Equity-Mobilizing Partnerships in Community (EMPaCT)

Learning from Diversity: An Innovation in Inclusive Engagement

If we want an inclusive health system that is socially just and fair for all, we need to hear from people who have diverse lived experiences and apply a health equity lens to everything.

EMPaCT is an innovation that addresses both.

Monthly, EMPaCT collaborates with project implementers in the healthcare system (EMPaCT Impact Partners) to help them identify tangible ways to advance health equity within their work.

What is EMPaCT?

Equity-Mobilizing Partnerships in Community (EMPaCT) is a patient engagement model co-designed to:

  • Centre the voices of diverse community members
  • Build capacity for inclusive and impactful partnerships

Diverse members of community co-created EMPaCT to:

  • Highlight community needs and priorities - based on their lived experiences
  • Meet monthly to consult with Impact Partners to identify key areas for action on health equity within their work

We are an expert advisory group independent of any specific project. Impact Partners who engage EMPaCT contribute to its financial sustainability.

What is an EMPaCT consultation? 

Who consults with EMPaCT? EMPaCT works with project implementers (EMPaCT Impact Partners) seeking to learn from people with diverse lived experiences, enhance the inclusivity of their work and reduce health inequities.

Impact Partners include:

  • health system decision-makers
  • policy-influencers including health/social service administrators
  • research teams

What do consultations result in? Consultations help Impact Partners understand:

  • how different communities might be impacted by a project
  • what unintended outcomes may occur as a result of the project
  • how equity in health can be better addressed for the communities involved

EMPaCT also conducts Health Equity Assessments (HEAs). Unlike most HEAs which are conducted by scientists, academics and policy administrators, EMPaCT HEA evaluations and recommendations are based on the diversity of lived experiences that members of EMPaCT bring to the process as a collective analytical lens.

To our understanding, we are the first community-based group of people with diverse lived experiences to offer and conduct HEAs.

For more, view this video: EMPaCT: Partnering for Change

How does EMPaCT work?

Impact Partners complete an Intake Form and consultation slide template and return them to EMPaCT prior to the Scoping meeting.

As a key part of the process, Impact Partners receive coaching to prepare them for an effective engagement with EMPaCT.

Step 1: Scoping Meeting: The Scoping meeting refines the scope of the consultation to focus on what value EMPaCT can bring to the Impact Partner’s project.

The Impact Partner revises both the Intake Form and consultation slides as needed and returns them to EMPaCT prior to the Preparatory Meeting.

Step 2: Preparatory Meeting: The Preparatory meeting focuses on the key questions for discussion and the communication skills needed so that the consultation results in authentic dialogue for co-learning.

The refined consultation slides form the foundation of the consultation.

Step 3: EMPaCT Community Consultation: During the consultation, Impact Partners engage members of EMPaCT to learn:

  • how different communities might be impacted by the project
  • what unintended outcomes may occur from the Impact Partner’s project
  • how equity in health can be better addressed for the communities involved

Step 4: Written Report: Impact Partners receive a written report containing recommendations from the consultation process validated by all members of EMPaCT.

Step 5: Feedback from Impact Partner: Impact Partners provide feedback on how they modified their project based on the findings of the report. They also provide feedback on the process of engagement. The process creates transparency in the patient engagement and community consultation process.

EMPaCT Community Members 

The members of EMPaCT cover a wide range of diverse and intersectional lived experiences. Our experiences are best represented by the diversity jigsaw.


You can learn more about the members of EMPaCT below:

How Does EMPaCT Share its Work? 

Digital library: Members of EMPaCT co-create digital tools and use them to share key concepts. You can access these tools here: EMPaCT Digital Library

Impact Partner consultation reports: These are confidential reports issued to Impact Partners that summarise their engagement with EMPaCT. These reports include key findings from the consultation and actionable recommendations for project-implementers.

Webinars and presentations: Members of EMPaCT are frequently invited to present on issues related to patient engagement and diversity, equity and inclusion. You can view these resources here: EMPaCT Digital Library

Academic co-authored publications:

Building equitable patient partnerships during COVID19: Challenges and key considerations. https://www.longwoods.com/content/26582/healthcare-policy/building-equitable-patient-partnerships-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-challenges-and-key-considerati?platform=hootsuite&utm_campaign=HSCampaign . Sayani, A., Maybee A., Manthorne J., Parsons. J., Bloch. G., Hwang, S. W, Nicholson, E., & Lofters, A. (2021). Healthcare Policy 17 (1).

Equity-Mobilizing Partnerships in Community – EMPaCT: Co-designing patient engagement to promote health equity. https://www.longwoods.com/content/26768/healthcare-quarterly/equity-mobilizing-partnerships-in-community-empact-co-designing-patient-engagement-to-promote-hea . Sayani, A., Maybee A., Manthorne J., Parsons. J., Bloch. G., Hwang, S. W, Nicholson, E., & Lofters, A. and the members of Equity-Mobilizing Partnerships in Community (2022). Healthcare Quarterly 24 (Special issue).

Community engagement toolkit

Policy briefs

To request a specific knowledge translation product please email Dr. Ambreen Sayani at ambreen.sayani@Wchospital.ca.


EMPaCT is a recipient of the Engaging Multi-stakeholders for Patient Oriented research Wider Effects & Reach (EMPOWER) Award from the Ontario SPOR Support Unit (OSSU) as a scalable model of equitable patient engagement. The Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Province of Ontario.

EMPaCT is a recipient of the Women’s College Hospital Quality Improvement Patient Engagement Award for it’s innovative approach to diverse and inclusive patient engagement.


For more information about EMPaCT or to book a consult, please contact Dr. Ambreen Sayani:


Dr. Ambreen Sayani is funded by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Patient-Oriented Research – Transition to Leadership Stream Career Development Award.

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