Accessing health-care services can be a challenge. Accessing healthcare services that respond to your needs can seem impossible.
This is why Community Health Centres (CHC) sprouted up across the health-care landscape. CHCs were built to respond to the increasing challenge and to make the impossible the possible. This was recently exemplified as the Chatham-Kent Community Health Centres (CKCHC) celebrated their expanded site on Walpole Island First Nation (WIFN).
Located in the Thunderbird, the CKCHC Walpole Island site was designed by the community for the community. According to CKCHC executive director Sherri Saunders, every paint colour, art piece and room was handpicked and/or constructed by the WIFN community.
“It was imperative that the site reflected the culture, language and traditional healing services of the Indigenous people. Therefore, the CKCHC directly collaborated with the source and those involved were, but not limited to, the WIFN Health Committee, chief and council, Kevin Martin and Associates, Danshab Enterprises, Three Fires Development Corporation, Elders, and other WIFN community members,” Saunders said in a release.
Boasting a circle room that is accessible to community partners and members, and a healing centre that accommodates ceremony, such as smudging, the CKCHC provides this new holistic space.
“The Bkejwanong community is enjoying the new health facility with the added Healing Centre to compliment traditional healing methods. Community members who have visited the Health Centre are extremely surprised at the size of the once grocery store and pharmacy. It is a well-utilized space for upcoming medical professions providing health services for our community. Clients who have used the Healing Room/Centre enjoy the comfort, setup, water fountain and private location,” noted Glenna Jacobs, CKCHC Traditional Healing Community Outreach Worker.
The CKCHC looks forward to building upon its services and leveraging future community partnerships in order to become a comprehensive health and wellness hub.
Saunders is thrilled that this expanded site has come to fruition and confirms that the CKCHC will continue to stay the course.
“Our site expansion on WIFN is a significant milestone in our evolution of the CKCHC with the support of chief and council, the WIFN community, Erie St. Clair LHIN, staff, partners and most importantly to the clients, families and community that we serve. We uphold the commitment to our health services protocol with the WIFN community in advancing the health and wellbeing of our clients and the community.”
Anika Altiman, CKCHC Clinical and Client Services Manager, agreed.
“It’s exciting to have primary care within the community, particularly now with the space to collaborate on issues impacting Indigenous health. I’m thrilled to be a part of the dialogue and its mobilization with our clients, team and partners.”