“To improve gender equality, we need to understand the issue through data and research and make informed decisions that get at the heart of the problem.”

-Ameer Farooq

Age: 29

Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta

Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta

Affiliations: Alberta Health Services

What influenced you to become a change-maker?

The corridors of Mohammad Ali Jinnah Hospital are smeared with the stains of spit-up paan. There are people everywhere—under the stairs, in every chair, in every bed, some moaning, some simply staring with large desperate eyes. We finally find the room we are looking for. The imam of our mosque is lying on the bed, looking gaunt. He had just been shot by a rival religious group for his views on moderate Islam. After being shot, he was bundled into a car because there is no ambulance system in Pakistan. Thankfully nothing critical had been injured, otherwise he likely would have exsanguinated during transport.

The experiences that I have had on my trips to Pakistan, such as the one above, have had a profound impact on me. As a general surgery resident, I love healing people with my own hands. However, after pursuing a master’s degree in public health at Harvard, I have become passionate about improving global surgical care through the improvement of health systems, specifically through quality improvement and human-centred design.

How does your work promote gender equality in Canada and around the world?

I am focused on improving the quality of surgical care being delivered in low-resource settings.Surgical care is an under-recognized global health issue, yet it impacts the healthcare system on many levels. Addressing the surgical needs of women and building surgical capacity globally would help save the lives of millions of pregnant women who die during childbirth, prevent complications that impact women’s lives, and prevent negative impacts on other areas of development. Working on a kidney transplant program in Guyana with the Ministry of Public Health has inspired me to continue to address the quality of global surgical care through improving decision-making and creating high quality surgical systems.

I am also committed to making surgery a better career for women. Fewer women go into surgery than men, and fewer female surgeons are offered the same positions or the same remuneration as their male colleagues doing the same work. Through my writing, I continue to advocate for surgeons, including improving gender equity for our female colleagues.

More 2019 Top 30 Alumni

Janica Altea L. Echavez

"Encouraging young women and men in STEM is key to gaining more leaders and problem solvers that can address our current concerns in new, innovative ways." -Janica Altea L. Echavez Age: 23 Hometown: Cebu, Philippines Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta Affiliations: Next 36 Canada, Canadian Commission for UNESCO Youth Advisory Group, Science Expo Canada, Foundation of Student Science and Technology I was born and raised in the Philippines. While we owned a family exporting business, I was...

Tina Guo

"As young individuals, we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to advocate for marginalized populations, and strive to effect positive change in our communities." -Tina Guo Age: 22 Hometown: Calgary, Alberta Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta Affiliations: Students Against Domestic Abuse Association, Outrun the Stigma Calgary, Student Run Clinic Born to a poor, first-generation immigrant family, I understood at a tender age the irreplaceability of diligence and tenacity. However,...

Koshin Mohomoud

"The most important thing for anyone wanting to make a change is to get involved. Whether you are able to volunteer a little bit of your time or a lot, it is always important." -Koshin Mohomoud Age: 29 Hometown: Surrey, British Columbia Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: Edmonton Somali Professionals I am currently a senior policy advisor with the Government of Alberta. Prior to my current role, I worked in both the public and private sectors and spent time working in my...

Daryl Kootenay

"We must support gender equality in our gatherings by creating spaces in which female leaders can learn, engage, and act on each other’s ideas." -Daryl Kootenay Age: 27 Hometown: Morley, Alberta Currently Residing In: Morley, Alberta Affiliations: Stoney Nakoda Youth Council, Banff Center for indigenous leadership, Mni Ki Waka: Decade of Water Summit Since I was in high school, I have always felt a deep sense of the need and desire to help others. This aligns with my identity as a Stoney...

Sara Kardash

"Listen to the stories of the women and gender-diverse people in our communities and take the time to unpack your unconscious biases." -Sara Kardash Age: 22 Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: Engineers Without Borders Canada (ACGC Member) I am in my final year of civil environmental engineering at the University of Alberta, where I have been involved with the on-campus Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Canada chapter as co-president. I went into...

Saige Godberson

"In the face of adversity, do not settle but rather speak up and create change." -Saige Godberson Age: 23 Hometown: Spruce Grove, Alberta Currently Residing In: Spruce Grove, Alberta Affiliations: Youthnited Nations International, Stollery Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Sigma Nursing Honors Society, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Special Olympics Edmonton I often say that “if everyone makes a small change, together we will make a big difference.” As a registered nurse in...

John Christy Johnson

"I urge you to pay back to community, leave a trail of breadcrumbs for the prospective engineer, scientist, or astronaut, and pass the baton as you strive for personal success." -John Christy Johnson Age: 22 Hometown: Angadical, Kerala, India Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: University of Alberta Rehabilitation Robotics Laboratory, ClickandPush Accessibility Inc., TEDxUAlberta As an Indo-Canadian and identical twin, I spend a fair proportion of my time thinking about...

Hamila Al-Turk

"Gender equality is not just a women’s issue, but a human rights issue, and we all need to be part of the conversation." Age: 21 Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: City of Edmonton Youth Council, Social Equity Subcommittee, Diabetes Canada Club One of the wisest teachers to have taught me once said, “Compassion is the basis of all morality, so live your life as if you were a mirror that reflects the good back to people.” Being a student under her...

Hannah Mercader

"You don’t have to do something out of the ordinary to make a special impact. Be mindful of how to make the small moments count." -Hannah Mercader Age: 27 Hometown: Calgary, Alberta Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta Affiliations: Mama na Mtoto, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary From a very young age, I have always had an interest in the health of vulnerable populations. Being born in rural Philippines and growing up in a low-income immigrant family in Canada, I understand...

Peter Anto Johnson

"People become change-makers when they work towards a mutually benefiting outcome, one based on tolerance and respect." -Peter Anto Johnson Age: 22 Hometown: Angadical, Kerala, India Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: Run for Support and Health (RuSH), University Infant Toddler Centre – University of Alberta, Student Health Committee, Health & Wellness Movement, Obesity Canada - Students & New Professional I’m a women and children’s health researcher, community...
Share This