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Placing importance on Inclusive Care within BGH’s Quinte 7

Creating an environment in which patient diversity is recognized and supported is at the forefront of Belleville General Hospital’s Quinte 7 Maternal Child Unit. Inspired by patients, local care providers, and various resources from across Canada, the team is making changes in an effort to become more inclusive with their care. 

“We have received feedback from our patients that some of our previous practices were not inclusive of how they were experiencing the birth of their child,” said Jennifer Faulkner, Patient Services Manager, Maternal Child Program.  “As a unit that strives for person- and family-centered care, it was important for us to consider and incorporate the lived experience of women and birthing people in the care we provide.”

Recently, the unit made some notable changes. These include:

  • Moving to a neutral arm band and crib card to recognize a parent’s choice in how they want their newborn identified.
  • Offering parents the opportunity to select the knitted hat they would like for their newborn and provide multiple colour and pattern options.
  • Signage to recognize that the area is a positive space.
  • Acknowledging the individual’s choice on how they want to be recognized.
  • Use of gender inclusive language in policy updates.
  • Gender specific identifiers will be removed from bathroom signage.
  • A new program name is being developed to reflect the population served while being inclusive of gender diverse people.

“The language we use can help people to feel that the service we provide includes and represents them,” said Jennifer. “By creating space for a diverse group of people, we can help all patients to feel safe and have a positive birth experience where they feel included and respected.”

The compassion and empathy displayed within this initiative is an excellent example of our new Quinte Health strategy. The Quinte 7 team is embracing one of our new Quinte Health values, Value Everyone, by creating an inclusive environment and demonstrating dignity and respect for each patient. They are also displaying Compassion, expressing humanity and kindness in the care they provide. Keep up the great work!

In front of the Quinte 7 Positive Space sign, and holding volunteer-made gender neutral hats,
are: Lynne Allen, Patient Care Lead; Jennifer Faulkner, Manager Maternal Child Program;
Sarah Murtha, Registered Midwife; Tracey Giles, Director Maternal Child Program;
Amanda McLenaghan, Registered Practical Nurse.