Sarah Qureshi

Name: Sarah Qureshi

Researcher/Supervisor: Dr. Jay Shaw

Area of Research: Digital Health, Community Innovation and Equity

What or who inspired you to join the Emily Stowe Scholars Program (ESSP)? 
Throughout the course of my undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, I have become increasingly interested in better understanding the intersection between health and urban policy and the experiences of underserved populations. By joining the ESSP and the Access and Policy Team, I have been able to further explore the role policy plays in community well-being and the importance of collective care. Equally as important, the ESSP has enabled me to seek mentorship opportunities, develop new perspectives and meet an amazing group of people. The space the ESSP provides for students to advance research skills and meaningfully network is what has inspired me to join the program.

What was your first impression of Women’s College Hospital?
What first stood out to me about Women’s College Hospital was their dedication and commitment towards shaping health policy and driving innovation. This initial impression piqued my interest to learn more about innovation related projects and initiatives being hosted at the hospital. In fact, my second day in the ESSP was spent attending a strategic retreat where I saw the extent to which innovation is integrated at WIHV!

What interests you most about the area of research that you’re working in?
What interests me the most about digital health, community innovation and equity is its timely relevance to population health and its ability to inform policy and best practices for a wide array of stakeholders. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen how digital health and community innovation have been critical in slowing down the transmission of the virus and improving health outcomes. Given the accelerated adoption of virtual care and community innovation, it is important that these respective interventions are carried out within an equitable manner. The interdisciplinary nature of digital health, community innovation and equity continues to motivate me to learn more about the existing gaps in policy and community infrastructure and think about the ways in which I can contribute to advancing health equity and accessibility.

What do you think you will enjoy the most about being part of ESSP?
I think what I will enjoy the most about being part of the ESSP is having the opportunity to network with a diverse group of clinicians, researchers, and students and learning more about their career trajectories. Additionally, attending events which provide insight into the work of other scholars and how they plan to advance their particular area of research allows me to learn about a range of different issues, topics, and ideas. Oh, and the free lemonade at events is always a bonus.

Personal or professional answers welcome: What is something that makes you smile? 
Random acts of kindness and a good book 🙂