ETHP advances equity and anti-racism work to help improve care for everyone in East Toronto

Puzzle piece graphic visualizing ETHP's Anti-Racism Equity Framework

The consultation’s outcomes include the ETHP Anti-Racism and Equity Framework, which identifies 11 areas of action that ETHP will prioritize in its work.

East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP), the Ontario Health Team (OHT) serving East Toronto, has completed a year-long consultation that will help advance its work across equity and anti-racism. This helps ensure ETHP is able to take meaningful strides toward co-designing a more inclusive health system that delivers high-quality care and equitable health outcomes for everyone.   

Led by independent consultants Anu Radha Verma and Gitanjali Lena from September 2022 to October 2023, the consultation involved consultation, engagement and collaboration with more than 180 people across our OHT, including staff and clinicians at our 100-plus member organizations and patients, caregivers and community members. The consultants also worked closely with our Anti-Racism and Equity Committee, a group of 11 staff and clinicians from our member organizations who help address systemic racism and health inequities in the healthcare system. 

The consultation focused on building a strategy for training to address anti-Black racism and anti-Indigenous racism; supporting the development of a community of practice where people guiding equity, diversity and inclusion work can come together to learn and share; engaging community members and partners to develop an equity-informed data collection and data governance strategy; and developing a three-year anti-racism and equity framework. 

Outcomes of consultation

As part of this work, the consultants completed or developed the following in collaboration with ETHP: 

  • Environmental scan of available equity and anti-racism resources and knowledge across our member organizations and community members. This helped us better understand perspectives, opportunities and challenges related to designing and implementing more equitable healthcare and social services. 
  • ETHP Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training Plan, which outlines training topics related to anti-racism and equity that ETHP should consider exploring with its teams. Topics include interpersonal communication, data collection and more. 
  • ETHP Anti-Racism and Equity Community of Practice that includes more than 200 staff, clinicians, patients, caregivers and community advisors. Throughout 2023, this Community of Practice met six times to share ideas and learnings on various topics related to equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism. Topics included what it means to follow leadership from people with lived and living experiences and understanding and developing land acknowledgements. 
  • ETHP Health Equity Impact Assessment Tool, an adapted version of the widely recognized Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) which helps identify how a health-related policy, program or initiative may impact equity-deserving groups. This helps ensure negative impacts may be proactively mitigated.  
  • ETHP Anti-Racism and Equity Framework, which identifies 11 areas of action that ETHP will prioritize in its work. These areas of action include collecting, reporting and using equity data; investing in implementation; and partnering to advance Indigenous health equity. The framework is based Ontario Health’s Equity, Inclusion, Diversity and Anti-Racism Framework. 
  • Workshop on anti-racism and equity in governance conducted with ETHP’s Leadership Team and a presentation summarizing this year-long work to the ETHP Community Advisory Council.  

The consultants also provided ETHP recommendations related to developing a data governance strategy, which is critical for ensuring any data related to equity that ETHP collects is managed in a way that protects individuals’ privacy and security.  

Our learnings

  • Anti-racism and equity priorities and principles need to be embedded in everything ETHP does, rather than positioned as a specific workstream or portfolio. 
  • The ETHP Anti-Racism and Equity Community of Practice is a valuable tool for knowledge sharing among ETHP members. 88% of participants reported they learned more about anti-racism and equity work through this platform.  
  • Additional training and resources are needed to ensure ETHP may meaningfully implement areas of action outlined in the ETHP Anti-Racism and Equity Framework. 

Recommended next steps


  • Expand membership and appoint new co-chairs of ETHP Anti-Racism and Equity Committee until resources are established to support further embedding of anti-racism and equity priorities and principles into all ETHP work. The committee should also continue to receive guidance from its executive sponsors. 
  • Continue hosting ETHP Anti-Racism and Equity Community of Practice to ensure staff, clinicians, patients, caregivers and community advisors can share ideas and learnings on anti-racism and equity. 
  • Explore data governance models to help ensure our OHT is able to appropriately collect and manage equity-related data. This includes learning about Ontario Health’s Indigenous Data Governance Matters (IDGM) work, including how IDGM processes may affect individual organizations as well as ETHP as a whole. It also involves ETHP expanding its social determinants of health work to engage with Indigenous models, such as the First Nations Perspective on Health and Wellness. 
  • Explore opportunities to build the capacity of ETHP members to advance anti-racism and equity work. This may include providing access to learning resources such as the San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Online Training, Rainbow Health Ontario’s 2SLGBTQ Health Connect and the Toronto Academic Health Science Network’s (TAHSN) Introduction to Anti-Black Racism eLearning Module. A number of ETHP member organizations already offer some of these learning opportunities to their staff. 

Medium term:

  • Create a dedicated Anti-Racism and Equity staff role that supports the work of deeply embedding anti-racism and equity work in all areas of ETHP. This role should collaborate with ETHP’s Leadership Team and is dependent on continued support from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Ontario Health. 
  • Establish metrics for anti-racism and equity work with regular reporting for different workstreams and portfolios across ETHP. 
  • Enable leadership bodies to deliberately engage with anti-racism and equity. 

Longer term:

  • Shift from broad ETHP Anti-Racism and Equity Committee to incorporating an anti-racism and equity lens across all population health-specific committees. 
  • Create an Anti-Racism and Equity Team at ETHP where the dedicated staff role is embedded. 

We thank everyone across ETHP who participated in this consultation by sharing their valuable time and perspectives. A timeline of this work is available in PDF format and PNG format. We look forward to continuing this important work together and sharing updates with our community. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *