The North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Board of Directors presented the fourth annual North West LHIN Leadership Award on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, at the LHIN’s Board meeting in Thunder Bay. The award acknowledges outstanding transformation, partnerships and leadership excellence across Northwestern Ontario’s health care system.
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre’s work in providing French Language Services was presented the North West LHIN Leadership Award for their Exceptional Practice in Diversity and Inclusion as an organization. Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is unique in that it is a designated French Language Services provider, located in a city with few French-speaking people (2.7 per cent). Although this poses challenges in terms of filling designated bilingual positions, notable progress has been made by the regional hospital to enhance French Language Services for patients and their families. They include the implementation of a designated French Language Office position; the implementation of Linguistic Variable Questions at all points of admission and registration at the hospital; the development of French Language Services resources for staff; and, the implementation of a new process to ensure all patient education materials are bilingual. These changes now mean that programs and services are easily accessible in French, improving the care experience for French-speaking patients and families.
“Language is a key factor in the safety of patients. We recognize that many languages are spoken in Northwestern Ontario, and enhancing our processes to provide French Language Services will also help to better serve people who speak other languages. It is an honour to be recognized for our commitment and efforts to advance access to services in French,” said Tracie Smith, Senior Director, Communications & Engagement, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.