Inner City Health Program

Statement on Diversity, Equity and Access

What?

The St. Michael's Hospital approach to recognizing and celebrating diversity has been one of integration. The main goal is to continuously monitor and shape the culture of the hospital to reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. This will ensure that our health care services are delivered in accordance with our mission and values, which promote human dignity, compassion, excellence, community, social responsibility and pride of achievement. Diversity is the responsibility of everyone who is part the organization, including patients, visitors, staff, physicians, health disciplines, students and volunteers. To maintain our tradition of providing the best care possible, it is one of our goals to ensure care is culturally and linguistically appropriate.

Why?

St. Michael's Hospital serves one of the most diverse communities in Canada. This extends far beyond ethno-racial or linguistic diversity, but to the many cultural groups that live or work in downtown Toronto. Ethno-racial communities are only one focus of our work in this area: there are also faith based groups; people who are homeless or under-housed; people of all genders and sexual orientations; seniors, youth and children; and people living with mental illness, HIV/AIDS, disabilities, poverty and addictions are all considered cultural groups.

How?

St. Michael's Hospital recognizes that within each of these communities, there are specific cultural based beliefs concerning health and the health care system. We continuously monitor the attitudes and experiences of patients, visitors, community partners and hospital personnel; address language, communication and structural barriers; increase cultural awareness; and address systemic inequities within the Hospital and the wider health sector.

Some Patient Diversity, Equity & Access Initiatives

  • Cultural sensitivity training is provided to all staff upon entering the organization and through on-going educational opportunities.
  • Language interpretation is available free of charge via telephone or face to face when you visit a doctor. If face to face interpretation is required, please ask your doctor's office to reserve this service at least five days in advance of your appointment.
  • Foods from specific ethno-cultural or religious communities can be requested. Food services will attempt to meet these requests whenever possible.
  • Comprehensive spiritual care is provided in house. This department can also make arrangements to have spiritual leaders visit you from a variety of faith groups.
  • Development of an Urban Health Strategy in partnership with the Aboriginal community
  • Collecting socio-demographic data to ensure a patient-centred approach to care and to better measure equitable access for all patients
  • Periodic review of structural and other barriers for people with physical or mental disabilities.
  • All-Genders abuse screening in the Emergency Department

Contact Us

If you have a compliment or complaint, please approach the hospital department that you visited. The Patient Relations office is also available to assist you.

Please also see the Affirmation Statement.

Patient Relations
Phone: 416-864-5215

For more information about diversity, equity and access initiatives, please contact:
Anthony Mohamed, senior specialist, equity and community engagement, inner city health program at mohameda@smh.ca or 416-864-5087.

(Updated October 18, 2013)