The Four Winds Life Promotion Project focuses on working with First Nations communities to help tackle the complex problems of life promotion using quality improvement tools. The Saskatchewan Health Quality Council (HQC) wants to be a true partner with First Nations communities by offering our strengths to help communities make improvements happen faster to improve health outcomes of community members.
What is the meaning of the four winds?
HQC is on a journey of Truth & Reconciliation. In our journey we acknowledge the importance of working together in a good way with First Nations peoples. On June 10th, 2022, a Ceremonial Elder known for providing spiritual names hosted a Naming Ceremony in a Saskatchewan First Nation where we received the name of Four Winds. Protocol was followed prior to and during the ceremony to ensure everything was done respectfully in the First Nation culture and to ensure we are doing this in a good way.
What is quality improvement?
Quality improvement is a way to tackle complex problems using small tests of change, one step at a time. Quality improvement is the combination of a new way of thinking (change mindset) combined with the tools to make change happen. We can tell if the small changes are really making an improvement by using tools to measure them.
Change can seem big and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Change through quality improvement happens on many levels or approaches, from:
- small changes over time that can result in a big impact
- focusing on what is working well and helping to make it happen more broadly
- coming together to work together to tackle big problems
How can quality improvement help with life promotion?
A quality improvement approach can help improve existing processes, services, and outcomes by getting better value out of the resources available.
We want to help empower community to make change to improve the quality of life and wellness of community members by sharing our expertise in quality improvement with you so that you are able to make change that matters to you.
What can working together look like to improve community health outcomes?
We know that the best ideas to improve health outcomes are from community and those with lived experience. With this in mind, we would like to work with community to help improve health outcomes for community members.
To understand where a community is at and how we could potentially work together, we would first meet to understand the community’s needs and priorities. These meetings would explore the community’s interest in taking on a quality improvement approach. The meetings could also explore other areas for support such as accessing a community’s data or how to use a community’s data to help a community decide on which areas to focus on to make improvements.
Principles for engagement
Our principles of engagement are adapted from the International Association for Public Participation’s (IAP2’s) spectrum for public participation:
- We recognize the diversity within First Nations communities in Saskatchewan and recognize urban First Nations populations.
- We respect the protocols, worldviews, and practices of every community we serve. In particular, the First Nations’ worldview of Life Promotion will serve as the foundation of this work.
- We build on the strengths of existing relationships, while committing to fostering and strengthening relationships with each community we serve.
- We will be accountable to the First Nations communities who engage with HQC by sharing in the knowledge exchange, a process where all First Nation communities in Saskatchewan are invited to listen and share experiences of life-promotion.
- We will ensure First Nations communities have meaningful representation during the design and implementation of the Four Winds project.
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