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Access to care increased for residents of Attawapiskat

Four more students have now completed a North East LHIN-supported personal support worker (PSW) training program held in Attawapiskat and delivered by the Canadian Red Cross. Their graduation from a culturally appropriate health care program will mean more supportive care for older adults living at home in this far-northern community.

A ceremony was held last month to celebrate the graduation of Justine Sutherland, Theresa Mattinas, Megan Wabano and Myranda Wabano. The success of these most recent graduates was made possible with the support of Attawapiskat First Nation, Attawapiskat Health Services and the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority (WAHA).

NE LHIN Interim CEO Kate Fyfe noted, “Our LHIN heartfelt congratulations to Justine, Theresa, Megan and Myranda for successfully completing their studies. The work of PSWs is a vital part of caring for people at home and in their own community.”

Beginning in 2013 and working in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross, the NE LHIN helped to develop and implement a culturally appropriate PSW training program for students living in communities along the James and Hudson Bay Coast.

The curriculum combines standard PSW training with traditional Indigenous teachings and culturally appropriate materials. Students are able to remain in their home community as they complete their studies. Since the first course launched in 2014, a total of 27 PSWs have graduated from the program in James Bay communities.
“One of the best ways to improve care in the far northern communities is to train local students who already have and feel a connection to those communities,” says Carol Philbin-Jolette, Director, Coast Sub-Region and Population Equity with the NE LHIN. “The front-line caregivers who are graduating from the PSW program enter the workforce with an understanding of their community’s needs and with the practical knowledge and skills to make an immediate difference.”