Canadian Medical Association

Lessons learned from COVID-19: How do we close Canada’s health gap?

June 17, 6:00–8:30 pm ET

In this virtual session, keynote speaker Dr. Jane Philpott will discuss the extent to which COVID-19 has magnified health inequities for many people living in Canada and exacerbated challenges that existed before the pandemic.

She will be joined by Dr. Naheed Dosani and patient advocate Nicole Nickerson for a panel discussion on how to learn from pandemic experiences and effectively recover with a commitment to health equity.

The panel will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A session, moderated by journalist Althia Raj, and a series of small, 40-minute breakout sessions where participants will brainstorm on actions.

These ideas and insights will help inform the CMA’s future work.





K Smart photo

Dr. Katharine Smart, CMA president-elect

Dr. Smart is a pediatrician in Whitehorse, who works primarily with children who have experienced trauma and adverse childhood events. She is the past president of the Yukon Medical Association.


A Raj

Althia Raj

Althia is an Ottawa-based political journalist and a member of the CBC’s “At Issue” panel. She previously served as The Huffington Post Canada’s senior editorial manager and its Ottawa bureau chief from 2011 until its closure in March 2021.

Keynote speaker:  

Jane Philpott

Dr. Jane Philpott

Dr. Philpott is the new dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University and the CEO of the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization. Dr. Philpott was a family doctor for 30 years and spent the first decade of her career in Niger, West Africa. She was chief of family medicine at Markham Stouffville Hospital and an associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

From 2015 to 2019 she served as federal minister of health, minister of Indigenous services, president of the Treasury Board and minister of digital government. She has recently been appointed as the special advisor for the Ontario Health Data Platform.




Dr. Naheed Dosani

As a palliative care physician and health justice activist, Dr. Dosani is dedicated to advancing equitable access to health care for people experiencing homelessness and marginalization. These efforts include founding Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless (PEACH) and serving as medical director for a regional COVID-19 Isolation/Housing Program in the Toronto area.

Dr. Dosani shares his passion for health equity through education and advocacy efforts that include media, public speaking, social media and faculty appointments at the University of Toronto and McMaster University.


Nicole Nickerson

Nicole Nickerson

Growing up in rural Nova Scotia in a family with a significant history of heart disease, Nicole experienced first-hand how heart attacks among women can be misdiagnosed after suffering two of them herself, including one while pregnant.

She has since become a fierce advocate for equity in care for cardiac patients. She is also passionate about equitable access to mental health care, sex- and gender-based analysis and reporting in clinical research, and caregiver visitation rights in long-term care.

Nicole has been a patient partner on many boards and councils and has spoken on various panels as a person with lived experience.


Learn more about session three of the CMA Health Summit Series.