KO Telemedicine looking at university health career entry program

By Rick Garrick

KO Telemedicine is working with Lakehead University to develop an Aboriginal Univer-sity Entry Program for Health Careers.

"We always wanted to work together with Lakehead University to deliver education through videoconferencing," says Gibbet Stevens, KO Telemedicine's education coordinator, noting that Lakehead University is already offering a pilot program for the 2007/08 school year that delivers two of the Native Nursing Entry Program's six-and-a-half courses, Communication and Study Skills, by videoconference. The Native Nursing Entry Program was originally developed with the assistance of Nishnawbe Aski Nation in the 1980's.

The Health Careers program will offer six courses over a two or three year period by vi-deoconference, beginning in April 2008 if the funding is approved.

KO Looking into privacy issues

Rick Garrick Sept. 2008

Keewaytinook Okimakanak is working with Canada's leading authority on eHealth risk management, privacy and security to improve guidelines for privacy issues within its own organization and in the communities. "He suggested that when we are doing research data gathering, we abide by the Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP) principles for collective privacy," says Franz Seibel, researcher with the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Research Institute. "He talked about the importance of following these principles in First Nation communities. KORI has already adopted these principles through our KORI Consultation Standards protocol."

KORI stresses importance of two-way sharing

By Rick Garrick Dec. 2007

Keewaytinook Okimakanak's (KO) Health Director Robert Thomas recently lead off a regional health conference via videoconference from his office in Balmertown.

Speaking on-line from his office, Thomas opened the Building from Strength Conference with a keynote address on Innovative First Nation Mental Health Services in the Sioux Lookout Region, where he shared the successes and progress of regional mental health programs and partnerships in changing the lives of First Nation youth.

George Kenny saved by Telemedicine

Rick Garrick Oct. 2007

"Telehealth saved my leg." George Kenny clearly remembers the day in 2003 when his leg was saved by a specialist in Winnipeg after a Telemedicine examination showed that his swollen leg was due to an infection that spread from a baker's cyst behind his calf.

"To this day, I feel that service (Telemedicine) saved my leg," says Kenny from his farm just east of Dinorwic. "My leg was all purple and red and swollen up. I actually ended up with a 22 cm blood clot in my leg."

The blood clot formed due to the pressure on his veins from his swollen leg muscles. "If any part of that blood clot had broken off and lodged in my brain or my lungs I might have become a vegetable or I might have died," Kenny says.

Breast Cancer Awareness Online Workshops and Support Group

By Rick Garrick Dec. 2007

Phyllis Chowaniec wants to use the access to broadband now available in remote and isolated First Nation communities to provide Aboriginal women fighting breast cancer with the support and assistance that people in cities take for granted.

A breast cancer survivor, she is looking to share her story with others from across the north through the creation of an online breast cancer support group. "It will help to support our people who have cancer and need to go out for treatment," says Chowaniec, a registered practical nurse who grew up in Bearskin Lake First Nation and is now Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO) Health's long term care nurse. "I was hoping to help them by sharing my story. So they don't go out there (to the regional health centres) and expect the worst."