Rama First Nation donates $115,000 to Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital

·2 min read

Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) is $115,000 richer after a donation from Rama First Nation.

In a joint news release, the First Nation announced the donation over a three-year period on behalf of the Chief, council and community. These funds will support the purchase of medication-dispensing cabinets and a mental-health safe room in the emergency department.

“By investing in OSMH on behalf of Rama First Nation, we are making an investment in our community’s health,” said Rama Chief Ted Williams. “It just makes sense. We are partners with the hospital, so we chose to support the hospital. They’ve supported us, especially during this whole challenging time with the pandemic. They’ve assisted us immensely.”

Chief Williams said that without the strong relationship with the hospital, COVID-19 may have been much more devastating.

Rama First Nation has been able to keep its coronavirus numbers relatively low, with only five cases since the pandemic began. All of those who were infected with the virus have since recovered.

Vaccinations have been administered to Elders and front-line health care workers at Rama’s long-term health care facility. The Chief credited his members for following COVID protocols and taking the virus seriously.

During the pandemic, the hospital has assisted Rama’s Health Care team in becoming trained administrators for COVID testing. OSMH provided test results so that Rama could react quickly to prevent spread in the community.

Rama’s director of health and social services, Leanne McRae-Douglas, said the community is grateful for the ongoing partnership with OSMH.

“It is through these very important partnerships that we are able to create a unified team approach for increased effectiveness of services and improved health outcomes,” McRae-Douglas stated in the news release.

The release also indicates that a First Nation Patient Navigator program is now in place to support Aboriginal patients in connecting with medical resources.

“It’s an honour to work in partnership with Rama First Nation, supporting the health and well-being of the community,” said OSMH chief executive Carmine Stumpo. “We are truly grateful for this incredible donation to OSMH, which will enhance the quality and safety of care in our critical-care areas.”

John McFadden, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance