Celebrating Black History & Futures Month: Meet Elaine Goulbourne!

February 17, 2023

This Black History and Futures Month, we are spotlighting and celebrating our Black team and community members from across the organization as part of our We are Women’s series.

Name: Elaine Goulbourne

Pronouns: She/Her

Title & Department: Clinical Director, Primary Care and the Peter Gilgan Centre for Women’s Cancers

On the WCH team for:  8+years

1. Why did you choose to work at Women’s College Hospital?

I chose to work at WCH because of the hospital’s positive reputation in the community and bold vision of Healthcare revolutionized for a healthier and more equitable world.  The values of the hospital also align with my core values, especially equity, courage, people and collaboration. I chose WCH because it is innovative and courageous, it is willing to challenge the status quo and lead in areas where others are afraid to venture. I am proud to be an employee at WCH because WCH strives to be an organization that reflects the diversity of the world we live in and offers the best ambulatory healthcare options for all.

2. Why is Black History and Futures Month significant to you?

Black History and Futures Month is important to me because it is a time for me, my family, Black Canadians, and ALL to celebrate the innovative work, contributions, and achievements of Black individuals worldwide while also recognizing our struggles and sacrifices due to systemic discrimination and racism. Black History and Futures Month is also a time to elevate the ongoing movement for racial justice, remember and learn from our Black history, while having a positive and optimistic outlook toward the future, for this generation and many generations to come.

3. How has your Black heritage influenced your work in healthcare?

My heritage influenced my work because I try to see the best in others. As a young girl growing up in the Caribbean, my grandmother would share the following quote with us: “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you”. I put myself in the place of others and seek to understand their circumstances and situations.  Most individuals just want to be heard and treated with respect and dignity. I try to emulate these in my day-to-day encounters with others.

4. What is your greatest wish for 2023 as it relates to Black History and Futures Month and healthcare?

My greatest wish is to see a healthcare system that promotes equal access to healthcare for all, especially marginalized populations.  A healthcare system that embraces cultural differences and diversity, one that supports a safe environment where patients and providers regardless of colour, cultural background and heritage can be seen, heard, and be represented.