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Home » Indigenous Health » About Us

About Us

Photo of WRHA Indigenous Health team
WRHA Indigenous Health – Back row: Albert Harper, Ronalda Sinclair Evelyn Wood, Alyssa Orpin, Alex Balfour, Jason Swan, Jeremy Morin. 3rd row: Suzanne Mozdzen, Jennifer Thomas, Tanya Blais, Bonita Kehler, Sonya Beaulieu 2nd row: Faye Tardiff, Raine Seivewright, Samantha Patchinose, George Boulanger, Ellen Contois, Jennifer Coutu, Regina Fischer Front row: Beverly Swan, Lynette McDonald, Mary Green, Martha Baker Missing: Stephanie Van Haute, Michael Thibert, Delores Monkman, Jennifer Halldorson, Beatrice Campbell, Edna Nabess, Raymond Choken, Debbie Cochrane.

Racist and colonial practices, both past and present, continue to negatively affect the health and well-being of Indigenous People in Manitoba, leading to significant health inequities.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Indigenous Health Patient Services Program supports the holistic needs of Indigenous People receiving care at facilities throughout Winnipeg's health system.

Indigenous community and culture in Manitoba is alive and well. In 2015-16 78.5 per cent of Indigenous people in Manitoba described their sense of belonging to local community as being "very strong" or "somewhat strong." Elders, community health programs, awareness of Indigenous culture, family values/ connections, and use of Indigenous language were the most common strengths identified.

Members of the Indigenous Health Patient Services team collaborate with colleagues in real-time to nurture that connection to culture and community to Indigenous patients while receiving care in hospital.

Indigenous Health staff provide a wide range of services including systems' navigation support, Indigenous language interpretation, spiritual cultural care, resource information, discharge planning coordination, and access to patient advocacy support.


Winnipeg has the largest urban Indigenous population in Canada with over 102,000 Indigenous people residing within the city.

The Health Status of and Access to Healthcare by Registered First Nation Peoples in Manitoba report (2019) noted that over the past 20 years the health gap for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Manitobans is widening.  Past and current colonial policies have contributed to well-documented health inequities.  

WRHA Indigenous Health Patient Services team are committed to support efforts throughout the care environment to help close this gap by providing access to Indigenous Health professionals that work alongside health care teams to increase capacity for culturally safe and relevant care.

More on the services and advocacy provided by Indigenous Health can be found by navigating through the Indigenous Health section on the WRHA website. If you have any additional questions or require assistance from Indigenous Health, please contact us at [email protected] or by calling us at 204-940-8880 or toll Free at: 1-877-940-8880.

Photo of Lynette McDonald

Lynette McDonald
Chief Operating Officer, Indigenous Health

Lynette is status to Peguis First Nation. She grew up in the two Métis communities of Matheson Island and Loon Straits, living most of her life in Selkirk, Manitoba. Lynette has over 33 years of educational and administrative experience in health care, both in acute and community care. She has held the positions of Executive Director, Peguis First Nation – Community Supports & Services, Indigenous Health Manager for Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, Health Director for Fisher River Cree Nation, and Regional Discharge Planning Coordinator with Aboriginal Health Programs and Services (WRHA).

She presently sits on the Board of Directors for the Winnipeg Transition Centre and is a former Board member of the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority. She also is an Accreditation Canada Indigenous Surveyor and is a keynote presenter for the Multi-levels of Government and Jurisdiction issues Aboriginal people face in health care.

Photo of Jennifer Thomas, Alyssa Orpin and Debbie Cochrane

Jennifer Thomas, Alyssa Orpin and Debbie Cochrane


Every call to access services offered through Indigenous Health always begins with a member of the Centralized Support team as the first point of contact. Operating as a dispatch unit and information hub, Indigenous Health’s Centralized Support is the connection point for referrals, redirecting enquires, providing education resources, connecting individuals to appropriate services based on needs, and managing the calendar of the Traditional Wellness Clinic.