As 2017 comes to a close, we are honouring Toronto’s most inspirational women of the year. Take a look at our 12-part series highlighting the changemakers who are pushing for women’s rights, exposing the inequalities in our city, achieving excellence in what they do and giving back through advocacy, activism, philanthropy and more.
The healer: Dr. Danielle Martin
At Women’s College Hospital, we are driven by a deep commitment to closing the health gaps that exist within our health system. Dr. Danielle Martin has been integral to that work. Her passion for justice and equity in health care is infectious. As one of our family physicians, a nationally sought-after health policy expert and an executive on our leadership team, she has a unique view. She sees the challenges that her patients face on the ground level, and she works to design and implement solutions to those problems.
We weren’t surprised when Senator Sanders invited her to Washington to speak about Canada when they launched “Medicare for All” this fall. Dr. Martin’s work in the U.S. has been focused on myth busting, setting the record straight and educating Americans on why there is so much support for Canada’s publicly funded health system. But she is also quick to talk about the approaches we are taking — and need to take — to address our challenges.
Her book, Better Now: 6 Big Ideas to Improve Health Care for All Canadians, is about the work that remains to be done. It was an instant bestseller, and she is frequently invited to give talks all over the country about her vision for improving health care.
In the hospital sector, we often talk about patient engagement, which is really important. But Dr. Martin has taken it a step further with her commitment to public engagement, appealing to people not as patients, but as citizens. She is building that support both inside and outside the walls of our hospital. We need that public dialogue to take place, and Dr. Martin is helping to lead it.