Razia Rashed, a local resident and community health ambassador, is joining East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP), the Ontario Health Team (OHT) serving East Toronto, as Community Co-Lead on February 5.
Razia joins Dr. Anne Wojtak, Lead of Integrated Care, and Dr. Jeff Powis, Medical Lead of Integrated Care, under a new triad leadership model for ETHP. The Community Co-Lead and triad leadership model are a first for OHTs. By enabling a representative of the community and ETHP’s advisory network to collaborate with the administrative and clinical lead, the OHT is further ensuring the interests of patients, caregivers, families and their communities are heard and considered in the decision-making process to design, develop and implement health services for East Toronto residents.
“I appreciate and am humbled by the opportunity to expand my work with ETHP in this new capacity where I can continue to advocate for the needs of community members,” Razia says. “ETHP has demonstrated its commitment to building a healthier, more equitable East Toronto and it means so much to me to be able to contribute to this important work, which will have a direct positive impact on my friends, family and neighbours.”
Razia was appointed Community Co-Lead of ETHP following a recruitment process led by Dr. Wojtak, Dr. Powis and the co-chairs of ETHP’s Community Advisory Council. In this role, Razia also joins the ETHP Leadership Team, a group of leaders from ETHP’s anchor partner organizations, representing the full continuum of care, who facilitate change and improve care through a streamlined decision-making process. Two members of ETHP’s Community Advisory Council are also part of the ETHP Leadership Team.
“Our ETHP Leadership Team is thrilled to have Razia join us. She brings a wealth of knowledge and skill through her deep connections to our East Toronto community,” Drs. Wojtak and Powis say. “This triad ‘administration-clinical-community’ leadership structure is a first of its kind in an Ontario Health Team and will help us ensure we can continue our strong commitment to equity, community engagement and co-design.”
This is a temporary role that will assist the ETHP Leadership Team with the development of new corporation, governance and leadership structures as ETHP continues its journey as one of 12 OHTs selected by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Ontario Health to advance rapidly toward maturity. Over the next few months, ETHP will review the impact of the role to ensure it is structured in a way to enhance our collaboration with community members and partners.
About Razia Rashed, a community leader
Razia has lived in the Crescent Town neighbourhood with her family for more than 17 years and has served as a volunteer patient, caregiver and community advisor for ETHP since 2020. She is co-chair of ETHP’s Taylor-Massey Residents Wellness Council, a diverse group of residents who support the work of improving health and social outcomes for people in the Taylor-Massey neighbourhood and the surrounding area. Through this, she has contributed direct input to the planning and delivery of health and social services in this area, including at Health Access Taylor-Massey.
Razia is also a Community Health Ambassador Lead at TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization, an ETHP member organization that serves residents in Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon Park, Taylor-Massey and surrounding areas. In this position, she supports a team of community health ambassadors in their role of helping people in East Toronto connect to the healthcare, social and community services they need.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, she played an integral role in sharing important information about COVID-19 and how individuals can keep themselves and their loved ones safe. She also shared information about vaccine clinics and helped build vaccine confidence in the community by listening, answering questions and building trust.
Razia is also involved with school councils and connects regularly with local elected officials to address community needs. She is committed to co-designing a more inclusive health system that delivers high-quality care and equitable health outcomes for everyone.