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Ininew Patient Services honoured with Program of Distinction Award

Hotel Dieu Hospital, a KHSC site. Photo by Josie Vallier.

Long respected for its compassionate and culturally-sensitive approach to caring for Cree patients and families who travel to Kingston for medical treatment, Ininew Patient Services (IPS) at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) has been honoured by the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada (CHAC) with its 2022 Program of Distinction Award. 

Presented at the national CHAC conference on Friday, May 13, 2022, the award recognizes original and innovative programs that provide exemplary service to persons who are vulnerable and marginalized, supporting their healthcare needs with caring, respect and justice.  

Located at KHSC’s Hotel Dieu Hospital (HDH) site, the IPS program works in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada and the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority.  

Since 1985 IPS has fully lived the mission envisioned by the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph, founders of the HDH site, when they first committed to supporting IPS services: to provide culturally safe and sensitive support for Mushkegowuk Cree persons—from Moosonee, Moose Factory, Kashechewan, Fort Albany, Attawapiskat and Peawanuck—who must travel 2000 kilometres to Kingston for specialized acute care at KHSC, according to a release from the hospital organization. 

“This award is a great honour for our program and a recognition of the Sisters’ legacy of service to vulnerable communities,” said IPS Director Midge Rouse, who in any given week oversees the arrival of up to 175 patients and families on chartered flights from Moosonee. 

“It can be a cultural shock to arrive here from isolated communities up north, but from the moment patients and families step off the plane, IPS works hard to support them so they can have the best possible health care experience at KHSC,” she expressed. 

IPS is the only hospital-based program of its kind on Canada. According to the release, it helps Cree-speaking patients and families navigate appointments, transportation and accommodation, and plays a critical role in helping them to understand the care they receive. Each patient is assigned an IPS medical interpreter to ensure the person is able to participate fully in their medical care.  

“The IPS program plays a very important role in the provincial coordination of referrals and out-of-community health care appointments for Indigenous persons from the Weeneebayko area on behalf of Indigenous Services Canada,” said Dr. David Pichora, KHSC President and CEO. 

“This award rightly acknowledges the passion, vision and inspiring leadership that has sustained and grown the program for so many years,” Pichora continued. “IPS is a testament to the difference you can make in the lives of people who are vulnerable and marginalized when you build trust and partnerships within and beyond our community to achieve better health outcomes.” 

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One thought on “Ininew Patient Services honoured with Program of Distinction Award

  • May 19, 2022 at 8:17 am
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    So happy to see this! I could see the need, and was concerned that there had to be an issue. I never knew it was already being attended too. Congratulations on the recognition!

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