Carmen Blais of Matawa Health Co-operative award Minister's Medal
#LSN_Health Dr. Gord Porter, Carmen Blais
THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO - October 18, 2018 (LSN) Carmen Blais, a Clinical Coordinator at Matawa Health Co-operative, has been awarded a 2018 Minister’s Medal for her dedicated efforts to improving health outcomes for Indigenous communities in Northwestern Ontario.
This is the first time an individual from the North West LHIN has been awarded a Minister’s Medal since the program’s inception in 2013.
Carmen, winner of the Minister’s Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety (Individual Champion Category), was originally hired as a consultant by Matawa to facilitate engagement sessions in the nine Matawa member First Nation communities to discuss gaps and challenges in accessing health services. This work will guide the development and implementation of an Indigenous Inter-Professional Primary Care Team. Matawa First Nations developed the Health Co-operative to provide collaborative and accountable health services to its member First Nations.
In past roles with the Anishnawbe Mushkiki Health Access Centre, Public Health Agency of Canada, Dilico Child & Family Services and Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Carmen has advanced programs and initiatives focused on overcoming barriers to access for Indigenous communities in the North West LHIN. As the former Indigenous Engagement Lead and Patient Advocate at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), Carmen expanded the hospital’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee from fewer than 10 members to 23 genuinely engaged Indigenous members of the community. In recognition of her leadership, commitment and dedication to Indigenous Health at TBRHSC, Carmen received the hospital’s Walk the Talk Award for Indigenous Health.
Carmen’s 30+ year career in health care consistently demonstrates her genuine passion and unwavering dedication to using innovation and collaboration to improve health care outcomes for Indigenous people and communities in Northwestern Ontario.
The Minister’s Medal awards were presented at Health Quality Transformation 2018, an annual event hosted by Health Quality Ontario, on October 17, 2018. The theme of this year's awards is Innovating Integration, which focuses on recognizing the innovative and transformative initiatives being undertaken across the province to improve patient and provider experiences, support better value, and improve health outcomes across the province.