“A third-party review will help us to deepen our understanding of this patient’s experience and the experiences of Indigenous patients and community to further inform our work to provide safe, quality healthcare to every patient we serve.” – Lynn Guerriero, President and CEO, Niaga Health
A Brief Foreword by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large, followed by a Statement circulated this December 14th by Niagara Health President and CEO Lynn Guerriero
Posted December 15th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – This December 10th, Heather Winterstein, a 24-year-old Indigenous woman from St. Catharines, was reportedly taken to a Niagara, Ontario hospital via ambulance after complaining to her father about severe back pain. While in the hospital’s waiting room, she apparently collapsed and never regained consciousness.
The day before, she arrived at the hospital, complaining of the same pain, and was reportedly sent home with Tylenol.
Her grieving family is now searching for answers and in the wake of this tragedy, Lynn Guerriero, Niagara Health President and CEO, has released the following statement –
“I was deeply troubled to learn of concerns raised yesterday by family members and leaders within the local Indigenous community related to the death last Friday of a patient in our care.
“An internal quality care review is underway to fully understand the patient’s experience, and the family will be involved in this process. In addition, I will be speaking with members of the patient’s family and Indigenous leaders in our community to suggest that we work together with an external third party to review this patient’s care.
“I will also be suggesting that this independent review look more broadly at the healthcare experiences of Indigenous patients and their concerns.
“A third-party review will help us to deepen our understanding of this patient’s experience and the experiences of Indigenous patients and community to further inform our work to provide safe, quality healthcare to every patient we serve.
“Diversity, equity and inclusion is a key priority for Niagara Health. Last year, we made an organizational commitment to unequivocally denounce all acts of racism and discrimination in whatever forms they might take.
“Since then, we have done a lot of work together to create a more culturally safe environment for our patients and their families, and for our teams.
“Trust is a fundamental element in our healthcare system, and it is essential that everyone who comes through our doors feels safe, valued and cared for.”
Lynn Guerriero, President and CEO, Niagara Health
Niagara Health is Niagara, Ontario’s amalgamated system of hospitals and related medical facilities across the region.
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