Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Commitment

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.

Action Plan

Research and Capacity Building’s 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
    • accessibility
    • 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.

Governance

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 overall organizational strategy to build EDI capacity.

This committee will have representation from individuals from equity-seeking groups, such as women, racialized minorities, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and persons from LGBTQ2+ communities.

Committee members will have received cultural safety and unconscious bias training.

Public Accountability & Transparency

Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund

The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) was announced on May 15, 2020, as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The three-stage program has been established to help sustain the research enterprise at Canadian universities and health research institutions that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program, which has a total budget of $450 million, will support two main research areas:

  1. Wage support (up to 75% for 12 weeks; $847/week maximum) for eligible research personnel who were paid from non-government sources (March 15–August 29, 2020) (Stages 1 and 2, $325 million).
  2. Incurred costs associated with maintenance and ramping-up of research activities (Stage 3, $125 million).

More details about the program can be found on the CRCEF program webpage.

Stage 2 Funding 

An internal review committee was formed to oversee CRCEF and ensure alignment to the Tri-agency program policies and requirements. The internal review committee was composed of the Business Manager, Research and Capacity Building and the Coordinator of Finance, with confirmation of salaries made by the Director of Finance. The committee included members from equity-seeking groups, and members who had completed unconscious bias training. To reduce bias, personnel were identified through review of internal records.

The Island Health Research and Capacity Building department applied for Stage 2 funding for wage support for research-related personnel placed on administrative leave due to COVID-19. The CRCEF funding received was transferred to Research and Capacity Building operating and research accounts to offset ongoing salaries for research employees on leave during the eligibility period. 

Decision process for allocation of Stage 2 funds:

  1. An Internal Review Committee was formed to review the list.
  2. Personnel were identified by internal employee/financial records.
  3. The approved list was provided to the Finance Department to confirm CRCEF Stage 2 application amounts as per the program guidelines.

Island Health received $53,380.00 in Stage 2 funding.

Island Health did not apply for funding in Stages 1, 3 or 4.

Contact for CRCEF Program Compliance

All general inquiries or concerns related to equity, diversity or inclusion for CRCEF should be directed to, and will be handled by Dawn Waterhouse (Dawn.Waterhouse@islandhealth.ca)