I’m Kate Dewhirst.

My team and I write about legal issues affecting healthcare in Canada.

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

You are not alone!

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At the start of a new year, during the continuation of a pandemic and while experiencing a lockdown, I keep having to remind myself, “You are not alone”.

I had this image commissioned by gapingvoid – my favourite culture design company – for my health privacy work.

I use it to remind health care team members that when they are struggling with a difficult situation, when they are not sure what to do or how to act or whether something is a privacy issue or not – they are not alone.

They work in a team. There are people to ask.  They can reach out.  They can consult.

It’s also the image for our Shush community of Privacy Officers. In that community, we support each other in an effort to build trust in the health care system through privacy compliance.

Years ago, I sat in coroner’s inquests and listened to testimony of health care workers after the tragic deaths of their patients.  A theme came out of listening to people admit the mistakes they made. They all knew in the moment that the situation they faced was complicated and hard. They didn’t know what to do. But they did not ask for help. They did not consult with anyone else.  They were embarassed to ask. They did not know to ask. They did not think to ask.  The consequences of them going it alone were deadly.

When you face the most challenging times in your life and career – you are not alone.

There are people you can ask.

For your work – you can lean on your team. You can ask your advisors. You can look to professional colleagues inside and outside your organization.

For your life – you live in community.   You have family or friends. You can ask your advisors. You can seek professional supports.

This is a gentle reminder to reach out.  You are not alone.


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Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

Free healthcare privacy webinar - ask me anything!
the first Wednesday of every month

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.

Health Privacy Officer Foundations training
April 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25 2022

For Privacy Officers within healthcare organizations.

This course focuses on how to become a more confident privacy officer and gives you the tools to document your privacy program. Full details and registration here...

Join the Shush: a collective of health privacy officers
Annual membership 2022

For Privacy Officers within healthcare organizations

This is an annual membership program that takes theory into practice and tackles real life scenarios to build Privacy Officer skills.
Full details and registration here.

Primary care webinars: Employment Law Update & Legal Issues for EDs and Board members

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Our February program will NEW TOPIC address mental health supports for leaders (with Christine Burych) and in March we discuss employment contracts.
Full details of the 2022 webinar series and registration here.

Team Privacy Training Events
January 13, 26, February 2

For Primary Care clinics, Hospitals, Community Agencies, Mental Health Teams, Public Health Units, School Boards, Police departments

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

Ontario Hospital Association Professional Staff Credentialing Toolkit

2nd Edition is now available for managing physicians, dentists, midwives and nurse practitioners in hospitals Read here...

Free summary of all PHIPA IPC decisions

Want to read privacy breach stories to learn how to improve your work? We have summarized all the Information and Privacy Commissioner's health privacy decisions for you Download here...

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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