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Living Our Values at Unity Health

How do we put our shared Unity Health values into practice? Unity Health’s Living Our Values Toolkit is a resource that highlights examples of concrete behaviours that express our values in action. This toolkit is applicable to all Unity Health staff, physicians, researchers, learners, volunteers and patient and family partners. When we lead with these shared values in mind, we create the conditions to flourish – in our work, relationships, careers, communities, and in the lives of patients and residents.

Explore the interactive page below by clicking on each tab to expand the values in action and see the supporting behaviours. You can also download the complete Living Our Values Toolkit (pdf).

Human Dignity

We affirm that every person has sacred value and is worthy of respect.

Value in Action

  • Practices patience with self and others.
  • Helps people feel seen; acknowledges people even if they do not acknowledge you.
  • Values the unique contribution of all roles and areas within the organization.
  • Learns about and appreciates people as whole persons (e.g., cares about patients and residents beyond diagnoses, cares about colleagues beyond their work roles).
  • Appreciates people for who they are, without assumptions, judgements, prejudice or discrimination, recognizing that each person has their own lived experience.
  • Shows respect for people’s traditions, customs, values, beliefs, needs, and preferences.
  • Gives the person(s) you are engaging with your full attention and takes time to actively listen to hear what is said.
  • Respects people’s time (e.g., by keeping them informed, providing context and explaining any changes upfront).
  • Learns about and meets people’s communication preferences (e.g., refers to people by their chosen name and pronouns, accommodates language needs and cognitive / sensory abilities).


We enable health and healing by understanding each person’s needs and by providing care with kindness and sensitivity.

Value in Action

  • Provides comfort and support to those experiencing challenges and suffering, and responds to signs of distress.
  • Seeks input to ensure that compassionate behaviours are having their intended impact; shows willingness to apologize and change behaviour when needed.
  • Aligns work and actions with the core purpose of helping and with Unity Health Toronto’s Care Experience Charter.
  • Practices self-reflection, self-compassion (e.g., allows oneself to feel difficult emotions without judgement), self-care and forgiveness of self and others.
  • Reflects on and acknowledges the circumstances, perspectives and feelings of others (e.g., considers possible reasons behind people’s behaviours).
  • Asks and listens to others about their expectations, needs and what matters most to them without judgement.
  • Sees and shares hope even in difficult circumstances.
  • Celebrates the strengths and contributions of others; looks for the good in self and others.
  • Practices gratitude and appreciation for ordinary, everyday actions.


We strive to achieve the best care and quality through innovation and continuous improvement.

Value in Action

  • Pursues meaning and purpose through growth and development and supports others to do the same.
  • Learns from successes and failures, addresses mistakes and feedback for continuous learning and improvement and supports others to do the same.
  • Continuously tracks, reflects on and achieves measurable improvements.
  • Looks for opportunities to share our learning and resources with Unity Health and our wider community.
  • Includes all stakeholders in collaborative decision making (e.g., patient partnered care, community engagement).
  • Identifies and shares opportunities for improvements large and small; uses critical thinking to apply the best approach possible (e.g., considering evidence-based practice and policies).
  • Works towards success based on personal, team, organizational, and community goals and needs.
  • Recognizes where extra effort is needed and seeks initiative to get the job done, including seeking support if needed.
  • Dedicated to meeting the eight dimensions of quality: effective, efficient, person-centred, safe, timely, equitable, patient and family partnered care, and wellness.


Together we embrace diversity, trust, joy and teamwork to fulfill human potential.

Value in Action

  • Welcomes and encourages differing opinions, and allows people to feel comfortable sharing their ideas.
  • Fosters joy in work by strengthening camaraderie and belonging (e.g., by taking time to connect, creating fun and memorable experiences).
  • Values patients, residents, family members and the wider community as co-designers and experts (e.g., involves Patient and Family Partners (PFPs) in organizational initiatives, supports the Indigenous-led provision of health services).
  • Encourages and creates opportunities for social connection.
  • Makes decisions that consider the impact on individuals, communities,
    and environmental sustainability.
  • Encourages others to use their strengths, believe in themselves, take calculated risks and lead regardless of job role.
  • Builds connections across the organization and with external communities.
  • Communicates openly, honestly and follows through on commitments to build trust.
  • Engages in dialogue around differences with openness.


We foster an inclusive, welcoming environment where everyone is treated equitably and without judgement.

Value in Action

  • Demonstrates humility by listening to and learning about the experiences of others from their perspective.
  • Reflects on the impact of language and commits to using inclusive language.
  • Shares information in a way that others understand.
  • Explores how biases and systems privilege or marginalize persons and populations.
  • Is aware of and addresses structures and barriers that contribute to inequity (e.g., policies, processes, systems and procedures).
  • Engages in ongoing self-reflection, learning and unlearning; does not put the onus on individuals with lived experience to educate.
  • Identifies, interrupts and educates about incivility, micro-aggressions, gossip and harassment.
  • Advocates for social justice and works to create equity in health, wellbeing, education, resources and opportunities.
  • Co-creates spaces that are accessible, safe and welcoming to all, across abilities, cultures and needs.

Last updated November 09, 2022