Debra Slater

Advisory Members/Patient Partners


Debra Slater is a professional PSW who sits on the advisory board of the Upstream Lab’s EMPOWER Project. She is experienced in connecting and sharing resources with other PSWs who are facing social injustice and discrimination in the healthcare community. She has taken part in many community engagements related to the EMPOWER project, including serving as a panelists at events organized by the Network for the Advancement of Black Communities and the Ontario YMCA, highlighting the failure of Long-Term Care in Ontario and how it impacts the lives of PSWs. She also contributed to an op-ed published in the Toronto Star on the impact of COVID-19 on PSWs and their unfair treatment by the health system. Most recently, she was interviewed in a podcast produced by the Unifor National Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University.

I saw the EMPOWER Project as an opportunity for myself as a Personal Support Worker and other PSWs to advocate and raise awareness in a safe space. We share our concerns, experiences, and systemic challenges that continues to make PSWS’ feel depleted and defeated by lack of support from their employers and government officials. I am also excited to lend my support to the development of the upcoming PSW Empower Network. This network is designed to advocate for PSWs and other precarious workers in the healthcare industry. This platform will help amplify the voices of PSWs, raise awareness around PSW issues to the public, and identify & develop resources to combat the challenges faced by PSWs in our communities.