First Nations Health Directors Association

FNHDA Wise Practices

Supporting Vulnerable Clients and Food Security Initiatives

May 11th, 2020

All Tla’amin Health departments are creating a list of the most vulnerable clients – those who are not well connected to the community. Home care staff are now working from home and supporting clients through teleconference calls.

Food security is an issue for Elders and community members unable to leave their homes. Tla’amin Health is collaboratively developing a distribution network for fresh, local foods and canned foods to meet the needs of community members. Moving forward, Tla’amin Health hopes to access the Traditional Wellness funds next year to build a community-based farm to enhance community food security and food sovereignty.

The Tla’amin Health Centre, which serves as a primary care centre and community gathering place, is now closed to the public. The nursing team has reworked the entire building to shut off areas so that they don’t need to be cleaned. The Health Centre now has two full-time cleaners who follow protocols and checklists. Cleaning hours were previously 5 hours a day have increased to 16 hours a day.

In terms of human resources, health staff with communicable disease experience were promoted to leadership roles and many staff roles were repurposed to ensure everyone’s experience and strengths are well utilized during these times.

In any emergency or novel situation, the key is connecting with colleagues who have the knowledge, expertise, and experience to lead and respond effectively. The lead nurse with communicable disease training is now running the health centre. Developing food distribution networks was made possible by the strengths and experience of certain community members.