Year One Funded Projects

Small Scale $15,000 Award Recipients

Research indicates that young bisexual women (whether defined by self-identity or sexual behavior) experience a number of disparities in sexual health status and sexual health risk behaviours compared to their heterosexual and lesbian peers. Planned Parenthood Toronto aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health outcomes for young bisexual women living in Toronto. This goal is to be achieved through exploring needs through focus groups and literature review to understand the factors affecting young bisexual women’s health. By generating new knowledge, service providers and educators will have an increased understanding of ways to more effectively service young bisexual women. Objectives include delving into perceptions and disparities effecting this population to aid the process of developing targeted recommendations for education, programming, and health services. Understanding the sexual and reproductive needs of young bisexual women in Toronto can garner better quality of services and applicable education methods to increase knowledge.

Principal Investigator

Cheryl Dobinson (Planned Parenthood Toronto)

Collaborators

Carmen Logie (University of Toronto), Lori Ross (CAMH)

Sexual assault is an important public health concern affecting approximately 50% of women. The Ottawa Hospital Sexual Assault Partner Abuse Care Program (SAPACP) aims to explore the incidence of sexual assault during public events, also known as mass gatherings. Mass gatherings are defined as an organized event occurring within a defined space attended by a large number of people. Anecdotally, the number of sexual assault victims seen after these gatherings increases but no studies have quantified this or examined the associated risk factors. This topic has not previously been reported on, and the goal is to specifically assess the sexual assault risk to women participating in mass gatherings. A health records review from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013 will be performed. This time frame will capture all mass gatherings occurring in Ottawa without duplication. Collecting data to produce knowledge surrounding themes of patient population characteristics, mass gathering attendance, disclosure of alcohol/drug consumption, timing of presentation to the SAPACP, and nature of sexual assault will be conducted by the team. By quantifying and characterizing these assaults, better event planning and prevention strategies can be deployed to enhance the health of women.

Principal Investigator

Kari Sampsel (The Ottawa Hospital Sexual Assault Partner Abuse Care Program)

Collaborators

Tara Leach (The Ottawa Hospital Sexual Assault Partner Abuse Care Program), Lisa Calder (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute)

There are many negative health outcomes linked to social isolation specifically for women, compared to men. In addition, there are numerous positive aspects of eating with other people. Humans are naturally social beings, and the team from the Centre Wellington Food Bank aims to decrease social isolation within the community to contribute to improving health. This project asks the question if a weekly lunch get-together of women at a new café located at the Centre Wellington Food Bank can reduce social isolation and contribute to improved health. By engaging the women in decision making processes to co –design the program, and evaluate the project, this reflects the community-based participatory goals of the project. Ultimately, a local café will be created with design and functionality suitable for the Ladies Who Lunch and other customers to enjoy the cuisine and atmosphere.

Principal Investigator

Paul Holyoke (Centre Wellington Food Bank)

Collaborators

Anne Bergen (University of Guelph), Fred Aleksandrowicz (Centre Wellington Food Bank)

Nail salon workers in Toronto are typically immigrants from either China or Vietnam and work in a profession where throughout the workday they are regularly exposed to chemicals known to cause cancer, respiratory illnesses, and reproductive problems. Looking at the environmental health of nail salon workers is critical as it is an area that has not been highly investigated nor well regulated. The research question the Central Toronto Community Health Centre’s Team asks is: how do the social determinants of health, particularly education and employment, impact Toronto nail salon workers’ ability to protect themselves from environmental health risks in the workplace? This information will enable the team to educate nail salon workers around identified areas of interest and concern. Peer facilitators will recruit participants, conduct focus groups, plan the program and deliver the program. The factors that influence nail salon workers’ health and safety will be shared with social service and health care providers to improve the quality of services and care provided to women. Lastly, the project will share this information with decision makers and health experts who can influence policy, resources and further research in this area.

