Super 1: Minister's Medal
Honouring Excellence in Health in Quality and Safety

Super 2: 2016 Individual Champion
Leah Bergstrome

Super 3: Leah Bergstrome
Aboriginal Patient Navigator
Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program

Super 4: Dr. Kent Russell
Oncologist
Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program

Super 5: Leanne Douglas
Director of Health and Social Services
Chippewas of Rama First Nations

Super 6: Jennifer
Community Member

Super 7: Justin
Cancer Survivor

Leah: The history of residential school left such a painful wound within the community. It hasn't been long enough to heal from that.

And so there's a lot of fear and mistrust among community members about actually engaging in services that are provided by mainstream organizations. That creates a lot of the health inequity. My role is to act as a bridge between the community and this cancer center, and I've provided a lot of education for cancer center staff.

Kent: I didn't really realize the extent of the barriers that the aboriginal community has to try and access cancer care.

Leah: Building respectful relationships with the community is really the cornerstone of this program.

Leanne: Leah's really building good relationships with everybody from all the different communities, and brings great educational resources and ideas.

Jennifer: We need more people like that, really who are accessible to the community members, and who speak to all of us from an indigenous place.

Justin: For us as traditional peoples, it really helps to actually open up to them a little more, makes it easier to talk to them.

Leah: The development of the healing circle, it's about creating of space for people to be able to engage in healing practices that are important to them. All the staff in the cancer center, I know that they're behind me, and they understand it's their social obligation to create lasting change.

Leanne: Leah's really role modeled and demonstrated the extreme importance of the patient navigator.

Leah: None of this would've been possible without the support of the aboriginal health circle, of the health directors in the communities.

Kent: Leah is an extremely strong advocate for her patients.

Jennifer: She is able to do that in such a beautiful way.

Justin: I just can't explain how much of a role she plays.

Kent: She's really doing a great job at helping these people access treatments earlier, with better outcomes.

Leanne: So respectful, and her heart's just huge.

Justin: I'm grateful to be here, to see my little girls grow up, and thankful to have people that have really helped me.

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