Over the years, the CSRT has been mindful in ensuring that all its members have access to resources, online learning, conference education and knowledge translation activities, and to its platform to broaden respiratory knowledge and professional development. With a heightened sense of duty and accountability, its members are assured that the guiding principles of equity, diversity, and inclusivity (EDI) are embedded within its processes and protocols. These are adhered to ensure that its members, volunteers, and employees are supported and continue to benefit from, participate in, and contribute fully within their practice domains. These principles are enshrined within the newly implemented CSRT position statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity.
The CSRT recognizes the highly diverse membership it serves, and the subsequent broad communities of practice that support a sundry of population/ clientele. This diversity in membership enriches contributions of personal life experiences and professional perspectives that are critical in offering a holistic and comprehensive view of the world in which respiratory practices are dynamic and progressive. In recognizing also that systemic and structural barriers, alongside unconscious bias exist in practice environments that may threaten transparent sharing of knowledge and communication, CSRT affirms that the principles of EDI are encompassed within the requirement of the respiratory therapists to practice with independence and impartiality. This responsibility asserts that everyone has an equal right to be valued and respected. It is acknowledged that through openness and discourse, those who have been traditionally marginalized and/ or under-represented may have opportunity to exercise their right for equality, value, and respect.
Self reflection taps into our world views which are shaped by our own personal experiences and life learnings…we can explore our perspectives of power, privilege, purpose, and values. In building tolerance and understanding of varied views and perspectives of our colleagues and clients, it stretches the bandwidth of our capacity and capability to promote empathy, alliance, and collaboration that produces better outcomes. It is an exciting time for CSRT as it proactively embarks this year on a reflective journey to prepare for the next Strategic Planning cycle (Strat Plan). While the present strategic agenda’s outcomes are well on the way of being realized, a seamless transition to the new Strat Plan that is fluidic and builds upon the strengths to guide the evolving practice for respiratory therapists is being envisioned. With the diverse membership that CSRT serves, the Strat Planning exercise will unravel the fibers of CSRT’s processes and infrastructure to enable a careful examination through the lens of EDI. These will then be distilled and further refined to better suit the needs of our evolving membership that serves a diverse clientele and thereafter, woven back into the fabric of the association for continuous enhancement and enactment.
The CSRT salutes all respiratory therapists for their extraordinary efforts in seeing through COVID-19 in 2020, and stronger still to rise above and overcome its ripple effects in 2021. The pandemic has emphasized that we are united and steadfast because of our diversity which is a secure foundation to combat respiratory infections using evidence informed best practices while leveraging our collective knowledge and expertise. A primary aim of the CSRT is to ensure all members, volunteers and employees are given equal opportunity within the association, and to ensure the association is representative of its membership and communities they serve. We are reminded that in partnership we are more visible, and in unity we are better together.
Chitra Gnanasabesan, President
Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists