The Division of Social Accountability (University of Saskatchewan – College of Medicine) hosts a series of community conversations, bringing together community and campus partners to explore emerging and pressing health equity issues in our communities and provide an opportunity to share experiences, questions and emerging and promising practices for both short-term and long-term change.

Join an upcoming conversation or check out our latest recordings.

Upcoming Webinars 

Stay tuned for upcoming webinars!

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

Past Webinars & Recordings

June 17 2022 1230PM

Queer Perspectives in Health Care

The Division of Social Accountability & OUTSaskatoon present Queer Perspectives in Healthcare with panelists Dr. Stéphanie Madill – USASK School of Rehab Science, Jemma Martens – Peer Navigator OUT Saskatoon & Jordy Ironstar – Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN).

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

May 20 2022

The Time is Now: Harm Reduction Community Driven Initiatives 

Watch our Health Equity Webinar where we  heard from community initiatives for housing from Prairie Harm Reduction, the Blank Book Project by chokecherry youth, and the advocacy of our Students for Harm Reduction and Informed Policy.

Download Chokecherry’s Youth Blank Book Project:

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

April 29 2022

Reaching for Health Equity: Immigrant and refugee health

Join our panelists from the Refugee Engagement and Community Health (REACH) Clinic and USASK College of Medicine to discuss immigrant and refugee health here in Saskatchewan. Everyone is welcome!

Dr. Karen Leis – REACH Physician
Dr. Jacelyn Hanson – REACH Physician
Adrian Teare – USASK Medical Student
Rosario Hernandez Barba – USASK Medical Student

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

March 25th 2022

We Are Not There Yet: Persisting Gender-Based Inequities in Medicine


Want to learn more about the intersections of gender and health equity? Join medical students from GEM (Gender Equity in Medicine student group) and members of SASS (Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan) for a discussion about gender-based inequities in healthcare.

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

February 18th 2022

Anti-Black Racism Experiences in Health Care

Natalya Mason (OUT Saskatoon, Sexual Health Clinic)
Eunice Abudu (Faculty, SaskPoly)
Jacob Alhassan (Faculty, U of S)
Edith Conacher (Student Affairs CoM, U of S)

This panel will discuss experiences of anti-Black racism in healthcare from the perspective of practitioners, students, teachers, patients, connecting how the level of interpersonal racism (individual experiences) is connected to the systemic level (long standing collective anti-Black narratives, sentiment, and policy in SK), and paying attention to how tthe intersectionality of Black identities shapes those experiences of interacting with systems of white supremacy.

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

January 24th 2021

Health in a changing climate, and the role of healthcare professionals in the climate crisis.

Medical students Sehjal Bhargava, Nathan Fortin, Brooklyn Rawlyk and Vancouver family physician Dr. Melissa Lem discuss climate change, it’s intersectional impacts on health, how to cope with its effects as healthcare professionals, and the role they play in fighting the climate crisis.

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

December 10th 2021

A National Human Rights Day Discussion About Access To Public Washrooms

In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly declared sanitation a universal human right. This means everyone, without discrimination is entitled to “have physical and affordable access to sanitation, in all spheres of life, that is safe, hygienic, secure, and social and culturally acceptable, and that provides privacy and dignity”.  Everyone, everywhere, has the right to a toilet. Our governments should be accountable to ensure this basic need of having a place to relieve oneself is available to the public.  


During the beginning of the COVID response, Saskatoon went more than 100 days without access to public washrooms. This impacted everyone who relies on access to publicly accessible washrooms including City of Saskatoon transit drivers, delivery drivers, utility workers, gas and electric service workers, people doing street repair, local pedestrians, citizens young and old; and people who use park systems are all users of public washrooms. It is especially critical for seniors, pregnant women, little children, those with some medical conditions, and those who are homeless. 


As a result of this lesson – the Saskatoon Interagency Response to COVID escalated a conversation with the City of Saskatoon and the Saskatoon Public Washroom Advisory Committee was formed. For more info about the committee: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NBGMJqGlW0Yf0goAcrT7HqoEB_Zjc5j1/view?usp=sharing 

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

November 5th 2021

SPRP 12 Bold Ideas to Eliminate Poverty: Lessons Learned during the COVID-19 Pandemic with Colleen Christopherson-Cote

How do we learn from the COVID-19 pandemic and create public policies that address the root causes of poverty and inequity?

