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November 16, 2021

Advancing our commitment to eliminating discrimination

Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) believes that everyone should feel welcome and supported in our spaces. We are grateful to all those who are working on initiatives that help ensure everyone is given the opportunity and support necessary for them to feel valued and respected at work and under our care.

In March 2021, HHS received a decision made by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) in relation to an individual complaint filed in 2016 about gender discrimination occurring in 2014/2015.

Over the past several years, administrative and medical leaders have worked together to implement important polices and processes aimed at fostering an equal-opportunity environment within our organization. We’ve made good progress to date:

  • appointing a Medical Director for Gender Equity within the Department of Surgery – initiated spring 2021 and recruitment underway;
  • hiring of a Workplace Investigations Specialist with expertise in human rights based discrimination – recruitment completed in March 2021;
  • implementing a transparent and standardized process for physician leadership appointments – in place as of January 2019;
  • implementing a Gender Identity and Gender Expression Policy – in place as of May 2019;
  • establishing a process for continuously updating recruitment resources to emphasize equity and inclusivity – initiated November 2020 and ongoing; and
  • providing leader training focused on implicit biases and the equitable application of all HHS policies – initiated September 2020 and ongoing.

There is always more we can do. A discussion about remedies to the 2016 complaint has not yet been initiated by the HRTO, however HHS will act swiftly to address any further opportunities identified during that process.

We are grateful to the many staff, physicians, patients, and community members involved in work to eliminate racism and discrimination, and assure gender equity in our hospitals and workplace.