What or who inspired you to join the Emily Stowe Scholars Program (ESSP)?
The opportunity to do hands-on research with an amazing team of clinician-researchers at an academic hospital with such a focus on equity was what drew me to the program. In school, I’m doing a professional graduate degree, and I loved the idea of balancing out the applied nature of my program with research through ESSP, and getting to see how research informs practice and vice versa.
What was your first impression of Women’s College Hospital?
My first impression of Women’s was that it’s an institution that clearly puts their values into practice. This was clear to me from everything from the research priorities to the formal and informal interactions that I have had with staff, researchers, and clinicians – the environment feels very supportive and inclusive. It was evident to me from day one that there is a great deal of energy and dedication to improving health outcomes for the diverse populations that WCH serves.
What interests you most about the area of research that you’re working in?
This summer, I’m working on an environmental scan of gender affirming surgery policy coverage in Canada. My own experiences as a trans person accessing care, as well as experiences volunteering and working within trans and queer communities have made apparent to me the challenges that exist when accessing transition related health care. These are what drive my passion and interest in the work. When it comes to the environmental scan, I love that it is something that feels tangible, and can have a direct impact by working in collaboration with community organizations to demystify access to this essential care for those in trans and gender diverse communities, but also to highlight areas for advocacy and policy change on a more structural level.
What do you think you will enjoy the most about being part of ESSP?
One thing I have really enjoyed about ESSP is the community – the opportunity get exposure to the broad range of work being done at WCH through coffee chats, networking events, weekly research sessions, and the summer student presentations has been eye opening. It’s also been incredible to connect with researchers across the hospital, and hear about their work and the path that lead them to research as well as to connect and learn from/with other ESSP students.
Personal or professional answers welcome: What is something that makes you smile?
Spending time with friends and chosen family, drinking my morning coffee outside on a summer’s day, and hearing people’s passion and excitement come through when they’re talking about their work/research.