Principal Investigator

Angela Robertson (Central Toronto Community Health Centre)

Collaborators

Daniel Yau (Chinese Interagency Network), Erica Phipps (Canadian Partnership for Children’s Healthy Environments), Michaela Hynie (York University)



Eating disorders affect approximately 10% of women. Other forms of disordered eating, including chronic dieting, excessive exercise, and occasional bingeing or purging symptoms, affect a considerable portion of young women, with many estimates around 50%. Researchers at York University are partnering with the National Eating Disorders Information Centre (NEDIC) to explore better understanding women’s reactions to eating disorder prevention messages and how that knowledge can be used to enhance prevention campaigns at the local level. The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) is a non-profit organization that provides education, information, resources and referrals to the public on eating disorders and food and weight preoccupation. This project will aim to identify ways in which the prevention efforts of community agencies can be improved by examining, from a phenomenological perspective, how the audience thinks and feels about prevention messages aimed at reducing women’s risk for disordered eating. This research will examine how young women respond to eating disorder prevention messages, which ones they find more or less effective or persuasive, and whether the personal characteristics of the audience influence their reactions to the prevention messages.

Principal Investigator

Jennifer Mills (York University)

Collaborators

Merryl Bear (National Eating Disorders Information Centre)

South Asian women, from country origins in including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka living in Ontario have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease compared to the general population. Researchers at the Women’s College Hospital are collaborating with the Flemingdon Health Centre and Madinah Masjid Mosque to explore the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of a mosque-based intervention to promote physical activity that is culturally and gender sensitive to South Asian Muslim women. The provision of culturally and gender sensitive facilities, such as women-only exercise sessions at mosques could serve as a solution for Ontario South Asian Muslim women to be more active. Studies indicate health promotion programs in religious institutions have demonstrated clinical and psychosocial benefits to women in various ethnic groups. The intervention includes a group exercise program of 10 weeks offered in an hour class for South Asian women. During each session, groups will be led though activities designed to meet Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.

Principal Investigator

Jennifer Price and Ananya Banerjee (Women’s College Hospital)

Collaborators

Neil Stephens (Flemingdon Health Centre), Salim Chhiboo (Madinah Masjid)



Immigrant women are at greater risk of developing health problems due to social and economic factors. Further, research on the ‘healthy immigrant effect’ highlights the importance of community-based health promotion activities, though few culturally appropriate resources exist. The team at the Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre asks the question: in what ways will the combination of culturally appropriate physical exercises (gardening and walking), Breathlines’ contemplative painting sessions, and capacity building workshops improve the health and wellbeing of marginalized immigrant women, including seniors? The objectives identified include exploring culturally-based knowledge on health and wellbeing. Secondly, developing culturally appropriate interventions to improve health and wellbeing. Thirdly, to assess the impacts and outcomes of project interventions. Fourth, to empower and build skills of Peer Leaders, and lastly, to develop and contribute curricula and teaching tools on implementing culturally appropriate community-based projects that improve marginalized immigrant women’s health and wellbeing. Conducting interviews and focus groups in addition to surveys will allow knowledge to be generated to facilitate capacity building workshops.

Principal Investigator

Nuzath Leedham (Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre)

Collaborators

Gisela Vanzaghi (Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services), Bernard Laurie Edwards (Breathlines)

Intimate Partner Abuse (IPA) continues to be a major health, social, and economic issue within our communities with more than one in four women experiencing some form of IPA over the course of their lifetime. Specifically, strangulation has been identified as one of the most high risk behaviours for physical harm with Canadian research showing that soft tissue injuries including strangulation is one of the most common types of trauma in victims admitted to hospital. WomenatthecentrE in Toronto aims to improve the health and safety of women experiencing strangulation in the context of IPA. The objectives of this participatory qualitative research project includes describing the characteristics of women who have experienced strangulation in the context of IPA; the personal, physical and emotional consequences of strangulation; their help-seeking behaviors and the barriers they have experienced to seeking and receiving help from healthcare providers. Next, to create a guide, based on the evidence collected, that will help healthcare providers understand how to talk to women about strangulation and that will give women in abusive relationships a better understanding of the consequences and potential lethality of strangulation. Lastly to disseminate this guide to healthcare providers, women having experienced IPA, and the broader community using novel knowledge transfer and exchange tools such as a YouTube video and a bookmark. After conducting focus groups a semi-structured interview guide will be created for health professionals’ use.

