Supporting VCH’s anti-racism strategy

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Racism exists within health care as do health inequities. How to do better for patients, for staff, and for medical staff is the goal of VCH’s anti-racism strategy. VPSA members had the opportunity to take part in anti-racism engagement sessions at Vancouver Acute sites over the summer as part of the Vancouver Coastal Health Anti-Racism Project. More sessions are planned for October at Vancouver Community sites (see below for details).

“These engagement sessions are really important to help guide the work as we develop our anti-racism strategy,” said Regional Medical Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Dr. Joy Masuhara. “The intent is to create the strategy in partnership with all our stakeholders including medical staff, staff and patients. This is a real opportunity for everyone who works at VCH to inform us of their experiences and to talk about what can work to change things.”

Dr. Masuhara points out that we must look at where our biggest health inequities and experiences of racism exist.

“We know very clearly from the In Plain Sight report that anti-Indigenous racism is a huge problem for us,” she said. “We have to make changes and be better. We want healthier communities that include everybody. If there’s a portion of our community that is not healthy that impacts the overall health of the community.”

The VCH Medical Staff Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee that VPSA supports has been one of many resources informing the new anti-racism strategy. The committee has conducted focus groups with physicians of colour; the findings and recommendations from its ensuing report were shared with the VCH team rolling out the strategy. This and other work done by the DEI Committee has helped inform how the team engages in a culturally safe, meaningful, and valuable way.

“We’re grateful to all the medical staff who engaged so far; it’s been wonderful meeting and working with everyone,” added Susanna Tam, VCH’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion. “There will be an online survey, which will be an opportunity to provide anonymous opinions as well as more online and in-person engagement.”

Take part!

In-person anti-racism engagement sessions will continue this fall at Vancouver Community sites. These sessions are also open to staff and medical staff from Vancouver Acute and other Communities of Care.

Date October 17 October 18 October 19 October 20 October 21
Site Japanese Hall

487 Alexander St


3425 Crowley Dr

Pacific Spirit

2110 West 43rd Ave

Raven Song

2450 Ontario St

Gold Corp

2750 East Hastings St

Time 9 am-noon 1 pm-4 pm 9 am-noon 1 pm-4 pm 1 pm-4 pm

There are several other ways to join the conversation and participate:

  1. Register and attend an in-person engagement session.*
  2. Register and attend an online engagement session via Zoom.*
  3. Schedule a one-on-one conversation with one of the anti-racism facilitators.*
  4. Complete the anti-racism engagement survey.
  5. Share your thoughts and ideas directly on the anti-racism online forum here.

*Remuneration is available for eligible medical staff attending an in-person or online engagement session. When registering for a session, please include your e-mail in the section provided. Your registration information is strictly confidential and will only be used to process your remuneration.

If you have attended a previous engagement session and would like to receive remuneration, please contact and provide your contact information along with the date and time of the engagement session you attended.

Visit Engage VCH for more details, the most up-to-date information and to register.

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