Im­prov­ing In­dige­nous care fo­cus of $2-mil­lion grant

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - CITY+REGION -

A Univer­sity of Saskatchewan re­searcher and clin­i­cian has re­ceived a $2-mil­lion grant to re­fine and ex­pand how on-re­serve pa­tients are di­ag­nosed and treated for HIV, hep­ati­tis C and other sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted blood-borne in­fec­tions.

Dr. Ste­wart Skin­ner, as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor in the Col­lege of Medicine, has been work­ing closely with In­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties around the prov­ince in the Know Your Sta­tus pro­gram, which helps In­dige­nous pa­tients re­ceive a cul­tur­ally re­spon­sive ap­proach to their med­i­cal care within their own com­mu­nity — in­te­grat­ing main­stream western medicine with tra­di­tional In­dige­nous health mod­els.

“We’re pretty ex­cited about the grant suc­cess,” Skin­ner said in a state­ment.

“We wanted to build a First Na­tions-led ini­tia­tive that met the lo­cal com­mu­nity needs and in­te­grated western and In­dige­nous ap­proaches.”

Awarded by the Cana­dian In­sti­tutes of Health Re­search (CIHR), the five-year mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary, multi-sec­toral project in­volv­ing nearly 50 pol­icy-mak­ers, clin­i­cians and knowl­edge users — nearly half of whom are In­dige­nous — aims to ex­pand the net­work of the pro­gram and hope­fully cre­ate a model of care that can be used in other com­mu­ni­ties.

“Through this project we will be able to show just how much re­silience, strengths and as­sets there are in In­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties,” said Car­rie Bourassa, sci­en­tific di­rec­tor of CIHR’s In­sti­tute of Abo­rig­i­nal Peo­ple’s Health in a state­ment. “Given that it is im­ple­men­ta­tion re­search, hope­fully they are go­ing to pro­vide a model that can be used across Saskatchewan and in other parts of Canada.”

With this new grant, the to­tal fund­ing for the pro­gram now sits at $4.65 mil­lion.

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