Gender matters

Gender matters when it comes to healthcare. For too long the healthcare system did not consider the impact of sex and gender differences on patient care; treatment; diagnoses and research. Women’s College Hospital, with a history of trailblazing for women and equity, is leading the healthcare revolution that is changing that.

At Women for Women’s 2018, we will look at three timely healthcare issues through a gender lens to help inform and empower our guests on why gender matters and what we can all do to live our best lives and advocate for the health of our loved ones.

Our Presentations and Speakers:

CARDIAC HEALTH: Gender matters in how cardiac disease is found and treated.

Dr. Paula Harvey

Speaker: Dr. Paula Harvey, BMBS, PhD, FRACP
Chief of Medicine & Medical Program Director —
Specialized Medicine, WCH
F.M. Hill Chair in Women’s Academic Medicine
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto


Dr. Harvey is an Australian Medical Graduate. After completing her specialty training and subsequent PhD in 1999 she re-located to Canada as a NH&MRC Scholar to complete post-doctoral training in Cardiovascular Physiology at the University of Toronto. In 2002 Dr. Harvey was appointed to faculty in the Division of Cardiology, University Health Network. In 2010 Dr Harvey joined Women's College Hospital (WCH) as Director, Cardiovascular Research and subsequently also as Medical Director, Women’s Cardiovascular Health initiative, the WCH cardiac rehabilitation program. In December 2013 Dr. Harvey was appointed Division Head, Cardiology at WCH until April 2018. She assumed the role of Interim Physician-in-Chief of the Department of Medicine in July 2014. In March 2017 she was appointed Physician in Chief of the Department of Medicine at WCH. Dr. Harvey’s clinical and research focus is on cardiovascular disease in women across the lifespan, with a special interest in hypertension and atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease prevention through lifestyle interventions (such as exercise) and cardiovascular disease in women with multiple complex diseases.

SUBSTANCE USE: Gender matters in how we provide services and treatment to those dealing with issues of substance use.

Kate Hardy

Speaker: Kate Hardy, MSW RSW
Research Manager, Substance Use Service, Women’s College Hospital

Kate Hardy has worked in the Substance Use Service of Women’s College Hospital since 2013 and helped found the META:PHI program in 2015. As manager of META:PHI, Kate liaises with provincial agencies, and raises the profile of the rapid access model, which has been adopted by over 50 clinics in Ontario, in addition to clinics in other provinces. Kate has given a number of presentations to local and international audiences, as well as interviews with radio and print media. Kate has a particular interest in the intersections between mental health, substance use, and criminal justice, and has co-authored several texts and presentations related to incarcerated veterans, and abuse committed by those in positions of power.

MENTAL HEALTH: Gender matters in how mental health is researched and delivered, understanding the unique issues relating to women’s mental health through the reproductive years.

Dr. Simone Vigod

Speaker: Dr. Simone Vigod, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Scientist, Women’s College Research Institute
Staff Psychiatrist, Women’s College Hospital
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto


Dr. Simone Vigod is a scientist at Women’s College Research Institute and a psychiatrist at Women’s College Hospital. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and an adjunct scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) in Toronto, Ontario. In addition, she is the recipient of the inaugural Shirley Brown Chair in Women’s Mental Health Research Clinician-Scientist Award, and an Ontario Mental Health Foundation New Investigator Award.

Dr. Vigod specializes in the treatment of women with mood and anxiety disorders across the lifespan. Her research at Women’s College Research Institute is focused on two main areas: (1) Optimizing outcomes for women with mental illness during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and (2) Gender and sex-based analysis of care pathways for women with mental health issues.

WITH EMCEE, Dr. Danielle Martin: Gender matters when revolutionizing the healthcare system for a healthier and more equitable world.

Dr. Danielle Martin

Dr. Danielle Martin, MD, CCFP, MPP
Vice President, Medical Affairs and Health System Solutions

Danielle is the Vice President, Medical Affairs and Health System Solutions at Women's College Hospital (WCH), and the founder of WIHV, where she is also a Senior Innovation Fellow. She is a family physician in the Family Practice Health Centre at WCH, associate professor in the Departments of Family and Community Medicine and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation and School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. In February, 2018, she was the lead author on a Lancet paper entitled ‘Canada’s universal health-care system: achieving it’s potential,’ highlighting the biggest opportunities to improve access and quality for millions of Canadians today.

As a national health policy leader, Danielle is a strong advocate for removing barriers to care and improving equity. From a national pharmacare program dedicated to ensuring that all Canadians can access necessary medications, to a basic income to protect the health of low-income Canadians — Danielle’s policy work, research and advocacy focus is on closing the health gaps that vulnerable Canadians face. Her book, Better Now: Six Big Ideas to Improve Health Care for All Canadians is a platform to engage Canadians in a national conversation about achievable change in health care.