SLFNHA working to ensure critical support is brought to communities they serve
Tim Brody - Editor
Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA) has created the COVID-19 Regional Response Team (CRRT), in partnership with the Independent First Nations Alliance (IFNA), “to ensure that the critical support required is brought to all the First Nation communities we serve.”
SLFNHA explained in a media release on March 25, “SLFNHA’s responsibility within the CRRT will focus on the health services needs at the community level. While IFNA will look at emergency response infrastructure for necessities such as food and water.
“The CRRT will ensure communication between itself and the tribal councils and the community leadership will remain frequent and provide updates on their progress in the five identified areas of coordination: Health Care Operations, Public Health Operations, Planning, Logistics and Administration and Finance. One of the primary goals of this CRRT team is to improve communication between communities and provide advice and support as it relates to the COVID 19 crisis. The CRRT will continue to keep First Nation community members updated on their activities.”
SLFNHA also shared that through conversations with Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC), “We are asking our community leaders for their cooperation regarding client escorts. The following points are important for all community members traveling to Sioux Lookout for their healthcare needs:
Able-bodied clients travel that can proceed without an escort at this time are asked to do so to ensure we minimize the number of community members travelling back and forth between communities and larger urban centres
Clients with language barriers are asked to utilize SLMHC’s interpreter services at this time
“These are extraordinary circumstances, and this request is being made to assist in safeguarding our communities and doing everything we can do to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
The health authority also shared that two wings within Jeremiah McKay Kabayshewekamik 1 (JMK1) have been cleared and designated for self-isolation.
“The number of people currently using these facilities are low but JMK1 is preparing just in case we see COVID 19 reach our communities,” SLFNHA further shared.
“We are working to get as much personal protection equipment up to communities as possible. Unfortunately, it has been difficult to get supplies but we expect to have more and more supplies shipped up to communities in the near future.”
SLFNHA is asking people to stay informed with up-to-date information and is encouraging community members to visit the following websites:
NAN - http://www.nan.on.ca/covid19
Northwest Health Unit -
Public Health Ontario - https://www.publichealthontario.ca/