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Manavi Handa

Manavi Handa

Associate Professor
EducationRM, MHSc, BHSc, BSc
Phone416-979-5000 ext. 557684
Areas of ExpertiseGrantsmanship, MOHLTC Midwifery Practice; Bioethics; Health Facility Leadership.

Manavi’s key area of research focuses on the access healthcare and perinatal outcomes for pregnant women with precarious immigration status. Her research program focuses on issues facing uninsured pregnant women in Ontario. Manavi personifies midwifery activism by challenging current health policies and problematizing structural discrimination in the healthcare system.  She forms an important link in a network of midwives who regularly deliver pro bono midwifery services to uninsured pregnant women.  

Manavi is one of the founding midwives of West End Midwives, a practice group which serves a high proportion of immigrants, refugees and uninsured women. Manavi has served as past Head Midwife at Etobicoke General Hospital.  She served on the Ontario Hospital Relations Taskforce for the Association of Ontario Midwives and the National Advisory Committee, Migration and Reproductive Health Research.

  • MWF120:  Normal Childbearing
  • MWF250:  Midwifery Clinical Skills
  • MWF320:  Midwifery Complications & Consultation
  • MWF344/345: Advanced Clinical Skills I, II, Emergency Skills Workshop
  • MWF220 & 305: Inter- professional placements I  & ii
  • MWF315: Midwifery Issues
  • MWF350: Interprofessional Midwifery Care
  • MWF370:  Field Placement
  • MWF410:  Clerkship
  • MWF420:  Midwifery: Maternal & Newborn Pathology
  • 2010 – Distinction award presented in recognition for Anti-Racism Activism by the Urban Alliance and Race Relations for her work in the area of immigrant and refugee women’s health.

Research Interests:

  • Care trajectory of uninsured pregnant women attending community health centres in Toronto.
  • Midwives’ attitudes towards abortion and the provision of abortion care.
  • Primary care of pregnant women in Ontario

Research Projects:

  • 2015 Awarded $7000, Ryerson University: Health Research Fund. Project Title: Cervix Characterization and Training Model Synthesis. Role: Co Principle Investigator
  • 2013 Awarded $154,560/3years, Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR). Project Title: Migrant Friendly Maternity Care (MFMC) in Montreal. Role: Co-Applicant
  • 2013 Awarded $7000, Ryerson University: Teaching About Diversity Fund. Project Title: From Classroom to Clinical Placement. Role: Co-Applicant
  • 2013 Awarded $5000, Ryerson University: Summer Research Opportunities Program. Project Title: Outcomes of Uninsured Pregnant Women in Midwifery Care. Role: Sole Applicant, Primary Researcher
  • 2013 Awarded $5000, Ryerson University: Ryerson Experiential Learning Academic Research Assistant Program. Project Title: Uninsured Pregnant Women: Cost-effectiveness of Community Health. Role: Center Referrals to Midwives versus Obstetricians

Peer-reviewed publications


  • Wilson‐Mitchell K, Handa M. Infusing diversity and equity into clinical teaching: training the trainers. Journal of midwifery & women's health. 2016 Nov;61(6):726-36. 
  • Handa M, Sharpe MD. Shifting Paradigms in Women’s Health Care: From Informed Consent to Informed Choice. Women's Health Bulletin. 2015;2(2).  
  • Handa M, Rosenberg S. Ontario Midwives Attitudes Towards Abortion and Abortion Provision. Canadian Journal of Midwifery Research and Practice, 2015; 15 (1) 8-
  • Handa M, Robertson A. Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section: Ethical Considerations for Midwives. Canadian Journal of Midwifery Research and Practice. 2014; 13(2):36-46.
  • Handa, M. 2013. Mothering the South Asian Mother: Stories from Midwifery, in Gonsalves T, Sangha J (eds), South Asian Mothering: Negotiating Culture, Family and Selfhood pp 116-125. Demeter Press: Toronto.

Peer-reviewed Conference Papers:

  • Anneke Rummens J, Handa M, Rouseau C, Wilson Mitchell K. Issues Facing Uninsured Pregnant Women in Ontario. Metropolis Conference. Toronto, Ontario. March 2, 2012.
  • Handa, M. Developing a Migrant Friendly Maternity Care Questionnaire: An International Delphi Consensus Poster Presentation. Metropolis Conference. Toronto, Ontario. March 2, 2012.
  • Bannerjee A, Handa M, Ledwo C. Issues Facing Uninsured Pregnant Women and Children: What are We Doing. Seeking Solutions Symposium: Access to Healthcare for the Uninsured in Canada. Toronto, Ontario. February 22, 2012.
  • Handa M. Limited Access to Healthcare for Uninsured Families and Children in Ontario and Quebec: On the Ground - Access to Healthcare Issues for uninsured Women and Their Canadian Babies. Seeking Solutions Symposium: Access to Healthcare for the Uninsured in Canada. Toronto, Ontario. February 21, 2012.
  • Handa M, Anneke Rumens J, Planning for Action: Care for Uninsured Women and Children. , Seeking Solutions Symposium: Access to Healthcare for the Uninsured in Canada, Toronto, Ontario. February 21, 2012

White Papers, Grey Literature, Public Infographics

Clinical Practice Guidelines and Health Care Policy Development

  • 2016 Moola S (Coordinating Author), Angle P, Baxter H, Dilallo S, Jefferies A, Gagnon A, Handa M, Kotaska A, Nutbrown M,  Staub K, Robson K, Strom L, Watts N. Family Centered Maternal and Newborn Care National Guidelines: Chapter 5: Care in Labour, in Family Centered Maternal and Newborn Care National Guidelines. (Planned date of publication 2016).Public Health Agency of Canada, Chapter 5: Care During Labor and Birth, Chapter 4:Antenatal Care
  • 2012 Vaginal Birth after Previous Low-Segment Caesarean Section: Clinical Practice Guideline No. 14. Association of Ontario Midwives. Taskforce Member
  • 2006 Maaten S, Guttman A, Kopp A, Handa M, Jaakkimainen L. Chapter 2: Care for Women During Pregnancy and Childbirth, in Jaakkimainen L, Upshur R, Klein-Geltink J, Leong A, Maaten S, Schultz S, Wang L (eds), Primary Care in Ontario ICES Atlas (Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, 2006), pp. 15-34.
  • 2005 Vaginal Birth after Previous Low-Segment Caesarean Section: Clinical Practice Guideline. Association of Ontario Midwives, Taskforce Member, Co-Author
  • 2012-present Non Insured Walk in Clinic, Midwifery Co-ordinator
  • 2012-2017 Lead Midwife, Midwifery Integration Committee, Humber River Hospital
  • 2009-2011 Head Midwife, William Osler Health System, Etobicoke General Site
  • 2004-2008 Midwifery Division Head, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto