About Us

BPAO's Story

The Black Physicians’ Association of Ontario (BPAO) was founded in 2007 following an influx of Black physicians in the province coming into practice at the time and incorporated as a not-for-profit in 2015. The organization was created to focus on medicine and continue advocacy for improving the health of people in Black communities in Ontario. We worked to implement initiatives that would encourage and facilitate Black youth to pursue a career in medicine.

The inaugural president of BPAO was Dr. Cindy Maxwell, who contributed heavily to the initial development and progress of the organization, serving in the organization to this day. 

In the mid 1990’s BPAO’s predecessor, the Association for the Advancement of Blacks in Health Sciences (AABHS) was created to bring Black health care professionals together to unite in advocacy for the Black community, and to encourage Black youth to pursue a career in health sciences. AABHS was successful in creating two long standing programs; University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine Summer Mentorship Program for Black and Indigenous Students and Camp Jumoke. These programs helped lead to the influx of Black physicians that created the need for BPAO.

Dr. Miriam Rossi played a key role as a co-founder of the ABHS and BPAO. Through her senior position as an Associate Dean in the Faculty of Medicine at U of T, Dr. Rossi was able to support the development of many BPAO initiatives coordinating access to spaces with influence, for us to have our voices heard.

Thank you to the courageous leadership of our founders, and we hope to follow in your fearless footsteps.

Celebrating Dr. Miriam Rossi

Dr. Miriam Rossi played a key role as a co-founder of the ABHS and BPAO. Through her senior position as an Associate Dean in the Faculty of Medicine at U of T, Dr. Rossi was able to support the development of many BPAO initiatives coordinating access to spaces with influence, for us to have our voices heard.

Thank you to the courageous leadership of our founders, and we hope to follow in your fearless footsteps.

Vision & Strategic Goals

We envision a province where Black Ontarians are equitably represented in the field of medicine and racialized health disparities are eliminated. Our Strategic Goals are as outlined below.

Support & Networking

Build, cultivate, and prepare an engaged community of training Black physicians.

Training & Learning

Host forums for Black physicians to connect and learn.

Making A Community Impact

Influence policy and decision – making on issues that impact the health of Black Ontarians.