TORONTO – HEALTH – Chief Donny Morris, of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) community, will receive an Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) Champion of Telemedicine Award tomorrow at the Chiefs of Ontario Health Forum.
“Congratulations to Chief Morris on receiving this inaugural award,” says Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy. “He has always been a dedicated leader with foresight who has been a strong proponent of expanding Telemedicine in the north.”
OTN provides the technology and support to link patients with care providers when illness or distance makes travel prohibitive. The award will be presented jointly by Ed Brown, CEO, OTN, and Orpah McKenzie, Director, eHealth Services, Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KOeHealth). In partnership with OTN, KOeHealth delivers holistic, community-driven and culturally appropriate clinical and educational services via videoconferencing to First Nations communities in Ontario.
Chief Morris has been chief of KI, or Big Trout Lake First Nation, since 1994. The community of 1,100 is located about 600 km north of Thunder Bay, Ont., on the north shore of Big Trout Lake. KI has been using Telemedicine for over 10 years; accessible by air and winter road, this is often the only way for the community to access specialist care.
In his role, Chief Morris is a Director of the Board of the Independent First Nations Alliance located in Sioux Lookout, Ont. He is also a Co-Chair, along with Chief Clifford Bull, of the Chiefs Committee on Health for the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority.
“Chief Morris has been instrumental in promoting Telemedicine to the other chiefs over the years,” says Ed Brown. “He has always been a strong advocate for KO Telemedicine during Chiefs Meetings, not just for his own community but for others as well, presenting Telemedicine as a viable option to access care. He is very deserving of this award recognizing his efforts to transform care delivery.”
The Champion of Telemedicine Award recognizes the outstanding efforts of a select group of leaders across Ontariowho consistently go above and beyond to advance the way Ontario delivers quality, patient-centred care to patients. They inspire the adoption of Telemedicine by sharing OTN and KO’s enthusiasm and vision for the transformation ofOntario’s healthcare system.
Chief Morris played a key role in transferring physician services from Health Canada to the First Nations. The First Nations Family Physicians and Health Services was incorporated on September 5, 2000.
The award ceremony will take place tomorrow at 10:45 a.m., Main Ballroom, Marriott Eaton Centre Hotel, Toronto.