Advancing Sexual Healthcare: Women’s History Month

Dr. Marion Powell was a physician, longstanding activist, and a leader in the fields of sex education and birth control.

Dr. Marion Powell

In 1972, Dr. Marion Powell joined the staff of Women’s College Hospital in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. In 1974, she helped establish The Bay Centre for Birth Control at WCH and held the position of Director of The Bay Centre until her retirement. Dr. Marion Powell is fondly remembered as the “mother of birth control in Canada” for her fearless advocacy work.  

The Bay Centre for Birth Control carries on Dr. Marion Powell’s legacy as it offers patients from across Ontario access to a multidisciplinary healthcare team and a variety of confidential services. Driven by a commitment to inclusive and equitable healthcare for all, The Bay Centre is proud to serve a diverse patient community. Accessible services include physical examination, counselling, information, contraception counseling, preventive sexual health testing such as Pap smears and STI testing, pregnancy options counseling and abortion care.  

Niru Bhanderi

Today, WCH healthcare providers follow in Dr. Marion Powell’s trailblazing footsteps as they work towards advancing sexual healthcare services. Niru Bhanderi, a Nurse Practitioner in the Bay Centre for Birth Control clinic, is leading work on dismantling systemic racism and oppression through the Sex, Gender and Reproductive Health program. Her areas of focus will be in providing care in contraception counseling, abortion care, sexually transmitted infection screening, and annual physical exams specific to underrepresented communities.