Providence Health Care Named a Best Employer for New Canadians

Vancouver, February 23, 2008 — Providence Health Care (PHC) has been selected as one of the 20 Best Employers for New Canadians for 2008, a designation that recognizes the nation's best employers for recent immigrants.
PHC was the only health care organization in western Canada recognized in 2008 for its progressive work policies, educational and training opportunities and competitive compensation that assist new Canadians in making the transition to a new workplace and a new life in Canada.

“I would like to congratulate Providence Health Care on winning this prestigious award and for its role in attracting experienced foreign health care professionals,”said Health Minister George Abbott. “Patients and residents in British Columbia benefit from the skills foreign health care professionals bring to our province, particularly as we face the challenge of shortages of health care professionals overall. They play an important role in providing British Columbians with the best possible health care, particularly given our province’s cultural diversity.”

The second annual Best Employers for New Canadians competition is presented by Mediacorp Canada Inc., the editors of Canada's Top 100 Employers in partnership with TRIEC, a non-profit organization with extensive experience in immigrant employer issues. The 20 finalists represent employers from across Canada that lead their peers in creating workplaces that welcome new Canadians and allow them to make the most of their skills, education and talents.

“It is a great honour for Providence to be recognized as a leading organization that creates a welcoming and productive environment for employees who are recent immigrants,” said Dianne Doyle, PHC’s President and CEO. “Working with our health partners, Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health Authority, the Provincial Health Services Authority of BC and the Ministry of Health, we will continue to enhance our support programs to remain an employer of choice for leading health care professionals from around the world.”

PHC’s mission, vision and values respect the diversity, dignity and interdependence of all persons, which are reflected in the organization’s initiatives and programs that assist employees who are transitioning to life in Canada.

Background on PHC Initiatives and Services for Foreign Staff

• PHC notifies new applicants of the steps required to have their foreign qualifications evaluated by a provincially recognized evaluation service.

• PHC’s “onboarding” program consists of an organization-wide New Employee Orientation as well as unit-specific and job-specific orientation sessions (up to a week long). When training specifically for their roles, new employees are given “buddy” or “shadow” shifts, where they follow and are mentored by a senior staff member. If necessary, new employees who are recent immigrants are supported with extended shadow shifts and mentoring to gain confidence and better understand the Canadian workplace.

• PHC offers settlement services to help ease the transition for internationally recruited staff coming to work at PHC. These staff receive a relocation allowance and are paired up with a relocation agent who will help them with housing, community services and schools upon their arrival to Canada.

• PHC’s Diversity Services department facilitates and supports health care delivery in a diverse workplace and multicultural environment by providing education, developing resource and training materials and conducting workshops and lectures on cultural competence in health care. New Canadians coming to work in a multicultural environment for the first time especially benefit by learning about the needs of the diverse patient population that PHC serves.

• PHC’s Mission Services department and Pastoral Care Services regularly organize special events around different cultural and religious holidays throughout PHC sites to create awareness and appreciation for the different cultures represented among PHC staff.

• PHC participates in an International Nurse Recruitment Campaign branded under the title “Nurse Vancouver”. This campaign is a collaborative initiative with PHC and the three Health Authorities in Metro Vancouver and is supported by the Ministry of Health. The focus is to actively recruit foreign-trained nurses to help alleviate the nursing shortage in Metro Vancouver. Since its inception in 2006, more than 500 international nurses have been hired including 100 nurses to PHC.

• PHC participates in the Internationally Educated (IEN) Registered Nurses (RN) Post-Licensure Program, a four-month, intensive orientation and training program that provides internationally educated registered nurses already living in Canada (for whom English is a second language) an opportunity to update their skills in order to work in Canada while earning full wages. The fully subsidized program is 16 weeks in length consisting of language and orientation courses, classroom work and preceptorship in a hospital unit at PHC. Following this, nurses assume permanent full-time positions on the unit where they completed their preceptorship.

Every year, Mediacorp reviews information from thousands of Canadian organizations to identify what it takes to be one of Canada's best employers. The winners of the Best Employers for New Canadians competition will be profiled in special editorial features published Mediacorp’s media partners early in 2008. Employers selected for this list will also be featured in the paperback edition of Canada's Top 100 Employers in 2008.

Providence Health Care is the largest faith-based health care organization in Canada, operating eight facilities in Vancouver, B.C. Guided by the principle “How you want to be treated,” Providence delivers compassionate care to 350,000 patients and residents each year, while training medical professionals and making innovative advances in research.


Alex Vondette
Providence Health Care Communications
Tel 604.806.9857
Cel 778.828.7393
Pgr 604.252.4261