FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(May 31, 2021, Fort McMurray, AB) – Athabasca Tribal Council (ATC) opened a COVID clinic on Sunday, May 30th, located in the parking lot of the Oil Sands Discovery Center in Fort McMurray. This clinic will provide support to Indigenous Community Members, living in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB), who have been recently released from the hospital with COVID-19 and are still experiencing symptoms that are at risk of worsening. The ATC Covid Clinic’s focus is to respond to the patient’s wellbeing as it relates to their COVID symptoms, offering patient-centred care that focuses on assessing the individual as a whole, beyond symptom treatment alone.
ATC has contracted Medika North, a local Indigenous owned and operated healthcare solutions service provider, to operate the ATC Covid Clinic, as well as the ATC Isolation Care Centers that have been in operation since April 2020.
The ATC Covid Clinic has 24-hour-a-day medical staff and medical equipment, including oxygen and IV fluid support, to assist with assessment, monitoring and recovery. If the patient’s condition worsens, the medical team will work with Alberta Health Services (AHS), Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the Northern Lights Hospital to access urgent medical care. The ATC Covid Clinic medical staff are trained and prepared to provide emergency medical treatment if needed.
“The symptoms of COVID can be different for everyone, and our Community Members who have been assessed at the hospital may not require hospital admission but would like to be further assessed and monitored,” said Karla Buffalo, CEO of Athabasca Tribal Council. “ATC has created this temporary clinic to specifically support our Community Members with COVID symptoms who may be well enough to leave hospital but not feel comfortable to return home and provide self-monitoring when their health could rapidly change.”
The ATC Covid Clinic will be available to ATC First Nations members, Métis members, or a person living in the same household as a member, residing within the RMWB. To access the ATC Covid Clinic, the patient must have been assessed at the Northern Lights Hospital within the last 24-hours for symptoms related to COVID-19. The patient must have tested positive or is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.
Community members can access the ATC Covid Clinic by calling their community’s health contact between 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. (listed below) If a community contact is not available or it is after hours, community members can call 587-645-9720.
“This is a difficult time for our region as our healthcare system struggles to keep up with this pandemic. It is important that our Community Members feel supported and have access to medical treatment if needed,” said Chief Adam, President of the Athabasca Tribal Council. “This ATC Covid Clinic will provide our Indigenous community with medical support and monitoring while not straining the health resources of our region further. Our number one priority is our Community Members’ health and wellbeing, ensuring there is a safe way to heal and recover from this virus”.
The ATC Covid Clinic will provide short term health monitoring of patients. If the patient is stable but requires assistance self-isolating with continued wellness checks, they may be referred to the ATC Isolation Care Center in Fort McMurray. If the patient’s symptoms worsen, the process to have the patient admitted to hospital will begin. Emergency medical treatment will be provided if needed.
COMMUNITY COVID SUPPORT CONTACTS FOR REFERRAL TO THE ATC COVID CLINIC
Available between 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Monday to Friday.
If the contact is unavailable, or it is after hours or weekends, call 587-645-9720.
Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
Maggie Farrington, ACFN CEO
Chipewyan Prairie First Nation
Najwa Karamujic, CPDFN COVID-19 Support,
Fort McKay First Nation
Denise Wilkinson, FMFN Health Director,
Fort McMurray 468 First Nation
Megan Plews, Health Director,
Cindy Miller, Band Manager,
Mikisew Cree First Nation
Fort Chipewyan Métis Local #125
Fort McKay Métis Nation
Julie Stewart, Community Safety and Emergency Manager,
McMurray Métis Local #1935
Bev Milne, Office Manager,
Katalin Loutitt, Administrative Assistant,
Willow Lake Métis
Erica Cree, Community Engagement Coordinator,
Chard Métis Local
Pamela Herman, General Manager of Chard Metis
Verna Quintal-Janvier, Finance Officer for CRDAC
Valerie Quintal, Board of directors for CRDAC
More information about how Community Members can access the ATC Covid Clinic and what to expect on arrival is available on the ATC website at www.atcfn.ca/our-services/health/covid19/atc-covid-clinic/
ABOUT ATHABASCA TRIBAL COUNCIL
Athabasca Tribal Council is an organization that serves our First Nations by providing relevant and innovative programs and services that enrich the well-being, health and prosperity of its people. ATC is committed to ensuring the protection of inherent rights, Treaty Rights, and their Traditional Territories while respecting the autonomy of each Nation. For information, visit atcfn.ca.
For more information:
Chief Allan Adam
President, Athabasca Tribal Council
Chief, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation