SLFNHA continuing to strive for excellence throughout COVID-19 pandemic
Tim Brody - Editor
Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA) is continuing to strive for excellence as it responds to the COVID-19 pandemic on behalf of the 31 communities it represents.
The organization credits the help of its partnerships with tribal councils and medic professionals, which resulted in the creation of the COVID-19 Regional Response Team (CRRT), which has allowed the partners to, “streamline and coordinate resources to best meet the needs of the communities SLFNHA serves.”
“The CRRT supports communities in pandemic preparedness and provides tools that support communities in decision making. The CRRT also works with federal and provincial partners and advocates for resources, recognition, and support. The role of the CRRT is based on respect for First Nations sovereignty as each community makes the complex decisions required and implements its own strategies based on the community’s needs and circumstances. The role of SLFNHA and the CRRT is to provide support through training, technical support, resources, and medical advice,” SLFNHA explained in a media release.
“The years of building up capacity within SLFNHA’s public health department, Approaches to Community Wellbeing and the relationships that have been built with communities, tribal councils, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Northwestern Health Unit, Thunder Bay District Health Unit and governments has been foundational in our ability to respond during this pandemic” said SLFNHA Chief Operating Officer Janet Gordon “our system is based on extensive engagement with communities and years of building up the expertise around preventing infectious diseases and in providing a holistic public health system based on the unique needs and circumstances of the communities. This has been of the utmost importance in dealing with this pandemic where communication and relationships are critical to effective and immediate response. SLFNHA plans to support the communities in the long term in this area.”
“The SLFNHA team has really excelled in being innovative and adaptable” shared SLFNHA Executive Director, James Morris. “They have found new ways of working to meet the needs of the communities. Many staff have been redeployed into new roles and have hit the ground running to respond during this pandemic. Our IT team has worked tirelessly to support us and the communities to keep us connected and working in new ways. Our hostel staff have excelled in implementing new sanitization and infection control measures to keep hostel clients safe and to provide support while clients are away from home during this concerning time.”
SLFNHA shared that one of the biggest challenges it has encountered has been ensuring the communities it serves have the resources they need. “SLFNHA has taken on the role of logistics support as medical supplies, Personal Protective Equipment and other resources are being delivered to communities on a regular basis. The logistics team has grown with the demand as governments and other services have started to use SLFNHA’s logistics infrastructure. SLFNHA has partnered with Doctors Without Borders and has had a logistician join the team in Sioux Lookout.”