Kingston Hospitals receive grant marking 50 years serving Indigenous communities

Five Nations Energy Inc. presented a cheque to University Hospitals Kingston Foundation to mark 50 years of high-quality health care. Photo via UHKF.

In recognition of the high-quality care that Kingston hospitals have provided for more than 50 years to the people living in the James Bay and Hudson Bay communities, Five Nations Energy Inc. (FNEI) is making a $250,000 gift to the Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) through the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (UHKF).

According to a release from the UHKF, FNEI, a non-profit and the only Indigenous-owned electricity transmission company in Canada, provides energy, hydro and fibre optics for northern communities.

“Through our community support program, Five Nations Energy gives back to organizations that support First Nations communities,” said Pat Chilton, CEO of FNEI. “The long-standing partnership with KHSC and Queen’s University does not go unnoticed. We appreciate the care provided to the James Bay communities and are thrilled to be giving back to health care in Kingston.”

KHSC is the specialized tertiary care provider for several remote indigenous communities along James Bay and Hudson Bay, such as Kashechewan, Peawanuck, Moosonee and Attawapiskat, in partnership with the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority (WAHA) in Moose Factory, according to the release. Each week, KHSC and Queen’s University medical teams fly to Moose Factory to operate clinics and provide care to patients in these communities.

“For many years medical teams in Kingston have played a leading role in ensuring that individuals who live in these remote northern communities have the timely access to the specialized health care providers and procedures that are available to residents of southern Ontario,” said Dr. David Pichora, President and CEO of KHSC.

“With continued support of the federal and provincial governments, we hope to further grow our unique partnership with WAHA, and continue to expand the education and training supports KHSC and Queen’s provide to health-care professionals in the James Bay communities. This recognition of our efforts by Five Nations Energy Inc. is very much appreciated.”

In many instances, patients from these communities are flown to Kingston to receive specialized care such as high-risk obstetrics, surgical care, cancer care and more, UHKF stated. While in Kingston, patients are supported by KHSC’s Ininew Patient Services (IPS) program, which provides Cree language medical interpreters and accommodation at KHSC’s Geaganano Residence. In 2019, the IPS program saw 3,156 patients and provided accommodations to 5,631 people, according to the release.

“UHKF and its health-care partners are grateful to Five Nations Energy Inc. for its generous investment in care provided by KHSC and Providence Care,” said Tom Zsolnay, President and CEO of UHKF. “This gift [will] help enhance care provided to the residents of southeastern Ontario and to those living in the north.”

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