The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) is led by a dedicated group of volunteer community representatives. These devoted individuals have a significant and positive impact on the level of healthcare in our community. Georjann Morriseau is one of them.
Although Georjann hopes to help expand and improve healthcare for all community members, her experiences as former Chief and current Band Councillor of Fort William First Nation give her a particularly valuable perspective for helping TBRHSC move forward with Aboriginal Health, which is one of its five strategic priorities.
“Healthcare is something we all need and require. Given my experiences in my own community along with other First Nations, and seeing the various complex health and social challenges that Aboriginal people face, I knew I wanted to become more familiarized with our local Health Sciences Centre, as well as the health care system in general,” says Morriseau about her motivations for joining TBRHSC’s Board of Directors. “I want to contribute and give back in a positive way and to help bridge any gaps that currently exist within our healthcare system, especially where the Aboriginal population is concerned.”
Although healthcare is not Morriseau’s area of expertise, her experiences in leadership roles within her community have exposed her to many different circumstances that are related to health. Her keen understanding of complex healthcare challenges stems from her years of experience working with First Nations in various capacities.
“I believe that healthcare is about more than just going to the hospital for acute medical treatment. Education and prevention are crucial components of a healthy community, and this is especially true for First Nations. Health is such a complex issue with many contributing factors,” she says. “I think that the knowledge I’ve acquired from working with a variety of community agencies as well as direct family experiences lends to my ability to provide a level of insight that might be unique and progressive in terms of looking for solutions that address the complex healthcare issues for Aboriginal people and those coming from the north.”
Morriseau is excited to be working with an organization that is committed to Aboriginal health. “I think it’s fantastic that the hospital has put an emphasis on Aboriginal Health in the strategic plan,” she says. “The work they have done so far and the issues they have identified show that the hospital is willing to really get down and engage with our communities to fully understand the challenges of Aboriginal patients so they can bridge the gap in health that currently exists. I look forward to being actively engaged and involved in that process.”
Along with Aboriginal health, Morriseau also notes pediatrics and elder’s healthcare in Northwestern Ontario as her personal priorities that she hopes to address during her term as Director. “As a mother of three boys, children take front and centre of everything that I do,” she explains. “My culture has also taught me the importance of honouring and caring for our elders. Being raised and taught by my grandmother, Elder’s wellbeing and quality of life really resonate with my priorities; so I want to ensure that their continuum of care is not overlooked.”
As someone so dedicated and involved in her community, Morriseau will surely prove to be a tremendous asset to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, as well as patients and their families across the region.
To learn more about TBRHSC’s Board of Directors, or to find out how you can watch live Board Meeting webcasts from the comfort of your own home, please visit www.tbrhsc.net.