Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and belonging within the hospital. Throughout the past year, Holland Bloorview has advanced its commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility and anti-racism (IDEAA) supported by the dedicated IDEAA office.
Over the past year, we enhanced an executive accountability and implemented new reporting policies that address discrimination, racism and harassment in the workplace. The team received training focused on advancing health equity and practiced allyship through learned strategies to combat anti-Black racism and discrimination in care.
While the examples below highlight a selection of action items we are proud to have introduced, it is important to note our continued work toward listening, acknowledging harm that takes place within our hospital community and improving as an organization.
Executive oversight for social accountability
In February 2023, Aman Sium took on executive leadership of Holland Bloorview’s social accountability and IDEAA work. In the newly created role of vice president, experience, transformation and social accountability, Aman is leading Holland Bloorview through its journey to embrace and enhance inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility and anti-racism along with a range of social accountability and health equity objectives.
Discrimination, racism and harassment reporting process
In response to feedback from our 2020 Employee Engagement Survey, we launched a new process for reporting experiences of discrimination, racism and harassment. The process is available to all hospital staff, students, trainees and volunteers. Holland Bloorview is among the first Toronto Academic Health Science Network peers to create such a process.
Black staff experience report
As part of our ongoing commitment to address anti-Black racism at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, we commissioned Dr. Notisha Massaquoi, a highly respected expert, to conduct a survey of Black staff. The results of her consultation allowed us to better understand the experience of Black employees at all levels of the hospital – from administration, to building services to clinical care and all points in-between. Her report is a critical and necessary step for us to address the harmful experiences that Black employees continue to face. The report provides a clear set of recommendations to guide the organization in its journey to ensure an increasingly anti-racist environment, policies and people management practices.
Understanding Antisemitism in Healthcare workshop
Working with expert Dr Ayelet Kuper, a general internist at Sunnybrook and the senior advisor on antisemitism in the office of inclusion and diversity at the University of Toronto, we organised a two-part workshop, Understanding Antisemitism in Healthcare, to provide opportunities for staff to discuss the experiences of Jews, antisemitic language and policy in health care. The workshop was presented by Dr. Ariel Lefkowitz, staff physician and education lead, division of general internal medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Dr. Joanna Krongold, Gerstein Distinguished Junior Scholar, University of Toronto.
Launch of anti-Black racism and health equity & allyship training for staff
The board of directors, senior management team and all people leaders across Holland Bloorview completed a mandatory anti-Black racism eLearning module developed by the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN). The board and senior management team also completed a demographic survey to create baseline data on diversity of leadership in Toronto’s academic health science centres.
All staff who work directly with clients and families are now required to complete a two-part interactive training designed to increase knowledge of systemic oppression, power and privilege in health care relationships, as well as its impacts on the social determinants of health. Through this training, participants gain awareness of how to be equity driven and action-oriented in their work and understand general approaches, expectations and values to advance health equity with clients, families and colleagues.