Commitment to Dismantling Racism
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Sunnybrook's Commitment to Dismantling Racism

Systemic racism exists in the Canadian healthcare system and is deeply engrained in both academic institutions and hospitals; Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (Sunnybrook) is no exception. Racism in any form is unacceptable. It has a negative and grossly unfair impact on the communities Sunnybrook serves, and on our staff, physicians, students, volunteers and donors. While the histories are different, the ongoing marginalization of Indigenous and Black people in Canada is particularly observable in our society. It is recognized that the impact of racism is so profound that it constitutes a public health crisis, leading to materially worse outcomes in racialized communities. Yet racism continues due to insufficient attention, education and data to support radical change.

Our commitment

Sunnybrook acknowledges the impact systemic racism has had on healthcare in racialized communities, and we commit to making our hospital and foundation anti-racist institutions through action. When we work to address racism against those most marginalized, everyone benefits. We will build a workforce, leadership team and organizational governance, including the Foundation and Hospital Boards of Directors, representative of the racially diverse communities we serve. We will listen attentively to our partners in this work and we will accelerate action aimed at addressing systemic inequity and racism so that everyone has equitable opportunities to access both excellent and culturally safe health care.

Framework for action

Leading transformation through: LEAP

Leadership & accountability

Sunnybrook will:

  1. Formalize anti-racism work as a priority in the hospital Strategic Plan – Sunnybrook 2025 and the Foundation’s strategic plan.
  2. Audit our policies and processes and refocus to specifically address consistent barriers to equity for staff and patients, and to enable efforts to accelerate equity initiatives.
  3. Implement specific measures to eliminate anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism and discrimination.
  4. Develop safe and confidential mechanisms for reporting, investigating, addressing and tracking racist and discriminatory incidents that impact patients, families, staff, volunteers and donors.
  5. Engage community members and partner organizations to identify disparities in access, experience and outcomes, and to chart a course for corrective action.
  6. Ensure strategic, thoughtful and deliberate alignment with initiatives across the health system and with regional and national efforts.

Education & training

Sunnybrook will:

  1. Provide ongoing opportunities for all members of Team Sunnybrook to grow their knowledge and develop skills to recognize and challenge racism in all forms within our organization.
  2. Embed mandatory anti-racism training, with a specific focus on anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism, into leadership, team and training development programs.
  3. Examine current mechanisms for mentorship and scholarship opportunities and revise to ensure equitable access for Indigenous, Black, and racialized people.

Actionable data

Sunnybrook will:

  1. Collect and report on disaggregated race-based patient health data to better understand how systemic racism impacts all members of the Sunnybrook community and inform program design and delivery.
  2. Collect and report on staff engagement survey data to understand demographics and staff experiences.
  3. Collect volunteer organizational governance engagement survey data to inform recruitment strategies.
  4. Collect and report on employment equity data to inform quality improvement.

People & teams

Sunnybrook will:

Audit and refocus policies and processes to ensure equitable practices, including:

  • recruitment, hiring and retention
  • mentorship and sponsorship
  • professional development and advancement
  • learning opportunities
  • core competencies and performance evaluation

Our vision for the future

Sunnybrook is committed to being a leader in anti-racist organizational policies and practices. Through the development and implementation of an action plan with key performance indicators, and annual public reporting on our progress, we are confident that Sunnybrook will be an institution where staff, physicians, students, and volunteers feel safe and proud to work, donors feel proud to support, and patients and their families are confident that they will receive the highest standard of care and equitable health outcomes.

Sunnybrook’s leadership sets the direction and is accountable to this commitment, and it is the responsibility of every member of Team Sunnybrook—including staff, physicians, students and volunteers—to dismantle racism through our everyday decisions and actions.