Lakeridge Health Releases Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Anti-Racism Multi-Year Action Plan

Posted on Wednesday July 12, 2023

DURHAM REGION – Lakeridge Health is proud to introduce I Belong – the organization’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Anti-Racism (IDEAA) Multi-Year Action Plan.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, police violence, the “Me too” movement, anti-Asian hate, and Indigenous activism left those in health care thinking more deeply about how structural racism and all forms of discrimination intersects with health and well-being and how best to respond.

“At Lakeridge Health, we made a commitment to accelerate our IDEAA efforts in order to promote an equitable environment for all,” said Cordelia Clarke Julien, Chair, Lakeridge Health Board of Trustees.

Over the last three years, the organization has made great strides in this work – putting initiatives in place to address system inequities identified by staff and physicians and surveying its communities to help inform the Board of Trustees.

To begin this work, capacity has been built internally through:

  • Establishing an IDEAA Committee as a standing committee of the Board of Trustees.
  • Providing self-directed education and facilitated training. 
  • Providing coaching and support for leaders on human rights, legislative matters, and organization development.
  • Conducting an internal and external environmental scan on IDEAA.
  • Developing a corporate IDEAA program, which currently includes an operational director and medical director dyad, and program manager. Two additional roles will also soon be added.
  • Recognizing and acknowledging dates of significance throughout the year.

"We know this is a journey and we’re excited to now launch our IDEAA Multi-Year Action Plan that will keep us accountable for advancing IDEAA across Lakeridge Health,” added Cordelia.

“As an organization that serves the diverse communities of Durham Region with more than 8,700 staff, physicians, and volunteers, we have a social responsibility to foster a culture where everyone feels they can work and receive care safely, openly, and honestly,” shared Cynthia Davis, President and CEO, Lakeridge Health. “This IDEAA Multi-Year Action Plan builds on our comprehensive engagement and foundational work and formalizes our commitment to IDEAA.”

Dr. Randy Wax, Chief of Staff, Lakeridge Health, explained that “this plan will allow us to acknowledge and validate the experiences of staff, physicians, volunteers, patients, and families, as well as prevent future harms, by embedding an IDEAA lens into the fabric of our organization. From the moment we begin caring for a patient or the first day someone joins our team, we want each person to be able to say, ‘I belong at Lakeridge Health.’”

“We know we’re only at the beginning of this journey and we realize that our path will not always be an easy or straightforward one,” noted Cynthia. “However, through listening and working alongside our dedicated staff, volunteers, partners, and community members we believe we can put tangible changes in place and develop measurable solutions that will make a real difference to those who look to us for care, as well as those who provide it.”

To learn more about I Belong, Lakeridge Health’s IDEAA Multi-Year Action Plan, view this video or visit the Lakeridge Health website.



About Lakeridge Health:

With five hospitals, four emergency departments, three critical care units, a long-term care home, a full range of medical and surgical specialties, more than 20 community health-care locations and a state-of-the-art surgical centre within the soon-to-open Jerry Coughlan Health & Wellness Centre, Lakeridge Health offers some of the broadest and most comprehensive acute care, ambulatory care, and long-term care services in Ontario.

Lakeridge Health is also home to several regional specialty centres and services, including the Central East Regional Cancer Program, R.S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre, The Shoulder Centre, and eye care and chronic kidney disease services. Additionally, we are proud to serve our community with a full suite of inpatient, ambulatory, and community-based mental health and addictions services, and provide safe, high-quality, compassionate care in our state-of-the-art long-term care home, Lakeridge Gardens.

Guided by our vision of One System. Best Health. and supported by a dedicated team of more than 8,700 staff, physicians, and volunteers, Lakeridge Health is working in collaboration with its Durham Ontario Health Team, primary care, and community and government partners to foster a truly integrated, regional system of care. Together, we are focused on empowering people to live their best health and fostering an accessible, inclusive, and equitable environment for all.

For information contact: 

Julie Dowdie

Manager, Corporate and Internal Communications

Lakeridge Health