He/She/They/Ze – Why It Matters!
Alycia Unwin & Joanne Oliver
Social Worker Organizational Development and Learning
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee members
The Blue, White, and Pink chevron stripes of the Progress Pride flag reflect the significant contributions that transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, or gender diverse individuals have made and continue to make to our communities. The chevron stripes also reflect the need for more equity, safety and accessibility. Transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, or gender diverse people often experience poorer health outcomes than their cisgender peers. A part of this can be attributed to fear of discrimination, which leads to delays in seeking care. Still, people’s behaviours and workplace processes also play a role in the quality of care.
The hospital is prioritizing awareness building in 2022, supporting patients, their families and staff to feel welcomed and increasing our skills in recognizing and addressing barriers to service. And, because we are committed to welcoming and creating safety for our patients, their families and teams, there are some individual and immediate actions we can take and habits we can build:
- Invite people to share how they want to be addressed, including their names and pronouns.
- Share your pronouns when introducing yourself to let people know you will also respect their pronouns.
- Ensure new employees know where gender-neutral washrooms are.
- Update your email signature and video conferencing identities to include your pronouns.
- Invest in the development of your professional skills:
- Participate in the EDI Foundations webinars on the LMS at Courses | Additional GGH Courses |Organizational Development |EDI fundamentals
- Take the LGBTSQ Foundations Training through Rainbow Health Alliance (GGH will cover the cost for the course)
Increased skills will help us understand our processes’ limitations and help us to better engage with transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, or gender-diverse individuals in developing effective solutions for equitable care.
Share additional ways you and your teams are working to make our processes more inclusive to firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources For Further Information:
ARCH Guelph: https://archguelph.ca/about/
Rainbow Health Ontario: https://www.rainbowhealthontario.ca/TransHealthGuide/
Pride In Practice: https://www.prideinpractice.org/articles/transgender-pronouns-guide/
June is also Men’s Health Month
If you haven’t yet had the chance, pop by The Bistro to see the Men’s Health Month display for lots of resources, information and a word search! Those who complete the word search will be entered into a draw to win a gift basket (draw to be held June 29). Sometimes there are also treats to help get you through your day, but often they go more quickly than they can be handed out!
Leaving Spring behind one bite at a time
The story behind “Mission: Nutrition”
The $5 meals have been a big hit with staff. Not only are they nutritious, but they’re also delicious!! it’s all thanks to a generous donor who wanted to give something back directly to staff. This is her story:
The staff. Ruby couldn’t get them out of her mind. She marveled at how well the caregivers took care of her during her week admitted at Guelph General. Shifts would change, faces came and went, but every caregiver provided the support she needed to recover from a reaction to a chemotherapy treatment.
“Those nurses, personal support workers and doctors, they handled everything I needed plus did the same for all of the other patients. I wasn’t easy, I was so emotional during my first time staying in a hospital. I knew I had to do something for the staff,” declared Ruby.
Ruby contacted the Foundation of Guelph General Hospital and worked with Project Coordinator Jennifer Duggan to determine the best way to donate directly to staff. “Naturally, I explored whether this could fit with initiatives from our new Wellness Program,” Jennifer explained. “Lauren Brown, the Health & Wellness Specialist, had organized subsidized meals for staff for Nutrition Month that were very popular. This seemed like the perfect fit to fulfill Ruby’s wishes.”
Lauren came up with the name ‘Mission: Nutrition’ and, with the cooperation of Marek Hospitality, began the program in mid-May. As Lauren shared, “We are so lucky to have The Bistro providing fresh and hot food from scratch. By offering these meals for $5, they are now more financially-accessible and help to make the ‘healthy choice the easy choice’ for staff.”
Healthcare staff have faced some of the most challenging days of their careers throughout the pandemic. It can be hard to find the energy, after a long shift, to shop for and prepare healthy lunches. How great to have a reasonably-priced alternative! The Bistro has reduced weekend hours but Mission: Nutrition meals are still made available in the meals-to-go section.
Ruby made a significant gift of $10,000 and the program will continue until the last dime of this designated donation is spent. “I am not a rich person but I can manage this. I wish I could give more. The care I received touched my heart.”
As she had no family history of breast cancer, Ruby was only mildly concerned when at age 35 she felt a lump in her breast. She sought care when it seemed to be getting bigger and, sadly, at 37 she received the diagnosis of cancer. Last November she started chemotherapy and had surgery in December. “I am so grateful for the quick care with COVID happening and the hospital so stretched.”
In a few weeks, Ruby will return to her job doing quality assurance in the automotive manufacturing sector in Cambridge. “I just want to get back to my normal life. Though I won’t forget how, when I was so sick, the hospital was there for me. I want the staff to know that I see them. I see how hard they work and how much they care. I hope they feel appreciated through these meals.”
Feedback from the staff has indeed been overwhelmingly positive. The subsidized meals have garnered the greatest amount of positive feedback of all the activities Lauren has undertaken in her first year in Wellness.
Murals installed on 5 West too
Earlier this year, 4 West had incredibly realistic murals installed. Now, 5 West has similar ones. These help patients with a diagnosis of a neurocognitive impairment who may have Responsive Behaviors such as wandering, agitation, exit seeking, verbal behaviors and physical responses. Sometimes, when people living with Dementia are stopped from doing something i.e.- leaving the unit/entering an elevator, they may get quite upset, resulting in yelling, pushing, grabbing or kicking staff as a means to ‘get out’ and go where they feel they need to or where they feel safe.
People with Dementia have been known to not recognize disguised doors and will often times walk by them or stop to admire something in the mural such as a bookshelf. In fact, research from other health care facilities using murals have shown a decrease in Code Whites, a reduction in exit seeking and as a result staff harm has also decreased.
The murals were installed by a company from Cambridge and the work was paid for by a Foundation Equipment Grant.