F5-b - What will a Tectonic shift in relation to Equity and Anti-Racism look like in Ontario’s New Health Teams?

5. Addressing social determinants of health

  • Date: Friday, October 9, 2020
  • Concurrent Session F
  • Time: 11:00 am -11:45 am 
  • Style: Live Workshop
  • Focus: Balance between both (e.g. Presentation of a best-practice guideline that combines research evidence, policy issues and practical steps for implementation)
  • Target Audience: Leadership, Clinical providers, Administrative staff, Representatives of stakeholder/partner organizations

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how Health Teams can redesign care that enables them to best meet the increasingly complex needs of the diverse communities they serve.    
  • Identify the ways the Ontario Health Teams can redesign inter-professional care to better serve their clients, families and communities in a pandemic and beyond.    
  • Identify key principles, best practices and delivery strategies to integrate Equity, Anti-Racism, and Diversity lens into the core mandate of the Ontario Health Teams.    
  • Identify the indicators of a Team with competencies in anti-racism and implicit bias focused on improving access to health care for Black, indigenous and racialized populations.   


We are living in a critical historical moment: Amid a Covid-19 Pandemic, we have calls to address both systemic and Anti-Black racism, and the drastic threat to women’s labour market participation. An intersectional analysis suggests that racialized women will experience social exclusion in relation to BOTH race and gender.    During this momentous period, the province of Ontario is proceeding apace to establish its new structure for health care delivery—Ontario Health Teams (OHTs). Current guidelines emphasize clinical and fiscal accountability, a coordinated continuum of care and improved performance, and concludes that “the time for transformational change is now.” Equity, Diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are notably absent from planning considerations.    

These documents provide little guidance on HOW to “locally redesign care in ways that best meet the needs of the diverse communities they serve”; they are virtually silent on governance.    

This workshop will help identify KEY strategies to integrate Equity, Diversity, inclusion, and specifically Anti-Racism into the very mandate of the Ontario Health Teams. Best and promising practices in holistic, integrated and coordinated primary health care will be shown to require the meaningful incorporation of clients and their family’s lived experiences to facilitate both physical and/or mental health recovery.    

Strategies include the collaborative collection, analysis and timely reporting of race-based data—including the rationalization for doing so and how those data can influence the way services are delivered; the training and succession planning within OTHs to develop both a racially diverse staff and representative leadership. Consideration will also be given to the design of performance measures and indicators that reflect enhancement of cultural safety and include anti-racism measures that reflect success in addressing racism as a public health crisis.    

How can Health equity (race, poverty, gender, mental health, anti-oppression) be a key, critical focus of the new Ontario Health Teams? What are the indicators of a Team whose consciousness of racial bias and the dynamics of white supremacy issues result in improved access to care for Black, Indigenous, and racialized populations?    

Participants in this workshop can also share creative, and innovative strategies to ensure that clinical and fiscal accountability, a coordinated continuum of care and improved performance are articulated with substantive health equity in the new Ontario Health Teams.  


  • Dr. Maria A. Wallis, Ph.D., ASSOCIUM Consultant; Independent Researcher
  • Dr. Akwatu Khenti, Ph.D., ASSOCIUM Consultant, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • LeeAnn McKenna, PhD©, ASSOCIUM Consultant, McKenna Associates