What does World Health Day and DNA Day Have to Do with Kids’ Health?
We’re excited to share that one of our very own Canadian network hospitals has received a prestigious award! Sherri Di Lallo and the Awasisak Indigenous Health Program at the Stollery Children’s Hospital have been honored with the 2020 CMN Hospitals Impact Award for Canada at Children’s Hospital Week 2021. This award honors a frontline health care worker or team who have made significant impact on the care provided to children in their hospital.
Sherri Di Lallo, a Metis from Buffalo Narrows, Northern Saskatchewan, launched the Awasisak Indigenous Health Program at Stollery Children’s Hospital with an important value in mind: to improve Indigenous health care by facilitating accessible, culturally safe, and equitable health services for Indigenous patients and their families.
Upon the announcement of the award, CEO & President of Children’s Hospital Foundations stated the following: “We value the Awasisak program because it meets a short and long-term need, helps to overcome immense challenges relating to accessibility, and is highly innovative while focusing on children, families and communities. Thank you Sherri for all that you for kids and marginalized groups to increase access to culturally safe and equitable services”.
This program is the first of its kind in Canada. It has done significant work in Indigenous communities to build and foster relationships and trust, ensuring kids and families receive the care as well as emotional and spiritual support they need to feel comfortable and safe within the hospital.
Sherri and her team provide culturally sensitive services such as support in traditional languages, ceremonial drumming and smudging as well as a sacred prayer room on site to support the physical and mental needs of the patients and their families.
By putting patients first, the Awasisak Indigenous Health Program has reduced perceived barriers, marginalization, and lack of information at the acute care level which has improved access to pediatric services.
Thank you, Sherri, and the entire Awasisak team, for providing a culturally safe space for Indigenous children and families in the Stollery’s backyard.
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