Tonya MacDonald

Tonya MacDonald

Master Lecturer

Midwifery Education Program


Tonya MacDonald is a Registered Midwife and has practiced midwifery since 2004. She left her home province of Quebec and life as a secondary school teacher to complete her degree in midwifery at McMaster University. Since 2016, Tonya is also a Master Lecturer in the School of Midwifery at Laurentian University. Tonya's combined interests as a midwife/teacher/global health researcher, have led her to become a Maternal Child Health Team Volunteer/Guest in Port-de-Paix, Haiti and current PhD student at McMaster University where her focus is on finding community ways to reduce maternal mortality in low resource settings.

Tonya practices midwifery because she loves the privilege of being a part of a person's journey of pregnancy, birth and parenthood; she teaches midwifery because she can share the art and science of midwifery with midwives of the near future; and she researches about reducing maternal mortality because of the social injustice that high rates of maternal mortality represent on a global scale. 

In her spare time, Tonya enjoys being active- camping in New Brunswick, cycling across parts of Canada, eating out in Old Montreal or hiking in Haiti. She loves adventure and learning, especially with her three grown children and her partner!



  • PhD student (Health Research Methodology PhD program, Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact) McMaster University
  • MPH (Health Promotion/Global Health) University of Toronto
  • BHSc (Midwifery) McMaster University
  • DipEd (Physical Sciences/Biology) Bishop's University
  • BSc (Anatomy) McGill University, including Rothberg International School, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Academic Appointments

Assistant Clinical Professor (Midwifery) McMaster University

Master Lecturer (Midwifery) Laurentian University


Tonya's research focuses on maternal mortality in Low-Middle Income Countries (low resource settings).  Her interest revolves around ways an engaged community can work together to reduce the number of maternal deaths in their community.  In her Master's work, Tonya explored the determinants of maternal mortality in rural Haiti through Community-Based Action Research (CBAR), guided by the delays that lead to maternal death. By establishing a community-based research team, together the team was able to focus on socioecological determinants of maternal mortality from the perspectives of women of near-miss maternal experiences and community members, and their solutions to reduce maternal mortality in their community.

During her doctoral work, she plans to continue this work, but with a particular interest of how engaged youth, a community's future leaders, can affect positive change to improve maternal outcomes in their communities. 


  • McMaster University Global Experience Award 2019
  • Laurentian University Research Fund for Retired Members, Sessional Members and Master Lecturers Award 2018
  • McMaster University Graduate Entrance and Research Scholarships 2015
  • University of Toronto Professional Master’s Bursary Award 2013
  • University of Toronto Professional Master’s Bursary Award 2012
  • University of Toronto Professional Master’s Bursary Award 2012
  • McMaster University, Summa Cum Laude Bachelor of Health Science (Midwifery) 2004
  • McMaster University Enkin Family Academic Achievement Award 2002


Tonya has taught first, second, third and final year courses for our students, in both English and French. 

These courses include:

  • SFEM 1056
  • MID/SFEM 1057
  • SFEM 2056
  • SFEM/MIDW 3007
  • SFEM 3014
  • SFEM 4004
  • MIDW/SFEM 4024 


1. MacDonald T.A. (2012) as Contributor (Regional Volume).  Health in the Americas American Health Organization.

2. MacDonald T.A., Barrett, J. Multiple Pregnancy. In: Murray-Davis B, Hutton EK, Wainman B. editors. Comprehensive Midwifery: An Interactive Approach to the Theory and Evidence for Practice: Management of Complications Arising during Pregnancy, Birth, Postpartum and Newborn Care. (2019) McMaster University: Hamilton.         

3. Murray-Davis B., Hutton E.K. & Wainman B., editors (2017) as Contributor.  Comprehensive midwifery: an interactive approach to the theory and evidence of practice: clinical skills for normal pregnancy (video on Sterile Water Injections). 2nd ed. Hamilton: The e-Book Foundry @ McMaster University.

4. MacDonald T.A., Jackson S.F., Charles M-C., Periel M., Jean-Baptiste M-V., Salomon A., Premilus É.  The fourth delay and community-driven solutions to reduce maternal mortality in rural Haiti: a community-based action research study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018;18(1):254. Published 2018 Jun 20. doi:10.1186/s12884-018-1881-3 

5. MacDonald T.A. With women: perinatal memorial service. Canadian Journal of Midwifery Research and Practice, 2011;10(1):59.