Alberta Health Service (AHS), Canada
Alberta Health Services (AHS) is Canada’s first and largest provincewide, fully-integrated health system, responsible for delivering health services to the more than 4.3 million people living in Alberta, as well as to some residents of Saskatchewan, B.C. and the Northwest Territories.
Our differences are the glue that makes AHS stronger. We are diverse and we value it—our religions, the colours of our skin, our members within and outside the LGBTQ+ community—all help to create a culture of respect, of caring and of compassion
We have a dedicated diversity and inclusion centre of expertise with three staff and a director to support diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Our Diversity and Inclusion Council is made up of approximately 30 members from across AHS. The council meets a minimum of four times annually and provides direction and support for diversity and inclusion priorities including:
- Building relationships with our people
- Improving leader and workforce awareness and competence.
Alberta’s healthcare system belongs to Albertans, whether they are seeking care or providing care. AHS embraces diversity and inclusion as a part of living our values and implementing Our People Strategy, working together to foster a culture of mutual respect for our colleagues, clients, and patients alike. We are committed to the ongoing journey of recognizing and celebrating different viewpoints, backgrounds, and culture.
Diversity is the range of human differences; diversity is what makes each of us unique.
Inclusion is valuing human differences and supporting each other to feel safe, welcome and have a sense of belonging.
We have developed a framework and governance structure to guide diversity and inclusion activities.
We offer education and resources to physicians, staff, and volunteers to provide culturally sensitive care and services on:
- Unconscious bias
- LGBTQ+ community
- Intergenerational relationships.
The diversity of Alberta’s population will continue to increase significantly during the next two decades.
Evidence shows that some of the most vulnerable segments of diverse populations – Indigenous, immigrants, refugees, specific visible minorities, French speaking Albertans, and people experiencing homelessness – are disproportionately impacted by chronic disease.
Alberta Health Services and other healthcare organizations are faced with the challenge of caring for patients who experience poorer health and access barriers to health services due to a number of social determinants.
Targeted approaches are being developed and implemented that respond to the local and unique needs of diverse and vulnerable communities in Alberta.
At AHS, our mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans. AHS strives to create an environment that highly values diversity and welcomes and respects people’s contributions. An environment where everyone, including patients, families, healthcare providers, physicians and volunteers feel safe, healthy and valued. Creating safer and more welcoming healthcare increases the quality of care and experience we offer to everyone. We provide this safer environment by ensuring that how we work together with patients, clients, families and each other is guided by our core values – compassion, accountability, respect, excellence and safety.