The North East LHIN has named a Healthy Change Champion. The Local Health Integration Network give the award to someone who is helping to transform the health care system. Minnie Jeffries has been a nurse for more than 40 years and is a certified Diabetes Educator. The LHIN says her fluency in Cree and knowledge of the culture of her people has made diabetes education more meaningful and accessible to many of her clients and patients.

Full press release from the NE LHIN and details on the Healthy Change Champion:

The North East Local Health Integration Network (North East LHIN) has named Minnie Jeffries a Healthy Change Champion for a four-decade long career devoted to nursing, helping people on the James Bay Coast manage their diabetes, and consistently pursuing new educational opportunities to make a difference in her community.

“Minnie’s commitment to her community makes her a true Healthy Change Champion,” said Louise Paquette, CEO of the North East LHIN. “Throughout her more than 40 years in health care, she has always sought new training and nursing opportunities, most recently in diabetes care, to make a difference in an area that struggles to find enough skilled professionals and has such high diabetes rates. She is a true home-grown hero!”

Minnie began her career at the Moose Factory General Hospital in the early 1970s as a Nurse’s Aide, before going on to complete her training to become a Registered Practical Nurse in 1981. Her interest in the healthcare of the people of the area pushed Minnie to then pursue certification as a Registered Nurse (RN) in 1993. Once graduated as an RN, she returned to the Moose Factory hospital to share her skills.

Since then, she has held a variety of nursing positions, before finally discovering her true passion for diabetes education in 1998.  At that time, Minnie accepted a position as Diabetes Educator and expanded her circle of care to include all of the communities on the west coast of James Bay.  

Minnie’s commitment to learning led her to complete the Diabetes Education Program in early 2002, and the designation of Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE).  Her fluency in Cree and knowledge of the culture of her people has made diabetes education more meaningful and accessible to many of her clients and patients.

“Minnie was always willing to share her knowledge and experience with staff and students and was a preceptor to nursing students interested in Diabetes Education,” said Caroline Lidstone-Jones, Chief Quality Officer, Weeneebayko Area Health Authority.  “Minnie has had the opportunity to work with a variety of Diabetes Education Nurses and Dietitians during her 16 years in the diabetes program.  She has shared her knowledge, experience and passion with many staff and students.”

She retired from WAHA and her position with the diabetes program this fall to enjoy time with family, especially her grandchildren, and friends.

Background Information about the Health Change Champion award:

·         Who is Eligible? North East LHIN health service providers (HSPs), employees and volunteers of providers, as well as, health care leaders, community leaders, and other Northerners who are contributing to building a stronger health care system in the North East.

·         What kind of work does the NE LHIN Healthy Change Champion recognize? Those who are transforming the health care system so that it becomes more patient/client-focused, integrated, and easier to access. These are people or organizations who are reaching out to others in the course of their work to improve the system. Their work may be small or large in scope, but it’s significant in that it is making a difference in people’s lives.

·         Who can nominate? Any Northerner can suggest a Healthy Change Champion. We just ask that you tell us in one or two paragraphs why you believe the person or organization deserves this recognition. Send your nomination toengagingwithyou@lhins.on.ca or 555 Oak Street East, Third Floor, North Bay, ON, P1B 8E3.

·       How are they picked? Nominees are reviewed by our senior team. Consideration is also given to individuals and organizations who are advancing the care for special population groups within the North East LHIN including seniors, Aboriginal/First Nations/Métis, and Francophones.