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Conference on the Move to Sudbury, Ontario

Thursday, October 11 – Saturday, October 13, 2012

Southern Route – Lake Superior Aboriginal Culture Route

On Thursday, October 11, the Conference on the Move Southern Route began as delegates departed Thunder Bay to visit Nipigon District Hospital. The group was greeted by hospital CEO Carl White, along with his team of health-care professionals. Delegates had a chance to tour the facility, to see how the Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) is utilized to store and retrieve diagnostic
images, as well as being introduced, some for the first time, to the Telemedicine Network system. Many were amazed with the circle of care being offered, in addition to the accessibility of care to patients that reside in remote /rural communities with the use of telemedicine capabilities.

Although their schedule included a lengthy bus ride until their next stop, delegates made time to quickly visit the well-known landmark statue of Winnie the Pooh. The delegates were surprised to learn the story of “Winnie the Pooh” began in White River, Ontario, and were happy to have their picture taken with the famous bear.

In Wawa, the group was greeted by local physicians, Chief of Staff Dr. Erle Kirby, and Dr. Julie Weinstein. Dr. Weinstein volunteered to bring the delegates on a tour of the Lady Dunn Health Centre.
The delegates were impressed with the service of care offered to patients and could not believe when informed of the quality of care a family physician is responsible for his/her patient(s), which most often greatly differs from a family physician’s role in other countries.

Along the route to Sault Ste. Marie, the group was welcomed with a variety of Northern weather, icy roads, snow and rain; however, the delegates were taken back by the beauty of the Northern scenery, the giant waves off the shore of Lake Superior, the colourful leaves, and snow-covered rocky hills. They arrived in Garden River First Nation and visited the Community Centre, where they were greeted by Chief Lyle Sayers and members of the community who had set up tables to display beautiful, traditional artistry.

During the visit to M’Chigeeng First Nation, the group visited M’Chigeeng’s Ojibwe Cultural Foundation Centre, where delegates were introduced to a traditional smudging ceremony, followed by drumming.  While sitting in a circle, the group learned about the Ojibwe culture.  A few members of the Centre prepared a number of traditional dances, dressed in traditional clothing. The group was even invited to take part in the dance and the delegates were very appreciative of the experience.  Following the dance, delegates were given a tour of the beautiful facility and learned about the Anishnaabek history.

The hospitality of Northern Ontario truly shined through to each of the delegates. The delegates expressed appreciation for the experiences that were provided, and for the opportunities for self-reflection.

Northern Route – Francophone Culture Route

On Thursday, October 11, several delegates from the Rendez-Vous 2012 world conference travelled by bus from Thunder Bay to Sudbury and visited the communities of Hearst and Cochrane along the way.

Departing from Thunder Bay, the group’s first stop was at the Lake Helen reserve. Welcomed by three of the community’s Elders, delegates were treated to moose stew and fried bread. During the nutrition break, the Elders shared their experiences with local health care and highlighted various social determinants of health for the area.

In Hearst, the delegates met with the Mayor, hospital board members and recruitment staff, and community members during a dinner held at Le Conseil des Arts de Hearst. After dinner, the Mayor, Roger Sigouin, opened and provided a private tour of the Heritage Sawmill Marketplace. Before leaving the community, Sigouin also invited the delegates to tour the new Inovo Centre. At the Inovo Centre, delegates learned how the community utilized local organizations, several renewable energies, local wood products, as well as bricks salvaged from the renovation of a local
company to build the facility. It now acts as a learning, training, and resource centre for the community.

Upon arrival in Cochrane, delegates toured the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat, the only captive bear facility in the world dedicated solely to polar bears. Delegates had the opportunity to watch as
father and son polar bears, Inukshuk and Ganuk, enjoyed their lunch.

On October 12, while visiting Cochrane, delegates were welcomed with open arms to a luncheon hosted by the community. With representatives from the Lady Minto Hospital, and from the Town Council, delegates learned about the distributed nature of the MIC Group of Health Services in Matheson, Iroquois Falls, and Cochrane. They enjoyed a presentation that explained the history of the hospital amalgamation and how each of the communities has benefitted from the amalgamation. Following the luncheon, Dr. Bruce Peterkin guided the group on a tour of Lady Minto Hospital. For some delegates, it was their first exposure to universal health care and the way in which the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) is managed in hospital. Delegates visited the emergency, diagnostic imaging, ambulatory care, obstetrics, pediatrics, general surgery, and long-term care departments, before boarding the bus for their last leg of the journey to Sudbury.

