Supporting the health system to be more culturally safe for Indigenous people is one of our top priorities. All our programs and initiatives work towards respectful and inclusive health services for Indigenous people in northern BC.
There are a number of ways that the Indigenous Health can support leaders and staff within Northern Health, from participating on committees and working groups to providing training and mentoring.
Northern Health works in close partnership with the First Nations Health Authority to enhance the health and wellness of Indigenous people in northern BC. One of the key ways we collaborate is on the Northern First Nations Health and Wellness Committee.
Examples of initiatives in partnership with the First Nations Health Authority include: Post-Secondary Student Awards, Joint Project Board projects, Indigenous Community Wellness Funding Awards, and Community-based Learning Program for medical students.
Northern First Nations, the First Nations Health Authority and Northern Health are working together to improve the health and wellness of First Nations peoples and communities in the north.
The Northern First Nations Health Partnership Committee is part of the new First Nations Health Governance structure in BC. It was established to implement the goals of the Northern Partnership Accord, signed in May 2012.
Many Indigenous people and communities in northern BC encounter barriers to accessing services that are related to living in rural and remote communities. In addition, there are challenges to continuity of care for people accessing care in Northern Health facilities and then returning to home communities. Indigenous Health partners with Northern Health programs, communities, and the First Nations Health Authority on a number of levels to enhance access to needed services and to improve continuity of care. An important place this work is done is at Aboriginal Health Improvement Committees. In addition, 10 Aboriginal Patient Liaisons work at Northern Health facilities across northern BC to facilitate access to quality, culturally safe care for Indigenous people.
Aboriginal patient experience data is collected by Northern Health and provides information on how First Nations and Aboriginal people are experiencing health services. Indigenous Health reviews this information on a regular basis and works with Northern Health leaders and staff for continuous quality improvement.
According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, “knowledge translation is a dynamic and iterative process that includes synthesis, dissemination, exchange and ethically-sound application of knowledge to improve the health of Canadians, provide more effective health services and products, and strengthen the health care system.”
For our team, undertaking knowledge translation activities includes identifying information gaps and the best approach to address that gap, then developing and disseminating resources and undertaking initiatives in response. These are evaluated and revised as needed in an iterative process.
Northern Health is a vibrant part of communities across northern BC. When people come to seek health services, we want them to see their community reflected in the workforce. A workforce that reflects the community, supports a culturally safe health system for everyone. This in turn supports increased access to health care and improved health outcomes.
Indigenous Health is working with Human Resources and Recruitment to develop and roll-out a strategy to support a strong Indigenous workforce in Northern Health. Learn more about three related initiatives below:
Indigenous Health responds to and connects local Northern Health leaders and staff with invitations to attend health fairs, recruitment fairs, and special events that support Indigenous peoples' health and wellness.
We organize regional gatherings that bring together community members and service providers who participate on Aboriginal Health Improvement Committees, to learn about and address topics relevant for Indigenous peoples’ health and wellness.
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