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July 17, 2023

Caring for culture at HQC: Second Edition

Shasta Lysohirka
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At HQC we have committed to creating an equitable and culturally inclusive environment within our organization. We have created this blog series to share our reflections throughout this journey. Through our organizational culture, we foster an environment where staff members from various backgrounds can contribute their unique perspectives and insights. We also implement policies and practices that ensure effective communication and understanding between healthcare providers and patients with diverse cultural backgrounds. By prioritizing cultural inclusivity, HQC aims to improve healthcare and ensure a patient-centered approach that respects and honors the cultural values of all individuals.

Our second edition is a Q&A featuring our Improvement Lead Shasta Lysohirka. Her work focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion.

What activities has HQC done to be more culturally responsive since the last blog?

HQC has taken multiple actions since the last edition of this blog series in September. One activity that stands out the most is the creation of a Reconciliation Action Planning Team. This team created actions for HQC to carry out which are documented in the new annual Reconciliation Action Plan 2023-2024.

What has been your role and experience in this work?

As the Improvement Lead with an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion focus at HQC, I have been leading the cultural responsiveness work. In my experience, leadership is open to new ways of working, thinking, and being. They are also willing to put in the hard work to create a workplace that is more culturally inclusive for everyone, every day.

What excites you the most about this work?

I love my work! I am excited about the different relationships HQC is building with many communities. I am grateful to sit with the Cultural Advisors every month to listen to their experiences and opinions and have that guide our work.  I am excited about how HQC is applying cultural and equity lenses to its policies and services. I love that HQC is committed to a reconciliation action plan every year with new actions to be implemented.

What are your top one or two cultural learnings or takeaways because of this work?

I have learned to be kind to one another and to recognize that we have more similarities than differences. Check-in with yourself and your biases, where do they come from? Consciously work to unlearn those biases and urge others to do the same. Seek education to find the truth in our history, this will guide us to a better understanding of one another.

If you could give one piece of advice to other organizations or people struggling to know what to do in this space, what would you say? Where does one start?

Education. There is an abundance of knowledge and history, you just need to know where to look. If you know an Elder or Knowledge Keeper reaching out to them could be a good first step. There are many cultural organizations throughout the province such as the Indigenous Cultural Centre of Saskatchewan, the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, Reconciliation Saskatoon and local Tribal Councils. Most organizations are happy to share their thoughts and provide resources. Be committed and start small; grow bigger as you can. The key here is to start!

Top photo: HQC staff mark Orange Shirt Day in 2022.