How can we learn from this crisis and show Saskatchewan that poverty is an urgent public health crisis?

This Health Equity Webinar features Colleen Christopherson-Cote from the Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership (SPRP) discussing the updated report, “12 Bold Ideas to Eliminate Poverty: Lessons Learned during the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

October 1st 2021

Defending our Reprodcutive Rights: A Discussion with Saskatoon Sexual Health

Dr. Rachel Gough and Saskatoon Sexual Health Representatives Heather Hale, Executive Director and Lauren Tastad, Nurse Practitioner discuss defending reproductive rights in Saskatchewan

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

June 4th 2021

Minding the Good Doctor: The Legal Elements of Consent with Alisa Lombard.

The genocide of Indigenous peoples in Canada is not a relic of history, but is alive and active in our policies, practices, and systems to this day. Acknowledging the harm, while refusing to hold these systems accountable perpetuates racist and oppressive practices that continue to reproduce trauma in people accessing services. Today, we will participate in a conversation with Alisa Lombard B.S.Sc., LL.L., L.L.B. (JD) LL.M. (Candidate, 2021), about holding the medical system accountable, pertaining specifically to the legal elements of consent and acting as council for Indigenous Saskatchewan women who were forcefully sterilized.  As a community, we need to move from acknowledgment to accountability and action to dismantle harmful practices and systems.

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

March 5th 2021 1230PM

Health & Equity: Patterns of White Dominance in Health Care with Sharissa Hantke

Join Sharissa as she presents her research findings identifying how whiteness gets performed in a health education context. This session will take an antiracism/anti-oppression approach to accountability in our health care and health education systems. For white people to do better, we need to learn how our words and actions contribute to systemic racism and harm BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour).

About the presenter:
Sharissa Hantke, RN (she/her) Sharissa is a white settler community health clinical nursing instructor working on a master’s in educational foundations at the University of Saskatchewan under the supervision of antiracism expert Dr. Verna St. Denis. Sharissa seeks to work for racial justice by learning her own complicity in colonialism and her responsibility to push for a critical antiracist lens in nursing education.

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

February 5th 2021 1230PM

Health & Equity: Making Systems Accountable with Erin Beckwell

Addressing the social determinants of health (SDoH) and health equity at a population level is complex and extends far beyond individual practitioner skills and knowledge, yet individual-level activities (like education and training) are frequently the focus of large system “equity responses”. This session will explore how health, social service, education, justice, and other systems can deepen and broaden their approach to – and ultimately be held accountable for – achieving health equity.

About the presenter:
Erin Beckwell BSW MSW RSW
Erin is a social worker whose work has been in the areas of health, education, and community development. Erin’s most recent work has focused on mobilizing knowledge to support equity-informed, culturally responsive, and trauma-informed approaches to practice, and to reposition these approaches as broader systemlevel priorities.
Originally from Treaty 4 Territory in Southwest Saskatchewan, she and her wife have called Treaty 6 Territory and Homeland of the Métis (Saskatoon, SK) home for over 20 years.

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

November 20th 2020

Systemic Racism, Equity and Health Education: What is the role of the DSA?

A recent awareness of systemic racism in the Canadian health care system has emerged in the public conversation. However, evidence of systematic discrimination and biases, as well as of persistent patterns of inequities in health are abundant and long-standing in our province. How is medical education implicated in the reproduction of these health outcomes? How can the DSA foster conversations about racism in Health education using a framework of equity that establishes measurable outcomes as well as timely mechanisms for accountability? What are the challenges of addressing racial equity in health education?

A conversation with Dr. Manuela Valle Castro, Director of the DSA.

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

October 30th 2020

Community Conversations:
The Digital Divide and Access to Technology in the time of COVID-19

A conversation about barriers created by the digital divide during the COVID-19 community closures, and ideas for supporting vulnerable individuals and families access digital information. Amanda Lepage, Senior Manager of Welcoming Initiatives at Saskatoon Public Library, shares initiatives developed by the SPL team and explain how the public library can be a community partner in connecting people to the digital information they need.

