Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO) is a unique, mutli-faceted knowledge hub and capacity building program of Sherbourne Health. Rainbow Health Ontario creates new opportunities for the health care system to better serve LGBT2SQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two Spirit, and queer) communities, with the goal of ensuring the needs of one million LGBT2SQ Ontarians are included in health policy, planning, service delivery and research.

The original RHO website was built in 2014 but had become dated and no longer reflected the the current-day needs of the program or its users. The Service Provider Directory had grown and its functionality needs had changed. The Resources area had been shown to need different types of behaviour and segmentation. RHO had also produced more and new types of information regarding trans health which the previous was not well positioned to share and disseminate.

In 2019, Sherbourne Health issued a Request for Proposals for website redevelopment for Rainbow Health Ontario.

  • Develop a modern and contemporary website the supports information-rich nature of RHO
  • Create a user experience that will provide mechanisms for feedback, better search and content filtering experiences and present new content and scale content over time
  • Leverage an enterprise level, best-in class CMS for ease of maintenance, internal administration and continued development over time


Sandbox and design partners Intent began with a thorough research and discovery phase to better understand the needs of RHO and its stakeholders for the new website. RHO was not a simple corporate website but a complex resource and knowledge hub for health care providers, researchers, and LGBT2SQ community members. It was critical that content-rich approach to designing the new website was used given the program and the website's extensive resources and information.


The new Rainbow Heath Ontario website was launched in June 2020. It is fully responsive and bilingual and features an advanced search. This custom tool, developed by Sandbox Software, allows users to easily search for and navigated RHO's wealthy of online information and resources. Users can search by key word and are offerred typo suggestions. They can also filter their results by date, and predetermined resource type (news article, research paper, media etc.). Sandbox also optimized content workflow by enabling content automation (post types being automatically pulled and displayed in different areas) that effectively supports the needs of different users, while simultaneously minimizing RHO resourcing directed to duplicative content management.

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"Sandbox dedicated themselves to understanding the needs and journeys of our multiple user types in a healthcare sector context. Their approach to project management and the project itself was highly collaborative and communicative. Feedback on the final product has been overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic."

— Colleen Westendorf, Communications Officer - Web & Digital Lead, Sherbourne Health

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