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June 29, 2023

Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is a priority for Hamilton Health Sciences

Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is a priority for Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) because creating an environment where every person feels safe, included, respected, and valued for who they are is key to living our values and achieving our vision of Best Care for All.

That is why I am pleased to share HHS’ 2023-28 EDI Plan, which outlines the steps our hospital is taking to advance EDI.

This plan is the result of nearly two years of learning, understanding and partnership with our workforce and the communities we serve.

HHS recognizes that trust in our institution has been and continues to be difficult for people who experience racism, prejudice and discrimination. I want to offer my assurance that we are committed to doing better. HHS’ EDI plan is designed to help us remove these experiences at every level of the organization.

The President’s Advisory Council on EDI, convened in 2021, helped to lead the way by compiling a status report on EDI at HHS that we shared in fall 2022, and made initial recommendations on how to improve our EDI performance. We moved ahead with a number of these recommendations including:

  • creating HHS’ 2023-2028 EDI Plan
  • creating senior leadership roles focused on advancing EDI at HHS
  • beginning to collect health equity data to better understand and address barriers and factors that impact health outcomes;
  • reviewing HHS’ policies and protocols to be inclusive of EDI principles and best practices;
  • and, improving leaders’ capacity to lead equitably and inclusively through training and learning resources.

Other highlights include launching affinity groups for Black staff, women physicians, and Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA+ staff, and piloting a new service to provide non-English speaking patients with interpreter services in real-time. In addition, HHS’ Board of Directors adopted the BoardShift Inclusivity Charter to create governance opportunities for Indigenous, Black, and racialized leaders at the board level.

Ensuring that EDI is embedded in all that we do will enable our hospital to enhance our quality of care, and better understand and address barriers and factors that impact health outcomes and experiences for patients and families.

As an employer, by becoming a more diverse and inclusive workplace, we will get better at attracting and retaining top talent. Employees perform at their best and are more likely to stay when they feel safe, respected and valued for being their authentic selves.

This is HHS’ first EDI Plan and we know that it isn’t perfect or complete. The deliverables identified within this initial plan are foundational goals that we believe must be achieved during the next five years to position HHS for lasting progress.

Becoming a safer, more equitable and inclusive organization is a continuous journey and commitment for HHS. Future EDI plans will depend on the continued engagement and input of staff, physicians, learners, patients, families, and the community at large.

To learn more about HHS’ 2023-2028 EDI Plan, please visit the EDI section of our website.

Rob MacIsaac, President and CEO