I’m Kate Dewhirst.

I’m a lawyer who writes about legal issues affecting healthcare in Canada

Kate Dewhirst Health Law - bringing the law to life. Meet Kate (in 13 seconds)

It’s our 3rd anniversary and there is much to celebrate!

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Time flies when you are having fun!

We have a lot to celebrate this year:

The first big announcement is the addition of another lawyer to our team.  Megan Ferrier joined me in June. Megan is the kind of lawyer everyone wants on their team. She is brilliant and kind. Having another legal brain around has been inspiring. It’s fun to be able to bounce around ideas and talk through the difficult legal and emotional issues we manage here.

I celebrated my 20th anniversary of graduation from law school and Masters of health admin studies in June.  20 years?!?! I vividly remember the Summer of 1999 as I started my articling year.  My student colleagues and I had a measuring chart on the walls of our office monitoring how “competent” we were.  We each had a sticky note peg with our name on it.  Most of the time our pegs stayed at “benign”: we had made no major contributions or mistakes.  Occasionally we dipped down into “incompetent”. We aspired to “good”. We only made it to “super star” a few times that Summer!  I am tickled to think back to that time. I worked so hard. I was a sponge – soaking up everything I could learn about law and healthcare.  I had the best legal mentors and incredible opportunities. Those were the days!

I worked this year with the creative geniuses at gapingvoid to help me bring my privacy work to life in new images.   You may have seen some of their work in my blogs and presentations.  I love what they do and how they evoke emotion and memory in their culture design. Here are some samples.  

We have been thrilled by the participation in our courses.  We launched a free video series for Privacy Officers. We ran sold out courses in the Fall and Spring for Privacy Officer training and Advanced Privacy Officer training. We delivered 31 team privacy training sessions; 6 managing conflict courses; 3 documentation and charting sessions and I was the guest speaker at 7 industry events.

I traveled to Utah and climbed a mountain. I went to the Ellen DeGeneres show in Los Angeles to fulfill a lifelong dream with my sisters (and in honour of our late sister, Beth). I flew to Nashville and learned about “funnels”. I went on a family holiday to Israel.

I was the creator and facilitator for two Law Society of Ontario programs for lawyers: in December 2018 on “Goal-Setting” and in February 2019 on Resilience with the amazing, Sharon Duffy.

Finally, you may have also noticed we have expanded into providing privacy advice to the child welfare sector.  With the introduction of Part X of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017, Children’s Aid Societies and other service providers in child welfare will have new privacy rules in January 2020. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the sector and its unique issues.

PHEW! That’s a year folks!

What’s Coming Next?

2019-20 is already looking promising.

I am the Chair of the new Osgoode Health Privacy and Information Management Certificate launching in January 2020.

I’m going to the Gathering of the Creatives in Santa Fe in September to fulfill a bucket list item to meet and work with Julia Cameron of The Artists’ Way.

I’m attending the Archangel Summit in Toronto in October to fulfill another bucket list item to meet Elizabeth Gilbert of the book Big Magic (and Eat, Pray Love and City of Girls).

I am excited to see what attending  Strategic Coach and being coached by Dan Sullivan will create.

We are running our Privacy Officer training again October 30 and Advanced Privacy Officer training on December 10.

I am also working with the Law Society of Ontario again to develop their goal-setting workshop further.

Thank you to everyone for your love and support. On behalf of my team, Melissa, Alec, and Megan, we are so grateful we get to do what we do. We hope to work with you this coming year!


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Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

Team Privacy Training Events
October 16, October 24 and November 21

For Primary Care clinics, Children’s Aid and FHTs

Kate trains health professionals from many more primary care organizations how being privacy-respectful can improve therapeutic relationships. More details...

Speaking event October 23, 2019

Osgoode Professional Development – Mental health Certificate

Kate joins the faculty for this training event. More details...

Primary care webinars: Managing Incapacity & Consent to Treatment

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Our October webinar is about managing incapacity, and the November title is Consent to Treatment.
Full details of the 2020 webinar series and registration here.

Advanced Privacy Officer training
December 10, 2019

For experienced Privacy Officers within healthcare organisations.

This one day training course focuses on how to handle difficult privacy situations using real-life (but anonymized) case studies and role-play. Full details and registration here...

Privacy Officer training
January 20 & 27 and February 3,10 & 18, 2020

Kate is the program chair for the Osgoode Certificate in Privacy in Healthcare.

This program explores the range of privacy interests that must be protected in the day-to-day treatment of patients, the development of information systems and the creation of institutional policies. More details...

Free healthcare privacy webinar - ask me anything!
October 2, November 6 and December 4

Free webinars - advance registration needed

Whether you're an experienced privacy officer or new in the field, pick Kate’s brain for free for an hour, in this live webinar. No charge, but you’ll need to register in advance.

Kate Dewhirst Health Law

Kate says:

My mission is bringing the law to life. I make legal theory understandable, accessible and fun! I’m available and love to work for all organizations in the healthcare sector across Ontario and beyond.

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