Two Routes to Sudbury Come Together

On Saturday, October 13, the Conference on the Move Southern Route delegates joined the Northern Route delegates to visit a variety of locations within the City of Greater Sudbury. The delegates began their day with a visit to Sudbury’s Dynamic Earth, one of Canada’s finest geoscience centres. Delegates explored interactive exhibits, multi-media shows and an underground mine tour highlight the unique geology and rich mining heritage of the Sudbury area.

Following Dynamic Earth, delegates visited the Maison Vale Hospice. Delegates learned that Maison Vale Hospice provides 24-hour care in a tranquil, homelike setting to more than 100 residents per year. Delegates learned about its integrated model of palliative care and how the facility cares for its residents through a team-based approach to health-care delivery that includes physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, physiotherapists, hospice volunteer visitors, spiritual advisors, and bereavement counsellors.

After the tour, delegates then met with Will Kunder, Executive Secretary, Manitou Conference, United Church of Canada at the Apology Cairn. Kunder explained to delegates the significance of the Apology Cairn. The Cairn was built at the site of the first official Apology made by the United Church of Canada to First Peoples of Canada in 1986. Following presentation by Kunder, delegates listened to traditional singing and drumming by the Waabshi Mukwaa Singers, which included Carol Germa, Helen Bobiwash, Cheryle Partridge, Susan Manitowabi, Cris Rego, Shirley Taylor and Denise Gauthier-Frohlich.

Delegates were then brought to the Vale Living with Lakes Centre at Laurentian University. While enjoying lunch, delegates listened to guest speaker Dr. David Pearson, Professor, Department of Earth Sciences and Co-Director, Science Communication Program, Laurentian University and Science Director, Science North. He outlined the City of Greater Sudbury’s progress on their greening efforts since the early 1970s.

Following lunch, delegates toured the Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre and discussion with local physicians and medical staff that provide services at the Health Centre. Delegates learned about the
comprehensive model of care that combines both Western medicines and traditional Aboriginal medicines. They also discussed the growing population of young Aboriginals and how Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre is augmenting their services to accommodate these trends.

Continuing the dialogue regarding learning at NOSM, delegates were transported the NOSM’s East Campus at Laurentian University for an experiential learning session with simulation. Delegates were engaged with the opportunities offered with simulation training in medical education.

Capping off the Conference on the Move portion of the Rendez-Vous 2012 conference was the final dinner held at Curious Thymes Bistro at Science North. Delegates were welcomed by various members of the Greater Sudbury Community including members of City Council, the President of Laurentian University, and various special partners of NOSM.


Greater Sudbury Community

Greater Sudbury is a city in Ontario, Canada with a population of 160,274 (2011 census population). Greater Sudbury was created in 2001 by merging the cities and towns of the former Regional Municipality of Sudbury, along with several previously unincorporated geographic townships. Once a world leader in nickel mining, Sudbury is now the major retail, economic, health and educational centre for Northeastern Ontario.

Greater Sudbury is also home to a large Aboriginal and Franco-Ontarian population which influences its arts and culture. It is the largest city in the Northern Ontario region by population, and the 24th largest metropolitan area in Canada. By land area, it is the largest city in Ontario, and the seventh largest municipality by area in Canada. Greater Sudbury is one of only five cities in Ontario that constitutes its own independent census divisions, and is not part of any district, county or regional municipality.

Greater Sudbury serves as the health care centre for much of northeastern Ontario through Health Sciences North. Sudbury is also the site of the Regional Cancer Program, which treats cancer patients from across the north. In 1968, the first successful coronary artery bypass surgery in Canada was performed at Sudbury Memorial Hospital by Dr. Paul Field. Then in 1991, it made history with the first beating heart off-pump coronary bypass surgery in Canada, performed by Dr. Avdesh Mathur. Adult mental health services are also provided to the area through Health Sciences North, primarily at the Kirkwood site (formerly the Sudbury Algoma Hospital) and at the Cedar site downtown. Children’s mental health services are provided through the Regional Children’s Psychiatric Centre operated by the Northeast Mental Health Centre, located onsite at the Kirkwood Site of Health Sciences North.

Laurentian University is home to the East Campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. NOSM was the first medical school to be established in Canada in 30 years, having opened in September 2005. Laurentian is also undergoing preparations to launch the Northern Ontario School of Architecture located in downtown Sudbury, which was formally green-lit by the provincial government in 2011 and will be the first new architecture school to launch in Canada in over 40 years.

Greater Sudbury is home to three postsecondary institutions: Laurentian University, a mid-sized bilingual and tri-cultural university with approximately 9000 students, Cambrian College, an English college of applied arts and technology with 4,500 full-time and 9,500 part-time students, and Collège Boréal, a francophone college with 2000 students.