Logo for People of Medicine by DesignMeet the world-class researchers who are building the future of regenerative medicine. These are the people of Medicine by Design.


Project manager

Jacqueline Getfield, project manager, Caribbean African Regenerative Medicine (CARM).

“I’m the project manager of Caribbean African Regenerative Medicine (CARM). CARM is funded by Medicine by Design. Our focus is to inform and educate African Caribbean Black communities about regenerative medicine and to inform medical professionals about the challenges faced by Black communities when it comes to health and accessing health care.

The roots of CARM come from the work of Dr. Istvan Mucsi. He is a transplant nephrologist at UHN and an associate professor of medicine at U of T. He had become interested in the health inequities that people from African Caribbean Black communities face. That interest eventually led to CARM. Dr. Istvan Mucsi, along with Dr. Carl James, who is a professor in the Faculty of Education at York University, co-lead the CARM project.

Why CARM? It is important for medical professionals to understand the needs of members of the African, Caribbean and Black communities so they can address them. And that’s important because, whether we acknowledge it or not, the anti-Black racism in society feeds into this disregard, whether intentional or not, of the African and Caribbean Black population. So, we need students, researchers, clinicians, and other medical professionals to understand the problems that exist in our society and the problems that exist for African Caribbean Black community members when they enter health spaces. Racism is endemic. It’s not a pandemic. It doesn’t come and go. It is here, and we have to work together as a society to eliminate it.

I was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in a neighbourhood in the parish of Saint Andrew. When I was in grade nine at the Immaculate Conception High School for girls, I went to a “career day” event and that experience really began the path to my professional career. I found I was interested in becoming a lawyer, a broadcaster and a university professor. I never pursued law, but I earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree in Radio and Television Arts from the former Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Toronto Metropolitan University or TMU). After TMU, I worked at KLAS, a radio station in Kingston, Jamaica, where I produced and hosted a show called “Discovery.” I interviewed scientists throughout Jamaica and reported on their work in a way that everyone could understand. Later in life, I earned a PhD in education from OISE at the University of Toronto and now I am a part-time educator in post-secondary spaces, and I deliver keynote speeches at academic/scholarly and community events.

And that’s what I’ve been doing over the past 25 years as a communications professional and educator — helping people to talk with each other and understand each other. I love transferring knowledge and talking about social inequities and discussing geopolitical and socio-historical issues. I like putting everything together. Then, realizing we really know nothing, we have to start all over again. And the conversation continues. That’s what I am passionate about. And now I’m continuing that work to share and transfer knowledge through CARM.

I am most proud of the fact that at every step throughout my career I have honored my ancestors. I have honored my grandparents and my mother and father, who always sought to help others. I have tried to pass it on. Continually, I help people who are in need of resources and knowledge even though I myself accept similar help from others.

If I could travel back in time and give myself some advice, based on what I know now, I’d tell myself to take more breaths. Slow down, take more vacations and just talk to random people. That’s what I’m thinking about as I get older, slowing things down.

But I’m not finished yet. I love working. I’m excited now about the university students who are volunteering to help us with CARM. I’m excited about being part of this effort to engage the African Caribbean Black communities in Canada so they can get the health information they need. This year, I’m really looking forward to implementing our plan to reach out to Black high school students, an initiative we are calling CARM Academy.”

Why Jacqueline Getfield is one of our People of Medicine by Design: Dr. Getfield is project manager of Caribbean African Regenerative Medicine (CARM), supported by the Medicine by Design Convergent Working Groups program.

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