B.C. Funds Kamloops Aboriginal Nursing Project

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2007HEALTH0149-001556
Nov. 30, 2007

Ministry of Health

KAMLOOPS – The Secwepemc Cultural Education Society has received $64,350 from the Province as part of the government’s Aboriginal Nursing Strategies, a provincewide initiative that this year will provide $500,000 to increase Aboriginal nursing opportunities in B.C., Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger and Kamloops MLA Claude Richmond announced today.“By providing funding to Aboriginal nursing projects around the province, this government is clearly demonstrating its commitment to closing gaps in Aboriginal health care,” said Krueger, speaking at today’s cheque presentation event. “The Secwepemc Cultural Education Society project will benefit the Secwepemc people and Aboriginal communities across the province by raising the profile of Aboriginal nursing.”

The main goal of the Secwepemc Cultural Education Society project is to increase the number of Aboriginal nurses in the province by developing a pre-training program to help Aboriginal students prepare for nursing school. This training program will be focused on the needs of Aboriginal adults and the majority of teaching will be interactive in nature. Students will also have the opportunity to experience job shadowing and nursing site visits.

“That this project will provide the opportunity for an increased number of Aboriginal people to realize their dream of becoming nurses is amazing,” said Richmond, who also attended the cheque presentation. “This is a great day for the Secwepemc people and for the people of Kamloops.”

Aboriginal nursing projects receiving funding through the Ministry of Health’s Nursing Directorate must focus on at least one of four main goals:

· Recruiting and/or supporting Aboriginal students;

· Recruiting and retaining Aboriginal nurses;

· Supporting nursing in Aboriginal communities in B.C.; and

· Developing health promotion and disease prevention materials for B.C.’s Aboriginal communities.

Since 2001, the Province has invested $174 million towards B.C.’s Nursing Strategy with a focus on educating, recruiting and retaining qualified nurses.

“This project is a great opportunity for us to provide potential nurses within the Secwepemc communities with preparatory health careers training that is both relevant and sensitive to the needs of each student,” said George Kaliszewski, executive director of the Secwepemc Cultural Education Society. “We hope to empower our students by ensuring that they are academically and personally prepared to further their nursing education.”

The Ministry of Health issued a request for proposals for Aboriginal nursing projects for 2007/2008 in June 2007. A total of $500,000 was available to Aboriginal groups, post-secondary institutions, nursing associations and other organizations. This year, in order to provide more flexibility to organizations wishing to submit proposals, the government did not place a limit on individual funding.

The Secwepemc Cultural Education Society project is one of 15 projects receiving funding through Aboriginal Nursing Strategies for 2007/2008. All funded projects must be completed by March 31, 2008 and the lead of each project is required to submit a final evaluation report to the Ministry of Health by April 15, 2008.

Aboriginal Nursing Strategies funding reflects the goals of the Pacific Leadership Agenda and demonstrates the Province’s commitment to build a new relationship with Aboriginal people and to close gaps in health, housing, education and economic opportunities.

For more information about Aboriginal Nursing Strategies, please visit www.health.gov.bc.ca/ndirect/.

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Media contact:

Marisa Adair
Communications Director
Ministry of Health
250 952-1889
250 920-8500 (cell)

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