June is an exciting time in Toronto as it marks Pride Month. This is a great opportunity to celebrate and bring attention to the experiences and struggles faced by the 2SLGBTQI+ community. Showing inclusion, acceptance and appreciation for the 2SLGBTQI+ community should not be limited to just 1 month. It should be an ongoing effort. There are ways a pharmacy can create an inclusive and safe space every day and Pace Pharmacy is proud to take specific steps to ensure this. Here is what you can expect:
- Personalized care: At the heart of all our interactions is our endeavour to get to know our patients. Developing a personal connection allows us to better assist our patients. This helps us know whether being a part of the 2SLGBTQI+ community is a part of a patient’s story so we can take this into account.
- Specialized knowledge: Our pharmacists possess expertise in health concerns specific to the 2SLGBTQI+ community, with a particular focus on gender-affirming care. Discrimination and bias towards 2SLGBTQI+ individuals have long been a barrier to equitable healthcare, and we take closing this gap seriously.
- Specialized training: All pharmacy team members participate in Gender and Sexual Diversity training. By being aware of the issues and specific health needs faced by members of the 2SLGBTQI+ community, we can offer more personalized care.
- Attention to policy and change in the system: We believe that we cannot only address diversity within each individual, but that we need to have in place a system that recognizes diversity and possible inequities. Our policy on diversity, equity, and inclusion aims to create a safe and welcoming environment for our 2SLGBTQI+ employees and patients.
- A warm welcome: Many members of the 2SLGBTQI+ community have had negative experiences that can eventually lead to avoiding healthcare. We hope to alleviate some of the hesitations by declaring ourselves a safe space before a patient even enters. Pace Pharmacy does this by displaying rainbow stickers in our windows to declare our commitment to inclusion and the right for everyone to be who they are.
- Pronoun awareness: Everyone has the right to be known by their correct pronouns. Our customers will see team members’ pronouns displayed on our name tags. We will also use gender-neutral language while addressing patients until we confirm their pronouns.
With our attention to these matters, we strive to make our 2SLGBTQI+ patients feel comfortable and acknowledged, and we also hope it creates pause for all our patients to see that these matters are important. In a world where we are understanding more and more how all aspects of a person can play a role in their health, acknowledging differences and creating equitable access to healthcare is at the top of our priority list.
We invite you to celebrate Pride with us this month and join Pace Pharmacy every day in being a safe space and trusted ally for our 2SLGBTQI+ patients.