Forwarding equity in research and health sciences through The Emily Stowe Scholars Program

May 13, 2022
butterfly flys above text that reads "Emily Stowe Scholar Program"

Equity in research and health sciences has always been an important focus for Women’s College Hospital (WCH). That focus continues to be integrated in the work that we do and through the opportunities that we provide today, including The Emily Stowe Scholars Program (ESSP).

The Emily Stowe Scholars Program (ESSP), which is funded by WCHF’s Emily Stowe Society, strives to engage, retain and support the advancement of diverse persons by developing pathways that celebrate their lived experience, knowledge systems, and skill-sets from early learning throughout their career trajectories. As part of its mandate, the Emily Stowe Society funds women, as well as Black, Indigenous, racialized, Two-Spirit, trans, non-binary and persons living with disabilities who have been systemically and historically excluded in health care and health science career trajectories.

WCH and Women’s College Hospital Foundation (WCHF) are proud to announce the selection of the first five Emily Stowe Scholars Program Fellows!

Dr. Rulan Parekh (Senior Fellow) | Supporting communities in sub-Saharan Africa

Dr. Parekh is the Vice President of Academics at Women’s College Hospital and also holds an appointment as full-time faculty in the Women’s College Hospital Department of Medicine, University of Toronto. Furthermore, she also maintains her clinical paediatric practice at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). As part of the ESSP Fellowship, she will be contributing to research specific to understanding the genetic risk of chronic kidney disease among HIV infected persons living in communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe (Senior Fellow) | Diabetes prevention and management for low-income and racialized populations

Dr. Lipscombe is a Senior Scientist at Women’s College Hospital, as well as the Director of the Novo Nordisk Network for Healthy Populations at the University of Toronto. She is also an associate professor in the Department of Medicine and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. As part of the ESSP Fellowship, she will be doing work related to diabetes prevention and management interventions and conducting research specific to the unique needs of low-income and racialized populations.

Dr. Dana Ross (Senior Fellow) | Communities who are disproportionally impacted by trauma

Dr. Ross is a Staff Psychiatrist in the Trauma Therapy Program at Women’s College Hospital. As part of the ESSP, she will be leading projects such as the Women’s College Hospital Trauma Therapy Project and eR&R project. These projects will be adapted and tailored more specifically to Black, Indigenous, and other equity-seeking communities who are disproportionally impacted by trauma and whose negative outcomes are often compounded by a lack of equitable access to treatment.

Niru Bhanderi (Emerging Leader) | Dismantling systemic racism and oppression in the area of sexual and reproductive health

Niru Bhanderi is a Nurse Practitioner in the Bay Centre for Birth Control clinic at Women’s College Hospital. She will be leading work on dismantling systemic racism and oppression through the Sex, Gender and Reproductive Health program at Women’s College Hospital. Her areas of focus will be in providing care in contraception counseling, abortion care, sexually transmitted infection screening, and annual physical exams specific to underrepresented communities.

Faith Delos-Reyes (Emerging Leader) | Cardiac rehabilitation specific to Indigenous women

Faith Delos-Reyes is a Registered Kinesiologist in the Cardiology department at Women’s College Hospital. Delos-Reyes will engage with Indigenous stakeholders, and the Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health to collaborate, learn and develop innovative models of care that focus on identifying unique barriers and incorporating Indigenous culture to increase access to cardiac rehabilitation for Indigenous women.

#TeamWCH looks forward to following the important work being conducted by all of the ESSP’s new Emerging Leaders and Senior Fellows and to welcoming future recipients.