Community Health Departmental Updates – Via Zoom on June 17, 2020

Opening prayer, welcoming, and update by Sakom Alan Polchies

Two Nations One Stop was shut down due to the economic impacts of Covid19. We are still in the process of the Addition to Reserve Land (ATR) on this property but are hopeful that it will be complete soon.

The Sacred Arts opened back up today (June 17, 2020), and the team did a fantastic job getting it set up. The unique thing about the shop is that our own people can sell their work there as it is a consignment.

Systemic racism is something we are really focusing on fighting currently, we need to address this issue.

It is Pride month and diversity is important in our community. Take some time to acknowledge our brothers and sisters this month.

Cody Brooks for Emergency Measures

Thoughts and prayers to our brothers and sisters across the province after the recent shootings. We have a strong history with the RCMP with these types of situations and these things really impact us personally. The province needs to recognize that we fear for our lives daily, and this conversation needs to progress further.

Currently in the province to date we are at 164 cases. Most things are centralized right now in Zone 5, with 29 active cases – 4 in the hospital and 2 in ICU. We do have someone with COVID19 self isolating in the Fredericton area. Moving forward people still have to physically distance and remember that the pandemic is still here. We are still in a state of emergency. Wear your mask if you cannot distance, also encourage your family and friends to do that same. Be safe and be healthy during these times. Our threat level is currently low, but we still need to be prepared. We are in contact with NBEMO daily and they still anticipate a second wave to come. There is a possible second wave in China right now, so we need to be careful.

We are working on a project on getting signs brought into the community for Fire Index / Burn Ban. This will be coming in the next few weeks. There will be three in the community. We are working on sharing information on fire safety with the community and looking at getting a fire smart program to our people, families, and youth. In the back of the homes on Gabe Acquin there is a forest and accidents can happen, things can get out of hand quick and can be devastating to our community. Keep an eye out for these new signs and initiatives.

Kelly Gallagher from Health Department

As of June 1, 2020 and ending at the end of August the summer hours for the Health Center are Monday to Thursday 8:30 to 4:30. Heidi will be doing her blood clinic on Tuesdays. Everyone is back to work but they are staggered, people are either working Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday, switching each week. You can still call the health center and staff who are not in the office will still be contacted as they are working from home on their off days.

Dr. Ramsey is still seeing patients if they need to come in however most work is being done over the phone. There is a screening process and it is to determine if they need to come in person. There are not many people through the doors daily right now. There is a buzzer and camera at the door, so ring that when you need to come in. Dr. Ramsey is doing meet and greets, if you want to become a patient you can call the health center to schedule an appointment for that.

Heidi has been working hard on the electronic medical record system. It has been a process to get this rolled out, but it is useful to us. It will help make decisions on health programs. She is also looking at the STEPS program to expand her practice and researching coping strategies to share with clients when they come to see her. She has really been looking at the mental health services and counseling so she can provide a better service to the community.

We have two Nurse practitioners. Trina Clooney is in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and mostly over the phone right now. Alysia Fullarton is also working out of the health center and you can call the Health center for an appointment with her.

The Mental Health and Addictions team has been busy. Chris has been doing a lot of face to face sessions and assisting the members with justice and corrections issues. He has been providing crisis and cultural support and has a lot of traditional knowledge. During COVID the entire team has been checking in on people and making referrals as needed. There is a men’s gathering planned on June 20th in Woodstock, for men who wish to learn more about our culture. Melanie is still working with clients virtually and offering services. She assisted with crisis calls and shared a virtual self care program, where she shared tips on how to care for yourself. Melanie has been looking at several community projects and helping others plan these things. She has been trying to get cultural programs for learning ceremonies off the ground for the community. They are working on a summer youth program. Katrina has been doing regular sessions with clients and follow up on numerous calls during this difficult time. She is also working on a virtual support group for teenagers, a place to chat and connect.

The Tobique Treatment center staff are starting back but they are still not accepting any clients yet. Some treatment centers have been doing virtual sessions with clients.

STEPS is starting virtually via zoom every Wednesday evening.

Detox is still accessible and accepting people.

We are still waiting to hear when Marie Claude will be available to us again.

BJ Myles Paul has been extremely busy looking after all our community businesses ensuring they have protective supplies at all times. During the pandemic lots of things have changed. The milk program is now bi-weekly and not monthly because people were in panic mode and buying up formulas and the new plan ensures that people will not go without. BJ and Jen, along with EMO have been working on supplies for the community; personal protective gear, wipes, sanitizer, etc. She has seen babies and children as immunizations are an essential service. There were 34 babies born last year and 6 born this year, and she continues to do the well baby checks. The prenatal classes have started again but small groups of 2-4, couples are screened before arrival with a disinfection process before and after each person leaves – this seems to be doing well.

Summer safety day will still happen, but just in a different way this year. This event is next Wednesday. The parade starts at 11am at the entertainment center, a flyer will be going out to the community with the map and information.

The Fresh is Best program has been postponed. It will most likely be the end of the summer before that is back up again.

During the pandemic we have changed the way we do cheques. Receipts must be in by 4:30 on each Monday afternoon.

There is a fund at the health center that can help people with massages, physiotherapy, holistic, and wellness items such as allergy testing. If you need something done and it is not covered, call and we are confident we can help. This is up to $350 per fiscal year.

Home and Community care is run by Jennifer MacFarland. Since the state of emergency was declared the services were decreased to absolute essential services only. At the beginning of the pandemic we were not sure of the impact it would have.  These services are slowly being put back into place. With nicer weather we are also encouraging people to get outside, even if that is just on your deck. During the next few months, we are trying to get the schedules back to where they need to be to meet the clients special care plan. We need home care workers, and jobs have been posted on different forums. There is a shortage of Personal Support Workers.

