Women's College Hospital - Health Care for Women, Revolutionized

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Celebrating Pride with Women’s College Hospital

from the July 11, 2011 issue of Connect

Over 1,000 attendees stopped by to celebrate Pride with Women’s College Hospital at the 31st annual lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) celebration over the Canada Day long weekend in Toronto.

“Pride is an important time for WCH to affirm our Equity Vision and to make visible our alliance with our LGBTQ patients, employees, volunteers, their families and our friends,” explains Angela Robertson, director of equity and community engagement. “Our participation in Pride activities is about celebrating diversity, rejecting homophobia and discrimination and affirming human rights.”

Visitors to the Women’s College information booth were able to speak with ambassadors from the hospital who provided information about the resources that Women’s College offers. For the ninth year, the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Care Centre (SA/DVCC) offered information on how to stay safe in the city.

The booth also promoted the Queer Women’s Health Initiative (QWHI) and offered information about Check It Out: Queer Women Need Paps Too! campaign. The campaign spreads the word – to lesbians, bisexual and queer women, and transgender men – that no matter whom you have sex with, Pap tests matter for all who have a cervix.

“Having a booth at the Pride community fair is also a wonderful opportunity,” adds Robertson. “The booth allows us to increase awareness and provide education about important resources the hospital offers for LGBTQ communities and their families.”

Staff, physicians and volunteers also showed their support for Pride during the Dyke March.

“This was my first time participating in any of the pride festivities,” explained Edie Stein, volunteer, Women’s College Hospital. “It truly was the most magnificent experience of my life and it was wonderful to see how passionate Women’s College Hospital is in promoting equity for all.”

In honour of Pride, WCH also sponsored participation in ProPRIDE, a Pride at Work networking event attended by over 1,500 professionals in the greater Toronto area. ProPRIDE was the first of many Pride at Work events that the hospital hopes to participate in this year.

This year, Women’s College is implementing a new set of workshops designed to educate staff, physicians and volunteers about the health-care needs of the LGBTQ communities. Stay tuned for more information about upcoming workshops.

Women’s College is already looking forward to participating in Pride festivities in 2012.

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