2014 CAE Recipient Profile - North York General Hospital

North York General (NYGH) is one of Canada's leading community academic hospitals.

NYGH provides the best care possible for patients and their families, and has proudly served the diverse North York, Ontario community since 1968. The hospital offers a wide range of acute care, ambulatory and long-term care services at three sites. NYGH is driven by an ongoing commitment to continually improve the services provided to best meet the needs of the community.

The hospital’s mission of “providing exceptional health care to our diverse communities” supports the organization’s commitment to providing an exceptional care experience to our patients and their families. The hospital’s vision to “lead the pursuit of excellence through learning, innovation and partnerships” is grounded in the values of respect, integrity, excellence and compassion.  The hospital’s nearly 5,000 staff, physicians and volunteers embrace these values and the belief that patients and their families are at the heart of everything they do.

In April 2012, NYGH unveiled its Strategic Plan 2012-2015 which was developed in partnership with staff, physicians and volunteers. One of the pillars of the hospital’s Strategic Plan 2012-2015 is building a culture of quality, safety and patient- and family-centred care. To help support this culture, NYGH created a human resource strategy – the People Plan – that provides staff, physicians and volunteers with the tools they need to find fulfillment in their work and provide their patients with the care and commitment they deserve.

The People Plan empowers NYGH staff, physicians and volunteers to be their best –at work and beyond – and to act as ambassadors for the organization’s strategic success. It is a principled approach to optimize organizational and individual capability, consistent with a Learning Organization.

In its commitment to support each person to be the best they can be, the hospital fosters a culture of shared accountability and learning, enables leadership throughout the organization and promotes a holistic approach to ensure optimal health, wellness and safety for staff, physicians and volunteers.

The People Philosophy, one of the core elements of the People Plan, articulates the principles NYGH uses to support the evolution of the hospital’s culture. Consistent application of these principles enables the organization on its journey to excellence. The People Philosophy embraces the idea that every member of staff, each physician and each volunteer is a part of the hospital team. This encourages dialogue, collaboration and initiative both vertically and horizontally and initiatives are in place so all have the knowledge and tools necessary to succeed.

Targeted initiatives have advanced the quality of care provided at the hospital. NYGH’s commitment to innovation, collaboration and open dialogue have placed it as a recognized leader in quality health care. In 2012, the hospital was recognized as one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures. That same year, the hospital is also fully accredited with “Exemplary Standing”, the highest level of achievement, meeting 100 per cent of all required organizational practices.

The hospital understands that to maintain a culture of excellence and quality there is a need for continuous reevaluation and improvement. Strong leadership and empowered staff are committed to examining and revising existing practices and policies to ensure the hospital continues to raise the bar for health, safety and wellness in the health care workplace.


Our Journey

To align with our overall mission of providing exceptional patient and family centered care, NYGH recognizes the value of investing in the support of our health care professionals to be their best in order to create positive individual and organizational outcomes. We are committed to a healthy workplace; one that ensures optimal mental and physical health, wellness and safety for staff, physicians and volunteers through the development and evolution of a culture that supports employee health and well-being.

Our Organizational Wellness Plan confirms our commitment to, and value in, a safe and healthy workplace for our staff, physicians and volunteers. The recipient of numerous healthy workplace awards, our holistic approach to wellness incorporates physical and psychological health and safety.

Healthy Workplace is one of the core elements of our 2013-2016 People Plan. Each year we develop an organizational health plan based on the three drivers of the Quality Healthcare framework. In 2013-14, we defined our deliverables and celebrated such successes as:

  • Canada Awards for Excellence Healthy Workplace Award, Gold level
  • OHA Quality Healthy Workplace Award, Gold – four years in a row

For 2014-15, our organizational focus is on mental wellness. We continue to develop holistic mental health programs, using an evidence-based best practice approach and taking into account the National Standards for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. Our goal is to enhance mental health promotion and support, illness prevention and anti-stigma initiatives to promote employee, physician and volunteer well-being. 

We view our progress in supporting optimal mental wellness as a journey. With the help of Excellence Canada, we will continue to identify future opportunities to build mental health awareness into our organizational structure.  Receiving the prestigious Mental Health at Work award from Excellence Canada is a natural evolution of our journey to excellence in promoting health, safety and wellness at North York General Hospital.