(l to r) Anna Pacik, Dr. Lois Berry, Dr. Lorna Butler, Mark Tomtene, Dr. Heather Exner-Pirot and Dr. Carol Bullin. Missing: Dr. Janet McCabe, Dr. Hope Bilinski and Dr. Mary Ellen Andrews

International Centre for Northern Governance and Development (ICNGD) Partners with College of Nursing to Promote Remote Presence Telementoring in Northern Saskatchewan

Although there are a lot of challenges to health improvement in the North, there two areas in which immediate improvements could be made through better informed public policy: to provide health education and more comprehensive health care to northerners where they live.

Advances in technology, including better Internet connectivity in rural and remote areas and trials with telehealth applications, are making distributed learning and telemedical approaches more feasible. Improved network connectivity in rural and remote areas and innovative technologies are at the foundation of providing innovative approaches for teaching, learning and practice in health care.

With funding provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the University of Saskatchewan Conference Fund and the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development (ICNGD), the College of Nursing is bringing together a team of innovation leaders in telementoring to build a network of learning that can parallel and support technological advances that are occurring in practice. This newly established network will share knowledge around the use of technology in community development, post-secondary education and health-care delivery, especially in its application to northern and remote areas. As well, the network will inform policy and share best practices as part of an overarching goal to improve indicators of social determinants of health in northern communities through development of joint research projects.

According to College of Nursing Acting Dean Dr. Lois Berry, "While the College is the first to use Remote Presence telementoring to deliver undergraduate nursing education, this technology has been used by others in health care delivery in remote areas. It is important we bring together the visionaries who have led these initiatives to learn from each other and to develop coordinated community development strategies surrounding the use of such creative solutions to northern challenges in health care and health professional education."

Congratulations to the following College of Nursing team members who partnered on this project: Dr. Lorna Butler (ICNGD & College of Nursing), Dr. Lois Berry, Dr. Carol Bullin, Dr. Janet McCabe, Dr. Hope Bilinski, Dr. Mary Ellen Andrews, Dr. Heather Exner-Pirot, Mark Tomtene and Anna Pacik.

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