Department of Pediatrics Annual Report - 2014

Page 10

Teaming Up With the Community A new outreach clinic provides learners with a better understanding of Aboriginal culture

In Maskwacis Four Nations, less than an hour from Edmonton, community members expressed a need for greater access to pediatric health care. That voice was heard and has grown to become the Maskwacis Pediatric Resident Outreach Clinic, seeing up to 25 children each busy Thursday. In 2011, a community member invited Dr. Lola Baydala to work as a pediatrician in the Maskwacis Health Clinic. At the time, she was collaborating with the community as part of the Maskwacis Life Skills Training Program (MLST). In the spring of 2013, Department of Pediatrics residents Drs. Megan Fowler and Jessica Nicoll heard about the need for pediatric health care in Maskwacis. They recognized it as an opportunity to advocate for a high-risk population close to home, and felt it should be part of the resident curriculum. Fowler and Nicoll brought the idea to Baydala. With the support of the department residency program and Randy Littlechild, the medical director of Maskwacis Health Services, the clinic was formally approved in October 2013. They began recruiting preceptors and scheduling residents to attend the clinic on a weekly basis. Drs. Daniela Migliarese Isaac, Hayley Turnbull and Richelle Wright have joined the group and been instrumental to the project.



The team applied for and successfully received the 2014 Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS) Residency Advocacy Grant. The grant is being used towards conducting communitybased focus groups, translation of medical and advocacy documents into Cree, and supporting Maskwacis community members in sharing their culture with residents via seminars. Focus groups with Elders, caregivers and community health care workers identified community-driven child health priorities now being used to further guide public health strategies to improve child health outcomes. Feedback revealed the greatest pediatric care needs centered on the social determinants of health and access to stigma-free, culturally congruent medical care for all children. Baydala and community pediatrician Dr. Heather Dreise are each committed to attending the clinic two Thursdays a month, with back up from other community pediatricians. The clinic is a way for pediatric residents to broaden their understanding of the impact of colonialism and residential school experiences on the health of First Nations children, youth and their families, and it provides a context for Maskwacis children admitted to the Stollery Children’s Hospital. “When residents look after patients from the Maskwacis communities, they understand how social determinants affect health,” says Baydala.

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