Health Department

This past year has been a challenge for the Health Department. We are incredibly grateful for our staff, community members and external stakeholders who helped our department in these challenging times. It is important that we all work together to foster a lively, healthy community. We currently have four staff members that work in the health department.

During these times we saw people endure mental, physical, and emotional problems. Our health team provided programs and services that encouraged mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being of the Halfway River First Nation people.

We were able to have a doctor come into the community for appointments with the members, but he will be retiring, and soon we will not have a doctor that comes into the community. The community members currently must make appointments and travel into Fort St. John or other larger communities or have phone appointments.

We have found, that like other smaller Indigenous communities, there are some significant concerns regarding the health of our community members. Chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are on the rise. We also are working towards being able to provide more services in the community to increase awareness and have programming support that assists community members who are struggling with drug, alcohol, and solvent abuse. We are working on strengthening links between the community-based programs and residential treatment centers and provide support to individuals and families in post treatment. As we were able to have Occupational therapists visit HRFN we had them come in and do some in-home assessments for our community members, which resulted in medical equipment being placed in homes as needed. We also were able to get wheelchairs for our community members.

This past year most of the support programs that we were able to put on were done over Zoom calls. These Zoom calls can be a challenge for some people because of the internet connection and not being technologically savvy. The HRFN staff worked extremely hard to offer help in getting people connected for the workshops. Also finding a time that works for most people was a challenge.

The health department staff worked to coordinate and schedule appointments for members and to coordinate weekly trips into Fort St. John. We managed to purchase a 15-passenger van and a bus to provide transportation for members of the community to attend appointments, get fresh groceries, and take care of important health related errands. The van and bus help members to attend pow wows, cultural events, and other elder’s gatherings when possible. The purchase of the vehicles was a collaboration between health, industry, and other grants.

It is important that the health department be able to help the community with healthy eating and increase physical activities that help the members with their health.

We coordinated diabetes workshops and educated members with meal planning, purchasing food, having healthy eating habits, and cooking. We started a weight loss challenge where participants attended workshops by Zoom and came into the clinic for their weekly weigh ins.

We offered some workshops in person and some online workshops such as Self Esteem/Empowerment, Grief and Loss, Non-Violent Communication, and Drug and Alcohol awareness, but challenges remain with the stigma attached to them.
If you have questions about Halfway River First Nation’s Health services, please contact the Health Director at HRFN Health Clinic.

If any queries with the Health Clinic please contact.

Health Director: Thomasina Spike

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