Sharlene Charlton/ Sto:lo Service Agency Honourees from Sto:lo Health Services stand on cedar boughs after they have been led onto the floor during the honouring ceremony in the Coqualeetza Longhouse in Chilliwack last Thursday.

Accreditation earned by Sto:lo Health Services in Chilliwack

The care that is offered is less clinical, more relaxed yet completely professional

Sto:lo Health Services celebrated a milestone last week as as one of the first First Nations health centres in B.C. to be awarded three-year accreditation.

SHS, under the aegis of Sto:lo Services Agency, was accredited for the maximum term for a first-time applicant.

“We were very pleased,” said Michael Suedfeld, health policy and research analyst for SSA.

A traditional honouring ceremony and luncheon was held for staff in the Coqualeetza Longhouse in Chilliwack last Thursday.

The staff members being honoured were escorted into the longhouse by “receivers” who have a special relationship with them. The honourees are led to stand on cedar boughs during the ceremony.

A little over two years ago SHS became the only First Nations health facility with a primary care clinic available to the general public, as well as targeted services for aboriginal people.

The recognition makes the agency attractive to professionals and potential staff since accreditation means policies are in place and standards are being met, from customer service to dealing with complaints.

“It means they felt everything we’re doing aligns with professional methods, and we met all their parameters,” he said.

One of their goals is to become more widely known in the community for their varied services.

It all began with a vision of providing culturally safe and respectful primary and tertiary services for First Nations community members in the region and grew from there. Having willing partners with a desire to collaborate allowed the project come together.

The health centre takes a “less clinical” approach to their services, from primary health, to youth health, naturopathy, acupuncture and dentistry.

“Also, if people come to us and we don’t provide a particular service, we will help them locate the right place,” said Suedfeld.

The staff make point of providing “culturally safe” care.

“Overall what sets this organization apart is that, as well as a First Nations approach to modern services. We are very relaxed in the way that we work with people.”

It’s not a sterile waiting room at SHS but a “talking room” that helps reduce the “white coat syndrome.”

“The idea is to meet people where they are.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Chilliwack hopes to re-start public consultation

A new survey asks residents if they’re ready to discuss projects not related to COVID-19

UPDATE: Missing girl in Chilliwack’s Promontory neighborhood found

A 13-year-old child was missing from early Monday morning to 4:30 in the afternoon

Missing Richmond man last seen in Chilliwack

Shawn Johnson last seen on June 30 on Main Street

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Eagle Landing

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

Abbotsford man wins $1 million in Lotto 6/49 draw

Kenneth Giffen wins prize after deciding to stop in Agassiz gas station after fishing trip

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

‘Trauma equals addiction’ – why some seek solace in illicit substances

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

COVID-19 exposure on Vancouver flight

The Air Canada 8421 flight travelled from Kelowna to Vancouver on July 6

VIDEO: Former Abbotsford resident giving away $1,000

Langley native Alex Johnson creates elaborate treasure hunt to give away cash

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

UPDATE: Abbotsford shooting victim was alleged ‘crime boss,’ according to court documents

Jazzy Sran, 43, was believed to have been smuggling cocaine across the border

Most Read