October 6, 2010

Region campaign promotes respectful environments

The Winnipeg Health Region is launching a new campaign to promote a courteous and respectful environment in its facilities.

The goal is to raise awareness about the important role respect plays in communication and creating a safe, healthy environment in facilities throughout the Region, says Diane Gantzel, Director of Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health for the Region.

Posters promoting the campaign went up at Region facilities last week. At the heart of the initiative is a simple message: Everyone wants to be treated with respect, and everyone has a role in making that desire a reality.

"Clients and patients in our facilities are essentially our customers who come to us for service," says Gantzel, who helped conceive and develop the campaign.

"When they come to us for treatment, they are often at their most vulnerable. They and their families deserve to be treated with respect, which will help create a safe and healthy environment for their health concerns to be addressed. Equally important is that our staff also deserve an environment free of violence and to be treated with respect and kindness as they fulfill their role in the provision of care," she says.

The campaign is also designed to promote respect among health-care providers and their managers, says Gantzel. "Respect includes freedom from discrimination, harassment and workplace violence. The message is simple: respect is expected amongst everyone."

John Van Massenhoven, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for the Region, emphasized the notion of respect is a two-way street.

"Each person needs to consider how their words and actions contribute to creating a respectful environment," says Van Massenhoven, who also helped create the campaign. "Follow through is the core component with respectful workplace. We need to make sure we're meeting not only our legal requirements for a respectful workplace, but also ensuring our staff an environment where they can be successful by focusing on providing care."

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