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Centre Talks: Racialization, health care and health care research; Centre for Urban Health Solutions, St. Michael’s Hospital

Toronto, Ontario
May 2, 2017

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Room 136, 209 Victoria Street (venue is wheelchair accessible)

Canadian research has often ignored racial and ethnic disparities in health status. In many cases, when it is explored, the default explanation for these disparities is a genetic one. There is little evidence, however, that links differences in health status across groups to genetic factors. As a result, a focus on inherent biological differences obscures two important realities. First – race is a social construct. There is more genetic variation within racial groups than across them. Second – evidence points to structural factors as being key in determining individual, group and population health. Panelists will explore:

  • The relationship between racism and public health
  • Current research unpacking assumptions related to race, ethnicity and health
  • Methods to explore health disparities that give appropriate weight to structural factors


  • Dr. Onye Nnorom is a Family Doctor and a Public Health & Preventive Medicine specialist. She practices at TAIBU Community Health Centre, in Scarborough and is the Primary Care Lead for Cancer Care Ontario’s Central East Regional Cancer Program, providing leadership on matters of cancer prevention and care to primary care physicians in the region. She is also the Associate Program Director of the Public Health & Preventive Medicine Residency Program at the University of Toronto.
  • Dr. Arjumand Siddiqi is Canada Research Chair in Population Health Equity and Associate Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, where she also holds appointments in the Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and the Hospital For Sick Children, as well as at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  •  Dr. Philip Awadalla, PhD, is a Senior Investigator at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Professor of Population and Medical Genomics at the University of Toronto, and is a Director and Principal Investigator of the Ontario Health Study/Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project. He is also the Director of the Genome Canada, Canadian Data Integration Centre.


  • Dr. Aisha Lofters is a family physician with the St. Michael’s Hospital Academic Family Health Team and scientist at the Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital. She is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Family & Community Medicine and adjunct scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.
  • Dr. Patricia O’Campo is a Professor of Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. She is also a scientist at the Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital, where she holds the Chair for Intersectoral Solutions to Urban Health Problems.

Space is limited. To register, email