How can we make person-centered care a reality?

Wednesday, November 15, 2023 12:00to13:00
McGill College 2001 Room 1201 and Online, 2001, avenue McGill College, Montreal, QC, H3A 1G1, CA
Event banner with event title and a healthcare worker speaking with a patient

Canada’s universal health system is facing an unprecedented crisis: one in six Canadians lack a primary care provider and health needs post-pandemic are surging. Knowledge and know-how to overcome this crisis have never been in greater demand.

Join us for the fourth seminar in the 3rd edition of the Global Primary Health Care seminar series “Health workers and frontline care in the post-COVID-19 context” which draws on evidence and insights, both local and global, on how to revitalize Canada’s health workforce and primary care, which was initially scheduled in September. This seminar series is a collaboration between the Department of Family Medicine and the School of Population and Global Health at McGill University.

The limitations of current approaches to delivering primary care are even more evident since the COVID-19 pandemic. Even among people who have access to dedicated primary care providers, there is significant variation in patient experience and satisfaction. Indeed, to be effective and accepted, health care has to be person-centered and smoothly navigate the intersections of differing health as well as social needs for each individual. This balance is perhaps most critical in primary care, where long-lasting trust-based relationships between patients and health workers are essential to success.

In this context, the aim of this seminar is to discuss what makes care person-centered and what role health workers play in making person-centered care a reality.

  • When: Wednesday, November 15, 2023, from noon to 1 p.m
  • Where: Zoom and Room 1201, School of Population and Global Health, 2001 McGill College


  • Katherine Rouleau, MD | Professor, Department of Family & Community Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Hannah Shenker, MD | Family Physician, La Maison Bleue, and Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, McGill University

Panelist Bios

Dr. Katherine Rouleau is a professor of family medicine  in the Department of Family & Community Medicine (DFCM) at the University of Toronto with an interest and expertise in global health. She has practiced and taught comprehensive family medicine at Unity-St-Michael’s Hospital for almost 30 years. At the DFCM, Katherine is Global (PHC) Lead in the Office of Health System Partnership and director of a WHO Collaborating Centre on Family Medicine and Primary Care. Her clinical and leadership interests have centered on improving health equity and addressing the complex health needs of individuals and communities impacted by adverse determinants of health. Over the past decades, Katherine has built on lessons learned from patients and colleagues through, and about family medicine to strengthen high-quality comprehensive primary care at the core of PHC-oriented health systems in Canada and globally, including as a consultant for the WHO.

Dr. Hannah Shenker is a Montreal based family physician with a special interest in maternal-child health and obstetrics. She is a graduate of McGill Medical School, where she also completed a residency in Family Medicine and fellowship in Maternal-Child Health. Dr. Shenker began her career at the Inuulitsivik Health Center in Puvirnituq, Quebec, a community hospital that serves the geographically isolated Inuit population of Nunavik, Quebec. She resettled in Montreal in 2012 and has since been practicing family medicine obstetrics at the Jewish General Hospital, the CLSC Côte des Neiges, and La Maison Bleue. Her urban practice has a focus in immigrant and refugee health. She is an assistant professor in Family Medicine at McGill University where she is presently Program Director for the Enhanced Skills Program in Maternal Child Health.

Seminar series on “Health workers and frontline care in the post-COVID-19 context”

Across the country and globally, there are visible cracks in the primary healthcare system. In Canada alone, millions lack access to a dedicated family physician or equivalent frontline provider, and unsurprisingly visits to emergency rooms are increasing, further straining an over-stretched system. Central to an effective primary health system is a sufficient number of empowered and satisfied health workers. Instead, shortages of key health personnel, grievances, burnout and turnover have been seen across the country, and globally not only placing the general population at risk but also aggravating working conditions for other health workers. These challenges are due to many factors, including choices about the health workforce and the broader contexts within which health systems function. Learn more about the series.

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