Photo credit: 'Ksan dancers near Hazelton by Arlon Gislason from Picture BC http://www.picturebc.ca/
Aboriginal Health works to support the integration of First Nations and Aboriginal perspectives into all aspects of Northern Health. Our work falls within four strategic directions:
- Foster engagement and enhance partnerships between Northern Health and Aboriginal communities, stakeholders, organizations and individuals.
- Increase effective service delivery.
- Increase investment in the Aboriginal workforce.
- Develop and undertake program and service monitoring and evaluation.
The following are some of the key programs and initiatives.
Build Cultural Competency
All of our Aboriginal Health programs and services are designed to support cultural competence within Northern Health. Cultural competency is having the skills, knowledge and attitudes to ensure that patients feel culturally safe. Cultural safety is felt or experienced by a patient when health care providers communicate and act in respectful, inclusive ways. The overall goal is for First Nations and Aboriginal people to feel welcome and safe from discrimination in health care environments.
Aboriginal Health Improvement Committees (AHICs)
Northern Health works with First Nations and Aboriginal leaders in each of the three Health Service Delivery Areas to establish permanent Aboriginal Health Improvement Committees. These committees are a venue where you can bring your health care concerns, information on events and/or opportunities. AHICs meet to share information and work in partnership on identified health care issues facing First Nations and Aboriginal people in the area.
Aboriginal Health Initiative Program (AHIP) Grants
This grant program has been administered by Aboriginal Health at Northern Health since 2002. Grants support First Nations communities and Aboriginal organizations in their work of improving health for Aboriginal people.
Aboriginal Patient Liaison (APL) Program
Aboriginal Health supports nine Aboriginal Patient Liaisons throughout the region. The role of Aboriginal Patient Liaisons is to facilitate Aboriginal people's access to health care services in a culturally and linguistically appropriate way, to increase quality of care, and improve Aboriginal patient experiences.
Aboriginal Health Conferences
Aboriginal Health has convened a number of regional conferences over the years to bring together people from across Northern Health to share and learn about topics relevant for First Nations and Aboriginal peoples' health.
Northern First Nations Partnership Committee
This committee is comprised of members from the First Nations Health Council Northern Regional Health Caucus, Northern Health, and the First Nations Health Authority. In May 2012, the Northern Partnership Accord was signed and outlines how we will work together to improve health outcomes for First Nations people residing in the North.