June 03, 2020
We are living in a time of great social anxiety, uncertainty, economic instability and fear. In the context of the stresses of the global pandemic, this past week has been marked by peaceful demonstrations and tragically, very violent acts of civil unrest in some major U.S. cities. Such instability has been stoked by the chronic outrages of racial and cultural discrimination and unyielding economic and social disparities. Too many people have a lived experience of “being left behind” and devalued by society. The sadly divisive, inflammatory rhetoric of some political leaders has fed these long-standing feelings of anger, disappointment and resentment. This past weekend in Toronto, we witnessed many in our community peacefully lending their voice in support of ending so many social, political and economic injustices.
At Baycrest, our diversity and compassion for our fellow human beings are fundamental to who we are and exist in sharp contrast to what we are bearing witness to in the headlines. Each day, we work together, with the sincerest and most genuine devotion, to create a community that respects all persons; a Baycrest where race, ethnicity, culture, age and gender must never limit an individual’s ability to realize their maximum potential and aspirations.
We are so proud of the rich diversity of people we happily embrace as our Baycrest community. We come from many different parts of the world. Our skin is every conceivable shade of colour. We have various backgrounds and lived experiences, but above all, we are bound firmly together by our singular commitment to serving others who are vulnerable—this is our life’s work.
Baycrest’s values are based on three essential pillars of humanity: compassion, advocacy and respect.
Compassion comes from caring relationships that are promoted and nurtured through a culture of sensitivity, understanding, trust, and integrity.
Advocacy is essential in promoting change and socially responsible choices that are sensitive to the needs of older adults and is best achieved through a strong collective voice of clients, families, staff, volunteers, and community partners.
Respect comes with the understanding that each person is unique, with intrinsic dignity and worth.
These values remind us why it is so important to always treat everyone as we wish ourselves to be treated. Living our values, together, makes us stronger.
We are all here, as part of the community that is Baycrest, with the moral mandate of Tikkun Olam – the repairing of a broken world – and at this moment, our world sadly seems in great need of repair. All of us as individuals, have a role to play through our thoughts, emotions and personal actions by modelling our Baycrest values for the warm benefit of others.
During these especially fretful times, let’s take a moment and count ourselves blessed to be part of a very caring, supportive and diverse Baycrest community.
William E. Reichman, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer, Baycrest