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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 (email@example.com) 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.