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Meet our team
Our Founders
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Salwa Farroqi

Founder

Salwa Farooqi is a third year medical student at the University of Toronto. She graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Health Sciences in the Global Health specialization, and a Masters in Science and Clinical Epidemiology from the Health Research Methodology Program. Salwa is passionate about social justice and seeks to use her platform as a healthcare provider for advocacy as evidenced by her work as the co-director for IREACH and UofT's Invisible Challenges in Medicine Conference, among other roles for marginalized people.

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Modupe Tunde-Byass

Founder

I am an OBGYN practicing around North York area. I am passionate about providing evidence based education to women to empower them. My focus is in EDI, patient’s safety and improving access to care.

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Dr. Tanzila Basrin

Founder

Dr. Tanzila Basrin is a Family and Emergency physician in Ontario. She completed her bachelor's degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology at McGill University, followed by medical school training at the University of Ottawa and most recently, her residency in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Basrin’s passion about medical educational and leadership is demonstrated through her community work which spans from working with various NGOs to multiple medical organizations including, the Muslim Medical association of Canada, as a board member and their Women's health lead.

Our Executive Team
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Sonia Dancey

Mentorship Director

Sonia Dancey is an Obstetrics and Gynecology resident at McMaster University. Sonia completed her medical school at the University of Ottawa and has been involved with the WHEMS team since medical school. She is involved in content creation for WHEMS as well as the community outreach aspect which includes providing contraception talks to local high school students. She is very happy to be a part of the WHEMS team and learning from her team members.

Julia is a third year medical student at the University of Ottawa, studying in the french stream. Originally from Cameroon, she spent her formative years in Brampton before relocating to Ottawa for her undergraduate studies and medical school. She holds a bachelor's degree in Health Sciences, with a minor in psychology. Julia's primary interests revolve around advocating for women's health and underrepresented minorities in the medical field. Her passion for leadership is evident through her current position as the President of the undergraduate medical student body at the University of Ottawa, as well as her previous role as the Vice President of the Black Medical Student Association (BMSA).

Country Road

Anne Peiris

EDI and Blogs Co-Lead

Anne Peiris is a third-year McMaster undergraduate student in the Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour program with a mental health specialization. Her lived experiences and various volunteer activities have sparked her passion for prioritizing equity, diversity, and inclusion in her life and in the organizations she is a part of. She believes that a crucial step in reducing healthcare disparities is to make information accessible, which is why she is so excited to be a part of the incredible work that WHEMS does.

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Vrati M. Mehra

Vice-President and Mentorship Director

Vrati is a medical student at the University of Toronto. Prior to medical school, Vrati completed her Master of Science in Epidemiology at York University where she was also one of the President's Ambassador. During her Masters Vrati's thesis focused on the association between diabetes and age at menopause. Her research gained widespread attention and was featured in various news outlets, including Yahoo. Apart from her role as Vice President at WHEMS, Vrati also loves teaching and frequently visits high schools throughout the Greater Toronto Area as part of WHEMS Power, where she gives presentations on contraception, general well-being, and sexual health. Additionally, Vrati also serves as an associate editor for both Toronto Notes and the University of Toronto's Medical Journal.

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Praniya Elangainesan

Content and Strategy Director and Social Media and Content Liasion

Praniya Elangainesan is a medical student at the University of Toronto. She completed her Honours Bachelor of Science, majoring in Life Sciences from McMaster University. She has a passion for women’s health, knowledge translation, quality improvement and systems focused solutions. As the WHEMS Content and Strategy Director, she hopes to combine these interests to empower and educate women.

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Julia Kemzang

Administrative Secretary

Julia is a third year medical student at the University of Ottawa, studying in the french stream. Originally from Cameroon, she spent her formative years in Brampton before relocating to Ottawa for her undergraduate studies and medical school. She holds a bachelor's degree in Health Sciences, with a minor in psychology. Julia's primary interests revolve around advocating for women's health and underrepresented minorities in the medical field. Her passion for leadership is evident through her current position as the President of the undergraduate medical student body at the University of Ottawa, as well as her previous role as the Vice President of the Black Medical Student Association (BMSA).

