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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

FORT FRANCES TIMES A5

Pilot project gives student glimpse into accounting


By Peggy Revell Staff writer Fort High student Morgan Krueger admits she didnt know much about accounting just a few months ago. But thats certainly changed since the Grade 10 student was selected to participate in a pilot project launched by former Prime Minister Paul Martin in conjunction with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants back in November. Fort High was chosen as one of two sites across the country for the Accounting Mentoring Pilot Projectan initiative meant to encourage aboriginal students to gain business training and knowledge through mentorships with accounting firms. Locally, it brought together Krueger with BDO Dunwoody, pairing her up in a mentorship with Caryn Myers. At first I was a little nervous because I didnt know what it was about, Krueger recalled. But then after meeting Caryn, I was a little more into it and a little more excited about learning about the accounting program and what you can do. While there only are a handful of meetings, one project Krueger and Myers decided to take on is volunteering to look after the financial records of the inaugural Fort Frances Folk Festival planned for next month. And there is one thing she has learned about accounting so far: Its demanding during tax season, she laughed. The pilot project also gave Krueger the opportunity to meet with Martin himself a few weeks ago in Kenora. Meeting Paul Martin was probably one of the best opportunities so far, she enthused. We just talked about the program over supper and about where wed like to see it go, and what were dong right now with it, just other thoughts and opinions about what we could do to make it better. Hes really into meeting the young people that are involved in the program, noted Fort High vice-principal Dan Bird, adding Martin seemed happy with Krueger and Myers taking on a project for a non-profit organization like the folk festival. Our student and mentor did very well, and I think a lot of ideas were shared around the table, Marie Allan, senior partner at BDO Dunwoody, said about the meeting with Martin. But mostly I think the dinner was an opportunity for Mr. Martin to say thank you to our office and our firm for taking this project on, she added. Before becoming involved with the mentorship, Krueger said her interests after graduation included teaching at the elementary level or pharmacy. Now theres accounting, she said of future possibilities. It just made me aware of that job, and something that I think I might be interested in getting into after high school, she added, noting the program is a good once since even if a student doesnt end up going into accounting, it encourages them to go on to university or college, and look at jobs in business. I think its what we hoped to see, along with Mr. Martin, we hope to see in the future First Nations people involved in the world of business, and accounting being one of the opportunities, echoed Bird. Its very rare that you see any First Nation accountants in our area, but its a door thats there to be opened, he added, pointing out First Nations have a need for accountants to deal with finances. And Bird hopes to see Krueger involved with the program throughout the rest of her time at Fort High, as well as more students able to participate. I think its a great opportunity, he lauded.

Haircut for a cause


Jesse Carmody grinned ruefully as he stared at his ponytail no longer attached to his headbefore the rest of his long locks were shaved off here last Wednesday afternoon. The head shave, which raised more than $800, was part of the fundraising drive of the local Tim Hortons Camp Day. A total of $5,013.66 was raised through 24 hours worth of coffee sales, the head shave, donations, and other fundraising projects done by Tim Hortons employees. The money will be used to pay for two youths from the Fort Frances area to attend camp this summer. Elisabeth Heslop photo

Health access centre marking 10th year


By Peggy Revell Staff writer It first opened its doors back in April, 1999, and now the Gizhewaadiziwin Health Access Centre is celebrating its 10th anniversary of improving aboriginal access to health care with an open house tomorrow (June 11) from 2-4 p.m. Part of the open house is to basically promote the facility, explained executive director Shanna Weir. We want to show people who we are and what we do, meet and greet with all of the staff who work here, and showcase a lot of the programs and services that we provide. Besides coffee, snacks, and balloons for children, there also will be several prizes up for grabs, with the draws taking place at 3 p.m. Were also going to be showcasing our website, Weir added, explaining it will be displayed on the television in the clinic waiting area. [Were] asking people to offer up suggestions that they may want to make in regards to the website, just to make it more usable or more accessible, she noted. Since opening 10 years ago, one of the biggest aims of the centre has been to improve aboriginal peoples access to primary health care, with a focus on communitybased and outreach programs. Even our primary health care is done on an outreach basis to aid

Weve been fortunate enough to have had some staff who have been here for the whole 10 years. Shanna Weir
with the 10 First Nations in the district, where we hold a monthly clinic with the nurse practitioner and a registered nurse, Weir explained. Weve also recently had one of the local pharmacists also participating in some of our community outreach to provide education, and review medication and those sorts of things, which has been really beneficial. Access to health care is such an issue for us in the north, she stressed. In doing the outreach, were increasing peoples access, Weir remarked, noting they can bring primary health care services to individuals in First Nation communities who otherwise might not have access to it due to barriers like mobility, remoteness, and health issues. Back in 1999, the centre had one physician, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, and medical records technician, as well as a dietitian, health educator, traditional healing co-ordinator, and a translator, Weir said. So it was rather small at that time. Since then, the centre has grownit now has more than 4,200 patients in their database along with even more staff, including two part-time physicians, two full-time nurse practitioners, two registered nurses, and two medical records technicians. Weve been fortunate enough to have had some staff who have been here for the whole 10 years, Weir said, adding those four will be receiving 10-year service awards during tomorrows open house. We also have two mental health workers, Weir added. We did expand to include a mental health program, which we felt was very important as part of holistic health. We really operate from a holistic perspective from the aspect of health carethat health care encompasses the entire persons mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being, so we focus a lot on that, she stressed. As we started to grow over the 10 years, weve added additional programs, and sort of switched focus for some of the other programs, as well, Weir continued, citing the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder child nutrition program thats one of the more recent addi-

