North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) – Aboriginal Health Programs


DPRA Canada recently completed public engagement activities for the North West Local Health Integration Network (North West LHIN) associated with the development of an Environmental Scan of Aboriginal health programs and services as well as gathering information about the health status of Aboriginal people residing with the North West LHIN Region.


The project included developing an inventory of all current health programs and services available to Aboriginal peoples in the North West LHIN as well as the utilization patterns, resources, referral patterns, access issues and waiting times associated with the identified programs and services. DPRA developed a comprehensive database for the NW LHIN and populated the database with information received through research, interviews and engagement sessions.


To help understand the needs of the region and the Aboriginal population, DPRA produced a summary outlining the health status of Aboriginal people located within the North West LHIN (on- and off-reserve, urban, rural, and remote) with respect to chronic diseases, injuries, mental health and addictions issues, acute illnesses, and mortality rates. As part of this project DPRA reviewed literature from organizations such as First Nations, Inuit & Aboriginal Health Branch, Ontario Health Analytics Branch, Sioux Lookout First Nation Authority, Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre, Assembly of First Nations, Chiefs of Ontario, Métis Nation of Ontario, Ontario Native Women’s Association, Aboriginal Healing & Wellness Strategy, and the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

A key part of this research was to develop and carry out engagement sessions in a number of First Nation communities located within the North West LHIN region. DPRA was responsible for the organization and facilitation of the 15 community engagement sessions, including preparing summary reports and interviewing key contacts while in the communities. The purpose of this engagement was to better understand the health status, needs and priorities of the North West LHIN. Key project stakeholders included the North West LHIN Aboriginal Health Services Advisory Committee, relevant staff representing hospitals and nursing stations located within the North West LHIN (e.g., health service providers, health directors, nursing station staff), Aboriginal health representatives (e.g., Northern Ontario School of Medicine, First Nations, Inuit & Aboriginal Health Branch  / Health Canada, Aboriginal Healing & Wellness Strategy), and Aboriginal community and organizational contacts within the region (e.g., community health access centres, health authorities, health services, Child and Family Services, Friendship Centres, and Tribal Councils).

At the conclusion of the project, DPRA provided the NW LHIN with a detailed Environmental Scan and Inventory of the Health Programs and Services and a Health Status Report that presents the findings from the literature review, community engagement sessions and key stakeholder interviews. The report also included a summary of the health status of the aboriginal population within the NW LHIN with respect to chronic disease, acute disease, injuries, mental health and addiction issues and mortality rates.