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Sociodemographic Data in Canada: Use & Governance

Dr. Kwame McKenzie, a bald black man with glasses and Jemal Demeke, a young, smiling black man with shoulder length dreadlocks. Text reads: Big Ideas about Health Data. Sociodemographic data in Canada: Use and governance.
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In this Big IDEAs About Health Data Speaker Series talk, Dr. Kwame McKenzie and Jemal Demeke of the Wellesley Institute explore the use and governance of sociodemographic data in Canada. With sociodemographic data increasingly recognized as a significant tool to track disparities and advance equity for marginalized populations, they discuss how the Wellesley Institute has been strengthening dialogue in the health sector on how to collect, use and govern these data ethically and responsibly.

About the Speakers

Dr. Kwame McKenzie is CEO of the Wellesley Institute, a full Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and an international expert on the social causes of illness and the development of effective, equitable social policy and health systems. He is also Director of Health Equity at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and a practicing psychiatrist. As a policy advisor, clinician, educator and academic with over 240 peer reviewed papers and six books, Dr. McKenzie has worked to improve population health and health services for three decades. His work with colleagues at Wellesley Institute has influenced local and national social policy and his academic research and collaborations have changed teaching, clinical practice and policy in psychiatry.

Jemal Demeke is a researcher at the Wellesley Institute. His research spans topics such as infectious disease epidemiology, implementation science, organizational change and equitable health interventions. He has worked for human rights centres, community-based organizations, Ivy League universities and hospital networks. Black and other racialized communities have a continued presence in his professional focus. He has founded equity initiatives in large organizations, led workshops to educators, healthcare providers and policymakers, and built relationships between community stakeholders and health agencies. His work at the Wellesley Institute leverages these experiences to inform policy change in data management and governance across Canada.

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