2015 Employer Excellence Award Recipient

Congratulations to the Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre!

PQCHC_WebAt the Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre (PQCHC), the welcome sign comes in seven languages.

Building, respecting, and supporting a culturally diverse team is core to providing good service and quality patient care. Forty-five to 50 per cent of PQCHC’s client base represents immigrant populations. That’s upwards of 7,500 people, and a notably higher percentage than elsewhere in Ottawa. The health centre’s research has also found that this immigrant population tends to be higher risk and therefore in greater need of its services.

PQCHC has risen to the challenge by implementing a Diversity and Inclusion policy to ensure its board, management and staff are capable of responding to the diverse needs of this community.

The health centre proactively recruits staff and volunteers that are representative of its client base, through hiring practices that ensure no consideration that is unrelated to job performance unduly impacts an applicant’s chances of landing a position.

To identify qualified candidates, PQCHC works with local immigrant agencies, and provides diversity training for its staff to ensure cultural misunderstandings do not impact the recruitment process. The result? As of 2013, about 39 per cent of PQCHC’s staff, and 67 per cent of its volunteers, were representative of the diverse population it serves.

But this effort doesn’t end with recruitment. Onboarding for immigrant employees is ongoing. Religious and cultural practices are accommodated through adjusted schedules and onsite facilities such as prayer rooms. Various cultural holidays are observed and recognized through staff events and newsletters.

Anti-discrimination values are promoted across the organization through a Barriers Free Committee. This committee works to ensure there are “ongoing and systematic processes and strategies that will help to ensure PQCHC is accessible to those who encounter barriers in obtaining services, and to ensure that the workplace is barrier-free for staff and volunteers.”

In workplace culture surveys, 60 to 70 per cent of staff consider “diversity” to be one of the key aspects of work life at PQCHC that contributes to their overall job satisfaction.

Staff and volunteers have stepped up to support programs geared towards immigrant populations. These include a parent support program called Circle of Support, Somali Youth Support Project, Multicultural Outreach, and a Multicultural Seniors Program.

“We are very proud of the diversity of staff and volunteers that work with us at PQCHC. It is something we embrace every day and the feedback from our staff confirms that the diversity of PQ is an important attribute and one of the reasons they enjoy working with us.” Said Debbie Johnston, HR and Administration Manager.


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