Office of Equity and Quality
The Office of Equity and Quality is part of the Office of the Dean’s Portfolio at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM). The Office of Equity and Quality is committed to strengthening the leadership role of the School in rural medical and health education. The Office recognizes leadership is significantly associated with the School’s commitment to social accountability. The development of a culture of quality in the School encourages all members to integrate continuous improvement into their learning and work responsibilities.
Director, Office of Equity and Quality
The Office is committed to:
Creating an inclusive learning community;
Principles of fairness;
- Respect for individual’s inherent dignity and autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices;
- Encouraging diversity and respect for individual’s contributions;
- Promoting professionalism, ethical reasoning, collaboration, and teamwork;
- Developing best practices and enhancing quality improvement activities; and,
- Enhancing personal health, well-being and work life balance.
Who can use the Office of Equity and Quality?
The Office supports the members of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. It is a confidential service for all members of the School including:
- Office, clerical, administrative, technical and service staff;
- Full-time and part-time faculty members;
- Postgraduate residents in the clinical areas;
- Graduate students in health and Interprofessional practice;
- Undergraduate medical students;
- Senior leadership group; and,
- Clinical faculty with academic appointments and support staff funded through the University, research programs, and/or through academic trust funds.
All services provided to individuals on a voluntary basis. An individual may be referred or recommended to use the Office, but cannot be required to use the services.
Services Provided the Office of Equity and Quality
Consultation services for matters related to equity and quality across the School.
Resources and information on issues associated with equity, diversity, professional conduct and dispute resolution.
Resources and information on quality assurance and improvement.
Skill development and education for faculty, staff and learners in effective communication, conflict resolution, human rights, discrimination and harassment, ethical reasoning, leadership training, quality assurance and improvement and enhancing personal health and well-being.
Confidential assistance for conflict resolution, human rights, harassment and discrimination.
Informal conflict resolution process is available to address concerns by a remedial approach or mediated resolution. Such a process is complementary to existing policies or procedures concerning appropriate professional behaviour.
A liaison contact for equity, diversity and quality assurance with organizations and associations including the two host universities, Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons, Ontario Medical Association, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (ACMC), Council of Ontario Universities, the Equity Diversity and Gender (EDG) Groups for the Council of Ontario Faculties of Medicine and the Canadian Association of Medical Schools, and the Professional Association of Interns and Residents of Ontario (PAIRO).
Principles of the Office
At the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, the Office of Equity and Quality will function according to the following principles.
- The Office sees itself as an agent of the School with its goal and mission to support and enhance a respectful and inclusive learning and work environment. Further, the Office assists in maintaining a positive workplace environment that ensures equal opportunities and respectful interactions for all students, staff and faculty regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, age, disability, union or religious affiliation.
- The Office supports the United Nations Convention for the Rights of Disabled People that assures “respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons that are part of the UN Convention”.
- The Office maintains its impartiality and considers the interests of all parties involved in any situation, in order to assist the parties in reaching mutually acceptable agreements that are fair, equitable, and consistent with the mission and policies of the School and the two host Universities. This is achieved largely through education and training at the individual, group, department and institutional levels regarding professional behaviors.
- The Office of Equity and Quality offers an informal conflict resolution process to all those working and learning within the School’s environment.
- The Office’s services are intended to be educational and remedial in nature. Information obtained through the informal conflict resolution process is “without prejudice” and therefore not used in employment, status, or merit decisions; or formal complaint resolution processes. The Office is neither an investigatory nor a judicial body.
- At the initial visit to the Office, individuals are informed that all dealings are strictly confidential unless the individual requests disclosure of information to a third party. No records are kept after the conclusion of an intervention. Individuals are made aware of the fact that they can choose formal processes at any time and are directed to the available resources on the university campus or within their affiliated association or union.
- Once an individual has decided to pursue a formal complaint, the Office withdraws and has no further involvement with the case in question.
- The Office does not discriminate and will offer assistance and direction to all NOSM members when requested. The central objective is to empower individuals to address their own issues and to provide them with the skills needed to do so. The Office provides skill development, counseling, mediation and problem solving. When long term psychological services are deemed of potential value, the individual or individuals will be referred to appropriate professionals.
- The Office works in collaboration with the existing associations, unions, and offices within the School, two host Universities, and Medical Student Society to ensure that individuals are offered relevant and optimal resources.
Kathleen BeOffice of Equity and Quality