tions. Working from what Weir described as an interdisciplinary approach, the centre also has done a lot of collaborative work with other organizations to provide even more programs for patients. One other success has been the incorporation of traditional healing, noted Weir, since the centre offers traditional healing method for patients if they would prefer to use that instead of Western medicine, or to combine the two practices. Weve recently, just about a month or two ago, we had our first traditional healing clinic, where we brought in a traditional healer and a traditional medicine person, she explained, noting they are planning to continue with that practice. I think that was a huge success. We had two full days of patients booked that seemed to really benefit from having that. It seemed to be a definite need. So weve certainly grown considerably in 10 years, and expanded the scope of our practice, Weir said. In the coming years, the centre hopes to expand on both the availability of current services and programs offered, she noted, pointing towards areas like physiotherapy and oral health that they arent able to offer at the moment but would be beneficial. The Gizhewaadiziwin Health Access Centre is located next to the Nanicost building at Couchiching.

Cyclist crossing country for cancer research


By Peggy Revell Staff writer Hes more familiar with flying the skies as a pilot for Air Canada, but it was by bicycle that Burlington, Ont. native Glen Baxby arrived in Fort Frances on a rainy Monday afternoonjust one stop on his quest to cycle across the country to raise awareness and money for cancer research. We started on the 15th of May in Victoria, British Columbia and so far weve made it to Fort Frances by the eighth of June, noted Baxby, who has taken on this 7,300-km adventure as part of Coast2Coast2Cure. Its been pretty good, he said. Its had its moments at times, but its nothing that I dont think was totally unexpected. The Rockies were fairly a hard push. Except for the first 400 km, its been all downhill, he laughed. Baxby guaranteed he will be ending the trek in St. Johns, Nfld. by July 14. The inspiration for the journey came after a friend was diagnosed with cancer and a group got together to raise awareness and funds for research, he explained. [Coast2Coast2Cure] is basically a grassroots organization started in my living room with friends and neighbours, everybody bringing a

Fort High student Morgan Krueger was chosen to participate in the pilot project launched by former Prime Minister Paul Martin in partnership with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, which has linked her with a menPeggy Revell photo tor at BDO Dunwoody here.

New Safely Home program promoted


After having started in Victoria, B.C. last month, Glen Baxby of Burlington, Ont. cycled into Fort Frances on Monday afternoon as part of his cross-Canada trek to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. People can follow his journey by visiting www.coast2coast2cure. Peggy Revell photo com
different talent to the table, he noted. We started in January and nowhere we area third of our way through Canada. And so far theyve raised roughly $26,000. It is 100 percent into research, Baxby stressed, adding the money will go to the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. They have a figure theyre aiming for$500,000although Baxby said that number only was chosen because Princess Margaret asked the group to have a goal amount. Its basically an arbitrary figure to satisfy the check mark in the application form you fill out, he remarked. Its $500,000, hopefully we can come close to that. Its nothing thats written in stone. Were grateful for every dollar we get. The communities weve been through have been very helpful, too, added Paul Dinino, who currently is behind the wheel of a 14-foot RV that has been following Baxby the whole trip. Dinino, along with other volunteers, have been taking turns flying out to different locations to team up and help Baxby along with his journey. I wasnt able to take 60 days off but Ive donated weeks of my vacation time, Dinino explained. So Im driver number four, and once we get to Thunder Bay, somebody will switch off and well have a new driver coming in, another volunteer. The weather so far has been excellent, Baxby said, adding his arrival here Monday was only the second day of rain hes encountered on the whole ride. Theyre fairly long days, but theyre not punishing long, so theyre all within 120-140 km in length, he noted. So I can usually get that throughdepending on the weatherfour-and-a-half to six-and-a-half hours of biking. Those interested in donating, learning more, or following Baxbys journey towards the East Coast can do so by visiting www.coast2coast2cure.com Submitted by Lori Russell Due to changes in the brain, people with Alzheimers disease may become very confused, lose their ability to recognize familiar places, and possibly forget their way home. They may leave home, but forget the steps to get back. This can be very dangerous for the person suffering from the disease and troublesome for the caregiver(s). The Alzheimer Society, in partnership with the RCMP, has developed a nation-wide program, Safely Home, which helps police find the people with dementia who are lost and assist in a safe return home (previously known as Wandering Persons Registry). Upon registration to the program, the registrant receives an identification bracelet and identification cards. These pieces contain an ID number that is linked to a database. Wearing the bracelet, and keeping the cards in places such as a wallet or in coat pockets, aid police in quickly identifying people should they become lost. The police are able to access the database and find pertinent information regarding the member, such as physical characteristics, personal history, and locations where the person is known to visit. When the individual is found, the police determine where the person lives and whom to contact to arrange a safe return home. For more information or to register for Safely Home, call the Alzheimer Society of Kenora/ Rainy River Districts office toll-free 1-800-682-0245.

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