Technology, Compassion and the Social Determinants of Health


In this conversation, Ibukun Abejirinde, a scientist at the Institute for Health System Solutions at Women’s College Hospital, and Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and an AMS Healthcare Fellow in Compassion and AI chats with Terence Tang, a General Internal Medicine Physician at Trillium Health Partners, a Clinician Scientist at the Institute for Better Health and an AMS Healthcare Fellow in Compassion and AI. They discuss social determinants of health, health inequities, and digitally enabled models of care.

Ibukun Abejirinde is an Implementation and Evaluation Scientist who works with policymakers, patients, community organizations, and researchers to find practical solutions to persistent and emergent problems in healthcare. Her research focus on innovative models of care that use digital technology.

Specifically, how they impact health equity and health service delivery. Ultimately, her goal is to improve access to high-quality care for everyone, irrespective of where they live or where they are from.

Dr. Abejirinde is currently a Scientist at the Institute for Health System Solutions, Women’s College Hospital where her work informs the implementation, sustainability, and expansion of virtual care programs within and beyond Ontario. She is also an Assistant Professor (Status) at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. As a 2022 AMS Healthcare Fellow in Compassion and AI, her study is being conducted in partnership with three community partners, with the aim of understanding how immigrants and refugees to Canada experience virtual care and digital health compassion.

Listen to the Podcast HERE


AMS Research Team Members

– Ibukun Abejirinde (Scientist/Principal Investigator)

– Emily Ha (Research Associate and PhD candidate, UoT)

– Marlena Dang Nguyen (Equity Specialist and Research Coordinator)

– Kyla Gaeul Lee (PhD student, UoT)

– Isabelle Choon-Kon-Yune (Research Assistant)

– Mohaddesa Khawari (Peer Researcher)

AMS Study Research Partners

1. FCJ Refugee Centre Website

2. Crossroads Clinic, Women’s College Hospital Website

3. Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services Website

AMS Research Advisory Team Members

1. Dr. Vanessa Redditt

2. Denise Zarn

3. Dr. Onil Bhattacharyya

4. Dr. Jay Shaw

Readings and Resources

1. Abejirinde IO, Ha E, Nguyen MD, Kaur D, Redditt V. Beyond technology: Digital Health

Compassion for Canadian Immigrants and Refugees. January 2023. Volume 19, Number 4.

Canadian Diversity (pg. 10-12).


2. Panel Discussion. Digital Health Imperative – Equity and System Transformation. Access Alliance

Multicultural Health and Community Services, Canada. All Staff Professional Development Day.

November 2022. Summaries- blog and video clip

3. Hankivsky, O., Grace, D., Hunting, G. et al. An intersectionality-based policy analysis framework:

critical reflections on a methodology for advancing equity. Int J Equity Health 13, 119 (2014).

4. Hodges BD, Paech G, Bennett J. Without Compassion, There Is No Healthcare: Compassionate

Care in a Technological World. Edited by Brian D. Hodges, Gail Paech, and Jocelyn Bennett.

McGill-Queen’s University Press; 2020.

5. Crenshaw K. Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of

Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics [1989]. In: 1st ed. Routledge;

1991:57-80. doi:10.4324/9780429500480-5

6. Singh P, King-Shier K, Sinclair S. The colours and contours of compassion: A systematic review of

the perspectives of compassion among ethnically diverse patients and healthcare providers. Van

Bogaert P, ed. PLoS ONE. 2018;13(5):e0197261. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0197261

Want to connect?

Are you attending the Metropolis Social Determinants of Health Conference in Gatineau Québec

(October 2-3 2023)? Join our roundtable dialogue 11:00am – 12:15pm on October 2 nd titled “Reimagining

Compassionate Healthcare for Immigrants: Lessons learned from Virtual Care”


Terence Tang is a General Internal Medicine physician at Trillium Health Partners located in

Mississauga, Ontario, and a Clinician Scientist at the Institute for Better Health.  He has training

in informatics and has a passion of using digital technology to improve care delivery and

population health.


 Institute for Better Health (

A tool to capture social determinants of health by Upstream Lab