National Women’s Health Research Initiative: Ideas Fair and Learning Circle

Thank you to everyone who attended the virtual Ideas Fair and Learning Circle on October 25- 26 2022, hosted by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, CIHR’s Institute of Gender and Health, and Women and Gender Equality Canada. The event hosted over 160 community experts from across Canada and enabled participants to develop their ideas to identify and address community, regional and/or national challenges in women’s health and wellness. Participants were able to network through highly interactive breakout sessions on a variety of topics related to women and gender-diverse peoples' health.

The goals of the Ideas Fair and Learning Circle were to:

Following the successful completion of the Ideas Fair and Learning Circle, attendees and interested applicants are encouraged to visit the Linkage Tool to connect with individuals and organizations interested in collaborating/networking as a next step in forming a team to apply to the Pan-Canadian Women’s Health Coalition funding opportunities.

Event Overview

The first day focused on humility and compassion as we engaged with participants to share their stories and vision for a more robust and responsive women's healthcare system across Canada. Throughout the day, we discussed priority themes, shared more information about the Pan-Canadian Women’s Health Coalition and ensured that attendees have a chance to meet and connect with like-minded individuals.

The second day was more operational, focusing on brainstorming solutions to transform women's health in Canada, as well as helpful sessions on submitting a hub application and imagining what the role of the coordinating centre for the Coalition might look like.

Guiding Values

The following guiding values were identified for the Ideas Fair and Learning Circle:

Co-development of Guiding Values

During the event, community experts were asked to make suggestions to collaboratively develop these guiding values for the Ideas Fair. Three values were added:

Event in Review

High level details from the event are captured in the infographic below.

Graphic Recording: Ideas Fair and Learning Circle
Long Description

NWHRI Ideas Fair Infographic

First Page
A pink and purple infographic with cartoon images of women and gender diverse people. The infographic says: National Women’s Health Research Initiative (NWHRI) Ideas Fair and Learning Circle – Event in Review.

  1. Who Attended

    242 people registered to attend the NWHRI Ideas Fair and Learning Circle to identify and address challenges in women and gender-diverse peoples' health and wellness. On Day 1, 160 people attended representing a 67% engagement rate. On Day 2, 120 people attended representing a 49% engagement rate.

    Participant Self-ID

    • Racialized populations*: 20%
    • First generation immigrant: 20%
    • Person living with a chronic health condition: 14%
    • Person with a disability: 10%
    • Black: 10%
    • French speaker: 7%
    • Rural, remote or Northern: 6%
    • Youth (15-24): 3%
    • First Nations: 3%
    • Older adult (65+): 2%
    • Métis: 2%
    • Inuit: 0.4%
    • None of the above: 28%

    *all people and communities impacted by racism (e.g. Latino, East/Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, South Asian populations)

    Gender Diversity

    • Cis and trans women: 85%
    • Cis and trans men: 7%
    • Non-binary: 2%
    • Two-Spirit: 0.4%
    • Remainder selected 'other' or 'prefer not to say'


    • She/her/elle: 88%
    • He/him/il: 7%
    • They/them/iel: 2%
    • Multiple pronouns: 3%

    Note: All percentages throughout reflect the rate of registrants

  2. Geographic Representation (n=242)

    • Yukon: 0%
    • Northwest Territories: 1%
    • Nunavut: 0%
    • BC: 20%
    • Alberta: 9%
    • Saskatchewan: 2%
    • Manitoba: 4%
    • Ontario: 38%
    • Quebec: 14%
    • New Brunswick: 0.4%
    • Nova Scotia: 5%
    • PEI: 0.8%
    • Newfoundland and Labrador: 2%
  3. Organizational Representation

    • Academic: 59%
    • Charity, NGO, community organization: 31%
    • Hospital/ clinic: 14%
    • Government: 8%
    • Individual, consultant, private sector: 8%
    • Other: 5%

Second Page

  1. Event Program

    • Day 1 | Oct. 25, 2022

      Day 1 focused on sharing participant stories and visions for a more robust and responsive healthcare system for women and gender diverse people.

      • Welcome and setting the stage
        Cara Tannenbaum, Elder Valerie, Lisa Smylie, Hazelle Palmer, Isabella Chan, Angela Kaida

      • Why are we gathering here today?
        Cara Tannenbaum
      • Small group discussions

      • Creating a Pan-Canadian Women’s Health Coalition
        Michelle Peel, Katarina Dedovic

      • Planning for future generations
        Cindy Kalenga

      • Small group discussions

      • Debrief and wrap-up
        Elder Valerie, Cara Tannenbaum

    • Day 2 | Oct. 26, 2022

      Day 2 focused on brainstorming solutions to transform women and gender-diverse peoples' health in Canada through the Pan-Canadian Women’s Health funding opportunity.

