Healthy Working Environments

Introducing Healthy Working Environments initiative

The AMA Board has launched a new initiative towards Healthy Working Environments (HWE). Learn more about this initiative, its goals and processes on this page. At this time the Board is looking for members to join the Healthy Working Environments Advisory Committee. Learn more and apply here. 

About the Healthy Working Environments initiative

Almost a year ago, the AMA Board sat down at its annual business planning retreat and considered the convergence of issues related to respect in the workplace, diversity and inclusion, leadership and wellness - in both our profession and society at large. All of these things are relevant to AMA members and absolutely necessary if we are to play a leadership role in the system.

This discussion manifested in a new business plan goal, committing the AMA to “working with and for physicians to address system issues which impede attaining a safe, healthy and equitable working environment.”

Engagement and consultation

Healthy Work Environments InforgraphicThe Board has taken a comprehensive approach to tackling the Healthy Working Environments challenge, addressing multiple factors and their relationships. There has been engagement with physicians to: identify ways to create a more diverse, inclusive AMA; create awareness of the importance of HWEs; and identify possible strategies through member engagement and collaboration with our partners in the system.

We have approached our system partners, who welcomed the opportunity to be involved in a collaborative and system-wide approach. We kicked off these efforts via a leader’s meeting, joined by colleagues from: Alberta Health Services; Canadian Medical Association; College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta; Health Quality Council of Alberta; Canadian Medical Protective Association, Professional Association of Resident Physicians of Alberta; University of Alberta and Calgary Faculties of Medicine and Medical Students’ Associations. Through this session, a joint acknowledgement was reached that we have an interest in co-creating safe, healthy, equitable and inclusive cultures where all health care team members are respected, valued and supported fairly to achieve their full potential, while improving patient outcomes/satisfaction and supporting system sustainability.

The Board believes that success will require being flexible and fluid in planning, building on relationships and keeping work aligned across the system. To this end:

  • We have committed to a cycle of external leader meetings through an alliance of organizations, identified as the PROactive alliance.
  • We will be establishing an HWE Advisory Committee to provide informed advice and guidance to the Board in developing inclusive policies and innovative practices.

HWE Framework

The first product of the consultation and engagement was the AMA’s Healthy Working Environments Framework. See the infographic we have developed to highlight the three components of the framework and describe the events that contributed to its development:

1. Diversity and Inclusion: April was Celebrate Diversity Month in Canada, illustrating the increasing importance of this topic in organizations and society. A healthy workplace should provide an open, accessible and accepting environment that strives for equity and embraces, respects and values our differences. Inclusive cultures further strengthen our profession, while enhancing clinical outcomes.

2. Leadership: Leadership enables HWE through modeling, advocacy and support. Leadership is also accountable for promoting equitable and respectful work environments and responding to issues and challenges in order to sustain HWE.

3. Psycho-Social Wellness and Safety: These elements strongly relate to a Just Culture with its system of shared accountability – within an open learning environment. The announcement of the AMA/CMA Well Doc collaboration under our new Memorandum of Understanding is an early and important step under this component of the HWE framework.

Look for more updates and information to come on this page regarding the AMA's progress and plans for enabling and strengthening Health Work Environments..

The AMA advances patient-centered, quality care by advocating for and supporting physician leadership and wellness.