About Us

Dr. Saraswathi Vedam (she/her)

CGSHE Faculty Member

Dr. Saraswathi Vedam (she/her) is a CGSHE Faculty Member, Lead Investigator of the Birth Place Lab and Professor of Midwifery at University of British Columbia. A clinician and a health professional educator for over 30 years, Professor Vedam has successfully coordinated multi-stakeholder community-led research projects in provincial and national settings. Her research projects include the national CIHR-funded Canadian Birth Place Study, which examines attitudes to place of birth among maternity care providers; and Changing Childbirth in BC, a provincial, participatory study of women’s preferences for maternity care. Professor Vedam is principal investigator of a CIHR-funded national research project to evaluate respectful maternity care, Giving Voice to Mothers-Canada.

In 2017, she was selected as one of the inaugural Michael Smith Health Research Institute Health Professional Investigators. She has applied her expertise with instrument development and psychometric evaluation to the development of clinical screening tools, MAPi, the Movement and Pulse index to assess fetal well-being, and scales to measure provider attitudes to home birth (PAPHB, PAPHI-i). Recently, she lead a multi-disciplinary team in the Access and Integration Maternity care Mapping (AIMM) Study to develop the MISS index, an evidence-based composite measure of the integration of midwives into health systems. She also led a Delphi team of multi-disciplinary experts to develop and validate the Birthplace ResQu Index, the first critical appraisal tool for research on safety of birth place.

Professor Vedam and her team have applied patient-oriented data to the development and validation of three new quality measures, the Mothers’s Autonomy in Decision Making (MADM) scale, the Mothers on Respect (MOR) index, and the Pregnant Persons’ Experience of Mistreatment by Providers (PPEMP) index, which are being applied in high and middle resource countries to evaluate quality of maternity care at the institutional, system, and country levels. The patient-informed data from the application of these tools led Professor Vedam to develop an interprofessional online course, Dialogue and Decisions, to teach medical, nursing, genetic counseling and midwifery learners the process of person-centred decision making and conflict transformation.