Building bridges: MGH program cultivates support and trust among Indigenous patients – MUHC

May 13, 2024

“More and more Indigenous patients are starting to hear about our program and the services that are there to support them.  It makes us happy to know they may be less anxious when seeking medical treatment at the MUHC.” Camille Panneton and Sidonie Laurier are Indigenous Liaison Agents. They took a few minutes out of their busy day to talk about the program that is approaching its first anniversary.

How does the Indigenous Liaison Program work?

The program officially got off the ground across the province last July following recommendations from the Viens Commission on cultural safety. Liaison Agents were deployed in 10 Montreal healthcare institutions – including the MUHC. Supervised by the MUHC Partnership Office, it is intended to strengthen ties and build trust with Indigenous communities by providing culturally sensitive care in the health network. Liaison Agents act as advocates for patients in addition to providing comfort and support.  They also offer guidance and information on relevant and respectful practices to the clinical teams. “We’re not here to step on anyone’s toes or tell them what to do. The teams have their own systems, ways of working and protocols to follow,” states Camille. “We are here to accompany and support them in their work with Indigenous patients. We are available for questions, concerns or extra support,” she adds.

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