Niagara Health releases first Indigenous Health Services Plan

Press Release

Developed in collaboration with Indigenous leaders and community members by Niagara Health’s Indigenous Health Services and Reconciliation team, the Plan provides a clear focus to improve hospital services and experiences for Indigenous patients and their families.

“The public launch of the Indigenous Health Services Plan is a testament to our commitment to improving hospital care and services for Indigenous Peoples,” says Lynn Guerriero, Niagara Health President and CEO. “The Plan is designed to address the specific healthcare needs of Indigenous patients while promoting cultural safety and embracing traditional healing practices.”

The Plan was officially unveiled during an event at the Marotta Family Hospital in St. Catharines on Friday, where distinguished guests, including the Deputy Minister of Health Deborah Richardson, were present to witness this important milestone.

“Niagara Health’s Indigenous Health Services Plan, with its focus on enhancing hospital services and experiences for Indigenous patients and their families, is an example of how hospitals can promote reconciliation and advance Indigenous health equity and ultimately better outcomes,” says Richardson.

The Plan includes initiatives designed to improve access to healthcare services, enhance cultural safety and promote traditional healing practices within the hospital. It also outlines strategies for recruiting and retaining Indigenous healthcare professionals, strengthening relationships with Indigenous community providers and providing education and training for staff on cultural safety.

Niagara Health extends its heartfelt appreciation to the many organizations and community members who provided guidance and input throughout the development of the Plan. Their wisdom and expertise have been invaluable in shaping the initiatives and priorities that will drive our Plan forward.

Niagara Health’s Indigenous Health Services and Reconciliation team led the development of this Plan. Comprised of dedicated individuals, this team is at the forefront of planning and implementing practices and services that promote a culturally safe environment and the delivery of high-quality healthcare. The team will continue to serve the community within Niagara Health.

“Our Plan is a reflection of our deep respect and understanding of Indigenous culture and traditions,” says Charity Beland, Manager, Indigenous Health Services. “Through this Plan, we aim to create a healthcare environment that truly values and honours Indigenous patients, ensuring that their unique needs are met with sensitivity and compassion.”

As a first step in the healing journey, Niagara Health recognizes that there is still much work to be done. The launch of the Indigenous Health Services Plan represents a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to improving hospital services for Indigenous patients and their families.

As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency, Niagara Health will be publicly reporting on the progress of this Plan.

For more information about our Indigenous Health Services Plan: Journey to Reconciliation and Niagara Health’s Indigenous Health Services and Reconciliation team, please visit our website.

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