Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Celebrates Pride Month
by Marcello Bernardo
June is Pride Month, and Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is showing its support by flying the Rainbow flag and participating in the Pride Lives Here campaign.
Since pandemic safety measures are still in place, Hospital staff and members of the community were invited to join today’s celebration to mark the occasion by viewing the ceremony virtually on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TBRHSC).
“Today is an exciting day as we continue to foster inclusion in Thunder Bay as our Hospital recognizes Pride Month by showcasing the Rainbow flag and a Pride Lives Here sign,” said Jason Veltri, Chair of Thunder Pride and Contract Procurement Specialist with the Northern Supply Chain at our Hospital. “Today shows us that our community partners see how important it is to provide a welcoming space free from discrimination because of one’s sexual or gender identities. Thunder Pride is committed to supporting the Hospital’s ongoing efforts to enhance experiences for the 2SLGBTQ+ communities.”
Thunder Pride is a community based, non-profit organization that celebrates the 2SLGBTQ+ (Two-spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and many other identities) and diversity rights held in Northwestern Ontario. It is comprised of a wide spectrum of local residents including educators, entrepreneurs, union leaders, ministers, artists and film makers, community service workers and others from all walks of life.
The Pride Lives Here campaign was adopted by Thunder Pride after being launched by Borderland Pride, based in the Rainy River district. The campaign is designed to celebrate and support the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Our Hospital joins hundreds of other regional residents and organizations by displaying the colourful lawn sign.
“Our Hospital has been a leader in providing safe, quality and innovative health care to the communities of the Northwest Ontario region,” said Jean Bartkowiak, President and CEO of our Hospital and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute. “Different people define “quality care” differently, but it should encompass all dimensions of a person’s health, be they physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional. These dimensions are also vital components of our health care delivery system; raising the Rainbow flag and displaying the Pride Lives Here sign is an important symbolic reminder of our Hospital’s commitment to these dimensions.”
Pride month is held annually in honour of the Stonewall riots, which took place in New York City in June 1969. As a result, many pride events are held during this month to recognize the impact 2SLGBTQ+ people have had in the world.