Principal Investigator

Vivien Green (WomenatthecentrE)

Collaborators

Janice Du Mont (Women’s College Hospital), Nneka McGregor (WomenatthecentrE), Shirley Broekstra

Sex workers in Waterloo Region lack services suited to their specific needs. The Sex Workers Action Network (SWAN) aims to create services to increase the safety and overall well-being of sex workers while working from a harm reduction modality. The project goal is to develop a program that addresses the self-identified needs of street level sex workers. Increasing the understanding of safety and wellbeing concerns of street level workers in the community to identify gaps are listed objectives. Additionally, identifying the range of human trafficking within the community alongside making recommendations for programming. The design and implementation of this project follows an anti-oppressive/feminist framework with a critical and constructivist lens. There is a focus of using mixed methods for quantitative approaches to gather data such as a needs assessment. This will result in an increase of sex worker voices being heard, increase in knowledge about sex workers and an increased level of positive solidarity within this community.

Principal Investigator

Angela Murie (Planned Parenthood Waterloo Region)

Collaborators

Ginette Lafreniere (Laurier University), Dana Christiaen (ACCKWA)

There is a significant amount of research on sex workers’ experiences of interpersonal, and to a lesser degree structural violence because of their distressing prevalence in women’s work and personal lives. WOTCH Community Mental Health Services aims to better understand the interpersonal and structural violence experienced by women in London’s sex trade. Interpersonal violence refers to physical, sexual, emotional, and gender-based violence. Structural violence refers to the organizational culture of certain institutions that unevenly distribute resources like health care and social services and contribute to people’s marginalization. The first objective is to father women’s experiences with interpersonal and structural violence. The second objective includes interviewing service providers to learn about existing resources and the sorts of programs/approaches to service delivery that would strengthen their ability to service these women who experience violence. Qualitative, community based methods will be employed in the study to gain insight into the participants’ lived experiences in relation to violence and service provision by conducting interviews with 20 women in the trade. This is a unique study building on existing work and forging new ground in seeking to understand the women’s experiences with violence as well as service provision in relation to the local sex workers scene and other factors that affect how life unfolds for these women.

Principal Investigator

Susan Macphail (WOTCH Community Mental Health Services – My Sisters Place)

Collaborators

Cass Wender and Christine Wilson (WOTCH Community Mental Health Services – My Sisters Place)



Forms of digital sexual violence such as online sexual harassment and the distribution of digital material such as personal pictures and “sexts” without the authors’ consent continue to affect the lives of youth and adult women in growing numbers. According to the Youth Internet Safety Survey, one in eleven internet users aged 10 to 17 had been the recipient of threats or offensive behaviour over the past year. This project by the Women’s Support Network of York Region will explore and text effective solutions to the growing problem of digital sexual violence impacting women and young women. The project will investigate victim-identified and victim-supporting solutions, informing ways in which community-based and justice professionals can pro-actively address the crime implicit in online sexual violence and its impacts on victims. A needs assessment of women who have experienced digital (i.e. internet-based, text-based) sexual violence and service providers in sectors supporting women and young women in York region will inform the project research and outcomes. A needs assessment consisting of interviews, focus groups, and surveys of women who have experienced digital sexual violence and service providers in sectors supporting women and young women in York region will inform the project research and outcomes. This project will create opportunities for women who have experienced digital sexual violence to share their stories, consider helpful and less-helpful responses from professionals supporting women and identify concrete strategies for change.

