The overall goal of the Research Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Task Force is to provide guidance to the Research Leadership Committee on the EDI-related barriers that exist in research, and to recommend initiatives and practices aimed at removing these barriers and promoting fairness, mutual respect and an unequivocal sense of equity, diversity and inclusion among scientists, trainees and research employees.
Christopher Allen (member)
Clinical Research Specialist, Applied Health Research Centre
Chris Allen is a Clinical Research Specialist in the Observational Epidemiology Unit at the Applied Health Research Centre. He is interested in frameworks that facilitate equity, inclusion and diversity for both research staff and research participants. He aims to ensure that research decision-making incorporates voices from disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.
Anne-Marie Fox (member)
Project Manager, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute
As a cisgender white female, Anne-Marie acknowledges her privilege and feels that with this privilege comes a duty and moral obligation to dismantle the unfair and unjust systems that gave her this privilege in the first place. She is a founding member of her daughter’s school Equity Circle, where she is working to create an inclusive environment where all students, staff and parents feel welcome and safe.
Sonya Grewal (member)
Research Coordinator, Genomic Health Services and Policy Research Program
Sonya Grewal is a Research Coordinator in the Genomics Health Services and Policy Research Program at St. Michael’s Hospital. She is interested in identifying best practices to enhance EDI and improve engagement from underrepresented communities in health research.
Mahfam Janbakhsh (member)
Project Manager, Office of the Vice President Research & Innovation
Mahfam has a keen interest in EDI and higher education policy development and administration. Her work is focused on understanding the barriers that scholars, trainees and research administrators from underrepresented groups face in the Canadian post-secondary sector and mobilizing knowledge, perspectives and experiences to empower them to achieve their full potential.
Thivia Jegathesan (member)
Research Manager, Pediatrics and Bioethics Graduate Trainee
Thivia Jegathesan is a research manager for the Department of Pediatrics at St. Michael’s Hospital. In this role, Thivia manages a wide range of projects focused on health inequities and disparities from birth to adolescence in at-risk communities. After completing her PhD at the University of Toronto, Thivia is pursuing a professional Master of Health Science Degree in Bioethics to support her work.
Clara Juando-Prats (member)
Investigator, Applied Health Research Centre
Dr. Clara Juando-Prats is a critical health researcher at the Applied Health Research Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on patient and public engagement, patient experiences, visual approaches, and socio-critical theory applied to study the relational aspects of the health care system as well as the inequities in the social structure that impact individuals’ health.
Anisa Nazir (member)
Graduate Trainee, Institute of Medical Sciences, Trauma and EM Research
Anisa Nazir is a graduate student in the Trauma and Emergency Medicine Research Program. She currently serves as the Director of Student Equity for the St. Michael’s Hospital Research Student Association (SRSA). In addition to her research interests in patient safety and quality improvement, she is also passionate about advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in health research spaces for trainees.
Allison Needham (ex officio)
Director, Anti-Racism, Equity & Social Accountability
As the first Director of Anti-Racism, Equity and Social Accountability at Unity Health Toronto, Allison Needham’s work supports the organization’s priority of creating a more equitable and anti-oppressive space for staff, physicians and patients. She is the co-chair of the Council on Anti-Racism, Equity and Social Accountability (CARESA) which is an advisory body responsible for making meaningful and sustainable improvements on systemic issues related to equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, and social accountability at Unity Health Toronto.
Cheryl Pritlove (member)
Investigator, Applied Health Research Centre
Dr. Cheryl Pritlove is an Investigator at the Applied Health Research Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital. As a feminist political economist and health equity researcher, she takes a critical social scientific view of the vast, diverse, and intersecting factors that contribute to inequities in academic medicine and in the delivery of healthcare. She is committed to locating multi-level solutions to promote greater equity, diversity and inclusion in these contexts and beyond.
Christina Salmon (member)
Research Program Manager, MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions
Christina Salmon is the Research Program Manager of the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions. Her ancestry is Sioux, Cherokee, Jamaican, African American and English and she is committed to advocating and implementing anti-racism and anti-oppressions policies to enable inclusivity and justice in the Research Institute. Christina is a member of the Unity Health Toronto Council on Anti-Racism, Equity and Social Accountability (CARESA) and the Patient & Community Engagement in Research Committee.
Jordan Sam (member)
Research Coordinator, Genomics Health Services and Policy Research Program
Jordan Sam is a Research Coordinator in the Genomics Health Services and Policy Research at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. His interests lie in clinical genomics research to guide policy and best practices, as well as promoting equity, inclusivity, and diversity in research.
Samar Saneinejad (co-chair)
Senior Director, Strategy & Commercialization, Office of the Vice President Research & Innovation
Samar Saneinejad is the Senior Director of Strategy & Commercialization at Unity Health Toronto. She is an Iranian-Canadian, a life-long learner and a firm believer that with diversity comes tremendous strength; she is passionate about advancing equity and inclusivity across all areas of our research institute. She is Co-Chair of the REDI Task Force and a member of the Unity Health Toronto Council on Anti-Racism, Equity and Social Accountability (CARESA) and the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network (TAHSN) EDI Working Group.
Anne Sorvari (member)
Research Program Manager, Oncology Health Services Research
Anne Sorvari holds the position of Research Program Manager at Unity Health Toronto and has over 20 years of experience in healthcare. She started her career in this sector with the Office of International Surgery, working on international projects building research and surgical capacity. She has been with Unity Health for the last 15 years working in various roles within the Division of General Surgery. Anne’s lived experience as a queer woman reinforces her efforts as an ally to those under-represented in the research community.
Liane Steiner (member)
Research Coordinator, MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions
Liane Steiner is a research coordinator at MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital. She is PhD candidate in epidemiology and holds a Master of Health Studies degree. She helps conduct research related to health equity and the social determinants of health.
Zoya Tawhidi (member)
Graduate Trainee, Transfusion Research
Zoya is a graduate student at the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. She is currently serving as the Vice-Chair for the St. Michael’s Hospital Research Student Association (SRSA). The student-run organization strives to bring EDI-focused training to graduate students as it relates to their research and student experience.