Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) is partnering with the Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle to support Indigenous patients at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge.
According to officials with MAHC, Mary Sue Robinet will act as an Indigenous patient navigator and serve as a “supportive liaison for Indigenous patients and their families with the care teams.” They explain she will help indigenous patients connect with services while at the Bracebridge hospital, access culturally relevant care options, plan for short-term and long-term healthcare needs, and connect with community resources.
Officials say Robinet will available to offer support if a patient self-identifies as Indigenous during registration. They explain she will follow them through triage, admission, inpatient stays and outpatient visits.
“This value is intrinsically tied to the value that is placed on them as individuals, with unique and distinct needs of which I strive to make myself aware, understanding and acknowledging that there is no cookie-cutter solution that will suit all individuals and situations,” explains Robinet. “I have had the honour of sitting with families and individuals at times of personal challenge. It is my hope that individuals who may have, at one time, avoided healthcare due to past negative experiences, may engage again with healthcare and that we might assist them in seeing that positive things can and do occur within hospitals.”
Robinet has already worked with 10 patients since being brought on by MAHC.
“Each person, each interaction is a new opportunity for Mary Sue to engage in their care plan and truly involve them in their care journey,” says Cheryl Harrison, president and CEO of MAHC. “This is the real value of the role of indigenous patient navigator – to illicit hope and confidence in their ability to manage and navigate their own wellness and healing. I am proud of this important step forward to improve the care experience for our patients.”