Principal Investigator

Jacqueline Benn-John (Women’s Support Network of York Region)

Collaborators

Michael Braithwaite (360 Kids), Rochelle Saunders (Salvation Army Sutton Youth Shelter), Lorris Herenda (Yellow Brick House)

Young women, who experience physical or sexual abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, and exposure to inter-parental violence, are at higher risk for continued involvement in abusive intimate relationships. The research team at York University aims to increase the understanding of intimate partner relationships formed by girls and young women in Child Protective Services and mobilize this information to increase knowledge and prevention strategies. The objectives include describing romantic relationship patters, elucidate risks for unhealthy relationships, identify protective factors for safe relationships, and increase knowledge among youths and service workers of how to avoid unsafe relationships and to communicate these findings. A mixed method approach will be used for data collection including questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, and brief surveys. The themes to be assessed include romantic relationship features, violence and abuse, knowledge and attitudes, sexuality and health, self-esteem, and emotional strengths and difficulties.

Principal Investigator

Jennifer Connolly (York University)

Collaborators

Laura Davidson, Lori Ireland Mills, Kimberly Sylvester and Melody Smith (York Region Children’s Aid Society)

Statistics show that the overwhelming majority of victims of sexual assaults and other sexual offences are female, and young women and teenaged girls have the highest rates of victimization (Statistics Canada, 2003); girls in Ontario high schools frequently experience sexual harassment in the form of jokes, comments and unwanted touch, and this type of victimization is associated with higher risk of suicidal thoughts, self-harm, eating disorders, dating violence, substance abuse, and feeling unsafe at school. Girls who have experienced and are coping with the effects of sexual violence, dating violence, stalking/ harassment, and online bullying routinely receive assistance through Victim Services of Leeds and Grenville. Methods for evaluation of the Youth Program will include surveys and interviews. This team aims to evaluate a Youth Program which includes three components: a volunteer program, classroom instruction, and an in –school supportive information and referral process. Specifically, the evaluation will assess whether or not the Youth Program is impacting attitudes and behaviours that have been associated with risk of perpetrating or experiencing sexual violence, dating violence, stalking/harassment, and online bullying. The project evaluation will also examine the impact of the program on attitudes and behaviours that encourage seeking or giving help.

Principal Investigator

Sonya Jodoin (Victim Services of Leeds and Grenville)

Collaborators

Julie Shaw (Carleton University)

Marginalized sex workers often experience isolation, homelessness, poverty, violence, mental health issues and addictions. These realities create a critical need for health services. However, multiple structural and individual barriers impede marginalized sex workers access to these vital services, resulting in negative health outcomes. The team at Street Health will assess if community driven approaches can increase health care worker’s understanding of factors that influence the health of marginalized women involved in sex work. This proposed project will provide the findings and information on how to implement recommendations taken from the needs assessment. The goal of the training is to inform practitioners about best practices that will enhance their capacity to effectively address health concerns relevant to marginalized sex workers. This proposed project will provide the findings and information on how to implement recommendations taken from the needs assessment. 10 health care organizations and a minimum of 50 health care workers will receive training facilitated by sex workers.

Principal Investigator

MaryKay MacVicar (Street Health)

Collaborators

Josie Ricciardi (Regent Park Community Health Centre)

The Association of Midwives (AOM) is currently developing a new clinical practice guideline (CPG) in postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). CPGs are research-based documents that guide midwives’ and clients’ decision-making for a specific clinical topic. The AOM strives to consider and incorporate client values and preferences in the development of CPGs. Working with consumer volunteers to develop online, client-targeted resources that will complement the clinical content of the CPG. The research question asked is: what are the informational and support needs of women who have experienced a postpartum hemorrhage? Through consultation with stakeholders such as midwives, mental health professionals, lactation consultants and other professionals working with new mothers, and drawing on the experiences and voices of midwifery clients who have had PPH, hey will develop and evaluate multimedia resources for women who have had PPH.

Principal Investigator

Anna Meuser (Association of Ontario Midwives)

Collaborators

Jennifer Gilbert, Tasha MacDonald and Suzannah Bennett (Association of Ontario Midwives)

A recent survey distributed by ACNBA to overwhelmingly poor female clients with limited literacy and education who have accessed needle exchange services revealed that 52% of women did not have access to a primary care provider, with 48% having primary care providers located outside of the Nipissing area, making emergency departments more convenient. The AIDS committee of North Bay and Area states the priority goal to provide primary care through a Nurse Practitioner clinic to marginalized women in order to improve access, provide a voice in self-guided care, and a mechanism of empowerment. The objectives of this project include establishing a three hour clinic held weekly providing primary care within the Nipissing district. Next, to establish individualized health care plans designed with clients reflecting clients’ health concerns and identified health and wellness goals. Clients will be referred to agencies based on their individual needs. The clinic will run on a harm reduction model providing non-judgmental services such as needle exchange sites and counseling.

