Our Commitment to Diversity & Equity

Since inception, Federated Health Charities (FHC) has been dedicated to raising funds for its charity members to support health education and awareness, medical research, and client and patient services for all Ontarians.  

The past two year, FHC has had the opportunity to engage in important conversations regarding systemic racism in the health not-for-profit sector.  These conversations have allowed FHC and its member charities to better focus on health inequities, particularly within the Black and Indigenous communities.  

As an organization we recognize the links between structural anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and health inequities and how this leads to poorer health outcomes for Black and Indigenous communities.  This structural racism can take the form of decreased access to funding, lack of awareness of health issues that are prevalent in Black and Indigenous communities, fewer supports available to combat health concerns, and a lack of Black and Indigenous voices involved in community health decisions.  

FHC and its charity members recognized the need for additional work to be done within the federation to ensure our membership was as diverse as the province it aims to serve.  Two years ago, we made four specific commitments to move us towards this goal.  Here is what we have achieved:

 

  1. Taking immediate action to begin filling some of the gaps in our membership list by onboarding a charity that focuses on a prevalent health issue for Black Ontarians.

Status: Complete.  In 2020 we welcomed the Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario to the FHC membership.

 

  1. Taking steps to increase OPS representation on our Board of Directors, as well as ensuring that Board members appointed by FHC member charities reflect the diversity of Ontario.

Status: Complete.  We added 5 additional OPS Board positions and established an OPS Advisory Committee.  Completed the redevelopment of the contract between FHC and its member charities, outlining diversity expectations for Board appointees.

 

  1. Striking a Task Force to focus on reviewing existing FHC governance and onboarding policies. Objectives will include:, amending our onboarding process to ensure it is not contributing to existing funding barriers, creating an ongoing process for assessing gaps in our membership against prevailing health issues that affect Black and Indigenous communities, and developing a more proactive and responsive charity recruitment process.

Status: Complete.  Developed a Charity Onboarding Policy to enable FHC to be proactive in assessing membership gaps and outreach to underserved communities and an Incoming Charity Fee & Reserve Fund Payment Policy to reduce financial barriers for involvement for underfunded charities.

 

  1. Developing a minimum requirement for our member charities regarding their diversity and inclusion policies and practices as well as better communication and promotion of the work our charities are doing to serve health issues affecting Black and Indigenous communities.

Status: In Process. Struck a Task Force to determine reasonable minimum requirements for member charities and a process for implementation.

 

Next steps

As we worked over the past two years to make policy and procedure amendments, engage in important conversations within our organization, and hear valuable perspectives from OPS employees, it became clear to our Board that we wanted to do more.  We didn’t just want to take a patchwork approach, but rather we want to engage in a comprehensive, top-down process to ensure that Federated Health is an organization that is fully committed to anti-racism, anti-oppression, and health equity.   This will include having thoughtful conversations to determine what anti-racism, anti-oppression, and health equity mean within the scope of our work and develop a committed organizational stance on them, as well as ensuring that our organization is led by a group of people who are equipped to guide us through the process of evaluating all aspects of our work through an anti-racism, anti-oppression, and health equity lens and make the appropriate changes to ensure our practices align with mission to support the health of all Ontarians

Ongoing & New Commitments: 

  1. Establish a baseline understanding of where each member charity is at within their organization in addressing AR/AO, health equity, diversity, and inclusion. A comprehensive questionnaire will be completed by all member charities and results will be assessed to establish the current scope of work being done.

2. Ensure the FHC Board has AR/AO, health equity, diversity and inclusion embedded in all that we do.

3. Ensure the governance model incorporates AR/AO, ethics, clear roles and responsibilities and a more diverse board. We will be hiring an external consultant to conduct a comprehensive overview and provide recommendations for next steps.

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For general questions:

Sarah Wood
Executive Director
437-925-6227
sarah.wood2@ontario.ca

Address

315 Front St. West, 5th Floor
Toronto, ON
M7A 0B8

Federated Health Charities White Logo

For general questions:

Sarah Wood
Executive Director
437-925-6227
sarah.wood2@ontario.ca

Address

315 Front St. West, 5th Floor
Toronto, ON
M7A 0B8

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