CDHO recognizes its responsibility as a regulatory body that serves the public to meaningful address issues of inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility. We are committed to doing what we can to remove systemic barriers and foster a sense of belonging where different voices can be heard and valued.
We are actively looking within our own organization to develop a deeper understanding of these issues and, more importantly, how to deliver real change. This is a process, but as a starting point we have:
- Partnered with Indspire, an Indigenous national charity, to create the CDHO Bursary for Indigenous Students in Dental Hygiene Programs. Through this partnership, CDHO is supporting efforts to increase access to higher education for Indigenous students.
- Working with the three other oral health profession regulators (Dentists, Denturists and Dental Technologists), facilitated a session for our staff and Councils with First Peoples Group on Indigenous peoples, Reconciliation and anti-bias.
- Implemented several training initiatives to ensure that staff and Council can foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment. This training is on-going and has covered topics such as gender diversity and inclusivity, understanding biases, Reconciliation and Indigenous inclusion, and inequalities in access to oral healthcare, among other topics.
- Engaged a third-party research company to speak with Dental Hygiene clients and Registered Dental Hygienists. This research will include questions around experiences of racism and discrimination. We will use these findings to provide resources and information to clients and Registered Dental Hygienists to help create more inclusive and welcoming environments.