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Hospitals' new diversity director brings lived experience, passion for change

New multi-site director role aims to address cultural inequities, improve diversity and equality
Dionne Sinclair
Dionne Sinclair. Photo provided by Southlake Regional Health Centre

NEWMARKET – Southlake Regional Health Centre and Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital have announced that Dionne Sinclair will be taking on the role of Multi-Site Director, Diversity and Cultural Advancement, to focus on identifying gaps and developing strategies to create more just and equitable workplaces.  

“The year 2020 has been monumental for all of us, with world events leaving significant impacts in our lives and in our communities,” said Arden Krystal, President and CEO at Southlake. “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we interact with each other in a multitude of ways, and now more than ever, we need to ensure we are treating others with the same dignity and respect we would expect for ourselves. This is why I am thrilled to have Dionne step up to do this very important work so that we can acknowledge gaps, reconcile and make positive changes within our organizations that are inclusive and respectful.”  

Dionne brings with her a lived experience and passion for change in the areas of diversity and through her PhD work on equity in health care she is well positioned to lead this important work. She is a member of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) Black Nurses task force, and is a founding member of the Canadian Black Nurses Network. Reporting directly to the CEOs of both hospitals, Dionne will be working with all levels of leadership to develop an enterprise-wide framework, with recommendations tailored to each organization.  

“I’m excited for this opportunity to provide our organizations with initiatives that can make a lasting, positive impact to staff, patients, caregivers and the communities,” said Dionne. “I am looking forward to implementing best practices for workplaces to be more diverse, inclusive and equitable, as well as working collaboratively with our teams to ensure people feel valued, respected and supported.”  

“We are pleased to be partnering with Southlake and to have Dionne as a shared resource for this important undertaking,” said Carmine Stumpo, President and CEO, Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital. “This innovative approach to addressing diversity and equality in the workplace is not only a necessity but also a testament of both organizations’ impetus to drive positive change within the healthcare sector.”  

The Multi-Site Director, Diversity and Cultural Advancement role is effective immediately and Dionne will be spending the next year undertaking this work. It is anticipated that additional hospitals will join in this innovative partnership.