Principal Investigator

Stacey Mayhall (AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area)

Collaborators

Kathy King (Nipissing University)

The Regent Park area has been undergoing rapid change since 2005 as part of a 15 year plan to transform a social housing development into a mixed-income and mixed-use neighbourhood. The Food Forward Advocacy Alliance’s vision for Regent Park residents is to have healthy and actives lives towards reaching their full potential. For this project the goal includes reducing barriers negatively impacting the immediate and long-term health of racialized immigrant women and the specific goal of improving mental health and well-being that is associated with better employment and entrepreneurship outcomes for newcomer women from Kenya. The Kenyan women’s group is enthusiastic about moving ahead their idea to generate income from a community catering company. The project objectives include increasing self-confidence and self-efficacy among the target population, building positive social ties to reduce social isolation and the risk of depression, and to increase participation in professional networks to expand options for employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. Providing workshops to train Kenyan women in food industry to being the catering service allows knowledge to be translated to the community.

Principal Investigator

Vanessa Yu (Food Forward Advocacy Alliance)

Collaborators

Cherie Miller, Olivia Rojas (Regent Park Community Health Centre)

Black communities are some of the fastest growing in Canada and face intensified systemic barriers to accessing health services and education among other institutions. The Centre for Policy Alternatives has issued reports that demonstrate that Black communities are more likely to live in poverty because of differences in pay that are informed by workplace discrimination as opposed to merit. The goal of the Artist Shaman Collective is to develop a holistic arts informed health intervention for Black Womyn that fulfills certain objectives. These objectives include promoting and providing Black womyn with the tools to achieve optimal holistic health, to critically explore innovative approaches in health education and advocacy, and to increase community awareness of and bridge health services providers and resources for Black womyn participants. Through recruiting 20 womyn and providing workshops over the duration of 6 months, developing and compiling a handbook titled “A Black Womyn’s Holistic Health Survival Handbook” will be produced. To provide holistic health care, aims to move past the biomedical, mono cultural model is also the aim.

Principal Investigator

D’bi.Young Anitafrika (The Artist Shaman Collective)

Collaborators

Notisha M Massaquoi (Women’s Health in Women’s Hands)

Toronto’s HIV surveillance reports offer strong evidence for women centered sexual health programming. Female incidence rates for HIV have increased from 4.5% in 2010 to 7.7% in 2012 with primary risk factors reported as ‘sex with the opposite sex’ and ‘no condom used.’ ASAAP is committed to developing HIV and sexual health interventions for women that are informed by evidence and recognize women’s resiliency. Our target population comprises of self-identifying South Asian cis and trans women (20-40yrs) in Toronto with ancestry from countries in Southern Asia such as Bangladesh, Pakistan or India. The Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention aims to explore what role can stories developed by South Asian women living with HIV/AIDS have in informing the knowledge and perceptions of sexual health and HIV stigma among women who may be at risk. They propose to pilot a “Story-Sharing” model that builds capacity among six South Asian women to share stories through 24 community dialogue sessions held in Toronto. Peers will be trained to facilitate and champion sexual health in their communities. They plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot and add to existing literature to inform future programming for women’s health. Increasing the community capacity, awareness, knowledge of HIV/AIDS, and producing a sexual health intervention model for South Asian women are projected outcomes.

