Strengthening its highly valued partnership, Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) has entered into a formal Letter of Relationship with the Indigenous Health Circle, an inclusive planning body that comprises Indigenous health service providers, health professionals, Indigenous communities, and various organizations throughout Simcoe County, Muskoka and surrounding areas.
A signing ceremony took place September 29th at the Healing Circle outside the West entrance to hospital, as part of events honouring National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
“This Letter of Relationship agrees to promote and sustain a respectful, bilateral relationship to work together to identify common Indigenous patient priorities and issues, and to work together to improve the quality and availability of health data at the regional level for those who self-identify as Indigenous,” said Lynn Monague-Sauve, President of the Barrie Area Native Advisory Council (BANAC).
At the ceremony, the hospital reaffirmed its commitment to the Calls to Action identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and acknowledged the intergenerational trauma that residential schools have created.
“The members of the Indigenous Health Circle are incredible partners that have helped us to develop and deliver culturally safe, indigenous health services, but there is more to achieve,” said Carmine Stumpo, OSMH President and CEO.
“We come here from a place of humility, knowing that we have work to do. This is only a start to a larger journey as an organization and as individuals.”
In entering into this relationship, it is agreed OSMH and the IHC will work collaboratively:
- To promote and sustain a respectful bi-lateral relationship between the Indigenous Health Circle and OSMH by strengthening and supporting existing processes and partnerships
- To work together to identify common Indigenous patient priorities and issues
- To work together to improve the quality and availability of health data at the regional level for those who self-identify as Indigenous
- To co-create solutions to key challenges and impasses that impact the parties
- To uphold First Nations, Metis and Inuit Peoples’ inherent right to self-governance
- To acknowledge and support the significance of Indigenous Health in Indigenous Hands