury. ASPIRE grant award by the USC Vice President of Research – $15,000. 5/14 – 11/15. Principal Investigator.

An interdisciplinary approach to the evaluation of the social determinants of trauma outcomes. USC Office of the Provost – $18,840. 5/14 – 5/16. Principal Investigator.

Burn survivor quality of life in British Columbia: challenges and opportunities. Vancouver Foundation – $63,178. 01/01/13. Co-Investigator.

Quality of care following injury in British Columbia and the Yukon: a study to validate the use of linked administrative data sources to evaluate care. Canadian Institutes for Health Research - $135,000. 01/01/2011 – 12/31/2013. Principal Investigator.

An integrated regional trauma care data system linking clinical care and process-outcome evaluation. Canadian Institutes for Health Research – $522,757. 04/01/10 – 03/31/14. Co-Investigator.

Monitoring quality of life after injury: a pilot study and expansion of the surgical resident-as-advocate role. Social Accountability and Community Engagement – $1,200. 01/01/10 – 12/31/10. Co-Investigator.

Publications (selected)

Bell N, Sobolev B, Townson A, Evans DC, Anton H, Simons RK. Classifying outcomes of trauma care. Canadian Journal of Surgery (in press)

Eberth JM, Qiu R, Adams S, Salloum R, Bell N, Arrington A, Linder SK, Reginald M. Lung Cancer Screening using Low-Dose CT in the US: The Current Landscape. Lung Cancer 85:3, 379-384, 2014

Bell N, Kruse S, Simons RK, Brussoni M. A spatial analysis of functional outcomes and quality of life after pediatric injury. BMC Injury Epidemiology 1:16, 2014

Bell N, Sobolev B, Anderson S, Hewko R, Simons RK. Routine versus ad hoc screening for acute stress following injury: Who would benefit and what are the opportunities for prevention? BMC Trauma Management and Outcomes 5:8, 2014

Brown RG, Heidary B, Bell N, Appleton L, Simons RK, Evans DC, Hammed SM, et al. Creating a gold medal Olympic and Paralympics health care team: a satisfaction study of the mobile medical unit/polyclinic team training for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. Accepted November 8, BMC Research Notes. 2013.

Faulds J, Bell N, Harrington DM, Novick TV, Harris JR, DeRose G, Forbes TL. Socioeconomic and geographic disparities in access to endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. Annals of Vascular Surgery (doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2013.02.020). 2013.

Bell N, Simons RK, Lakha N, Hameed SM. Are we failing our rural communities? Motor vehicle injury in British Columbia, Canada 2001-2007. Injury 43: 1888-1891, 2012.

Bell N, Hayes MV. The Vancouver Area Neighbourhood Deprivation Index (VANDIX): a census-based tool for assessing small area variations in health status. Canadian Journal of Public Health 103(Suppl. 2):S28-S32: 2012.

Galway LP, Bell N, Flaxman A, Rajaratnam J, Weiss B, Burnham G, Hagopian A, Takaro T. Two-stage cluster sampling methodology using gridded population data, a GIS, and Google EarthTM imagery in a population-based mortality survey in Iraq. International Journal of Health Geographics 11(12): 2012.

Bell N, Simons RK, Hameed SM, Schuurman N, Wheeler S. Does direct transport to provincial burn centers improve outcomes? A spatial epidemiology of severe burn injury in British Columbia (2001-2006). Canadian Journal of Surgery 55(2): 110–116, 2012.

Hameed SM, Bell N, Schuurman N. Analyzing the effects of place on injury: Does choice of geographic scale and zone matter? Open Medicine 4(4): E171-E180, 2010.

Bell N, Schuurman N, Hameed SM. A small-area population analysis of socioeconomic status and prevalence of severe burn/fire-related injury in British Columbia, Canada. Burns 35(8): 1133-1141, 2009.

Bell N, Schuurman N, Hameed SM. A multilevel analysis of the socio-spatial pattern of assault injuries in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Public Health 100(1): 73-77, 2009.

Bell N, Schuurman N, Hameed SM. Are injuries spatially related? Join-count spatial autocorrelation for small-area injury analysis. Injury Prevention 14: 346-353, 2008.

Schuurman N, Bell N, Hameed SM, Simons RK. A model for identifying and ranking need for trauma service in non-metropolitan regions based on injury risk and access to services. Journal of Trauma 65(1): 54-62, July 2008.

Bell N, Schuurman N, Hayes MV. Using GIS-based methods of multicriteria analysis to construct socio-economic deprivation indices. International Journal of Health Geographics 6(17), 2007.

Schuurman N, Bell N, Dunn J, Oliver L. Deprivation indices, population health and geography: an evaluation of the spatial effectiveness of indices at multiple scales. Journal of Urban Health 84: 591 – 603, July 2007.

Book chapters:

Bell N. Location allocation modeling practices for health services research using geographic information systems. In: Geographic Health Data: Fundamental Techniques for Analysis. Boscoe F, ed. 2013. Oxford: CABI.

Schuurman N, Bell N. GIS and Population Health: An Overview. In: Handbook of GIS and Society. Nyerges T, Couclelis H, McMaster R (eds). 2011. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Schuurman N, Leszczynski A, Fiedler R, Grund D, Bell N. Building an integrated cadastral fabric for higher resolution socioeconomic spatial data analysis. In: Progress in Spatial Data Handling, 12th International Symposium on Spatial Data Handling. Hainz, Riedl, Elmes (eds.). 2006, Springer.