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Women of VCH: Salima Noormohamed, Regional Leader of Physician Engagement and Program Development and diversity champion


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

Salima Noormohamed has been a key leader for driving Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) medical staff initiatives related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), particularly advocating for women physicians, nurse practitioners and midwives and through her support on DEI committee and working groups.

From being a nurse in a clinical setting to working in administration, Salima health care career path is also diverse. She brings all of these experiences to her role as Regional Leader of Physician Engagement and Program Development at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH).

“My role is dynamic and ever-evolving," said Salima. “On any given day, I could be working on physician wellness, to peer support, to Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) data collection, to planning implementation of a new class of practitioner."

But for Salima, who's also a mom of two young girls, it's the people – not the projects – that really make the difference.

“It's such a privilege to work with so many talented, committed and passionate individuals who inspire me everyday," she adds. “My job is to support and protect those who are at the front line and ensure their well-being, so they can do their incredibly important work to care for our community members – it's really rewarding."

It's clear that Salima's people-focus helps her excel in her role. Just ask some of her nominators for this year's International Women's Day campaign.

“Salima has contributed significantly to the work on focus groups for women and BIPOC physicians and now LGBTQIA2S+ physicians. Her work has been recognized by articles in the Canadian Journal of Public Health and the Canadian Journal for Physician Leadership," adds Dr. Lynn Straatman, Cardiologist at Vancouver General Hospital.

For Salima, curiosity and commitment are key to health care equity, sharing that biases must first be recognized and then challenged. Through VCH's DEI work, Salima, as part of a cross-functional team from across the organization, work to question why things are the way they are, collect data when possible, examine the systems and processes that allow bias to perpetuate and work together to try and rebuild those systems and processes in ways that benefit all.

“Breaking the bias is a personal responsibility and it also must be an institutional commitment if change is to be meaningful and long lasting," notes Salima. “I'm passionate about doing this work for our team and for the people in our care, and also for my daughters. Through DEI, we can make the world easier and a little bright for them and for all."

For women starting out in their field, Salima provides a message of strength and self care. “Know your worth and enjoy your work," she says. “And don't skip lunch."

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.

SOURCE: Women of VCH: Salima Noormohamed, Regional Leader of Physician Engagement and Program Development and diversity champion ( )
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