- Indigenous Health Patient Advocate
- Mobile Clinic
- Indigenous HR
Meet Leah Phillips
Tell us about the Indigenous Health Patient Advocate. What key roles come with the positon?
"The key role to the position is to support Indigenous patients that seek or are accessing care at the BRHC or other Health Centres in PMH, which includes 14 First Nation Communities and 2 Metis Federations based in Dauphin and Brandon."
Is this a position based solely for Brandon or does it serve other areas of PMH?
"This position is for the entire PMH area. Currently there is another Indigenous Health Patient Advocate career posting for Virden, Russell and Hamiota area."
Can you provide some background about yourself that made you a great fit for this role?
"Born and raised in The Pas, MB, family is Metis, lived in Indigenous Communities, and am passionate about Advocacy and speaking for those who are not able to speak."
Support to families is a very key part of this initiative. Can you expand on that?
"Being supportive to families is just being there for them and listening to them. Not being rushed or have the families perceive that you are not genuine. When I am with patients and families it is about what they want, not about anything else. I tell families and patients when they ask what I do, I just say that I am there for you, if you need anything just call and I will come see you."
End of Life care is also very prominent in this advocacy role. What are some of the key guiding principles in this regard?
"End of life is the final stage, when a person is transitioning to go to the spirit world, family is so important. When COVID restrictions were in the red zone families were not able to be with their loved ones at the time. You had to look at other ways such as Facetime, Zoom, and other technology. With one particular situation I will never forget, a family member was transferred here from another hospital from a community from up north. This patient was never going to go home. The family members all came in and after explaining to upper management what the situation was, I was able to liaise with family members to come and see their loved one who by that time went to palliative care. I took care of the family members so that nursing staff would be able to focus on doing their job and not have to worry about family members."
Is the key to the position, listening and connecting? How are these two important factors achieved?
"Absolutely, one cannot be without the other. I don’t know the patient or their families or their situation. I go in, tell the patient who I am, and ask how can I help you. If they choose to talk, they do, if not I will leave my card and tell them to take care and call me if need be. Another way I approach is just to ask “how are you”. If the patient is able to have liquids and not restricted to have any liquids I ask if I can get them a tea or coffee. Just be authentic."
Traditions, culture and respect are very much at the forefront of this role. How do these areas get reinforced when raising issues or concerns back to Prairie Mountain Health? What does PMH do with the feedback?
"If a person doesn’t know if they are doing wrong, and no one tells them it keeps going on. I have built a relationship with my managers so that if there is an issue that I have been called in on, or a concern, I take this forward to my managers, then together we can come to a solution that will benefit all. PMH does the best that it can with educating staff on Indigenous Issues, and staff training on such issues. By just simply by talking and keeping the dialogue open is very important as well as to keep building relationships."
Besides patient or client concerns/questions, what other important tasks does the Patient Advocate undertake?
"Assist in family meetings, discharge planning, travelling to First Nation Communities for Service to Service meetings, assist in accessing services, and help facilitate Spiritual and Cultural care. Bridging the gap between services, and to try to create a better understanding for all cultures."
Can you note an example(s) of a positive outcome or feedback that spports the very important aspects of what you do?
"One positive thing I can recall is when I assisted a patient that had been in hospital, and was trying to get to Winnipeg to get to an appointment, but didn’t have the resources available. I assisted the patient with how to get in touch with the appropriate agencies with in our city of Brandon to get her into Winnipeg. I still get phone calls from previous patients and their families to let me know how they are doing. It is a good feeling knowing that you have helped someone when they were not able to.
When I meet with patients a few of them have said that they had a family member come into hospital and that I helped them so this is another way that I know what I am doing is a good thing."
How can persons contact or get in touch with the Indigenous Patient Advocate?
Phone Toll Free 1-877-378-3077
Prairie Mountain Health was proud to be part of the very first Mobile Clinic initiative in Manitoba. The Mobile Clinic (primary health care bus) began visiting select locations in February 2014.
People living in or near a community served by one of Manitoba's Mobile Clinics can use the clinic as their 'home clinic' - the place where they receive most of their health care, or just access it for some of their every day health care needs.
Staffed by nurse practitioners and registered nurses, they provide on the spot primary care for people living in some of Manitoba's smaller, underserviced communities. The 'clinic on wheels' provides the full range of primary care services, such as physical exams, diagnostic tests, immunizations, referrals, and well baby care.
