Women's Xchange is a women's health research knowledge translation and exchange centre based at Women’s College Hospital. Our goal is to advance health research to improve the health and wellbeing of women and all Canadians.
We recognize that health and well-being are not solely found within the health care sector. By looking at health broadly and considering factors outside the traditional health care setting, including the social determinants of health, we can better identify, understand and improve women’s health. Better health questions and answers come from working collectively across all sectors.
What We Do
Women's Xchange has three main areas that form the foundation of this women’s health knowledge translation and exchange centre.
$15K Challenge Program
- Fund locally-developed women's health research projects
- Support for proposal development
- Resources for conducting community-based research
Sex & Gender in Health Research
- Sex & Gender Research Support Service
- Development of academic products and resources
- Outreach to a variety of audiences to promote sex & gender integration in health research
Integrated Knowledge Translation Strategy
- Building networks through annual events and workshops
- Designing Knowledge Translation products and resources
- Dissemination of women's health research findings
Women's Xchange Staff
Paula Rochon MD, MPH, FRCPC
Dr. Paula Rochon is a geriatrician and Vice President of Research at Women’s College Hospital, fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. She is a senior scientist at Women’s College Research Institute, a University of Toronto professor (Department of Medicine and the Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation) and a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. Dr. Rochon is also the Lead of Women’s Xchange. She received her medical degree from McMaster University and obtained her Master in Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Dr. Rochon studies vulnerable older adults, particularly women. Her expertise as a leading Canadian health-services researcher in aging is rooted in her clinical work as a geriatrician. Her research explores how medical therapies impact the health of vulnerable older adults with multiple conditions, and has contributed to three areas that impact patients and systems: the lack of evidence to inform prescribing to older adults, the development of strategies to optimize prescribing and reduce adverse drug events, and the impact of widespread antipsychotic use in older people.
Robin Mason, MA, MEd, PhD
Dr. Robin Mason is the Scientific Lead for Women’s Xchange, a Scientist in the Women’s College Research Institute, and an Assistant Professor at University of Toronto in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health with a cross-appointment to the Department of Psychiatry. As Scientific Lead she provides researchers and community-based applicants with support in developing their proposals while incorporating a sex and gender lens to achieve desired outcomes. With a view to increase research capacity across all sectors of society, she is also committed to engaging with students, community members, and established researchers in activities designed to enhance understanding of and a commitment to women’s health research.
Dr. Mason has been working in the field of intimate partner violence and medical education for almost 20 years and in addition to grants, contracts and publications on the topic, has contributed to the development of relevant policies at the local, provincial and national level. In all this work she has focused on improving the systems’ response to women who experience violence by educating health and social service providers, developing policies and guidelines to reduce barriers and improve practices, and giving voice to diverse women’s needs and preferences.
Amy Clare, MA
Amy Clare is the Project Lead for Women’s Xchange. She is responsible for the coordination of Women’s Xchange, which includes finances and budgeting, event organization, and research. Amy works with external stakeholders and funding bodies, and assists in the execution of contractual agreements. She is a main contact for the Women’s Xchange community and closely involved in the $15K Challenge. Amy offers research assistance and contributions to Women’s Xchange, as she has a keen interest in sex and gender research.
Previously, Amy had been living in Germany where she completed her Master’s degree in Medical Anthropology at Heidelberg University. Amy is passionate about the necessity to explore health more broadly by considering socio-cultural dimensions.
Caroline Bennett-AbuAyyash, MSc, PhD
Caroline is a Research Lead at Women’s Xchange and an Assistant Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. As research lead, she supports the development of solutions and guidelines on how to integrate sex and gender into health research, policy, and clinical care. Her responsibilities include consultation, education, research, and knowledge translation.
Caroline’s interests around health equity include prioritizing (in)equity in health care conversations, identifying the needs of marginalized populations, and applying an intersectional lens to health care research and practice. She is also an expert on how health care systems can build data-driven strategies for identifying and addressing health inequities. Most recently, Caroline led efforts to embed the collection and analysis of patient/client demographic data across the Toronto Central LHIN’s network of hospitals and community health centres. She has previously published and worked in areas of refugee mental health, immigrant access to social services, immigrant integration, and the impact of poverty on health. She received her PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Western Ontario (London, ON) with an interdisciplinary concentration in migration.
Nousin Hussain is the Research Assistant for Women’s Xchange. Nousin contributes to the development of tools and programming aimed at building the capacity of health researchers to apply a sex and gender lens in to their work. She also assists in the coordination of research activities with external stakeholders and engages the Women’s Xchange network, in order to support the uptake of women’s health research findings.
Previously, Nousin worked in diverse local and international communities - facilitating interventions aimed at increasing accessibility to healthcare services. Nousin maintains an understanding of health policy at a multi-national level through her experiences at the WHO’s Collaborating Centre for Non Communicable Diseases in the UK and Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion in Toronto.
Stephanie Read, MSc, PhD
Dr. Stephanie Read is a diabetes epidemiologist and post-doctoral research fellow with Women’s Xchange. Stephanie offers research assistance to Women’s Xchange by contributing to the Sex and Gender Research Support Service and other research activities. Previously, Stephanie completed her Master’s degree in Public Health Sciences, PhD and post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Her work to date has been on the prevention of diabetes and its complications.