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Windòcàge: new community room reflects Aboriginal culture

 

Verna Stevens,  Aboriginal Patient Coordinator at The Ottawa Hospital, will meet with patients in the new Windòcàge Community Room near the fireplace in the Cancer Centre.

 

A peaceful mural of birch trees in winter graces the entire back wall of the new Windòcàge Community Room – which was officially opened on Dec. 18, the winter solstice, a time to acknowledge change and renewal in Aboriginal culture.

 

First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities in the Champlain region helped design and name Windòcàge, ensuring it represents their culture and helps put Aboriginal patients and families at ease. The room offers a comfortable, welcoming meeting space and waiting area, near the fireplace in the Cancer Centre.

 

Verna Stevens, Aboriginal Patient Coordinator at The Ottawa Hospital, expects she will meet with patients in the new room.

 

“My role is to help Aboriginal patients navigate their way through the cancer care journey,” she explained. “I help them overcome health-care system barriers, facilitate timely access to cancer care services, and ensure care is culturally appropriate. I also try to address the cultural and spiritual needs of patients and their families.”

 

Stevens is promoting more cultural understanding at the hospital and bridging the divide between health-care professionals and their Aboriginal patients.
Elders from each of the Aboriginal communities, including Chief Kirby Whiteduck from Pikwàkanagàn,

have been invited to the official opening, along with the Senior Management Team, many employees and physicians, the hospital’s regional partners and members of Cancer Care Ontario.

 

Windòcàge will be open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 
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