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UHN Women's Health Program Newsletter

September 2022

Dear Colleagues,

It's my pleasure to share this first newsletter from the University Health Network Women's Health Program. The program brings together researchers, educators, clinicians and advocates in the area of women's health, with the goal of providing a network for collaboration and for building capacity in women's health research and education.

We are aligned with the work of UHNWomen and the UHN Research Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee to promote the advancement of women in medicine and research. Most of our program activities were put on hold during COVID-19, but we are planning a short virtual meeting in the fall for members to meet each other and to discuss priorities for the program.

Please visit the Women's Health Program website for information on members and activities; new members are welcome. If you have announcements, accomplishments, rounds, conferences or other information for future newsletters, please email

All my best,

Dr. Moira Kapral

Dr. Moira Kapral
Lillian Love Chair in Women's Health

Summer Student Scholarships

The inaugural WHP summer student scholarship competition was held this summer, with the competition open to undergraduate students, medical students, and students enrolled in course-based graduate programs. Congratulations to the following students who received scholarships this summer. Please see below for an overview of some of their projects.


Atousa Assadi

Atousa Assadi worked with Dr. Azadeh Yadollahi on a project evaluating sex differences in the effect of opioids on respiration. Her overall research program focuses on risk assessment and prediction of opioid-induced respiratory adverse events. Her research goal is to develop personalized techniques based on signal processing and machine learning methodologies for improving patient care.

Shaghayegh Chavoshian  

Shaghayegh Chavoshian

Shaghayegh Chavoshian worked with Dr. Azadeh Yadollahi on a project evaluating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in women with asthma. Although the prevalence of OSA is lower in women than men in the general population, among people with asthma, the prevalence of OSA is two times higher in women than men, and outcomes after hospitalization for asthma and OSA are worse in women than men. This project aims to study the pathophysiology of detrimental interactions between asthma and OSA in women.

Yajur Iyengar  

Yajur Iyengar

Yajur Iyengar worked with Dr. Esther Bui to investigate the obstetrical and neurological outcomes of pregnant women with epilepsy. He also worked to implement and design a shared decision-making web tool that aims to aid the delivery of Women's Health Evidence-Based Neurology.

Mohitt Khinda  

Mohitt Khinda

Mohitt Khinda worked with Bryanna Nyhof and Catherine Wang from UHNWomen and Drs. Paula Rowland and Cynthia Whitehead from the Wilson Centre to evaluate how flexible work schedules in surgical settings affect workplace satisfaction, retention, and employment of female healthcare workers. The project aimed to understand the difficulties women face when entering the surgical field, and to evaluate how institutional changes, such as flexible work schedules, and encourage women to enter a surgical field.

Bronwen O'Callaghan  

Bronwen O'Callaghan

Bronwen O'Callaghan worked with Bryanna Nyhof and Catherine Wang from UHNWomen and Drs. Paula Rowland and Cynthia Whitehead from the Wilson Centre on a project that involved retrieving evidence from current literature on how to implement successful gender equity initiatives and how to measure current and future program successes. The research will be used to help support UHNWomen's operations during the initial stages of launching their multi-year strategic plan.

Nikola Pucnin  

Nikola Pucnin

Nikola Pucnin worked with Dr. Valeria Rac on a scoping literature review on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of those who identify as women of lower socioeconomic status and are diagnosed with diabetes. He created a full review protocol including article screening and data extraction forms, developed a robust search strategy within the Ovid databases and grey literature sources, and screened the results from the database search at the title/abstract and full-text levels.

Resources for Researchers

The UHN Research IDEA website has a variety of helpful resources for researchers seeking to integrate sex and gender into their research design and grant applications, as well as best practices for peer review and student supervision.

Educational Opportunities

Dr. Lianne Tile, Education Lead, Women's Health Program, is creating an inventory of clinical and research rotations, electives, and fellowships in women's health, to be included on the website for prospective students and to be used to inform the design of future electives or fellowships in women's health. If you offer any such rotations, please use this link to provide information, or email


UHNWomen has the mission of promoting equitable and inclusive opportunities for women to lead, grow and achieve professional fulfillment in their careers and lives. The UHNWomen strategic plan  includes supporting leadership development, establishing a culture at UHN that elevates women, enhancing infrastructure and resources, and advocating for equitable policies. There is more to come – please watch the UHNWomen website for upcoming activities, and let us know if you would like to become involved.

Become a Mentor for Girls in STEM

Girls SySTEM Mentorship  

The Girls SySTEM Mentorship Program is a non-profit organization connecting students in late elementary and high school with passionate and knowledgeable professionals in STEM fields. The goal of the program is to provide young women (ages 12-18) with early experiential learning, workshops, and hands-on mentorship across a spectrum of STEM professions in order to fuel their interests and passions throughout their academic careers. In order to achieve this, we rely on the help of our mentors who are eager to nurture female innovators towards professional development and diversify the landscape of the STEM workforce.

The applications to become a mentor for the coming year are open September 7th, 2022. and are available here. You can sign up to be a mentor for the Fall (September-December), Winter (January-April), or Full-Year (September-April) cohort. These applications will close on September 23rd, 2022. As a mentor, you would be committing to a maximum of 2 hours/month.

If you apply for the program, you will be paired with the mentee that we see most fitting based on shared academic interests and goals, hobbies, and overall compatibility. If you are interested in joining, more information can be found here. Please feel free to reach out to with any questions.

Upcoming Conferences and Rounds

University of Toronto Women's Brain Health Rounds
September 23, 2022 | Virtual Session
Brain Health Rounds Details

Women's Brain Health Rounds  

2023 Canadian Women's Heart Health Summit
April 28 - 29, 2023 | Vancouver, British Columbia
Women's Heart Health Summit Details

" Canadian Women's Heart Health Summit
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