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Because your voice matters.

Let’s Keep the Conversation About DEI Going


Categories: Patient Voice Mail

Formed in 2020, the Patient Voices Network’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Working Group started off by exploring guiding definitions for DEI work and how these definitions could support future work. This includes reducing barriers to joining PVN and create a welcoming environment for members. This article is a follow up to September’s update on our DEI Working Group.

In wanting to celebrate the diversity of our patient partners, the working group is planning a virtual social meet-up for early 2022. This will be an opportunity to connect and build on the commonalities we share as humans, as we all have multiple identities that intersect.

To learn more or to help plan the event, contact Cassy Mitchell at or by phone at 250.279.0717.

Here are a few key definitions and working group notes:

Diversity is about the individual. It’s about the variety of unique dimensions, qualities and characteristics we all possess.¹ The focus is on the individual, versus their “label.”

Inclusion is about the collective. It’s about creating a culture that strives for equity and embraces, respects, accepts and values difference.² Inclusion is an active, intentional and continuous process a mindful effort to ensure everyone feels valued, respected and supported in how they contribute to the work, with the goal to reach our full potential.

Diversity and inclusion 
is about capturing the uniqueness of the individual by creating an environment that values and respects individuals for their talents, skills and abilities to the benefit of the collective.³ Diversity and inclusion refers to an outcome. Who is in the network?

Equity is about a fair distribution of services and benefits according to population need. Equity is demonstrated when every person has an opportunity to achieve their health and wellness [patient engagement] goals regardless of social, economic or geographic location.⁴ Equity refers to a process. It’s about putting diversity and inclusion into practice by providing whatever is needed to make sure everyone can participate fully in PVN.

[1] Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. Diversity Defined [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2021 June 15]. Available from:

[2] Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. Diversity Defined [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2021 June 15]. Available from:

[3] Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion

[4] BC Patient Safety & Quality Council. BC Health Quality Matrix. Vancouver: January 2020. 7 p. Available from:

Author: Cassy Mitchell, Engagement Leader

From Our Community

Shana Ooms

Executive Director of Primary Care Strategy, Policy and Quality — BC Ministry of Health

Shana Ooms

Where those of us in the room may have debated policy or wording, patient voices made sure patients were top of mind. And as a result, significant improvements were made to simplify something that was otherwise complex. Patient voices at the table bring us back to reality in terms of what we are trying to achieve.