Dr. Rulan Parekh

Advancing equity. Leading change.

How can health equity be achieved when only 28 per cent of Canada’s scientists are women? 

That question was the catalyst behind the launch of The Emily Stowe Society, a growing group of philanthropists committed to breaking down barriers to careers in the health sciences for women – a critical step toward advancing a more equitable future for people everywhere. 

According to a recent study, women scientists are much more likely than their male counterparts to study health issues impacting women – leading to a health care system better equipped to meet the needs of everyone it serves. 

With a special focus on supporting women from equity-seeking communities, the Emily Stowe Society – which was named in honour of the first female physician in Canada and Women’s College Hospital (WCH)’s founder – provides a wide variety of grants to students and scientists at various stages of their careers. 

This past spring, the hospital announced the inaugural Senior Fellows and Emerging Leaders of the Emily Stowe Scholars Program (ESSP). One of the granting streams supported by Emily Stowe Society donors, the ESSP supports senior scientists and healthcare practitioners working to identify and address inequities in healthcare.  

Meet the Senior Fellows and Emerging Leaders of the Emily Stowe Scholars Program! 

Headshot of Dr. Rulan Parekh
Dr. Rulan Parekh (Senior Fellow)

Supporting Communities in Sub-Saharan Africa

Dr. Parekh is the Vice President of Academics at WCH. She also holds an appointment as full-time faculty in the WCH Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and maintains her clinical paediatric practice at WCH and the Hospital for Sick Children. As an ESSP Senior Fellow, she will be contributing to research that strives to understand the genetic risk of chronic kidney disease among HIV infected persons living in communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Diabetes prevention and management for low-income and racialized populations

Dr. Lipscombe is a Senior Scientist at WCH, as well as the Director of the Novo Nordisk Network for Healthy Populations at the University of Toronto. She is also an associate professor in the Department of Medicine and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. As an ESSP Senior Fellow, she will work on diabetes prevention and management interventions and advance research specific to the unique needs of low-income and racialized populations.

Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe (Senior Fellow)
Dr. Dana Ross (Senior Fellow)

Communities who are disproportionally impacted by trauma

Dr. Ross is a staff psychiatrist in the Trauma Therapy Program at WCH. As an ESSP Senior Fellow, she will lead an initiative to tailor mental health interventions for Black, Indigenous, and other equity-seeking communities disproportionally impacted by trauma and whose negative outcomes are often compounded by a lack of equitable access to treatment.

Dismantling systemic racism and oppression in the area of sexual and reproductive health

Niru Bhanderi is a Nurse Practitioner in the Bay Centre for Birth Control clinic at WCH. She will lead work on dismantling systemic racism and oppression through the Sex, Gender and Reproductive Health program at WCH. Her areas of focus will be in providing care in contraception counseling, abortion care, sexually transmitted infection screening and annual physical exams specific to underrepresented communities.

Niru Bhanderi (Emerging Leader)
Faith Delos-Reyes (Emerging Leader)

Cardiac rehabilitation specific to Indigenous women

Faith Delos-Reyes is a Registered Kinesiologist in the Cardiology department at WCH. Delos-Reyes will engage with Indigenous stakeholders and the Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health to collaborate, learn and develop innovative models of care that focus on identifying unique barriers and incorporating Indigenous culture to increase access to cardiac rehabilitation for Indigenous women.

Learn more about the Emily Stowe Society and how donor support is powering a healthier, more equitable future at

We are Women’s