Vanessa Ambtman Smith Analysis

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Vanessa Ambtman-Smith, or “superwoman” as her husband calls her, has defied odds.

From overcoming homelessness, mental health issues, and addiction, to becoming one of the leading advocates for racism as a social determinant of health in Canada, Ambtman-Smith strives to create an equal healthcare system for all Canadians.

Ambtman-Smith, an Indigenous woman herself, says the experiences and injustices she has faced in her life time, encourage her every day to keep fighting for what she so strongly believes in. “It drives my passion for what I do. Facing the barriers that I have experienced firsthand reminds me every day to continue what I am doing,” said Ambtman-Smith.

Ambtman-Smith describes herself as “visibly Aboriginal” but also uses
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Whether it being thankful for being able to wake up in the morning with a roof over your head or the fresh smell of spring, she said. Ambtman-Smith attributes this positive thinking to how she got to where she is today.

“The small positive things will add up. And soon you will be at a point where there are lots of big positive things to look forward to. When there are so many injustices in the world it can be easy to forget the small things that make life great,” Ambtman-Smith said. In her busy work life, Ambtman-Smith, keeps herself enjoying the small little things in life by finding happiness in her children.

“All the small things they do make me laugh. In tough parenting situations, all I can do is laugh sometimes.”

Ambtman-Smith’s husband, Eric Ganish, says Ambtman-Smith is the “nice parent.”

“There will be situations where we will be telling our five-year-old that no, their stuffed animal didn’t tell them to draw on the wall. And [Ambtman-Smith] will just have to leave the room because she cannot keep a straight face,” he said.

For someone who has endured and overcome so much, Ambtman-Smith manages to fight racial prejudices in the health industry all the while putting a smile on her face each day and working

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