      • Welcome back
        Elder Valerie, Cara Tannenbaum

      • Tips and tricks for writing a successful grant
        Sharon Straus, Mohini Datta-Ray, Jessica Cattaneo

      • Small group discussions

      • Vision for the Coordinating Center of the Coalition
        Cara Tannenbaum, Elder Valerie

      • Reflections and next steps
        Elder Valerie, Cara Tannenbaum
  2. Small group health priority discussions

    In their registration forms, participants were asked to identify priorities related to women’s, girls’ and gender-diverse peoples’ health. Their responses informed small group discussion topics and identified priority areas for future health research.

    • 2SLGBTQI+ health
    • Accessibility and the health of people with disabilities
    • Aging women’s health
    • Black women’s health
    • Cardiovascular health
    • Chronic diseases and pain
    • Environment and women’s health
    • Gender-based violence
    • Healthcare access and trauma-informed care
    • Hormones, menstruation & menopause
    • Immigrant women’s health
    • Intersectionality in women’s health
    • Indigenous and Two-Spirit peoples’ health
    • Mental health
    • Pelvic health
    • Pregnancy and postpartum health
    • Racialized women’s health
    • Rural and remote women’s health
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Social determinants of women’s health
    • Substance use
  3. Quick Facts

    • 23% of registrants completed the post-event survey (55 people)
    • 78% of survey respondents said the Ideas Fair met or exceeded their expectations
    • 58% of survey respondents said they made valuable new connections with other people at the event
    • 27% of registrants added their names to the NWHRI Partner Linkage Tool (65 people)
    • 34% of registrants then attended a post-event webinar on the Pan Canadian Women’s Health Coalition Hubs funding opportunity (83 people)
  4. More Information

Event Outcomes

Key themes and takeaways were captured through graphic recording, featuring a summary of the plenary sessions held over the two days, as well as a co-developed vision for the Coordinating Centre and Hubs under the Pan-Canadian Women’s Health Coalition.

Graphic Recording: Ideas Fair and Learning Circle
Long Description

Women's Health Research Initiative, Ideas Fair and Learning Circle, Building the Future of Health, Women's Health Coalition, We are coming together for women, girls, non-binary, trans, gender fluid, two-spirit peoples, Asking the tough questions, Calling out bias, racisim, and all forms of oppression, Calling for equity, Holding providers accountable, Health care must be whole person, We are more than a diagnosis, Recruit more women and diverse populations into research trials, We need data and research on women, 2SLGBTQI+, Skin tone scales that are inclusive, Hubs will amplify community voices to set priorities, Sharing and scaling up best practices, Implementing inclusive models of care across Canada, Lived experiences, Community knowledge, Traditional knowledge, Details on how to apply, webinars, CIHR website, Eligibility and team make up, Evaluation, Funding and timing, Think outside the box, Let's ensure there is no box!, Hubs for better women's, non-binary, gender fluid, trans health, Diverse-led, Holistic, Inclusive, Two-spirit, Intersectionality, Immigrants and refugees, Black and racialized folks, Indigenous people, Diverse abilities, All ages, A hub for chronic pain, Public education is essential, "Hysteria", "Bikini medicine", Outdated beliefs impact how women are cared for, Remember: Words matter, You are change warriors!, Build capacity for the next generation of women's health leaders, More funding for mental health, Sex and gender-based health and reproduction, Engage us in research!, Sexual & reproductive rights, Trauma informed, Working together, empower, Compassion & empathy, Training and education, Health care students must prioritize, Culturally diverse education, Engagement with community, anti racism, Policy and process change, Advocacy and knowledge share, Connect research to community needs, dedicated funds for racialized resources, Preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum care, Traditional healing and wisdom, Relational ways of being, Cultural safety and responsiveness, "Listen to lived experiences in all our service design", cardiovascular health, hormones, Let's have more opportunities to connect!, Fem tech. Research, Conferences, Menstruation and menopause, Pelvic health, Gender-based violence, This work requires courage like the bear.

Graphic Recording: Vision for the Coalition
Long Description

Vision for the Coalition Coordinating Centre, How can we ensure connections across hubs?, Connection requires action, Keep in mind this work takes time!, Meaningful communication plan, Hubs, Have a dedicated coordinator at each Hub to attend the exchange, Goals of the coordinating centre, Build synergies among Hubs, Maximize impact of Hubs, Accelerate knowledge mobilization, Coordinating centre connects across Hubs, breaks silos, Intersect with other health networks, An online platform!, Showcase different funding sources, Knowledge Exchange, Governance committee overseeing all work, Local community non-profits, Keep the theory of change in mind!, Mentorship and Elders involvement, Incorporate all types of knowledge, Lived experiences, Traditional knowledge, Patient voices, Community knowledge, How do we measure change? Success?, Performance measurement and evaluation, Support sustainable funding, Policy makers and leaders at the circle, All levels of government, Sythesizing information and sharing out!, Data, Host events & gatherings, Our learnings!, Challenges, Best practices, Successes, Activities, Full life cycle perspective!

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