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

October 16 12 – 1PM

International Day for the Elimination of Poverty: Understanding the Poverty Line & Market Basket Measure

Each year, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty falls on October 17. Declared by the United Nations in 1992, this date provides a shared moment each year – across Saskatchewan, Canada and around the world  to:

  1. Commemorate victims of poverty, violence and hunger
  2. Reaffirm that poverty is a violation of human rights
  3. Re-commit to coming together to ensure the right to live free from poverty is respected
  4. Acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty
  5. Celebrate the willingness of people living in poverty to fight poverty and contribute their expertise to ending it
  6. Promote concrete activities around the eradication of poverty
  7. Organize activities for the observance of October 17th.

Source: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs – Poverty

On October 16th 2020, we marked this important day through our Community Conversation on Poverty series. Let’s get talking about poverty in our city and in our province.

#EndPovertyYXE #EndPoverty #povertyreduction #poverty

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

October 9 1230 – 130PM

COVID-19 In the Context of World Homelessness Day: A closer look at what COVID-19 has taught us about the Homelessness Action Plan.

On October 9th, World Homelessness Day, the Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) joined us to discuss issues of housing insecurity and homelessness and what COVID-19 taught us about the Homelessness Action Plan.

For more information about the Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnerships

Read the Saskatoon Homelessness Action Plan

For more information or questions, email: social.accountability@usask.ca

October 2 1230 – 130PM

Community Conversations on Poverty 

Throughout the fall the Division of Social Accountability (DSA) will co-host along with the Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership (SPRP) a Friday webinar series to discuss lessons learned during COVID – how these intersect with 12 Bold Ideas to Eliminate Poverty, and how to move forward. These online conversations will explore topics such as housing and homelessness, understanding the poverty line and market basket measure, the impacts of CERB and income assistance, racism and criminalization of poverty, youth poverty, the digital divide and access to technology, and more. Sessions will be held on Fridays from 12:30pm-1:30pm. 
Join us October 2nd at 12:30pm for the series launch of Community Conversations on Poverty: Lessons Learned during COVIDFor more information or to register for the series launch. 

June 12, 12PM

Food Insecurity in Saskatoon During a Pandemic: Community Responses and Reflections for Long-Term Systemic Change


  • Dr. Rachel Engler-Stringer, Associate Professor in Community Health and Epidemiology
  • Laurie O’Connor, Executive Director  Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre
  • Jean Goerzen, Interim Executive Director, CHEP Good Food Inc.
  • Chelsea Belt, Public Health Nutritionist, Saskatchewan Health Authority/Saskatoon Inter-Agency Response to COVID-19

Join us in a conversation to discuss community responses during the pandemic and thinking forward to how we can learn from this unprecedented time to address food insecurity in our community.

June 5, 12PM

Harm Reduction & COVID-19

Join Kayla DeMong and Barb Fornssler to discuss the need for harm reduction based supports in our community. With the recent increase in overdoses, closure of many organizations and barriers in supporting our homeless population we need to continue to look at how programs can adapt to ensure people in our community have the supports to be safe.

May 29, 12PM

COVID-19, gender-based violence and health equity: Responding to the needs of individuals experiencing intimate violence in the context of a pandemic.

The challenges related to the everyday lived experiences of intimate partner violence are magnified during times of crisis such as the pandemic we are facing today. In this talk, we provide background on intimate partner violence in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to engage participants in a discussion of how we, as caring members of our community, can work together to offer trauma-informed approaches when responding to the health needs of those at risk of gender-based violence.

April 24, 12PM

Equity-Informed Responses to COVID-19: A Saskatoon Perspective

What does equity look like in our response to COVID-19?

Join the Division of Social Accountability for an online Health Equity: Community Conversation this Friday April 24th from 12:00-1:00pm with Dr. Lori Hanson, Associate Professor, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Director of the Division of Social Accountability, College of Medicine and Colleen Christopherson-Cote of the Saskatoon Inter-Agency Response to COVID-19.

Discover how the Saskatoon community is putting equity at the heart of action and responding to the needs of people who are especially vulnerable to the negative impacts of COVID-19 pandemic due to entrenched housing and food insecurity.