Niagara Health is being heralded as a Reconciliation Champion by an Indigenous partner for the hospital’s ongoing efforts to support self-determination, economic independence and improved health outcomes for Indigenous Peoples. Medical, Surgical and Safety Supplies Ltd. presented Angela Zangari, Executive Vice-President, Finance, Redevelopment and Facilities, and Chief Financial Officer, and Niagara Health Board Chair Marylee O’Neill with a plaque at a recent Board meeting in recognition of several actions Niagara Health has taken toward reconciliation. Niagara Health is the first organization in Canada to earn the designation, part of MSS’s Reconciliation Champions program.
MSS, a Certified Aboriginal Business and social enterprise based in Hay River, NWT, supplies Niagara Health with acute care, nitrile medical gloves it manufactures with PRIMED Medical Products. Niagara Health was the first hospital in Canada to receive a shipment of Indigenous-supplied medical gloves. Proceeds from the ongoing purchasing of MSS gloves enabled the business’s social enterprise arm, Turtle Island Health and Research Society, to donate $15,000 to the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation earlier this summer. It’s the first in a series of anticipated social benefits from MSS for the First Nation, chosen because Niagara Health operates on MCFN Treaty lands and Territory.
Other reasons MSS calls Niagara Health a Reconciliation Champion include:
-Respecting Indigenous cultural and spiritual practices with dedicated spaces, including seeking input from Indigenous partners on the design of a healing space and garden at the new South Niagara hospital, currently under construction.
-Establishing a focused Indigenous Health and Reconciliation team dedicated to ensuring culturally sensitive support and care of Indigenous patients coming to the hospital.
-Setting a 5 per cent Indigenous procurement target.
-Forming a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee and continuously educating staff on cultural awareness.
-Promoting an inclusive and welcoming environment for Indigenous Peoples at Niagara Health.
-Actively listening to Indigenous experiences to improve health services, including implementing a smudging policy.