Principal Investigator

Vijaya Chikermane (Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention)

Collaborators

Josephine Wong (Ryerson University), Roula Kteily-Hawa (Queen’s University), Lori Chambers (McMaster University)

More than 90,000 women in Canada have an induced abortion each year with approximately 33% taking place in Ontario. Despite the prevalence of this procedure, the stigma surrounding abortion in the Canadian political and social climate often silences women’s voices, leaving them with few opportunities to share and discuss abortion experiences. While a body of research indicates that the majority of women do not experience negative emotional or adverse psychological outcomes after an abortion, it has also been shown that women experience a complex range of emotions following a termination and may require a space to process them. This project from the University of Ottawa aims to expand access to non-judgmental, non-directive post-abortion support to women in Ontario. Backline is a bi-national organization that operates a confidential toll free Talkline dedicated to providing counseling and support to women and their loved ones seeking information about pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption. Developing a training module, training 30 Backline volunteers, and creating tailored and targeted information about Backline’s services comprises the program. Additionally, distributing information through print and video will increase knowledge and awareness about abortion support services in Ontario.

Principal Investigator

Angel Foster (University of Ottawa)

Collaborators

J.Parker Dockray (Backline)

The SOS project aims to connect with young women between the ages of 14 to 20 years of age who are of racialized backgrounds living in low income neighborhoods. The young women in the Youth Services at St. Stephen’s Community House (SSCH) face numerous and concurrent barriers and marginalization. This project seeks to answer the question: What are the particular and unique service and support needs of racialized young women who have grown up in low income social neighborhoods and have experienced/witnessed sexual trauma and exploitation on a wide scale? They seek to better understand the particular needs of this group of young women and their low rates of accessing women’s assault services and therapeutic interventions and what is needed in order to adapt services to better meet their needs. Through a participatory research team of young women, the goal is to safely and responsibly survey young women in regards to their understanding and perceptions of trauma, knowledge of supports available to them and their experiences in accessing these and recommendations on how to best address the issue at hand. The findings will contribute to identifying the link between sexual trauma, lack of support and healing and increased ‘high risk’ sexual behavior. We will then make recommendations in terms of gaps in service provision, delivery and therapeutic interventions available. The objective of this initiative is to ensure that we adapt and modify our services to best meet the health needs of the most marginalized young women who have experience sexual trauma and exploitation and ensure a model of service that is informed by young women, based in an active anti oppressive framework and is unique in reaching isolated youth.

Principal Investigator

Karen Arthurton (Ryerson University)

Collaborators

Bridget Sinclair (St. Stephen’s Community House)

The incidence of nutrition related non-communicable diseases are particularly high in the South Asian population such as diabetes. Specifically, the Sri Lankan communities have a strong genetic predisposition to developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Despite the high prevalence of diabetes amongst this vulnerable population, the majority of cases continue to be poorly controlled. The Tamil Health Association (THA) aims to improve the health of Tamil women by increasing their access and utilization of healthy eating and food preparation resources. The THA plans to achieve this by expanding their knowledge and by providing them with the necessary tools to facilitate changes in their lifestyle. THA would like to determine whether the delivery of culturally appropriate resources for healthy eating and food preparation influences the eating habits of Tamil women. Distributing questionnaires and conducting interviews will streamline the development of culturally sensitive education materials and piloting a healthy food program.

Principal Investigator

Sujani Sivanantharajah (Tamil Health Association)

Collaborators

Hassan Vatanparast (University of Saskatchewan), Ilene Hyman (University of Toronto)

Midwifery emphasizes childbearing as a normal physiological process and empowers women to manage their own individual experiences of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. This focus on women’s autonomy is at the centre of what midwives refer to as informed choice. An informed choice discussion (ICD) is a conversation between the client and midwife in which information about a health topic relevant to pregnancy is presented. The team from University of Toronto Mississauga and Midwifery Care of Peel and Halton Hills aims to support and enhance the existing model of informed choice in midwife-led maternity care. The objectives include creating web and print based resources to help midwives communicate more effectively with their clients about important health topics, especially those involving risk. Next, using qualitative research methods to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of these resources, through interviews and focus group with midwives and their clients. Lastly, using the findings from the qualitative inquiry to refine and improve visual resources in an iterative design process. The outcomes of the project will lead to empowered choice, new knowledge, and a new resource for women’s health.

