Striving for Health Equity and Better Health Outcomes at McMaster FHT

August 17, 2022

Content below developed by McMaster Family Health Team

Through the expertise and passion of Dr. Tejal Patel, Andrea Pansoy (PA), Dr. Amanda Ramdyal and Dr Anjali Menezes, the McMaster FHT (MFHT) has developed an interactive program focused on equity, diversity, inclusion (EDI), anti-racism and anti-oppression (AR/AO) that has led to the hiring of full-time EDI and AR Partner. Initially, a 4-part EDI & AR/AO educational session was created in response to a global awakening that is ongoing but came to a head in 2020. After the tremendous success of the initial series, the 3 creators and the EDI/AR Partner continue to support both the MFHT and our community partners formally and informally, through continued offerings including workshops, a lending library, a community of practice, weekly newsletter updates regarding internal and external events and learning opportunities, multi-cultural calendars and more. The MFHT has changed its approach to recruitment and retention and collaborates with equity deserving suppliers. Finally, the launch of the DFM Racialized Community of Support took place in June 2022, creating a safe space for self-identifying Black, Indigenous and/or racialized staff and faculty. Such a support group already exists for the family medicine residents learning at the MFHT, started by 2 residents in 2020/21. 

Over the course of the offered workshops to date, attendance remains high with the average session attracting 40-100 people and overall participation for cumulative sessions is 700+. The Community of Support group had 13 participants in its inaugural session while the Resident Support Group averages approximately 20+ participants each meeting. These high attendance values reinforce the subjective comments the team receives regarding the impact, engagement and positive learning experience these sessions are providing. Further objective data obtained in a post-attendance feedback survey demonstrates 93% of survey respondents feel these sessions are a safe space in which to participate. The most common constructive feedback obtained through these same surveys is a regret regarding time limitations. 

Through the many and varied offerings, feedback is solicited by participants to assist the team in evolving future offerings based on constructive and positive suggestions. Patients at the MFHT have the opportunity to reflect on their experiences through our bi-annual Patient Satisfaction Surveys, as well as in the upcoming Patient Advisory Committee focus on EDI & AR/AO planned for fall 2022. The team also collaborates with other anti-racism experts, external partners and organizations to ensure further quality improvements and the latest evidence is incorporated into their work. 

The team has created a Community of Practice and support groups, shared their reflective anti-racism and EDI prompts with 3 clinical Departments and their residency programs, as well as with the GHHN. Invitations have been extended further to other McMaster staff and faculty, as well as community partners to attend education sessions and promote the dissemination of this material. The team is working with resident groups to integrate this educational framework into resident education at McMaster University, and they are working on a literature review of anti-racism teaching within medical education. For more information, please contact Jill Berridge at