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The Department of Health and Social Services provides services and support to children, families, adults, Elders, and communities which promote health and wellness using culture as a foundation. The department acts as a resource for it’s communities in supporting training, knowledge sharing, advocacy efforts and service delivery. This department is comprised of the Wellness and Jordan’s Principles Child First Initiative programs. The Department represents the collective health interests at various regional and local tables to advocate for continued investment in health services for The CMM member communities.

The Health & Social Services Department was newly formed in Spring 2020, through the implementation of The CMM’s Strategic Plan. The support and services of the Health Unit were previously captured under Community Programs and Corporate Services. Continued investment in health, including the expansion of Jordan’s Principle Child First Initiative and further investment in Mental Wellness, saw the need for a standalone department. This new department continued with the Health Unit’s previous programs and services under the direction of a newly hired Senior Director in August 2020. This shift allowed for more dedicated oversight and demonstrated The CMM’s commitment to health as a pillar in service excellence.

The mandate of the Department of Health and Social Services is to provide services and support to children, families, adults and Elders and communities which promote health and wellness using culture as a foundation.

The CMM’s Department of Health and Social Services acts as a resource for its communities in supporting training, knowledge sharing, advocacy efforts and service delivery. The department represents the collective health interests at various regional and local tables to advocate for continued investment in health services for CMM communities.

Along with direction received from The CMM’s governing body (Board of Directors), Department of Health and Social Services is also guided by The CMM communities’ Health Directors who comprise The CMM’s Health Board/Committee. The purpose of The CMM Health Board/Committee is to provide a means for resource and information-sharing and two-way communications, identify and support member-community identified advocacy and guidance and to enable collective analysis and a united voice in support of the improved health status of First Nations individuals, families and communities.

A wide range of partnerships have been developed to support and inform the work of the department. These partnerships are sometimes issue, program, project and funding-dependent and thus may change over time. A strong contributor to this is the work done at the Atlantic First Nation Chiefs’ Health Partnership level. In 2016, a health priorities renewal process occurred with feedback from Community, Health Directors, Health Staff and Chiefs. This resulted in the following health priorities:

  • Mental Health and Addictions
  • Chronic Disease

Staff work in various programs areas which include:

  • Jordan’s Principle Child First Initiative
  • Mental Wellness
  • Health Advisory supports
  • Resolution Health Support
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
  • National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy (NAYSPS)
  • First Nations Hospital Liaison (located in Halifax Regional Municipality) and
  • Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative (ADI).

Director

Janna MacKay

Senior Director

Janna is a member of the Pictou Landing First Nation, living just outside the community with her husband, two huskies (Scout & Luna) and cat (Penny). She is a Registered Dietitian, earning her Bachelor’s degree from St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia and a Master’s degree from University of Stirling, United Kingdom.

Janna brings with her the experiences of working in Indigenous health at federal, territorial, tribal council and community levels. She has worked in a variety of settings, primarily in diabetes and nutrition program management – including working at The CMM as a diabetes community consultant (2011-2014). She has also worked in Inuvik, Northwest Territories (2014-2017), which is a small community over 200km above the Arctic Circle. She most recently worked at First Nations Inuit Health Branch, Indigenous Services Canada as a Community Nutrition Advisor.

She is passionate about food, nutrition, Indigenous health and self-determination. She loves traveling, a good cup of coffee, but most importantly – spending time with her family.

Janna is pleased to be back with The CMM and looks forward to working more closely with the communities and supporting Indigenous community health.

Staff

Austin Hepworth

Program Officer

Denise Hodgson

Early Learning Governance

Jaclyn MacLeod

Physical Activity Specialist

Jessica Hepworth

Jordan's Principle Service Coordinator (Respite)

Katelynn Lowe

Cultural Youth Support Worker

Lee Denny

Mi'kmaw Support Worker

Marissa Bernard

Cultural Youth Support Worker

Michelle Francis

Mi’kmaw Support Worker