Elizabeth McRae is doing the footcare program but there are precautions to take.

Health now has a medical van and are waiting to get things going. A job will be posted for a medical driver in the coming weeks. The person will have to take a course on how to transport blood. Loyal taxi is currently our medical taxi provider, and their hours are only until 11pm. We also provide gas POs for those who have appointments outside the Fredericton area, please give as much notice as possible to get these things set up.

455-0728 is the after-hours medical transport number.

$500 per year is allowed under dental at the health center. Call Melinda at the Health center if you have questions.

Sherry Parsons – the community health coordinator. Accreditation will be done in November; it was postponed due to COVID19. This is a big process, but it sets a high standard for practice safe service for the community. Sherry has been working with the Breast Cancer Society, where Imelda Perley is a guest speaker on June 23, 2020. She also works on NIHB files to help file appeals when things are not approved.

Arlene is the early childhood mentor and FASD specialist. She has regular meetings with the advisory committee and is looking at a possible camps for the children with FASD this summer. Celia and Arlene are doing a draw for Father’s Day this weekend.

There was a passing during the pandemic and the crisis team was brought in. The Health Team played a big part in this as they act as a team. This is extremely important.

Barb Paul presented on her files:

She is still processing the claim forms for members of the Indian Day School. She has processed over 80 files. She has access to the school records from 1960 to 1989 and will be reaching out to members.

250 masks have been shared with the community to date. A new order has been put in. They have ordered over 800 masks that have gone to community, staff, patients, etc.

Healing with the seven sacred teaching colour books was translated into Maliseet by Clara Polchies. These will be shared with the community.

Barb is hoping to share a biography journal that helps people during the passing of a loved one. There will be a call for proposals to design the art so keep an eye out for this great opportunity.

There are applications available if anyone is interested in being part of the crisis team.

Gloria Sacobie presented for Child and Family

Genine Paul is now a supervisor, Josh Daigle does Child Protection, Nevin Brewer does adoptions and fostering, Shelley Augustine is a Child Protection Worker, and Emily Yerxa Paul is doing preventative programs.

The goal in the coming years is to change the image of Child and Family.

Currently they are working half days altering, but no clients are coming into the office currently.

Child and Family services engages on a referral basis as the goal is to not be intrusive. There are standards and legislation that needs to be followed.

There is a major push to indigenize the agency, on a community level and a national level. We are developing practice standards for all workers who work in the community. There need to be guidelines to how nonindigenous people work in the community and interact with the community.

The live chat on the new website is delayed as it is under development.

Emile Yerxa Paul presenting on her new prevention position:

The position is going to be different as she will not be doing any child protection, her time will be only programming for the community. It has been difficult to engage people in programs, and the goal is to push past this. The programing can take a back seat when it is embedded within Child and Family. Emilee wants to get into the community and talk to members about what they want, as she may feel something is great, but others may not. The goal is to really determine what the community wants. There will be a posting in the community newsletter on how to reach Emilee. She has been working without departments to create a collective approach to healing.

Paulette presenting on the Social Program:

It is important for members to understand that there is a difference between Own Source Revenue and Indigenous SC funding. ISC funding can only be issued to social clients, everything else is OSR. Seniors, pest control, funerals, heating, mortgages, etc all fall under their own sourced funding.

She has a new office on the main floor with Veronica.

Celia Wilson presenting on Community Planning:

Covid 19 has really impacted the events and planning. Several big events have been cancelled such as the pow wow, the seniors painting, craft night, etc. This has been difficult. The future is uncertainty, and they are saying we cannot have any large events in 2020. We are looking at activities outside, but the weather is always hit and miss. We still want Jordan Tootoo to come to the community. We are always welcome to ideas from the community. We are looking at using this time to get funding for next year’s events and pow wow.

Some things we have been doing: the senior wellness basket that went out each week for 5 weeks to seniors who signed up, virtual contests and challenges, Easter events, waterfall challenge, cooking classes online, family photos in regalia on the old reserve, the pet contest, etc.

Things to look forward to are the beatification of yards contest, and the graduation parade.

Shelley Polchies presenting on Recreation:

The goal has been to try to keep the community engaged and offer as many services as possible. COVID19 forced the program to stop, but during the closure we did a lot of online/virtual events. Scavenger hunters, tik tok challenge, glow sticks challenges, etc. There were many birthday parades over the closures, and it was nice to see the kids excited for these. The staff were great when called upon to help with these events, this was really appreciated.

She is planning to reopen the program and start offering activities again. The goal is to start things in about two weeks. After meeting with the EMO team things will look different upon reopening, as the program will have the same restrictions as summer camps and the school bus operations. This will be an adjustment for everyone. There will be smaller group sizes and the max is 15 per group. The thought is to offer 15 spots in the morning and 15 in the afternoon, which would cover 30 children a day. There will be an increase in cleaning and sanitizing, physical distancing, and an operation plan.

The NB Indian Summer Games is cancelled for 2020. We still meet but looking to explore other options for completive sports. The North American Indigenous Games was also cancelled. A few of our youth would have been there and we are sad they will not be able to attend this year.

Green Hill Lake summer camp is opening but they do not have their operational plan available yet. The plan is to sit with the team and determine if we are able to offer the summer camp this year.

It is not likely that the magic mountain trip will happen this year, due to the regulations they will most likely not be able to accommodate a group our size.

Some organized sports have started up. I have seen applications for baseball and other summer sports, so this is a positive thing. The Sport and Recreation Funding Applications still goes to Shelley.