In honour of International Women's Day — Tuesday, March 8 — we're highlighting just a few of the thousands of incredible women who help us deliver exceptional care at Vancouver Coastal Health. Read about all of them in VCH News stories and see more photos on our VCH Instagram and Facebook channels.
To better support Indigenous patients, clients and families, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) introduced an Indigenous Patient Experience team in 2021. Together, they help Break the Bias by providing cultural safety and humility training to create safe people, places and systems, ensuring exceptional patient care for Indigenous peoples.
The team continues to grow and is composed of Indigenous nurse educators, Indigenous patient navigators and Indigenous patient care quality liaisons who work to support both Indigenous patients and their care teams in providing culturally safe health care across VCH including at Vancouver General Hospital and Lions Gate Hospital.
“I love that I get to work with a team of amazing, knowledgeable and skilled Indigenous women," says Jessica Key, Indigenous Nurse Educator. “Every day we show up to give our all to the patients, clients and families that we serve and that we get to collaborate with and support our colleagues. I feel a lot of gratitude to be able to hold space for my Indigenous values and share that in the health-care system."
Lori Quinn, Director of Indigenous Patient Experience, Professional Practice and Quality, says she is grateful for this team and how it has come together to transform Indigenous patient care over the past year.
“I'm continuously inspired by the empathetic and collaborative approach this team takes when supporting patients, families and their care providers in meaningful conversations and learning opportunities that create safe people, places and systems for Indigenous peoples," said Lori. “Building the organizational knowledge around culturally safe care so we can recognize biases, change our practices, and shift the culture of health care to improve patient experience is the ultimate goal.
When it comes to breaking biases and creating health-care equity, Jessica suggests we collectively look inwards. “I'm a huge advocate for self-knowledge and self-awareness when it comes to acknowledging and challenging our own implicit biases and assumptions. We all carry them," says Jessica. “It takes intentional awareness and work to change our own attitudes and behaviours to be able to strive for and enact transformational change in these massive systems. We each have the responsibility to undertake the journey to do so, with humility, grace and kindness."
This year's theme and pose for International Women's Day is Break the Bias. Posing with arms crossed in solidarity shows commitment to challenge inequality, call out gender bias, question stereotypes and help forge an inclusive world.