Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997

Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth

Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth

Dr Nili Kaplan-Myrth, MD, CCFP, FCFP, PhD

Family physician in Ottawa, anthropologist (McGill, UCL, Yale), Fulbright and Commonwealth scholar, and mother of three who has spent her life advocating for equitable access to health care, for Indigenous self-determination in health, for disability rights, 2SLGBTQ health, and mental health care. Breaking Canadians: Health Care, Advocacy, and the Toll of Covid-19, from U of T Press, is her fourth book. Her previous three books were Much Madness, Divinest Sense: Women’s Stories of Mental Health and Health Care; Women Who Care: Women’s Stories of Health Care and Caring; and Hard Yakka: Transforming Indigenous Health Policy and Politics. She has written numerous academic articles and more than 30 newspaper articles since the start of the pandemic (Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail). When the Covid-19 pandemic began, she reached out to CBC to ensure that family doctors were seen by the public, by our patients, and by our colleagues as leaders, vital contributors to the healthcare system. She organized a panel with the Prime Minister to discuss Covid-19 vaccine rollout across Canada. She ran “Jabapalooza” clinics in Ottawa to give more than 17 thousand doses of Covid-19 vaccine to essential workers, people with disabilities, and others. During the Convoy occupation of Ottawa in February 2021, she wrote an open letter, signed by more than 2000 Canadian doctors, nurses, allied professionals, to assert that Canadian health care workers would not tolerate hate in our streets. She was chosen as "News- Maker of 2021" by the Ottawa Citizen for her advocacy. In 2022, she was elected to the Ottawa Carleton District School Board as a Trustee. She is also on the Board of Directors of Jewish Family Services, Ottawa. As an outspoken, progressive woman physician, and as a Jewish Canadian, she has spoken out about the toll of misogyny, death threats, and antisemitic hate.

Writers Festival Appearances