Island Health launches new 2SLGBTQIA+ Liaison Nurse position at Royal Jubilee Hospital

Island Health is proud to announce Island Health’s first 2SLGBTQIA+ Liaison Nurse position at Royal Jubilee Hospital (RJH). The 2SLGBTQIA+ Liaison Nurse pilot project will enhance the physical and psychological safety, as well as the overall comfort, of 2SLGBTQIA+ people who attend the hospital.

“This new liaison nurse position is a wonderful addition to our care teams and will provide an important service,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health board chair. “This is an important step as Island Health works to improve health supports for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.” 

The new role is part of Island Health’s commitment to providing culturally safe, inclusive, accessible, gender-affirming services for Two-Spirit, trans, non-binary and gender diverse patients, clients and families.

Research shows that there are significant systemic barriers that impact 2SLGBTQIA+ people’s willingness and ability to access care. 

Registered nurse Emily Wyatt started her new role in December. As the 2SLGBTQIA+ liaison nurse, her key responsibilities include providing emotional support, healthcare advocacy, preventative harm reduction, education, and connection/referral to community and social resources. 

“Ultimately, our goal is to ensure healthcare provided to people from the 2SLGBTQIA+ community is patient-centered and psychologically, physically, and culturally safe,” said Emily Wyatt. 

The 2SLGBTQIA+ nurse will proactively engage in initiatives aimed at reducing harm within the hospital environment. This includes creating, maintaining, and continually assessing programs for alignment with Trans Care BC care recommendations and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. The nurse will also collaborate with various hospital units to evaluate the staff education on 2SLGBTQIA+ issues and provide resources and opportunities for non-judgmental discussions to facilitate learning.

The 2SLGBTQIA+ liaison nurse pilot project at RJH will be reviewed to determine additional locations in the future.