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Northern FN Health Care expands health care in region

Friday January 24, 2014

White Cedar Pharmacy and White Cedar Health Care Centre are moving forward with partnerships and expansions after first going into business this past summer.

”The acquisition of Thunder Bay IDA will reinforce the value we bring to our customers and our commitment to helping people on their journey to healing,” said Anne Wray, director and managing pharmacist of White Cedar Pharmacy on Jan. 3. “In addition to broadening our capabilities in Thunder Bay, White Cedar will be able to provide more timely and comprehensive services to remote and smaller communities. We look forward to working with all of our new clients.”

Thunder Bay IDA provides a broad range of pharmaceutical services, including specialized support to clinics operated by Ontario Addiction Treatment Centres (OATC). The acquisition allows White Cedar Pharmacy to extend its services to over 15 communities in northern Ontario and to enhance its ability to more rapidly respond to the needs of its clients.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Northern FN Health Care, White Cedar Pharmacy opened for business this past June to supply quality medicines and pharmacy services at 125 Vickers Street South in Thunder Bay.

Since then the pharmacy has built partnerships with Bearskin Lake, North Caribou Lake, Muskrat Dam, Cat Lake and Sachigo Lake. Windigo Community Development Corporation is a shareholder of Northern FN Health Care.

White Cedar Health Care Centre, a holistic treatment facility in Thunder Bay that is also owned by Northern FN Health Care, had previously announced a strategic alliance with OATC on Dec. 3. The alliance enables OATC to operate the White Cedar Health Care Centre at its Thunder Bay South Clinic.

“Since our launch in June 2013, White Cedar Health Care Centre has been committed to delivering customized treatment services in partnership with many community agencies and Elders,” said Harvey Shapiro, co-CEO of White Cedar Health Care. “This latest alliance completes a circle of care in the North that will promote a centre of excellence for people struggling with addiction issues. White Cedar Health Care Centre and OATC believe this new collaborative relationship will further our missions to tackle the drug epidemic not only in Thunder Bay, but throughout the entire region.”

The White Cedar Health Care Centre is a state-of-the-art facility that supports an alternative program of care that focuses on First Nations traditional healing practices.

Moving forward together, OATC will provide treatment services that bring together its harm reduction model with the holistic teachings of White Cedar Health Care Centre. “OATC recognizes that there are many benefits from this new alliance,” said Dr. Michael Varenbut of OATC. “Embracing First Nations culture and White Cedar Health Care Centre’s holistic approach will enhance the care we provide to our patients. OATC will also add the capacity to treat other forms of addiction to such substances as nicotine, cocaine and alcohol.”

The alliance provides improved facilities for patients to create a safer, more welcoming treatment environment. “Hundreds of patients will be treated at the centre daily,” Shapiro said. “This new synergy ensures that the same level of care, advice and treatment will be provided to save the lives of many facing the ravages and consequences of untreated addictions. The White Cedar team looks forward to working together with the OATC to fully integrate our joint expertise and drive forward positive action in healthcare for tomorrow.”


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