Planning ahead through community care

September 30, 2021 marked the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. Ceremonies were held across the country to highlight the need for dialogue and direct action to bring reconciliation and restoration to the Indigenous communities harmed by the violent processes of colonization.

One of the ceremonies held was an initiative led by the collaborative efforts of BPAO, Lakeridge Health, Durham Region Health Department and CareA Community Health Centre.

The event hosted descendants of residential school survivors and created open space for them to share their experiences at CareA Community Health Centre.

“It was a humbling event” said Dr. Amamoo, Family Physician, in Ajax and Co-Lead for Durham Region BHVI.

The event also served as a pop-up clinic, where folks from around the community could be vaccinated if they were interested. There were doctors and health professionals on site to answer any questions the public had.

“My goal is to inform…If I can get people from 0% to 50% [no to maybe] where you can go home and think more about it, that’s a win,” she said.

Dr. Amamoo expressed gratitude for the collaborative event, and enthusiasm about the efficacy of its approach. She shared about how she spent one hour speaking to a mother and daughter of Asian descent, who were very hesitant and uncomfortable, but through conversation, made their way closer to ease.

“Sometimes when someone looks like you,or has similar lived experiences, it can be assuring,” she said.

“It’s important for us to realize, we [physicians] can be a barrier to vaccination…it’s easy to get busy and rush, but we play a significant role in our communities lives…Our role is not just
managing diabetes, it’s about the general wellness of these communities.”

Continued events like these, have been effective vehicles in building trust and facilitating support in communities of colour. As we look ahead BPAO looks forward to continuing collaboration to foster the health and wellness of our diverse communities.

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