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VIHA Aboriginal Health Plan signed
The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) and its Aboriginal partners unveiled their 2012 Aboriginal Health Plan.
The plan, entitled Remember the Past, Reflect on the Present, and Build a Healthy Future, will serve as a guide for VIHA’s Board, leadership and staff in their work to continue to improve the health status of Aboriginal residents.
Director for the VIHA Aboriginal Health Program Ian Knipe says they needed specific strategies for improving the health care for the First Nations.
“To work with Aboriginal partner organisations to ensure we are delivering services in a safe and culturally appropriate way,” explains Knipe, "and to make aboriginal people feel welcome in the health care system.”
The 2012 Plan was signed by VIHA President and CEO Howard Waldner and Aboriginal Health Council Co-Chair Chief David Bob at a ceremony and feast hosted by VIHA Aboriginal Health in the We Wai Kai Nation/Cape Mudge at the Quinsam Center in Campbell River.
“As we deliver health care to a whole range of communities, we need to make sure our staff are aware of those cultural sensitivities and traditional values held," added Waldner. “The plan allows us to work together and build together.”
The Health plan builds on the 2006 plan and will run through to 2015. Statistics from VIHA show Aboriginal people are more likely to face significant health challenges as compared to other Island residents.
“Todays signing of the VIHA 2012 Aboriginal Health Plan strengthens our commitment to share our wisdom and vision with VIHA to develop culturally appropriate and accessible health care for services for Aboriginal residents which in turn, will make First Nations communities on Vancouver Island among the healthiest in the Province,” said Chief Bob in a VHIA press release. “Together we can make change happen.”
The 2012 Aboriginal Health plan can be viewed on the VIHA website at www.viha.ca
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