Dr. Eva Purkey


Dr. Purkey has worked in family practice in a small northern community and in Kingston Community Health Centres prior to coming to Queen’s University in 2014. She has worked with refugee and migrant communities on the Thai-Burmese border providing clinical care and education around women’s health and human rights as well as research capacity building for community-based healthcare organization since 2002. She has also worked briefly in Inuit communities in Quebec and Nunavut. She is passionate about working with people experiencing structural violence, and about examining and advocating to change the structures that perpetuate this violence including those within the healthcare system. She has completed an MPH at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with a specialization in Global Health.

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Bayan Khatib

Bayan Khatib is the co-founder of the Syrian Canadian Foundation which aims to empower newcomers and people of diverse backgrounds as well as promote cross-cultural connections within Canadian society. She also served as the Executive Director of the organization for 3 years, building SCF from the ground up into a national organization, and introducing first of its kind programming for newcomers. Bayan is the co-founder of the annual Syria Film Festival in Toronto which aims to give voice to the struggles and hopes of the Syrian people. During the Syrian uprising for freedom beginning in 2011, Bayan led a multinational media campaign, had numerous media appearances, and participated as a speaker on the Syrian crisis at local and international events and conferences. Bayan is the translator of Just Five Minutes: Nine Years in the Prisons of Syria, a memoir of a female political prisoner. She is also the author of numerous short works of fiction and opinion articles published in The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. Today, Bayan is the Impact Manager of the Refugee Newcomers Investment Portfolio at The Northpine Foundation.

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Theme: Clinical Experience Series

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Dr. Praseedha Janakiram

Reflections on Refugee Primary Care. A Family Medicine Perspective.


Praseedha Janakiram is a Family Physician at Women’s College Hospital Crossroads Refugee Clinic and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. With Sri Lankan origins, an immigrant to Canada herself from a youth spent in West Africa, her primary care practice is focused on the care of refugees, with special interests in women’s health, HIV primary care, global health education and capacity strengthening initiatives. She is a former Program Director of the Enhanced Skills Program in Global Health and Vulnerable Populations, and current Faculty Lead for the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration in Family Medicine – an innovative collaboration at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto supporting the launch and development of the first family medicine training program in Ethiopia. Praseedha has former clinical experience in Malawi, Pakistan, Nunuvut, and Yellowknife. She served an interim role as Acting Vice Chair Global Health and Social Accountability at the Department of Family and Community Medicine in 2019. Praseedha is a single mother of a bright and energetic 6 year old, who motivates and inspires her work and her many diverse roles in life. Praseedha has been recognized with several faculty awards at the University of Toronto and was awarded the Federation of Medical Women of Canada Reproductive Health Award in 2015, and the Yves Talbot Award for Excellence in Global Health Leadership in 2020.

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Dr. Ripudaman Minhas

Stitching a New Garment: Improving Equity and Access for Child Development in Marginalized Communities


Dr. Ripudaman Singh Minhas is a Developmental Paediatrician with the Women’s and Children’s Health Program at St Michael’s Hospital and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto. His research interests are in the development, behaviour, disability, and rehabilitation of children in urban settings and in newcomer immigrant and refugee families. He is currently working to develop interventions to support the developmental potential of children in the unique context of their social determinants of health and inequity. His team uses Community-Based Participatory Research principles to guide the co-creation and implementation of family-based interventions and the evolution of health systems. His current focus is in supporting parenting in communities experiencing marginalization. This includes the Maple Circle program which aims to support the parenting journey of families of refugee background, and Punjabi Kids’ Health, a social media-based health literacy program to support families in the global Punjabi diaspora. Dr. Minhas completed the Developmental Pediatrics subspecialty training program at the University of Toronto and the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. He was a Global Health Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, and completed his Master of Public Health and a certificate in Global Health there. Dr. Minhas completed his medical degree at the University of Toronto, with General Paediatrics residency at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.



Theme: Research on Refugee and Migrant Health: Canadian Context

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Dr. Maria Velez

Reproductive Health Care Among Immigrants to Canada


Dr. Maria Velez, MD, PhD is an Associate Professor and a clinician scientist in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Queen’s University. Her career goal is to improve women’s reproductive health through research, teaching, and clinical practice. Dr. Velez’s research interest is on women’s reproductive health across the life course. She is also an adjunct Scientist at ICES and has experience working with Ontario health administrative databases to examine reproductive health outcomes at a population level. She was awarded the CIHR-IHDCYH rising star in reproductive health research in 2010, and the Kingston Health Sciences Centre Exceptional Healer award in 2018.


Theme: Research on Refugee and Migrant Health: Global Context

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Dr. Setareh Ghahari

Barriers to Navigating Care for Immigrants and Refugees


Dr. Setareh Ghahari is an Associate Professor at the School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Queen's University. She is an occupational therapist, and her research goal is to improve access to services for marginalized populations. Using a community-based research approach, she focuses on addressing immigrants' and refugees' health and education needs.

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Dr. Colleen Davison

Family Separation in Contexts of Migration: Understanding Global Patterns and Potential Implications of this Child Health Concern


Dr. Colleen Davison is a PhD trained Social Epidemiologist and Global Population Health Researcher who has a tenured appointment in the Department of Public Health Sciences, with cross appointment in the Department of Global Development Studies. She is also the Associate Dean for Equity and Social Accountability at Queen’s Health Sciences. Dr. Davison’s overarching research interests are in global child and adolescent health including issues of child and family health equity, social justice and public health, child protection and child rights. As Associate Dean she champions work to enhance equity, diversity, inclusion, Indigeneity, and accessibility at Queen’s Health Sciences and beyond. She is a founding member of the ARCH research collaboration for global health equity and is very committed to the application of research and to teaching and mentorship.