Social Accountability Blog


What is Social Accountability?

World Health Organization
The World Health Organization (1995) has defined the social accountability of medical schools as "the obligation to direct their education, research and service activities towards addressing the priority health concerns of the community, region, and/or nation they have a mandate to serve. The priority health concerns are to be identified jointly by governments, health care organizations, health professionals and the public."
Social Accountability Partnership Pentagram
Embedded in the WHO definition of social accountability, the Partnership Pentagon reflects the five-way collaborative relationship that must exist for those involved in providing a health system based on people's needs.
Health Canada
Health Canada has published a document, Social Accountability:  A Vision for Canadian Medical Schools (2001) which articulates the principles by which medical schools can incorporate social accountability.
Excellence in CARE
The College of Medicine's Social Accountability Committee use the CARE model (Clinical activity, Advocacy, Research, Education and Training) as a guiding tool for social accountability initiatives toward priority health concerns of local, regional, national and international communities while working towards a health system that is more responsive and socially accountable.

Social Accountability in the Life of Saskatchewan's Medical School
A Presentation to departments at the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan.

Global Consensus for Social Accountability of Medical Schools
130 organizations and individuals from around the world with responsibility for health education, professional regulation and policymaking participated for eight months in a three-round Delphi process leading to a three-day facilitated consensus development conference.  The Consensus consists of ten (10) strategic directions for medical schools to become socially accountable.

Read our May 2016 Social Accountability Newsletter


Making the Links - A Certificate in Global Health
Making the Links is a unique certificate program for undergraduate medical students that combines academic courses with service learning experiences in the context of an urban underserved community at SWITCH (the Student Wellness Initiative Towards Community Health) in Saskatoon, remote communities in northern Saskatchewan, and a number of international sites including Australia, Mozambique, Uganda and Vietnam.

Indigenous Health
The College of Medicine is a leader in indigenous health  programs, education, and services. We have a multitude of opportunities for indigenous and non-indigenous students to learn about indigenous health, culture, and community. Ten percent of first year spaces are reserved for indigenous students. Awards for indigenous students are available, along with mentorship from pre-med right through residency.

Global Health
The committee oversees the College's global health initiatives, and promotes faculty and student engagement in health initiatives around the globe that support social accountability.

Health Training in French committee (HTiF) Formation Santé en Francais (FSeF)
The project aims to promote better access to health services to the minority official language community in Saskatchewan.

Immigrant and Refugee Health
The committee seeks to understand and address unmet health needs of the growing immigrant and refugee population in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan.

The students, faculty and staff of the College of Medicine will consider issues of sustainability in all our activities, and will approach health issues recognizing the complex relationships between humans, other species and the eco-system. 

Research and Travel Awards

Global Health Research and Travel Awards Program

The aim of the College of Medicine’s Global Health Travel Awards Program is to encourage and support faculty, residents and students to become engaged in global health service-learning, teaching and research opportunities abroad. 

For further information contact Carlyn Seguin

Deadline to apply is March 15, 2017

Global Health Research Travel Award for Graduate Students with the College of Medicine, U of S

This award provides support to students 1) wishing to conduct global health research; 2) wishing to undertake travel related to global health-related courses for either their program or for continuing education purposes; or 3) wishing to present their research at a global health conference.  The funding is provided to assist student’s research activities that are supported by or linked to faculty research partnerships, projects, or programs with low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Global Health Travel Award Program for Residents With the College of Medicine, U of S

This award is intended to offset travel costs for a global health experience and/or elective requirement. The funding is provided to support educational activities within or linked to projects or programs attempting to address inequalities that exist both among and within nations. Such projects or programs may include clinical healthcare, community-based healthcare, health promotion, health-related community development and/or research initiatives.

Global Health Travel Award for Faculty in the College of Medicine, U of S

This faculty competition was established to support the development of global health educational, research or development programs linked to the College of Medicine. In 2014-15, five awards were granted to faculty members for their efforts to promote/develop global health work in India, Poland, Nicaragua and Africa.

Global Health Conference

For more information on the 2017 Global Health Conference, please visit the event website.

Social Accountability Strategic Plan

The College of Medicine Social Accountability 2016-2020 Strategic Plan was developed through consultation with faculty, students, and staff and guides the work of the Division of Social Accountability, the Social Accountability Committee and associated committees, and the CoM in its social accountability mandate. The plan is intended to be a living document and will grow and change as appropriate strategies are identified and progress is made.

4 Strategic Goals
Goal 1: Integrate social accountability into learning at the College of Medicine.
Education and training at the university models and teaches professionalism and community-responsiveness, provides meaningful opportunities for community service-learning, and incorporates social accountability into practical training and continuing education throughout the life of a physician’s practice.
Goal 2: Integrate social accountability into research and scholarship at the College of Medicine.
The drivers for research/scholarship are balanced between discovery-driven research and research directed towards meeting the needs of the local and global community. The research conducted contributes to evidence-based practice, quality care, and greater health equity.
Goal 3: The College of Medicine will engage authentically with the community to anticipate and respond to emerging community health needs.
We partner with patients and families, the community and health sector to design activities that address the priority health needs of the communities we serve. Our partnerships reflect a genuine commitment to meaningful collaboration. Community inclusion in the CoM’s activities grounds clinical, advocacy, education, and research activity in priority problems and changing community health needs.
Goal 4: Uphold and expand our reputation as trusted leaders in social accountability through excellence in advocacy, partnership and scholarship.
We are recognized agents of positive change.  We speak out on behalf of underserved populations or neglected conditions and work with partners and policy makers to translate a vision of a patient-centered health care system.

Administrative/Governance Structure

In 2011 the College of Medicine established the Division of Social Accountability to promote and supports the College's obligation to direct its Clinical activity, Advocacy, Research and Education (CARE Model) activities towards the priority health concerns of local, regional, national and international communities.

The Division of Social Accountability provides administrative support to the Social Accountability Committee and its subcommittees in their work addressing community health needs in areas that include indigenous health, primary health, urban and rural underserved areas, equity, diversity and gender, immigrant and refugee health, global health and eco-health. The Division serves all faculty, students and departments of the College of Medicine as a semi-autonomous structure, with the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology as a base of operations.

The College of Medicine's Social Accountability Committee conducts its work through a number of sub-committees and groups in partnership with faculty, students, practicing physicians, communities and administration. The Social Accountability Committee is a standing committee of Faculty Council at the College of Medicine, and directs activities administered through the Division of Social Accountability.

The Division of Social Accountability is housed in the in the Department of Community Health for administrative purposes. The Head of the Division of Social Accountability oversees programming and reports to the Head of the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology on operational matters. The social accountability mandate is recognized as a College-wide mission, with social accountability activities visible within the College, Health Sciences and to the wider community.


Dr. Eddie Rooke,
Acting Director

Lisa Yeo,
Social Accountability Strategist

Joanna Winichuk,
Administrative Assistant

Erin Wolfson,
Community Engagement Specialist

Carlyn Seguin,
Global Health Manager

Postal Address:
Department of Community Health & Epidemiology
Box 7, Health Science Building – 107 Wiggins Road
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon SK S7N 5E5
Fax: (306) 966-7920
Courier Address:
Department of Community Health & Epidemiology
Room 4335 – E Wing – Health Sciences
104 Clinic Place
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon SK S7N 5E5