KO Telehealth is Officially Launched in Balmertown

KO Telehealth is launched during Keewaytinook Okimakanak's 10th Anniversary Celebration in Balmertown on August 22. Geordi Kakepetum, KO’s Executive Director, welcomed everyone to the 10th Anniversary celebration and launch. He related how our telehealth initiative began about four years ago. Our Keewaytinook Okimakanak Chiefs were watching a videoconference between a physician at the Ottawa Heart Institute and a patient in the Northwest Territories. Since then telehealth has been part of the KO wellness strategy. Orpah McKenzie, Director of KO Health Services, acknowledged Keewaytinook Okimakanak’s Health Services work with health partners including the NORTH Network, Industry Canada/FedNor, CHIPP, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, the Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital, the Zone Hospital and others to create telehealth and keep it running. Orpah then introduced the telehealth coordinators in each of our KO communities: Lily Sawanas in Deer Lake, Jessie Mathews in Fort Severn, Mary Kakekagumick in Keewaywin, Julie Meekis in North Spirit, and Rita Wassaykeesic in Poplar Hill. Orpah introduced the KO Telehealth Project team of Dr. Aaron Feldstein, Dr. Claudette Chase and Dr. Mark Polle, the KO Telehealth’s Regional Medical Directors, John Rowlandson (Project Manager), Christine Penner Polle (Regional Coordinator), Donna Williams (Informatics Educator), and Gibbet Stevens (Communications Coordinator). This was followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony to launch our telehealth project. Carl Seibel from FedNor assisted Orpah McKenzie and Geordi Kakepetum in cutting the ribbon. A presentation, gift and award ceremony was made via videoconferencing to Starsky Suggashie at the Keewaywin E-Centre for being the first “telehealth consult.” James Kakapetum, Health Director for Keewaywin, accepted the award on Starsky’s behalf. Donna Williams, KO Telehealth’s educator/trainer then connected with coordinator, Julie Meekis in North Spirit Lake by videoconference. Along with Julie’s grandson, Samuel and Laurie Rae, the Prenatal Nutrition worker, they helped to demonstrate some of the telehealth equipment for the audience. Julie used the exam camera to check Samuel’s feeding and breathing tubes and then used the otoscope to look inside Laurie’s ear. It was a very successful launch and for everyone who made it possible – THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS! See the first photo album of the launch and also in the second photo album