In alignment with Island Health’s vision and values, research at Island Health aims to achieve excellence in knowledge and innovation in care by fostering a culture and practices that promote equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
We recognize that systemic barriers, biases, and inequities persist for Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities or specific health conditions, racialized groups, LGBTQ2+ communities, women, and others who experience stigma, discrimination, or marginalization. Addressing these inequities demands specific, measurable actions developed and sustained through ongoing engagement with our communities, supportive leadership, dedicated resources, accountability, and transparency.
To act on our commitment, the Research Department has formed a working group and will formalize an EDI committee with broader membership to work in alignment with Island Health’s broader organizational strategy to build EDI capacity for research. This 3-year plan will support and enable:
1) Inclusion of EDI expectations, competencies and accountabilities for Research Department staff, aligned with Island Health’s evolving strategy.
This will include:
- Developing guidelines to ensure EDI principles and considerations are applied in the formation of internal working groups and committees.
- Continued support for research department employees to complete training and demonstrate ongoing learning, including but not limited to:
- Indigenous cultural safety and trauma-informed approaches
- cultural safety for people who use illicit drugs
- gender and sexuality
- unconscious bias
- inclusive language
- Considering EDI goals, actions, and measurement in individual performance planning and review in the Research Department.
- Tracking our EDI competency progress (for example, departmental training) publicly reporting on relevant metrics that are meaningful to our communities and partners.
- Ensuring the our leaders work with teams to identify challenges in understanding, learning, providing coaching, mentoring and role-modeling EDI principles in our work.
- Identifying a Research department employee to act as EDI champion and ombudsperson who will support employee training and continuing education.
- Work collaboratively to promote an environment that respects and promotes EDI practices, including adhering to internal processes for reporting, investigating and resolving concerns related to inequity, discrimination, stigma and harm as per Island Health`s Respectful Workplace policy.
- Proactively address privacy and power differentials while building safety, trust, understanding, and belonging between colleagues and collaborators.
- Working with other Island Health departments to embrace cultural and psychological safety within the workplace, and offer a welcoming space for individuals to express their identity.
2) Enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion in the research we conduct and support by:
- Upholding meaningful, respectful, and culturally-safe collaboration with Indigenous peoples (individuals, communities, Nations, and organizations) in alignment with Island Health’s commitment to reconciliation, cultural safety, and anti-racism.
- Embedding EDI capacity-building as specific objectives in the research strategic plan (2020-2023).
- Supporting learning opportunities on EDI for those conducting research at Island Health to build capacity for research teams, including Indigenous cultural safety, cultural safety of minority or stigmatized groups, children and youth, gender and sexuality, unconscious bias, accessibility, and inclusive language, as needed.
- Encouraging and providing competitive scoring on internal grant calls that both the research team and the research design consider EDI principles and practices.
- Providing examples of EDI best practice to support researcher and research team learning.
- Learning about and adopting EDI principles and best practices when planning, hosting, and reporting on research education and training events.
- Supporting the update of policies and review practices, as required, for Research Ethics to comply with national policies on EDI articulated through the principle of Justice.
- Ensuring that Research Ethics Board membership is equitably appointed, gender and culturally diverse, as required by the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2 2018).
- Promoting and enabling accessible and inclusive participation for patient partners, students, volunteers, and research study participants to better reflect the population we serve through dedicated resources and supports and targeted engagement.
- Engaging our organization to explore endorsement of the Dimensions Charter.