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‘Future proofing’ the health, well-being of Canadian workplaces: The Benefits Together series from Medavie Blue Cross

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May 4, 2023
By Talent Canada

Alaina Mackenzie and Bernard Lord (CNW Group/Medavie Blue Cross)

Experts in worker health and well-being gathered recently at a trio of conferences held in Halifax, Toronto and Montreal to talk about ways organizations can support their employees.

Hosted by Medavie Blue Cross, Benefits Together put access to care, mental health and diversity and inclusion into focus, while exploring the urgent questions and transformational trends that are top of mind for employers, including:

  • How can employers ensure their employees have timely access to quality care?
  • How can employers meet the diverse health and wellness needs of their employees?
  • How can employers better support the mental health of their employees?

Alaina Mackenzie, regional vice-president of business development at Medavie Blue Cross, pointed out there are five generations of employees working side-by-side in Canada.

“The great variance in wellness needs across groups of employees illustrates the importance of companies being proactive and ensuring their employees can access different types of care at every stage of life,” said Mackenzie. “This includes ensuring their group benefit plans provide employees with flexibility and optionality to support their individual health journeys.”


Bernard Lord, former premier of New Brunswick and CEO of Medavie, said access to appropriate care and the rising cost of health care are challenges all organizations are grappling with.

“As the needs and expectations of Canadians continue to change when it comes to receiving health care, the insurance sector, including Medavie, can adapt quickly to make services available to plan members, where and how they need them,” said Lord.

Dr. Oriuwa (CNW Group/Medavie Blue Cross)

Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuqa, a physician and advocate for diversity and inclusion, dared attendees to “stand in your authenticity and occupy powerful spaces, or if you have had the historical privilege of doing so, I dare you to make room for those to step in from the margins. By doing this, you will not only empower yourself, but actually shift the culture of a collective and inspire a generation. It’s only when we do this that the gaps in equity begin to close, and opportunities for success are made available to all.”

Jennifer Taylor (CNW Group/Medavie Blue Cross)

Jennifer Taylor, director, diversity, equity and inclusion at Medavie, said employees want to work for organizations with values that align with them.

“Employers should view this as an opportunity to rise to the occasion and recalibrate their workplaces, which includes a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Taylor. “Workplaces that evolve to support social changes and expectations will set their employees – and ultimately the entire business – up for success. Similar, benefit offerings must continue to evolve to be as inclusive and accessible as possible so that we are meeting people where they are.”

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