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Archive for May, 2020

FNHC Weekly Bulletin | Issue 3

Date:

This is the third issue of the FNHC’s weekly bulletin, designed to provide BC First Nation Chiefs and leaders with a round-up of news and updates on the COVID-19 pandemic response. For the most current public health guidelines as well as information for individuals and communities, visit FNHA.ca/coronavirus. Please send comments on what you would like to see in future issues to: sharedsecretariat@fnha.ca

To download a PDF of this issue click here.

Business Resumption Planning

Over the past months, the First Nation’s Health Council’s main focus has been on supporting community leadership during the outbreak. Planning for the recovery phases from COVID-19 are going forward as well, including coordination and planning with federal and provincial partners.

The FNHC is hearing questions from Chiefs and leaders about Indigenous business resumption in line with BC’s Restart Plan. The FNHA is developing public health guidelines related to the resumption of activities in First Nations communities. Work Safe BC maintains overall responsibility for this effort, with FNHA providing support based on the unique needs of First Nations communities.

Please continue to bring any COVID-19 related concerns you may have to the attention of your regional FNHC representative. They are a source of information and support during this crisis. The FNHC will continue to advocate for practical, community and Nation-based solutions with Canada and BC, and through our regional partnership tables.

Chiefs ‘Town Hall’ Highlights

On May 21, the FNHC hosted an all Chiefs and leaders Town Hall information session. The session featured FNHA senior leadership and Emergency Management British Columbia representatives.

Highlights included:

  • Zero positive COVID-19 cases in First Nations since May 10.
  • FNHA determining placement of two “gene expert” table-top testing devices.
  • FNHA continues to secure PPE for healthcare professionals and community supplies for added support.

These calls will be held bi-weekly for the foreseeable future to update on FNHA and partner agency activities related to COVID-19. Each call will feature a question and answer session to enable participants to ask about issues in real-time.

The next Town Hall information session is on Thursday, June 4th from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM

Leadership Collaboration

FNHC and FNLC continue regular, bi-weekly calls with provincial government agencies. The calls provide an opportunity for advocacy on Indigenous issues during the COVID-19 response and recovery.

Engagement Planning

The Health Council has been discussing how to restart its advocacy work once the pandemic recovery phases are in effect; this includes looking at options and timing for virtual engagement across BC and within each Region. The Health Council will meet virtually in June to discuss options for the fall and beyond.

Based on information about the risks posed to communities and feedback from leadership, the FNHC will recommend the best path forward to continue crucial engagement work within each Region. Details will be provided in future FNHC Bulletins.

Counselling Supports for Chiefs and Leaders

The Kackaamin Family Development Centre and
Tsow-Tun-Le-Lum Treatment Centre (TTLL) are offering direct counseling and cultural support. Call toll-free 1-888-403-3123 for an initial consultation.

Hours for initial consultation/session are:

Monday to Friday……………………………. 8am – 8pm

Saturday and Sunday…………………….. 10am – 2pm

Rural and Remote Framework

FNHA continues to participate in the provincial working group with leadership from both FNHA central and regional offices in attendance. The work is a process of continuous improvement and development in support of communities. Many regions have submitted their Rural and Remote Framework plans to the Ministry of Health and we commend them for their leadership.

Question of the Week

Support for local state of emergency operation centres (EOCs) is dependent on a provincial state of emergency declaration. How will supports be provided if the province declares the state of emergency over?

The government of BC is supporting EOCs as we work through various states of emergency. There is no indication from BC or the Public Health Officer that we will evolve out of provincial state of emergency in the near future. A review of the legislation known as the Emergency Program Act speaks to an EOC for a health emergency only when there is a state of provincial emergency set up. A Review of the Emergency Program Act is forthcoming.

On May 22, FNHC Chair Charlene Belleau joined FNHA’s Richard Jock and Shannon McDonald in a presentation to the federal Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs. The Committee heard testimony on the government’s response to COVID-19. Details will be shared in next week’s bulletin.

FNHC Weekly Bulletin | Issue 2

Date:

This is the second issue of the FNHC’s weekly bulletin, designed to provide BC First Nations Chiefs and leaders with a round-up of news and updates on the COVID-19 pandemic response. For the most current public health guidelines as well as information for individuals and communities, visit FNHA.ca/coronavirus.

Please send comments on what you would like to see in future issues to: sharedsecretariat@fnha.ca

To download a PDF of this issue click here.

Notification Guidelines from FNHA

Last week, we noted that the FNHA had released notification guidelines on managing positive cases of COVID-19 in community. These guidelines outline the public health process and role of communities, and are meant to strike a balance between the issues of patient privacy and community health.

We understand the challenges of balancing personal privacy laws while supporting a comprehensive public health approach. We hear concerns from Chiefs and community leaders about being informed about any positive cases within community.

The notification guidelines also outline the pathway and process for First Nations individuals on release from Federal corrections facilities. Review the guidelines here: https://www.fnha.ca/Documents/FNHA-COVID-19-Pathway-for-Confirmed-Cases.pdf

Please continue to bring any COVID-19 related concerns you may have to the attention of your regional FNHC representative. We are a source of information and support during this crisis and will advocate for practical, community and Nation-based solutions during our ongoing COVID-19 teleconferences with Canada and BC, and through our regional partnership tables.

Chiefs ‘Town Hall’ Highlights

On May 7, the FNHC hosted an all Chiefs and leaders Town Hall information session. Highlights of the discussion include:

• An FNHA text alert notification system – AtHoc –has been developed to provide Chiefs, leaders and Health Directors with critical updates. Please confirm your preferred mobile number with the FNHC-FNHDA Shared Secretariat (sharedsecretariat@fnha.ca) or complete the survey emailed to you on May 8.

• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) deployments remain an important response to COVID-19. A steady supply is moving to communities.

• FNHA’s First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day telehealth program is live in all regions.

These Town Hall teleconferences will be held bi-weekly for the foreseeable future to provide updates on FNHA and partner agency activities related to COVID-19.

Each call features a question and answer session to enable participants to ask about issues in real-time.

The next Town Hall information session is scheduled for Thursday, May 21 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM

Honouring Our Nurses

This week marks National Nurses Week, a time for us all to acknowledge the work of our nurses in keeping communities healthy and well. What’s more, this year – 2020 – has been declared by the World Health Organization as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. We lift up our hands to our nurses and thank them for what they do each day.

Counselling Supports for Chiefs and Leaders

As leaders, it’s natural that we react protectively in the best interests of our people. We need to support our people by practicing and modelling lateral kindness and draw upon our culture and traditions, especially during this stressful time.

The Kackaamin Family Development Centre and Tsow-Tun-Le-Lum Treatment Centre are offering direct counselling and cultural support. Call toll-free 1-888-403-3123 for an initial consultation.

Hours for an initial consultation are:

MONDAY TO FRIDAY ……………………………… 8am – 8pm

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY …………………….. 10am – 2pm

Secwepemc Kukukwpi7 Wellness Video

Secwepemc Leadership joined with the Secwepemc Health Caucus to launch a new video featuring Chiefs and leaders sharing words of encouragement during COVID-19 as a testament to community resilience. The video is being shared by several Nations on social media. Watch it here.

Question of the Week

What is the FNHA re-opening plan as it relates to the BC Restart Plan announced by the Premier?

The FNHA will continue to operate at a Level III emergency response. This means 80 percent of staff resources are spent on the COVID-19 response, with 20 percent focused on delivery of essential services.

In addition, FNHA will continue to redeploy staff as appropriate to respond to other emergencies affecting our communities, such as the opioid epidemic, fires and floods. FNHA will continue to assess risk with its public health partners, and will work on a phased approach as BC and Indigenous communities return to a “new normal”. The FNHA will also work to further enhance virtual services related to primary care and mental health, while reviewing options for alternative forms of engagement.

FNHC Weekly Bulletin | Issue 1

Date:

 Greetings, 

Last week we reached the milestone of 100 days since the BC Provincial Health Officer (PHO) issued the first provincial warning related to COVID-19. Since then we’ve seen unprecedented changes within our communities. As leaders, you have a prominent role to play within the response efforts and we commend each of you for the work you do on behalf of your family, community and Nation. 

This new weekly bulletin from the First Nations Health Council (FNHC) will provide Chiefs and Leaders with access to relevant information during this health crisis (and beyond). We’ll share updates from your Health Council representatives who continue to advocate for BC First Nations health and wellbeing during this pandemic. 

To download a PDF of this issue click here.

 Call with Premier Horgan 

 The FNHC Chair had a recent call with Premier John Horgan to elevate your concerns on a variety of COVID-19 issues, including: 

  • Personal Protective Equipment; 
  • Coordination of Emergency Services; 
  • Supports for community members requiring isolation; 
  • Notifications of Provincial Correctional inmates returning to community; 
  • Increased response funding for communities; and 
  • Deferring referrals from Industry during COVID-19. 

Chair Charlene Belleau will continue to bring issues forward with our provincial and federal partners. 

Chiefs ‘Town Hall’ Highlight 

 On April 23, 2020 the FNHC hosted an all Chiefs and leaders Town Hall information call. The session featured FNHA senior leadership, Indigenous Services Canada leadership and Emergency Management British Columbia representatives. 

These calls will be held bi-weekly for the foreseeable future to provide updates on FNHA and partner agency activities related to COVID-19. 

Each call will feature a question and answer session to allow participants to ask about issues in real-time. 

The next Town Hall information session is scheduled for Thursday, May 7th from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm. 

Actions for Communities without a Health Director or Health Lead 

For communities that require additional supports during this time, the FNHA has created an uptake form and community guide available here. This includes personal protective equipment and health human resources surge capacity. Completed forms can be e-mailed to COVID19needs@fnha.ca

COVID-19 Positive Cases/Patient Privacy 

The FNHA has released a document that outlines the public health process and role of communities to follow up on any positive cases in your community. This document is available for download here

Counselling Supports for Chiefs and Leaders 

The Kackaamin Family Development Centre and Tsow-Tun-Le-Lum Treatment Centre are offering direct counseling and cultural support. Call toll-free 1-888-403-3123 for an initial consultation. 

Hours for initial consultations are: 

MONDAY TO FRIDAY …………………………….. 8am – 8pm 

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY ……………………. 10am – 2pm 

Question of the Week 

How will the FNHA and the Regional Health Authorities address the issue of tree planters and industrial camps given the associated risks to communities? 

On April 24, BC’s PHO delivered guidelines for industrial camps covering the agriculture, aquaculture, forestry and resource industries, setting out prevention, control and inspection protocols for workers and their employers. Specifically, the guidelines for those working in the silviculture (tree planting) sector require: 

  • screening of workers for symptoms or potential COVID-19 exposure; 
  • added hygiene measures in camps; 
  • training workers on how to stay safe while travelling to camp and to worksites; 
  • food preparation guidelines; 
  • limiting travel outside of camp; and 
  • having at least one infection and control coordinator at each site. 

If you have comments or suggestions for future issues of this FNHC bulletin, please e-mail: sharedsecretariat@fnha.ca