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Dourra Assani

Ottawa Régional Leads

Dourra Assani is a medical student at the university of Ottawa. She is passionate about women health, education and health prevention. She obtained a honours bachelor in biomedical sciences at the university of Ottawa prior to begining medical school. She initially joined WHEMS as a volunteer and contributed to the distribution of presentations in high schools regarding contraception and menstruations. After becoming familiar with the organization and it’s mission, she undertook more responsibilities on the team. She is a member of her school equity diversity and inclusion comittee and has medical students well being and access to health education for marginalized communities at heart.

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Tanvi Ahluwalia

Social Media Manager

Tanvi is a recent graduate of the Translational and Molecular Medicine program at the University of Ottawa. She is currently completing her Masters in the Newborn Screening Ontario lab at the CHEO RI where she has been looking at metabolic biomarkers to predict gestational age and improve newborn screening in practice. Her interest in women's health started in high school when she began volunteering in the mother-baby unit at her local hospital. She has also worked with a research team at uOttawa that investigates the availability and accessibility of women's health facilities (ie. abortion care, fertility services etc.) Tanvi has been working with WHEMS since August 2021, under the media team, creating infographics and editing content for our various social media platforms. As social media manager, she hopes to use her design skills and her passion for women's health advocacy to empower and educate women!

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Thirushi Siriwardena

Research Director and Content Creator

Dr. Thirushi Siriwardena is currently a resident physician, completing her postgraduate medical training in the Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology at McMaster University. After finishing her Bachelor of Science (BSc.) with Honors Specialization in Neuroscience at Western University, she went on to complete her Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree at the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine. Thirushi is particularly devoted to women’s healthcare and aspires to make strides towards improving reproductive and gynecological healthcare access to patients across Canada. This is exemplified by her advocacy work at WHEMS to disseminate medical education about important women’s health topics through social media, as well as at a new initiative named TRELA (on which she serves as President and Founder) to prevent intimate partner violence with a digital app. From a scholarly perspective, Thirushi is involved in several ongoing research projects including investigating predictors of ovarian cancer surgical outcomes, pelvic exam medical education for medical students, and telemedicine applications for maternity care during the COVID-19 pandemic to name a few. Thirushi looks forward to incorporating these core pillars of passion, advocacy, allyship, medical education, and research into her future practice as an Ob/Gyn physician-surgeon.

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Sandra Bojic

Content Lead

Sandra Bojic is a medical student at the University of Ottawa, where she also completed an Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences. She has been involved with WHEMS since its foundation in 2020. Sandra's motivation to join WHEMS stems from her passion for advocacy and promoting easily understandable, evidence-based health information for women. Through her involvement with WHEMS, she aims to create resources and contribute new ideas to build a knowledge base to combat the inequities that underly women's health.

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Danielle Pinder

Podcast Lead


Danielle Pinder is currently pursuing her Master of Public Health degree at Queen's University, having previously completed her Bachelor of Science Honours degree at the same institution. Through her research, Danielle strives to understand and address the systemic issues that contribute to health disparities, particularly among marginalized and underserved populations. As a member of WHEMS, Danielle is excited to be part of a team dedicated to the delivery of accessible, evidence-based women’s health education. Through this initiative, she hopes to empower women to take control of their health and improve their overall well-being.

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Hafsa Zia

Current Events Director

Hafsa Zia completed her undergrad in Life Science at Ontario Tech university. Currently she is a third-year medical student at the University of Toronto. Hafsa's passions include teaching, mentorship and women's health. She feels particularly passionate about serving the South Asian community with regards to sexual and women's health and Intimate Partner Violence. Being a part of WHEMs gives her the platform to work with a group of like-minded individuals on these three things she feels passionately about and to give back to the community that raised her. Outside of med school, Hafsa loves reading, running and catching up with friends at cute coffee shops.

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Tori

Tori is a third-year medical science undergraduate at Western University. She is a passionate advocate for women's health, focusing on breast cancer awareness and women's mental health. Tori has also worked as a student researcher and volunteer, specializing in diabetic retinopathy research. As vice-president of outreach at Breast Cancer Canada's London branch, she is passionate about breast health awareness and improved mammogram access. Tori serves as the marketing lead for WHEMS and teaches at high schools across London on behalf of WHEMS Power, where she gives presentations about women's health issues.

Interested in joining the WHEMS team?
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