There is still much to do: Working with Wabano to Offer Culturally Appropriate Care to the Indigenous Communities

There is still much to do: Working with Wabano to Offer Culturally Appropriate Care to the Indigenous Communities

Ottawa, May 25, 2022 – Montfort acknowledges and welcomes the Wabano Centre and Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition Share Your Story report on the quality of healthcare services to the Indigenous Communities in the Champlain region. Every patient deserves an exceptional experience when coming to the hospital, and we continue to work towards equitable, inclusive, and culturally safe care and services.

“The experiences shared by members of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities are a strong reminder that there is still much to do for everyone to feel welcomed and safe within our healthcare system,” says Dr. Bernard Leduc, CEO of Montfort. “We strive to offer everyone an exceptional experience when they seek care at Montfort. Testimonies like the ones we heard today have us reflect and remain humble while we keep working to improve our services to the population.”

“We recognize that people who have lived through negative experiences with the healthcare system are reluctant to speak up, and that must change,” adds Philippe Marleau, Vice-President, Quality and Patient Support Services at Montfort. “We take all concerns seriously and it is with our patient’s feedback that we can better understand how they live through their journey of care and how we can better accompany them.”

The relationship between Montfort and Wabano is a key element in improving our care. We are privileged to have been working together for many years and our partnership has evolved and strengthened more recently, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding last November. Our collaboration allows for learning opportunities, improvements to our approach and fostering the necessary cultural transformation of Montfort.

“Over the past few years, we have developed culturally appropriate policies and practices to improve health outcomes and experiences of Indigenous patients,” explains Ann Salvador, Executive Advisor of Strategies and Clinical Innovation and Executive Coach at Montfort. “One example of that is the development of a process that ensures patients receive a follow-up from Wabano within a week after they are discharged from the hospital,” she adds. Other initiatives include the creation of a smudging policy, that allows patients and their loved ones to smudge in the privacy of their hospital room, and the development of an Indigenous cultural safety training plan for frontline staff members, volunteers, physicians, and students.

“Next steps for Montfort include implementing Indigenous Navigator roles, with requested funding from Health Canada, to help guide members of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities along their journey of care at Montfort,” Salvador adds. “Our goal remains to offer an exceptional experience to our patients, and for our Indigenous communities, this has to include culturally appropriate services.”

According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, for Canada to flourish in the twenty-first century, reconciliation between Canadians and the Indigenous peoples must be based on principles of undertaking constructive action on addressing the ongoing legacies of colonialism that have had destructive impacts on Indigenous peoples’ education, cultures and languages, health, child welfare, the administration of justice, and economic opportunities and prosperity.

- 30 -

About Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health

Wabano Centre is an award-winning, accredited, and internationally recognized Aboriginal Health Access Centre with over 20 years of experience. Wabano Centre is seen as a leader and innovator in community-based, holistic healthcare, bridging Indigenous cultural practices with Western medicine to combat poverty and promote wellness in Ottawa’s First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

About Hôpital Montfort

Montfort is Ontario’s Francophone academic hospital, offering exemplary person-centred care. Affiliated to the University of Ottawa, the hospital serves over 1.2 million people in Eastern Ontario, in both official languages. The daily actions of the Montfort team are guided by compassion, respect, mutual support, excellence, and accountability. Since 2019, it is named one of the world’s top 1000 hospitals.

For information and interviews