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A group of staff members at Scarborough Hospital.


The Diversity of Ideas

Scarborough Hospital diversity and inclusion policies
lead to important innovation and forward thinking

The Scarborough Hospital is a long-time leader in diversity and inclusion policies that ensure its workforce reflects the community it serves.

And you are unlikely to find a more diverse community than Scarborough (on the eastern side of Toronto). Of Scarborough's 625,000 residents, 59 per cent is foreign-born, from Chinese and South Asian to Caribbean and Filipino.

The positive spinoffs of a diverse workplace are really remarkable, says Robert Biron, the hospital's President and CEO.

"What I notice is the open-mindedness. Our people are very open to accepting new ideas and exploring different ways of thinking and innovating. They come from all different parts of the world and they've been trained from different perspectives. They often grew up in a different culture. When they come to work, you've got this global community with all these varied experiences and perspectives of healthcare delivery."

As an example of the benefits of an open-minded culture, Biron points to the pioneering Centre for Integrative Medicine that the hospital launched in 2014 in partnership with the University of Toronto. A first in Canada, the centre is dedicated to scientifically investigating the use of complementary and alternative medicine. The idea is to create a "living laboratory" at the hospital to study ways to safely integrate effective alternative therapies and conventional care.

"We have residents from all over the world in Scarborough who experience and use many different types of health services, such as acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, chiropractic care, massage therapy or yoga therapy," Biron says. "We are reflecting that need within our community, and we are anchoring the centre on sound evidence and research."

The above innovations and attitudes are among the reasons the Scarborough Hospital was chosen as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 2016. Now entering its 10th year, CBDE recognizes employers across Canada that have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs.

More on the competition and awards program next week, and you can read Scarborough Hospital's Diversity and Inclusion Report here.


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