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Key nursing partnership launched to advance mobile health technologies in First Nations communities

Ottawa, April 20, 2017 — The Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association (CINA), the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), and Health First are proud to announce a formalized partnership to advance uptake of an innovative mobile health system for nurses working in Indigenous communities. CINA and CNA have embraced the potential of this technology, which was developed by Health First, to greatly empower nurses to deliver timely, person-centred, high-quality care. This formal partnership enables CINA, CNA and Health First to expand the awareness, reach and impact of this powerful platform.

CINA president Lea Bill said, “we are pleased to have entered into this formal partnership. It will help CINA serve our mission to support Indigenous nurses in making the greatest possible positive impact in the health of those living in Indigenous communities.”

The Health First app, which is freely available to nurses, offers a highly secure, cloud-based, user-friendly way to capture and share information. It will eventually replace the current paper-based systems that can slow and complicate information management. The first pilot tests of the app are underway with Big River First Nation nurses who work with clients living with hepatitis C. As the system is refined and customized, it will expand to support care for clients with other infectious and chronic diseases and will improve on-reserve information management for other health and social services. The new partnership will ensure that nurses, who are the experts on how technology can best support them to deliver care, will guide the refinement of the app.

“For nurses to deliver the highest quality care, they need access to a range of critical information and resources,” said CNA president Barb Shellian. “The Health First app is a vast improvement over the tools currently available to nurses working on reserve and we believe our partnership is key to advancing the scale and spread of this innovative technology to deliver the best care.”

John MacBeth, president and CEO of Health First, added, “over 90 per cent of all primary care is delivered by nurses. This is where the greatest impact on health can be achieved. We are proud of this partnership as it will bring our vision to life. Close collaboration are our core philosophies and we will persist until First Nations nursing solutions realize significant innovative service improvements.

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The Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association, a national, not-for-profit nursing organization, has the mission to improve the health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples by supporting Indigenous nurses and by promoting the development and practice of Indigenous health nursing.

The Canadian Nurses Association is the national professional voice representing over 139,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

Health First Mobile Efficiency and Stability Systems Inc. is a not-for-profit company focused on empowering direct-care nurses and health-care professionals in rural and remote and First Nations communities with mobile solutions technologies to enhance the delivery of health care and education to patients.

For more information, please contact:
Kevin Ménard
Communications Advisor
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel.: 613-237-2159, ext. 543
E-mail: kmenard@cna-aiic.ca