Principal Investigator

Shelley Wall (University of Toronto, Mississauga)

Collaborators

Jacquie Klan (Midwifery Care of Peel and Halton Hills)

Migration, either voluntary or involuntary, is a stressful event that affects the aging process and well-being. Factors such as financial dependence, a lack of resources, linguistic barriers, cultural differences, and a lack of information about available services contribute to elderly immigrants’ well-being and affect their settlement. Older adult immigrants who are visible minorities experience poverty twice as often as other ethnic groups. The team at York University aims to explore the roles of gender and ethnicity in the well-being of Iranian and Afghan older adult immigrant women, and the impact of these factors on the women’s integration into mainstream society. The uniqueness of this study is twofold: (a) to explore the role of gender and ethnicity in well-being and (b) to understand the impact of well-being on integration. This study will answer two questions about Iranian and Afghan older adult immigrant women: (a) What are the roles of gender and ethnicity in well-being? (b) What is the relationship between well-being and integration? Narrative inquiry will be used to explain and understand the role of gender and culture in mental health and well-being of Iranian and Afghan older adult immigrant women and its impact on the integration process.

Principal Investigator

Mahdieh Dastjerdi (York University)

Collaborators

Nazilla Khanlou (York University), Judith MacDonnell (York University), Afkham Mardukhi (Iranian Women’s Organization of Ontario), Addena Niazi (Afghan Women’s Organization)

 

Large Scale $75,000 Award Winners

SKETCH Working Arts is a community-based organization that engages young people who are street-involved and on the margins, ages 15-29, creating equitable opportunities for diverse young people to experience the transformative power of the arts; to develop their leadership and self-sufficiency; and to cultivate social and environmental change through the arts. As SKETCH grows in influence, it is important to better understand how creative arts engagement promotes social inclusion, and ultimately health, for street-involved youth. This research aims to understand how creative engagement, skill building and creative enterprise opportunities, in a community arts setting, can positively impact the realization of the determinants of health for street-involved or otherwise marginalized female-identifying individuals. Small groups of 5-8 participants will engage in each of four arts-based interventions over a period of 10 weeks. This study will use qualitative (individual interviews and focus groups) and quantitative (demographic and survey data) methodologies, which will be integrated within arts-based programming. Findings of this research have the potential to increase and deepen the impact of SKETCH’s community programs for female-identifying (women and trans) community members, generate new program designs, and demonstrate the facilitative elements that can be replicated in other communities.

Principal Investigator

Suzanne Jackson (University of Toronto)

Collaborators

Charlotte Lombardo (University of Toronto), Phyllis Novak (SKETCH Working Arts), Rose Gutierrez (SKETCH Working Arts)

Project Description The Healthy Birth Weights (HBW) Coalition is a community-wide coalition made up of more than 50 members from 30 different organizations, representing: health care providers, community organizations, and researchers. This research aims to examine if inter-organizational collaboration can improve the system of care for young pregnant and parenting women. This project will enhance and complete the Young Parents Care Pathway that has been in development through an existing community partnership between the Young Parent Network, McMaster University, and Community Information Hamilton. Up to 150 young parents and up to 150 care and service providers will be engaged throughout various phases of this collaborative research project to:

  • Increase understanding of the needs, challenges, strengths, and experiences of young women in Hamilton that impact personal, infant, and community health.
  • Work with young pregnant and parenting women and their care providers to map existing pathways of services and programs available to young women.
  • Determine strengths and address unmet needs in system of supports for young pregnant and parenting women.
  • Complete a Care Pathway tool that resonates with experiences and needs of young women who report seeing their experiences reflected in its design and utility.
  • Implement and test Young Parent Care Pathway, as a system navigation tool, used to educate both youth and service providers in order to strengthen the community of supports available to young parents, by improving system navigation and coordination.

Principal Investigator

Linda Dayler (Catholic Family Services)

Collaborators

Vanessa Parlette (City of Hamilton Public Health), Jennifer Vickers-Manzin (City of Hamilton Public Health), Keyna Bracken (McMaster University), Jackie Barrett (St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton), Loretta Hill-Finamore (Good Shepard Services), Chris Maleta (Good Shepard Services)

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