A message from our President and CEO

On August 1, 1971, a group of activists gathered for a picnic at Hanlan’s Point Beach, marking one of the earliest Pride commemorations in Toronto. Almost 53 years later, the continued work of activists has shaped Canada into a country where 2SLGBTQ+ people have equal legal rights and protections, and where Pride Toronto is marked annually in one of the largest gatherings of 2SLGBTQ+ people and allies in the world.

However, over the past year, we have seen a disturbing rise in harmful anti-2SLGBTQ+ violence and discrimination. With this in mind, it is critically important that Unity Health Toronto holds fast to our commitment to create safe, inclusive and welcoming spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ staff, patients and community members.

As we kick-off Pride Month, the following is a list of actions completed or underway since 2023 to improve the experiences and health outcomes of 2SLGBTQ+ people at Unity Health:

  1. We’re building our new electronic record system (EPR) to capture sexual orientation and gender identity information, including pronouns and chosen names, which will help clinicians make informed care decisions and provide patients with the best possible care experiences.
  2. We’re building a training program to teach frontline teams how to appropriately capture and refer to patients’ sexual orientation and gender identity. We’re also developing and promoting online training modules to teach staff how to use the new features in our EPR system to support care for patients who are transgender or gender non-conforming and their chosen families.
  3. We’ve developed a process to remove barriers for staff to use their chosen names and make sure that they’re represented across Unity Health’s systems. We’re working on ways to expand this as a common standard for learners and physicians.
  4. We’re developing a policy on gender transition in the workplace, which will provide a list of supports offered by Unity Health, as well as clarify and improve the process for Unity Health staff, physicians and learners who are transitioning.

To celebrate Pride this year, Unity Health will once again raise the Progress Pride flag outside the main entrances of our three hospital sites, where they’ll wave proudly for the month of June. We’re also continuing our tradition of hosting a hospitality booth on parade weekend. We will also be providing learning opportunities on 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion and health equity.

Pride Month provides an important opportunity to celebrate the achievements, identities and resilience of people who identify as 2SLGBTQ+. I encourage everyone to take some time this month to learn more about the history of Pride, the experiences of 2SLGBTQ+ people and the ways you can contribute to this ongoing priority for Unity Health. Together, we can improve the health, safety and security of our 2SLGBTQ+ friends, colleagues and family members.

Wishing everyone at Unity Health and in our community a happy Pride Month.


Tim Rutledge
President and CEO
Unity Health Toronto