Congratulations to our newly certified Community Health Workers!
The Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA) and Dignitas International (DI) are proud to announce the progress of our team members as the Diabetes Community Health Worker (CHW) Project’s implementation continues in four pilot communities.
After completing training in diabetes treatment plan support and the St. Elizabeth First Nations Diabetes Circle of Care course, and being assessed by clinicians, three CHWs from Kasabonika Lake First Nation have passed the first phase of certification. CHW training was guided by the comprehensive CHW Training Manual which was developed with input from local community partners, including community members, CHWs, health directors, and health care providers. CHWs in Kingfisher Lake, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inniniwug and New Slate Falls will be certified next.
In other news, preliminary results from our Environmental Scan are in. Between June 2015 and June 2016, 111 participants were interviewed and/or surveyed, including community leaders, health directors, service providers, and clients. In summary, diabetes care, once accessed, was perceived to be generally good. Community leaders highlighted the importance of access to the land for diet and exercise, and the help of CHWs who speak the local languages as strengths of current diabetes care, while calling for increased attention to the elderly, and improvements in food security and care provider turn-over rate. Community leaders also called for more data about diabetes at the community level, and using research to allow communities to “tell our story.”
Patient interviews and surveys called for increased support in the community to assist with personal diabetes treatment plan management, including lifestyle and diet advice, and support groups.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our Environmental Scan and helped inform the future direction of our project.
This story originally appeared in the Summer 2016 Edition of the SLFNHA Newsletter. It has been reposted with SLFNHA’s permission.
To learn more about how Dignitas is partnering with First Nations communities to transform diabetes care, please visit our Aboriginal Health Program page.