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Patient and family resources
Patient and family resources

Health Equity and Cultural Competence

Health Equity

At SickKids, we are committed to providing equitable care for all of our patients and families.  Health equity is achieved when we work towards reducing the differences in health outcomes that are avoidable, unfair, or biased.  Health equity is embedded within the mission and values of the hospital as we strive to provide child and family-centred, culturally competent, and excellent care for all.  Through innovation, excellence, collaboration, and integrity, we recognize the need to enhance, advance, and develop health care services that meet the unique needs of our patients and families.

Health Equity Demographic Data Collection Project

As part of the Central Local Health Integration Network's (TC LHIN) equity initiative to collect socio-demographic information from patients, SickKids and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital have developed a Paediatric Demographic Data Collection Instrument to collect socio-demographic data from caregivers and patients in paediatric settings across the TC LHIN. The Centre for Innovation & Excellence in Child and Family-Centred Care has played an integral role in leading the development of the instrument and the implementation of socio-demographic data collection across the hospital.

Cultural Competence

Cultural competence is an integral part of providing quality, equitable, and safe child and family-centred care.  Culturally competent care is a process occurring on many levels, but can be summarized as caring for families and patients in a respectful manner that takes into consideration:

  • the diversity of their social, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds and beliefs, and
  • how these affect health beliefs, behaviours, and outcomes.

Cultural competence at SickKids means that we provide care that meets the cultural and linguistic needs of our patients and families.

As part of this work, SickKids has engaged Indigenous partners to identify, prioritize and implement improvements to ensure accessible, culturally appropriate services for Indigenous children and their families. See an overview of work to date.

In 2019, SickKids will begin work to implement an anti-racial profiling policy and related training for security staff as a result of concerns brought forward by an Indigenous visitor. SickKids is believed to be among the first hospitals in Toronto to address this issue. The implementation of such a policy and related training is part of the Hospital's commitment to providing quality, equitable and safe child and family-centred care.

Resources for the Public

This website provides free and downloadable resource materials to support anyone interested in enhancing and sustaining cultural competence both at the professional and organizational level.  We hope you find the resources useful in your journey to cultural competence. Photography is being used for illustrative purposes only and any person depicted on this site is a model.

For questions, comments, or information about workshops, please contact us:

Karima Karmali, RN, MBA
Director, Centre for Innovation & Excellence in Child and Family-Centred Care
Phone: 416-813-7659
Email: karima.karmali@sickkids.ca

Karen Sappleton, MSED, MSW, RSW
Senior Manager, Child and Family-Centred Care and Health Equity: Family Centre, Interpreter Services, and Office of Patient and Family Experience
Phone: 416-813-7654 X228375
Email: karen.sappleton@sickkids.ca