Group photo from Black History Month’s event
(L to R) UHN Black History Month Committee (BHMC) co-chair Dianne Barham, Dr. Charlie Chan, UHN Interim President & CEO, BHMC co-chair Tracey Williams, Mike Nader, UHN EVP & Chief Operating Officer, Derrick Edwards, a BHMC member, and Dr. Onye Nnorom, a presenter, at a Black History Month event at Toronto General Hospital last week. (Photo: UHN)

Did you know that the Universal African Black Cross Nurses (BCN) – established on the same principles as the World War I nursing model of the Red Cross – began in 1920 in Philadelphia? The BCN was established by Henrietta Vinton Davis to provide medical services and education to Black people. 

It later expanded beyond the United States, with chapters being established in Canada and throughout the Caribbean.

This year, UHN's Black History Month Committee is honouring pioneers such as Henrietta Davis who have made lasting contributions to healthcare. The details of their contributions are being highlighted throughout the month of February at various UHN sites. 

This year's theme, "health equity, the social determinants of health and its impacts when Blacks and marginalized patients seek healthcare," features heavily in scheduled presentations and special lectures.

UHN's Black History Month (BHM) celebrations began on Jan. 30 at the BMO Education and Conference Centre at Toronto Western Hospital with presentations from Mr. Francis Jeffers, founder and curator of the Canadian Multicultural Inventors Museum, and Dr. Lisa Richardson, Clinician-educator and faculty co-Lead in Indigenous Medical Education for the University of Toronto's MD program, who presented on "cultural safety and culturally safe institutions for structurally marginalized patients."

It has continued throughout the month with various other events and presentations.​​


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UHN staff, physicians and volunteers are invited to come out and listen to one of our amazing speakers. There's also travelling exhibits, which profile innovators from the African, Indigenous and LGBTQ+ medical communities.  Here is a list of upcoming events:

  • Tomorrow: 12:00-1 p.m. –  Lobby, Toronto Rehab Institute, University Centre
    • Travelling exhibits profiling innovators from the African, Indigenous and LGBTQ+ medical community
  • Thursday, Feb. 22: 12:00-1 p.m. - Atrium 7th Floor, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
    • Presenters: Dr. Naheed Dosani, Palliative Care & Family Physician at William Osler Health System & the Inner City Health Associates (ICHA). Dr. Dosani investigates the impact of housing on health, social media as a tool for communication among healthcare providers, and palliative care for patients with heart failure.
    • Elsie Amoako, Graduate student at the University of Toronto's IHPME in the health policy stream and founder of Mommy Monitor.
    • Kimberley Moore, Licensed Master Social Worker, Therapist, Facilitator and Healer, Kimberley grounds her clinical and programming work in Womanist and Anti-Racist theory.
  • Monday, Feb. 26: 12:00-1 p.m. – Lobby, Lyndhurst Centre
    • ​Travelling exhibits profiling innovators from the African, Indigenous and LGBTQ+ medical community.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 28, Closing Ceremony: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. – Michener Institute
    • Presenters: Dr. Stephanie Nixon, Physiotherapist, HIV activist, researcher and clinician, co-founder and Director of the International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation.
    • Dawn T. Maracle, Experienced in Indigenous education & training in health/medicine/tobacco, governance, women and the arts.
    • Dr. Upton Allen, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases and Interim Director, Transplant and Regenerative Medicine Centre, Hospital for Sick Children, Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto and the Order of Ontario recipient.

Light refreshments will be served.​​

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