collage of photos: smiling woman wearing hijab; smiling woman holding small child; man in wheelchair taking a photo of another man; two men smiling at a baby     

BORN’s role is to improve outcomes and facilitate care for Ontario’s pregnant and birthing individuals and their families. This includes marginalized, racialized, and vulnerable communities. We know that sociodemographic factors have an impact on health – this has been well researched (see references below).

The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on this and highlighted the lack of robust Canadian data that could be used to assess impact and improve care. Pregnancy and birth is where population health begins, and where BORN can have an incredible impact.

A health equity approach recognizes that health is not distributed equally. Making positive change and addressing systemic health inequities starts with data. We are focused on ensuring that this data is collected, analyzed, stored and interpreted safely to ensure that marginalized and racialized communities are not further stigmatized or harmed.

In alignment with ON Health’s Equity, Diversity, and Anti-Racism Framework, BORN has invested in forming an external committee to advise BORN on how we could play a role in enabling the safe collection, storage, and use of sociodemographic data, including race, to improve outcomes and facilitate care for marginalized communities across Ontario. We have begun the work to build our internal foundation with cultural humility and safety. We are collaborating with subject matter experts and partners in this space to ensure we are aligned and following best practices for this critically important work.

Work will be undertaken in accordance with the requirements established by the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA) and its regulation, together with the requirements established by the Information Privacy Commissioner that are applicable to BORN as a prescribed registry.


  Health Equity Advisory Group

Who are we looking for?

We are seeking expertise from members of equity-seeking groups with lived experience. Equity-seeking groups are communities that face significant collective challenges participating in society. This marginalization can be created by attitudinal, historic, social, institutional, and environmental barriers based on age, ethnicity, disability, economic status, gender, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender status, etc.

The Health Equity Advisory Group (HEAG) will be a critical table that will provide guidance and recommendations to BORN with a lens on equity.


What are the objectives of the group?

The HEAG has the following two objectives:

  • Review the collection of race-based data and other social determinants of health data in the BORN Information System (BIS) and provide guidance on appropriate collection, use, storage and governance of race-based data and other social determinants of health data to facilitate and improve care.
  • Provide recommendations to leadership on how BORN can align or implement equity-guiding and anti-racism principles to all work and operations.

How long is the term and when will we meet?

HEAG members will meet a minimum of three times a year via teleconference, with potential for additional meetings called ad-hoc by the chair. We envision that HEAG will be a dynamic group of approximately 15 members plus a BORN chairperson. The number of members is not such a concern rather than diversity of experiences and representation, from a variety of areas and backgrounds spanning the breadth of our stakeholder group! Initial appointments for members of the HEAG will be made for a one-year term, with potential for renewal to a maximum of three terms.

We recognize the importance of your current work during the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting limited availability. We are ready to convene HEAG at the best possible time for selected applicants, which may be early to mid-September.

Terms of Reference

To learn more, please see the HEAG Terms of Reference

Contact Us

If you have questions about HEAG or this application process, please email Meron Berhe, Health Equity Advisory Group Chair at