Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO) is a province-wide program of Sherbourne Health that works to promote the health of Ontario’s LGBT2SQ communities and improve their access to services. RHO creates resources, provides information and consultation services, delivers education and training, and supports research to develop evidence-based practice and informed public policy.
RHO works to improve health outcomes for LGBT2SQ communities across the province by:
RHO is a program of Sherbourne Health, a dynamic provider of integrated health services, community programs and capacity-building initiatives that enable people and diverse communities to achieve wellness. As an urban health agency in downtown Toronto, Sherbourne provides holistic primary care and chronic disease management, mental health services, health promotion and education, and outreach and social supports. Sherbourne’s doors are open to everyone, with a focus on the LGBT2SQ community, homeless and under-housed people and newcomers to Canada, whose complex needs are often not met by traditional health care. Sherbourne combines high quality clinical care with responsive, culturally appropriate community development programs that bring low-barrier services to people in the surrounding communities who need it most.
Our mission is to improve access to services and to promote the health of Ontario’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer communities.
We envision a province in which all lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people are healthy and valued members of their diverse communities and are supported by equitable services and public policy.
The diverse communities we serve inform our beliefs and the guiding principles for our actions. As a program of Sherbourne Health (SHC), we are aligned with the SHC Beliefs and Guiding Principles. We believe in the value of diversity and respect for the individual. We believe in equity and an anti-oppression philosophy that underlies everything we do. We act with integrity in every choice and decision we make. We consider the whole person and believe that we cannot act alone; we must collaborate with our partners to build the health of our clients and communities.
Social determinants of health
We believe that the social, cultural, political and economic context of peoples’ lives has a big impact on their health. We recognize sexual orientation and gender identity as determinants of health that impact health and wellness. We consider the social determinants of health when we plan and offer services, engage in advocacy activities and develop community and health system partnerships. We strive to understand and influence policies that will strengthen the communities we serve.
We believe in an anti-racism, anti-oppression approach to our work. This means that we are concerned with eradicating social injustice perpetuated by the intersecting and compounding impact of structural inequalities, including, but not limited to, race, national or ethnic origin, sex, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, age, class, ability, religion or spirituality, immigration or family status, and identities arising from these, on individuals’ and communities’ state of health and well-being. Our anti-oppression approach grounds our actions at the individual level, the organizational level and in pursuing positive social changes that will promote health.
We believe that we must balance our accountability to LGBT2SQ communities, funding agencies, service providers, staff and other stakeholders. We understand that to serve communities across Ontario, we need to be prudent stewards of our resources and strive to ensure the future sustainability of our services.
Commitment to quality and safety
We define quality primary health care as working with communities to realize the delivery of culturally competent care and services to achieve the best possible outcomes. We are committed to creating an environment of safety in the provision of our services and to working with our stakeholders to provide opportunities for learning and capacity building. We are also committed to ongoing continuous improvement of quality and safety.
Responsibility for ecological stewardship
We believe that we are responsible for promoting policies and practices that reflect responsibility and stewardship for the environment. We will make thoughtful choices to minimize our ecological footprint while optimizing positive impacts on environmental health. We are committed to minimizing harm while contributing to a healthy planet.
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This website is administered by the staff of Rainbow Health Ontario and is not written or edited by medical professionals. We attempt to provide the most up-to-date information possible, and review the content regularly.