Partnering Agreement Enhances Integrated Health Care Delivery across Northern Ontario

TORONTO, June 9 – The success of a decade-long collaborative partnership between the largest provincial Telemedicine program in Canada – the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) – and the largest First Nations-directed Telemedicine program in Canada – KO Telemedicine – has led to a more formal partnering agreement that will further develop and expand seamless, integrated telemedicine services for all residents of Ontario.The foundation of the agreement is based on the mutual collaboration of the Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO) Chiefs and OTN to support and include First Nations in the development of an extensive telemedicine Network across Ontario.

Geordi Kakepetum, Executive Director of KO, said “Keewaytinook Okimakanak has had a long-standing partnership with the Ontario Telemedicine Network that was based on getting services to all residents of Ontario. Through this shared vision, KO has worked with OTN to develop a First Nations-directed, holistic model of telemedicine that is changing health care service delivery in remote communities.”

Dr. Ed Brown, CEO of OTN, said “The critical ingredient for any successful partnership is not the agreement, but the people behind it. The commitment and hard work of the KO leadership and the staff of KO Telemedicine to making our partnership work to improve health care is remarkable. Together, OTN and KO have made a greater contribution to the health of communities in Ontario than either organization could do alone.”

“This partnership marks a significant milestone of working collaboratively with provincial and federal partners towards the shared vision of improving the health of our people,” said Angus Toulouse, the Regional Chief of Ontario. “We intend to build on this experience to expand access to this technology for all First Nations in Ontario”.

Formalizing the collaboration in a partnering agreement is reflective of the growth of both Networks and the ongoing need for a partnering approach to support on-reserve delivery of telemedicine.

The Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the Government of Ontario. “Telemedicine” (TM) is the provision of interactive health care using modern telecommunications technologies. Using two-way videoconferencing systems and tele-diagnostic instruments, OTN helps deliver clinical care and professional education among health care providers and patients. For more information:

KO Telemedicine (KOTM) will improve health for all First Nations Communities through a sustainable First Nations Telemedicine Program that is holistic, community driven and culturally-appropriate. KOTM delivers clinical, educational and administrative services via videoconferencing and advanced information communication technologies to First Nation communities in Ontario. For more information:

For further information: Rhona Lahey, Communications and Government Relations, Ontario Telemedicine Network, (613) 244-3131,

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