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Celebrate International Women’s Day with the Partnership for Women’s Health Research (PWHR) Canada!

On March 1st, PWHR will host  Digital Innovations: Expanding women’s informed choice and access to quality healthcare. The event will be chaired by Dr. Ibukun Abejirinde, an expert in virtual maternal care work, and feature three leaders in digital women’s health research: Dr. Simone Vigod (Women’s College Research Institute, Toronto), Dr. Gina Ogilvie (Women’s Health Research Institute, Vancouver), and Dr. Carla Prado (Women and Children’s Health Research Institute, Edmonton). 

Presentations will explore digital innovations to empower women across the lifespan: perinatal mental health, cervical screening, and chronic disease prevention and treatment.

PWHR invites everyone who is interested in women’s health research (researchers, trainees, policymakers, and healthcare providers) to this free national event. 

When: March 1st, 2024 from 9am to 11am PT (10am-12pm MT, 11am-1pm CT, 12pm-2pm ET, 1pm-3pm AT)

Where: Online via Zoom

meet our speakers

Dr. Ibukun Abejirinde, MD, MSc., PhD

Panel Chair

Biography: A trained physician, with a PhD in global health, Dr. Abejirinde is an implementation and evaluation scientist whose work focuses on innovative, digitally enabled models of healthcare, specifically as it concerns their implications for health equity and health system strengthening. Her research applies a trans-disciplinary approach that is anchored in community/patient partnerships and lies at the nexus of systems thinking, theory-driven inquiry and implementation science. By answering questions on “what works, for whom, in which contexts, how and why?” Dr. Abejirinde’s research program focuses on understanding and enabling the role of digital technologies in the ecosystem of health system strengthening in Canada and in low- and middle-income countries. Leveraging her networks and expertise in global health, she collaborates with colleagues and organisations from diverse spheres of influence to push the boundaries of research and learning on digital health systems.

Dr. Carla Prado, PhD, RD

Topic: Digital health for chronic disease prevention and treatment

Biography: Dr. Carla Prado is a Professor at the University of Alberta, and a Campus Alberta Innovates (CAIP) Chair in Nutrition, Food and Health. She is the Director of the Human Nutrition Research Unit, one of the top research and training facilities for body composition and energy metabolism assessments worldwide. Carla is an expert in assessing nutritional status through the precise measurement of body composition and energy metabolism. She is an Associate Editor of three top journals in her field and a member of several international guideline groups. Dr. Prado is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists – these are two of the highest academic honors in her country. She has also been acknowledged in the list of Most Powerful Women in Canada: Top 100.

Dr. Gina Ogilvie, MSc, PhD, MD

Topic: Leveraging digital platforms to improve cervical cancer screening rates

Biography: Dr. Ogilvie is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Global Control of HPV related diseases and prevention. She is also Senior Public Health Scientist at BC Centre for Disease Control and Senior Research Advisor at the BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre. Dr. Ogilvie is principal investigator on over 5 million dollars in research grants and has received funding from PHAC, CIHR, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Canadian Foundation for Innovation and private foundations.

Her research is focused on both the public health and clinical aspects of reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, HPV screening and the HPV vaccine, and her findings have been highly influential` in setting and directing health policy both in Canada and globally. Among other research projects, she is principal investigator for the ASPIRE program. She has published over 130 peer reviewed manuscripts and has provided advice and consultation to national and global institutions.

Dr. Simone Vigod, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Topic: Innovations in Treatment Delivery for Perinatal Mental Illness

Biography: Dr. Vigod is a leading expert in perinatal mood disorders and has conducted some of the largest studies worldwide on maternal mental illness around the time of pregnancy. Mental illness at this life stage poses unique risks to mothers and their children at a critical juncture in both of their lives. Dr. Vigod’s research is helping raise awareness about gaps in access to specialized perinatal mental healthcare, as well as identifying vulnerable populations where these gaps are most prominent. Working with a multidisciplinary network of research, content experts, front-line workers and women with lived experience, Dr. Vigod is leveraging digital technologies to achieve this goal by optimizing maternal mental healthcare delivery. One of these interventions, Mother Matters, a therapist-facilitated online postpartum mental health support group has already been implemented across Ontario. Dr. Vigod’s research has also provided valuable insight into balancing the importance of maternal mental health and the risk of medication to the fetus. She’s also developed an online patient decision aid to help women make choices about antidepressant use in pregnancy that is now being evaluated in the United Kingdom.