Media Advisory - Nurses Celebrate Diversity by Marching in Toronto's Pride Parade

    TORONTO, June 26 /CNW/ - A group of Ontario nurses will march in this
weekend's Pride Parade in Toronto to show support for diverse sexual
orientations and gender identities.
    Members of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) and one
of its affiliated groups, the Rainbow Nursing Interest Group (RNIG), want to
draw attention to the realities this diverse population experiences. Although
more than 1.25 million people in Ontario identify themselves as members of
gender or sexual minority communities, there is evidence their health-care
needs are not always being met. A study by Health Canada showed the unmet
health-care needs among gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people was
nearly double that of heterosexuals.
    "We are thrilled to be taking part in this year's parade. This event
celebrates our province's potential to be an open and diverse society," says
Doris Grinspun, Executive Director of RNAO. "However, we haven't done enough
work to address issues of homophobia and heterosexism in the health-care
system. Grinspun says that is why the association developed a policy statement
aimed at educating frontline health-care providers and health-care
    Judith MacDonnell, an RN and Co-Chair of RNAO's Rainbow Nursing Interest
Group, says one reason this diverse population doesn't always receive the care
it needs is because some avoid traditional health-care settings out of fear
they will experience discrimination or be refused care.
    "We have to confront these issues head on and ensure that nurses and
other health-care providers treat all patients respectfully. That will go a
long way towards making the system more inclusive," she says.

        -  Doris Grinspun, Executive Director, RNAO
        -  Judith MacDonnell, Co-Chair of RNAO's Rainbow Nursing Interest
        -  Other members of RNAO's Rainbow Nursing Interest Group

    WHAT:  The Toronto Pride Parade

    WHERE: Bloor Street (between Church and Jarvis Streets) Toronto

    WHEN:  Sunday, June 29, 2008 at 1 p.m.
           The RNIG group number is 185

    RNAO is the professional association representing registered nurses
wherever they practise in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy
public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses'
contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that
affect nurses and the public they serve.

For further information:

For further information: Marion Zych, Director of Communications,
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, Ph: (416) 408-5605 (office), (647)
406-5605 (mobile)

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