Earlier today, the editors at Mediacorp’s Canada’s Top 100 Employers project announced the winners of the annual Canada’s Best Diversity Employers. Providence Health Care is proud to be selected as one of 70 employers in the country to receive this designation.

To determine the winners, the project reviewed the diversity and inclusiveness initiatives of all employers that applied for the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project to come up with a short list of noteworthy employers. The project then compared short listed employers to other employers in their industry to decide on the finalists. Canada’s Best Diversity Employers represent the diversity leaders in both their industry and region of Canada.

In its reasons for selecting Providence, the project recognized PHC’s commitment to Truth and Reconciliation; creation of an Indigenous Wellness and Reconciliation (IWR) Department, which officially launched last week (read about it here), to ensure that Indigenous initiatives are Indigenous-led and Indigenous-informed; and for the working group comprised of self-identified Indigenous staff.

Yet we know much more needs to be done. Speaking to the recent report In Plain Sight, which addresses Indigenous-specific racism and discrimination in BC health care, PHC President and CEO Fiona Dalton says, “It highlights how much more work we have to do in order to properly look after our most vulnerable patients.” The review, conducted by former judge Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, shows how widespread systemic racism against Indigenous peoples in the BC health care system has discouraged Indigenous peoples from seeking necessary care, and that reduced access to care negatively affects their health outcomes.

Within the next year, PHC is committed to ensuring every employee receives training in Indigenous culture safety and to developing a mentor scheme for researchers and physicians. The first focus group stemming from a call out to all staff and medical staff last summer took place earlier this week to discuss priority issues that directly affect our staff, medical staff and those in our care – ongoing engagement will be at the forefront of any work that we do in diversity, equity and inclusion.

“In many ways, the past year served as a call to action. Anti-racism events around the world pushed us to discuss how we’re going to formalize a strategic plan that will support our Indigenous employees and patients. Fighting racism is about protecting and respecting human lives. These are the same principles that led many of us to a career in medicine and health care,” says Dalton.

The launch of the IWR Department marks a significant milestone for PHC in our dedication to delivering the highest standard of care to support improved wellness outcomes for BC First Nations, urban Indigenous, Métis and Inuit Peoples in BC; and support our ongoing work to actively address anti-Indigenous racism and embed the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) 94 Calls to Action, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and In Plain Sight into the fabric of Providence Health Care.

The honour of being recognized as a top diversity leader in Canada is another motivator for our senior leaders – and PHC’s staff, physicians and volunteers of all diverse cultures, beliefs and backgrounds – to recommit even stronger to forging a better way forward.

The full list of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2021 was announced in a special magazine (see page 31 for PHC’s profile) published today and featured in the Globe and Mail. Detailed reasons for selection for each of the winners are accessible via the competition homepage.

This page last updated Mar 2, 2021 5:39pm PST