diversity and cultural celebration as diverse global cultures and multi-cultural unity.

Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The Mandate of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is to raise awareness, encourage sensitivity, and highlight pathways to improve equity issues in all aspects of medical school activity, including undergraduate and postgraduate education, research, faculty development, and the working environment for both faculty members and support staff.

The Faculty of Medicine is not only committed to a climate of mutual respect, but also upholds the highest standards of ethical and professional behaviour, in keeping with the values of the University of Ottawa.

  1. Equity is defined as equal access to opportunity for all, and is the basic principle underlying the mandate of the EDI office. The EDI advisory committee advocates for access to learning and professional development opportunities for all individuals. It also encourages medical professionals and medical educators to advocate for health equity for all and to serve as agents for change.

  2. Diversity requires that we account for differences, share experiences, and learn from one another without erecting artificial barriers that discriminate against specific groups. A mission of the office is to keep this concept on the forefront of our professional activities and emphasize the idea that determinants of health such as biology, gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity and age have significant effects on the health of all people.

  3. Inclusion goes hand in hand with diversity. An inclusive environment ensures that all individuals are respected, valued and heard and have an equal opportunity to contribute to the success of the institution. 

About Us

Who we are

The Assistant Dean of EDI is supported by an Advisory Committee which has faculty representation from each department within the Faculty of Medicine, as well as representation from the Aesculapian Society (medical students), PARO (residents), the Graduate Student’s Association and the Faculty of Medicine Postdoctoral Association. Members of this committee monitor and promote equity issues within their individual departments or groups.  Provincial, national and international examples are studied. The impact of the current policies and climate is discussed, and recommendations are made for Faculty of Medicine policy development.

Dr. Ewurabena Simpson, MD CM, MPH, FRCPC Assistant Dean, Office of Equity Diversity and Inclusion

Dr. Simpson received her medical degree from McGill University in 2005 and completed her General Pediatrics training and Hematology/Oncology fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto in 2012.  During her fellowship training, she also completed a Master’s in Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as a Global Health Scholar.  In 2012, Dr. Simpson joined the Division of Hematology/Oncology at CHEO and was appointed as Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics within the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine.  Her major clinical and research interests have centered upon health systems improvement for children and adolescents with sickle cell disease and other chronic hematologic disorders. 

Since 2017, Dr. Simpson has been a mentor and faculty advisor for several student groups at the University of Ottawa, including the Black Medical Students’ Association.  From 2020-2021, she took on the role of Black Health Theme Lead and Content Expert for the MD Program at University of Ottawa.  In these roles, Dr. Simpson has worked with medical students and faculty to improve the representation of racialized communities within the University of Ottawa MD Program curriculum.  She has also been a board member for the Black Physicians Association of Ontario since 2017 and currently serves on the executive board of directors as treasurer for the Canadian Haemoglobinopathy Association. 

Through her clinical practice and academic work, Dr. Simpson is passionate about promoting cultural sensitivity, social justice and advocacy for the communities that she serves.  In her role as Assistant Dean for the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Simpson aims to strengthen our faculty-wide approaches for supporting our diverse community of trainees, staff and faculty and to prioritize principles of equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging within each of our strategic priorities.  She looks forward to working collectively with the members of the Faculty of Medicine to foster a culture of inclusive excellence that cultivates engagement, advancement and innovation for everyone. 

Dr. Ewurabena Simpson

Kayla Hébert-Desnoyers

Manager, Faculty Affairs
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 8361
Work E-mail: [email protected]

Kayla Hébert-Desnoyers

Chantal Prendergast

Program Officer, Faculty Affairs
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 8507
Email: [email protected]

Chantal Prendergast

We pay respect to the Algonquin people, who are the traditional guardians of this land.  We acknowledge their longstanding relationship with this territory, which remains unceded. We pay respect to all Indigenous people in this region, from all nations across Canada, who call Ottawa home.  We acknowledge the traditional knowledge keepers, both young and old.
And we honour their courageous leaders:  past, present, and future.