What is a Mobile Clinic?
Manitoba’s Mobile Clinics are buses that have been specially designed to be fully functional primary care clinics.
They come complete with two exam rooms, a wheelchair lift, and the same medical equipment and technology you would find in any other clinic.
Mobile Clinics improve access to local, on the spot primary care services for people living in Manitoba’s smaller underserviced communities.
Mobile Clinics are staffed with registered nurses and nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have completed advanced education and training and have passed an approved examination. A nurse practitioner can prescribe medications, order and manage the results of screening and diagnostic tests and perform minor surgical procedures.
What services will Mobile Clinics provide?
- Mobile Clinics provide the full range of primary care services including:
- regular check ups
- treatment for minor ailments
- help with managing a chronic disease or condition
- lab services
- health promotion and education
- Referrals to other health services or specialists
Can a Mobile Clinic be my regular primary care provider?
Yes. A Mobile Clinic can be your “home clinic” - the place where you receive most of your health care.
What communities will the Mobile Clinic visit?
The Mobile Clinic in Prairie Mountain Health is currently serving the following communities.
- Birdtail Sioux First Nation
- Ebb and Flow First Nation
- Keeseekoowenin Ojibway First Nation
- O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nation
Why is Manitoba introducing Mobile Clinics?
Mobile Clinics bring reliable access to primary care to people living in some of Manitoba’s smaller underserviced communities. Having access to a regular health care provider will help people living in these communities receive ongoing health care and support close to home. It will also save time and transportation costs for patients, by bringing primary care services to their community.
For more information or to make appointment with the Mobile Clinic in your community
You may also call Family Doctor Finder
Links and Resources:
“How to get the care you need when you need it” - infohealth Guide
Indigenous Human Resources (Indigenous HR) is a unique component within Prairie Mountain Health Human Resources. Even though we provide support to all peoples regardless of their cultural heritage our primary objective is to increase the number of Indigenous people applying for, and obtaining employment with Prairie Mountain Health at all levels and within all areas of our organization.
Indigenous Human Resources provides services specially tailored to recruit and retain Indigenous employees so that in time we will have a workforce that representatively reflects the percentage of Indigenous people residing in our region.
It is important to note however, that we are neither an Employment Equity nor an Affirmative Action program.
Currently, Prairie Mountain Health Indigenous Human Resources Offices are located in Brandon, Dauphin and Swan River, Manitoba. We believe that our look and locations promote a stronger grassroots, community based service to all people, especially those who self-identify as Indigenous.
We work to develop stronger partnerships with Prairie Mountain Health employees, Indigenous leaders, community members, educational institutions, training facilities, unions, Elders, youth and professionals in an effort to encourage discussion and direction to better meet the needs of Indigenous people within the Prairie Mountain Health territory.
- Pre-Employment Supports
- Indigenous Focused Education
- Indigenous Services
Prairie Mountain Health- Indigenous Human Resources can assist you in your efforts to secure employment with us by providing you with the following services:
- Provide you with information on current posting with Prairie Mountain Health
- Provide you with an application for employment form
- Provide assistance with resume and cover letters
- Provide you with information on criminal record check, child abuse registry checks and adult abuse registry checks.
- Assist you with areas such as interview skills and interview anxieties.
Indigenous Human Resources staff can assist with these or any other pre-employment questions and concerns you may have. Please recognize that our goal is to make sure that you are fully prepared when applying for one of our positions.
We are here for you!
Prairie Mountain Health provides opportunities for employees and encourages them to participate in workshops and training sessions throughout the year. Examples of some of our past workshops and sessions are as follows:
- Indigenous Based Cultural Sensitivity Training
- Indigenous Traditional Medicine Workshop
- Respectful Workplace
- Non Violent Crisis Intervention
- CPR training
- Stress Management
- Applied Suicide Intervention Skills training
- Food Safe
- And many more...
Prairie Mountain Health is committed to providing services that will contribute to improved health status of Indigenous people. Partnerships with the Indigenous communities are critical to ensure that services are culturally appropriate and needs driven.
Services provided include:
- Indigenous Advisor
- Indigenous Spiritual Care Worker
- Indigenous Elder Visitations
- Indigenous Language Interpreters
- Indigenous Ceremonies
(Not all services may be available in all areas)
For more information regarding the services we provide please contact the Indigenous HR office nearest you:
Swan River (204) 734-6642