The Impacts of Racism on Healthcare Quality and Safety in Canada: A Case Study and Practical Advice from Ontario Midwifery

Catherine Gaulton, CEO, Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC) and Feben Aseffa, Director Health-Care Equity, Quality and Human Rights, Association of Ontario Midwives

With the growing commitment to understanding and addressing the social determinants of health, there is a clearly identified requirement to focus on improving diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) within Canadian healthcare organizations and systems.  Data from the recent pandemic and input from HIROC’s Subscribers have identified that to do this effectively, it is critical to understand racism and systemic factors that contribute to inequity and disparate outcomes for patients, providers, and community members. From the delivery of front-line care to senior leadership and executive functioning, addressing systemic racism presents unique challenges and opportunities for healthcare systems and providers.

This session will include a committed conversation on the importance of achieving safety through addressing systemic racism in healthcare. HIROC will facilitate a discussion of and learnings from a case study presented by the Association of Ontario Midwives (AOM). As the AOM and HIROC's other Subscribers continue to action safety, we collectively seek to develop generalizable knowledge principles to share across the system - all with a view to understanding these challenges and informing actions to address systemic racism within our systems and the professions. 


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Mpody, C., Best, A. F., Lee, C. N., Stahl, D. L., Raman, V. T., Urman, R. D., Tobias, J. D., & Nafiu, O. O. (2023). Current Trends in Mortality Attributable to Racial or Ethnic Disparities in Post-Surgical Population in The United States: A Population-Based Study. Annals of Surgery Open, 4(4), e342.

OCAP Principles -for collection of data from First Nations:

Engagement, governance, access, and protection (EGAP) framework:


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Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning, 686 Bay St., Toronto, ON, Canada

Video Runtime: 51:32