PRESS RELEASE New hostel soon turning from vision to reality Sioux Lookout, ON, May 13, 2009: The Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA) is excited to report the new hostel in Sioux Lookout will be opening its doors this fall and making the vision a reality.Since planning began in June 2004, in conjunction with the new hospital for Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC), construction has progressed to a point where SLFNHA’s Director of Client Services Darryl Quedent is now confident they will be holding the grand opening ceremony in October 2009. The current hostel, located at the SLMHC 7th Avenue site, has 39 beds and is lacking in space and services for its clients. The new two-storey, 38,000+ Sq. Ft. facility will hold 100 beds, food services, a luggage storage area, a family lounge & games area, a children’s play area and an array of activities. The new facility will not only provide food services for clients everyday, but will also hold a domestic kitchen which includes an area to store and prepare traditional foods brought from home. SLFNHA expects the family friendly accommodations to be especially welcoming for maternity patients and others that often stay for extended periods of time. As in the past, SLFNHA will continue with client support and advocacy, ensuring a safe home-away-from-home for clients traveling to Sioux Lookout for healthcare at SLMHC as well as those on their way to specialist appointments, such as in Winnipeg or Thunder Bay. The majority of clients that travel to Sioux Lookout for healthcare are from the 31 northern communities in the Sioux Lookout zone. With the new facility comes a new name and logo for the hostel. The name and logo contest closed on May 8 and the judging is now underway. The winner of the contest will take home a laptop, with the runners up receiving a digital camera and MP3 player. “We have received a number of creative ideas that were forwarded to us,” says Hana Beitl, Hostel Project Assistant. “This is a special opportunity to make a lasting mark recognized by future generations to come.” SLFNHA is also excited about the many new employment opportunities at the hostel, including dietary aides, security, maintenance, housekeeping and many other positions. SLFNHA recently held a career fair in Sioux Lookout to promote the new jobs and anticipate the jobs will be advertised in the near future. For more information about the new hostel, please contact Darryl Quedent, Director of Client Services, at (807) 737-1802. Visit to read more about the hostel project and to see future job postings. –30– Attached are recent photos of the construction site and artist’s rendering of the new hostel. If you have any problems opening attachments or to obtain high-res images, please contact Irene Dube, Communications Officer, at (807) 737-6124 or

As of May 14, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) Phase of Pandemic Alert still remains at Phase 5.

To date, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) – Surveillance unit has reported 119 confirmed cases in Ontario of the H1N1 Influenza A. All these cases have been relatively mild. Please note that PHAC’s confirmed case numbers are accurate. On May 13, 2009, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit released a media update stating that there are no confirmed cases of H1N1 reported for Thunder Bay District.There have been many questions regarding the H1N1 virus and planned school trips, transmission of the virus, etc.. As of April 27, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is recommending that all travellers from Canada postpone elective or non-essential travel to Mexico until further notice as the outbreak is now affecting most regions of Mexico. Travel health alert notices are posted only for those travelers departing from Canada to Mexico, and travelers returning to Canada from Mexico. It is recommended that individuals who are ill should delay travel plans. Returning travelers who fall ill should seek appropriate medical care.

These recommendations are prudent measures which can limit the spread of many communicable diseases, including influenza. Up-to-date travel information is available on the PHAC website under “travel health”.

As for any trips planned for schools, the province has been providing guidelines for school closures, travel restrictions, etc.. NAN would like to advise its member First Nations to contact your appropriate school board to enquire what plans are in place regarding potential notifications of school closures and school trip cancellations.

NAN will continue to provide regular updates to its member First Nations communities via the NAN website. NAN would also encourage its First Nations community members to talk to their CHN who will also have updated information should you have any questions regarding the H1N1 virus, as well, to continue visiting the Ontario First Nations Pandemic website for updated information: FNIH-OR (Health Canada) Communiqués from Valerie Gideon, Regional Director will continue to be sent out to all First Nations communities regularly.

NAN encourages its member First Nations to continue infection control measures to protect yourself and your family, by: washing hands thoroughly with soap and water, using hand sanitizer, cough and sneeze in your arm of sleeve, and receiving an annual flu shot. Keep doing what you normally do; however if you are sick, stay home. Talk to your community health nurse/health professional if you experience severe flu-like symptoms.

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