Warmest welcome to our Hospital and our website!
One of the utmost privileges is to be entrusted to compassionately walk with patients and families during their times of sadness and joy. It is why I chose to become a nurse, and later, a leader of healthcare teams. I am energized and honoured to have been invited to lead Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital’s caring Team. I am also pleased to live in Red Lake’s welcoming and naturally beautiful community.
Our Team’s purpose is simple: to listen and be present for you as we work together to help you achieve your best health in a safe, caring environment.
The quality of your Hospital experience matters to me. I read and appreciate the feedback you provide to make your Hospital experience even better. Your feedback has been very positive, and matches with what I see in our Board, Staff and Physicians: warmth, smiles, attention to quality, safety, and teamwork. I encourage our Hospital Team to add their voice to yours, so together we can continue to provide high-quality care for you: our family, friends, and neighbours.
Partnership is key to our community’s health and to healthcare quality. By collaborating with patients, families, social, political, and cultural agencies and others, such as emergency first response, retail, recreation and education, we can generate better ideas and solutions. The value of partnership is also evident in our community’s remarkable generosity. Corporate and private donors have added to our Volunteers, Auxiliary, and Foundation’s successes in providing equipment and education to enable continued excellence in care. Thank you! I am grateful for our existing partnerships and plan to continue creating new ones within and beyond healthcare.
As we continue to evolve our healthcare system, I am committed to stay focused on quality, collaboration, and careful financial stewardship in a climate of respect, kindness, generosity and creative thinking.
I invite you to learn more about your Care Team, and what you can expect from us at the Patients and Family Centre.
Thank you for your trust and confidence.
President and CEO
This week has been horrific for Indigenous People, and for Canadians. The discovery of 215 children in a mass residential school grave forces us to face the sad reality that as recently as a couple of generations ago, Indigenous families were torn apart, and irrevocably harmed on lands that were theirs to begin with. Sadder still is that this should not be a surprise; it was already known that hundreds of children never made it home from residential school. Imagine how terrifying this experience must have been for those who survived, and those who waited at home, never to be told what happened. I encourage you to listen to real stories here. Some happened very close to Red Lake. The impact of residential schools echoes today, in the broken hearts and dreams of so many of our Indigenous neighbours and friends. It is no wonder that accessing healthcare and other government-funded institutions can be so daunting for Indigenous People.
These are hard truths to hear. Unfortunately, there will be more; we are just beginning this path of learning, listening, and defining how we will help heal, reconcile, and walk together to a better future. Our Hospital Team is on this journey. You will be seeing, hearing and experiencing more tangible action towards reconciliation within our organization. We have already started.
Reconciliation requires truth. Truth requires learning. Learning has to happen across our organization. Senior Leadership Team has started by participating in multiple forms of education on colonization and its impact. We have learned that colonization affected things as diverse as land ownership, taxation, access to health care (none of these are as good as the myths around them suggest), as well as self-image, parenting, gender identity and more.
Reconciliation requires compassion: empathy with action. Through the work of our Indigenous Patient Experience working group, which includes staff, physicians and local community partners, we have added statements about the importance of culturally appropriate care and behaviour on new job descriptions, interview questions, and performance reviews. We have welcomed capable Indigenous community leaders to our Patient and Family Advisory Committee. We have made it easier and safer for Indigenous Patients to provide feedback so we can learn what we do well, and what we can do differently. We are enabling smudging to happen safely and accessibly within our building. We are collaborating with Indigenous Housing Leaders and Physicians to enable primary care to happen sooner and closer to home. We will be adding admission questions pertaining to spiritual practices, and using some of our patient-care area space differently to accommodate spiritual needs of palliative Indigenous patients. We are restoring Indigenous art and are adding an outdoor gathering space to help our Hospital feel more familiar and safe for Indigenous people.
Reconciliation is good for all of us. Some of the new practices and environments we are building at our Hospitals will benefit all patients. Taking action and making a positive difference feels good. We have an opportunity to make a difference. Let’s do it together.
Thank you to the many of you who have already contributed to making a difference, and thanks in advance to all of you for continuing to role model compassion as we grow together.