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Tribute Award for Leadership

Dr. Ripudaman Minhas

Headshot of Ripudaman MinhasDr. Ripudaman Minhas has a passion for making a difference in the lives of the marginalized and underprivileged. He believes in providing healthcare so that no is left behind. And he practices what he believes.

The Canadian health care system can be difficult to access for anyone. This is especially true for families of children and youth who live with disabilities. And getting the diagnoses and services can be harder still for families who are dealing with any number of forms of marginalization – such as poverty, systemic racism, or immigration status, to name only a few.

Addressing this need is top of mind for Ripu. A developmental paediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto and Assistant Professor in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Ripu is a member of a team at Regent Park EarlyON Centre, which provides early intervention for families in a multicultural and resource-restricted area of Toronto. He has spearheaded a number of programs aimed at helping marginalized children and youth and their families get the health care they need.

Among his many achievements, Ripu founded Our Kids’ Health, which is bringing evidence-based child health information using social media platforms to 10 cultural-linguistic communities globally and now has more than 200,000 followers. The Maple Circle Project was created specifically for parents with a refugee background to understand how they approach parenting after they settle in Canada, particularly if they have a child who has developmental or behavioural concerns.

He is also using his talent to support other health professionals in communications. In 2019, Ripu was appointed the Communications Lead for the Executive Steering Committee of the Physicians of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Advocacy (PONDA). Through his work with PONDA, Rupu has created digital professional development opportunities – such as podcasts, webinars and workshops -- for physicians and other professionals working with individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Ripu’s research interests have also focused on advocating for populations experiencing inequity. He is current a co-investigator on a project addressing South Asian health inequities in Canada through Anti-Oppression Training. He is also involved with a project seeking to understand the experiences of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) caregivers who work with children with medical complexities and developmental disabilities and their involvement with Child Protection Services.

“I’m interested in how health care professionals engage with diverse communities,” says Ripu. “We’ve made some progress, but we need to continue to work hard to identify opportunities to ensure health care is easily accessible to everyone.”

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