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8th Annual Health Equity Summit

Marilyn Verghis from the William Osler Health System speaking from the podium

On August 7th, 2019, the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians hosted their 8th annual Health Equity Summit and brought together stakeholders from government, hospitals, and the nonprofit sector to address health inequities affecting the South Asian and other racialized communities in the GTA. The aim of this year’s Summit was to gather community input on a health equity strategy from these communities by exploring key issues affecting the community and discussing ways to engage the current government through research and advocacy.

The day consisted of presentations from various stakeholders and research groups in the areas of heart, mental, sexual, maternal, and chronic health, as well as an exploration of social determinants of health affecting the community. Dr. Istvan Mucsi was honoured to present in the diabetes & kidney health session, alongside Dr. Ananya Banerjee of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Avantika Balendra of the South Asian Adolescent Diabetes Awareness Program. Dr. Mucsi had the opportunity to share information on KHERG’s work and research findings around the lower rates of living donor kidney transplantation in South Asian patients.

Plenary sessions during the Summit included stimulating presentations on health equity and inclusion policy from Gurwinder Gill, Regional Director of Health Equity & Inclusion at William Osler Health System, and reflections on best practices in health equity from Liben Gebremikael, Executive Director of TAIBU Community Health Centre and Baldev Mutta, CEO of Punjabi Community Health Services.

Overall, the event provided an excellent space to learn about, with, and from other organizations and stakeholders who are working towards improving health equity for the South Asian community in Toronto.

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