International Women’s Day 2019
On March 8, Women’s College Hospital (WCH) staff, clinicians, researchers and volunteers came together to celebrate International Women’s Day. Every year, International Women's Day recognizes the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women while also serving as a call to action to accelerate gender equity.
At WCH, International Women’s Day is about both the women leaders who are recognized as the top in their fields, as well as the everyday heroes. This year’s events shone a light on WCH patients—women who have overcome often great barriers to access healthcare.
Left to right: Marilyn Emery, Minister Chrystia Freeland, Jennifer Bernard, Heather McPherson
For International Women’s Day, WCH hosted a panel discussion on Closing the Health Gap: Patient Conversations for Change. In an insightful conversation moderated by Priya Sam, co-host of CTV’s Your Morning, three patients were joined by their healthcare providers to discuss some of the barriers they’ve faced when trying to access healthcare and how WCH is working to close these health gaps.
Naomi, a patient in the Women’s Mental Health Program, was joined by social worker and counsellor Kaeli Macdonald to talk about her experience with post-partum depression. As a caregiver for two young children, Naomi was able to set aside time for her own care and recovery by using WCH services like Stella’s Playroom and through the program’s holistic approach to treatment.
Teryl, a patient at WCH’s Family Practice Health Centre and Cardiac Rehab program, was joined by physiotherapist Debbie Childerhose to speak about navigating the healthcare system without a diagnosis. While her journey to finding a diagnosis is ongoing, the Cardiac Rehab program helped her treat her symptoms and reclaim important aspects of her life.
Yvonne, a patient at WCH’s Crossroads Clinic, was joined by medical director Dr. Meb Rashid to talk about accessing healthcare as a refugee. By creating a safe environment, the Crossroads Clinic became a space where she could overcome a history of trauma to access care and that supported her in establishing a new life in Canada.
Through their stories, the patients and providers highlighted some of the health gaps women face when accessing care, as well as their resilience and how, together, we are addressing these barriers to achieve balance for better.
If you weren't able to attend the discussion, you can view a full video here.
Three WCH patients shared their stories on navigating the healthcare system. Hear about their journeys:
On International Women’s Day, WCH staff, clinicians and researchers reflected on how they are closing the health gap for women.
International Women's Day 2019 in photos
To view photos from the International Women’s Day photo booth, click here.