Anishinabek health workers receive health award of distinction

By Rosalind Russell – Two women from our local area, both Anishinabek health workers, are the recipients of a prestigious award for their dedication to health care.

According to the release, Regional Deputy Grand Chief of the Anishinabek Nation Chief Mel Hardy says M’Chigeeng First Nation’s Eleanor Debassige who works with local health services and Beverly Nahwegahbow, the Whitefish River First Nation medical transportation coordinator have been named Anishinabek Heroes in Health.

He says the two were presented with the Tony H. Jocko Memorial Heroes in Health Award at the Eighth Annual Anishinabek Nation health conference in Sault Ste. Marie in mid-January.

He adds the awards were presented to community workers who have been exemplary in their roles with consistent dedication and sacrifice.

Nahwegahbow, in her current role, ensures our community members that travel near and far for appointments or treatments get the transportation they require and have accommodations and/or meals when required, says Kim Armstrong, WRFN health manager at WRFN who nominated her for the distinction.  She adds Bev is the kind of co-worker that continuously steps up to support the team at the health centre and any other team that may need an extra pair of hands.

In the nomination letter for Eleanor Debassige, it stated she, “has worked at Mnaamodzawin Health Services Inc. in the role of diabetes health promotion worker since 1995. She has always gone above and beyond for the clients and communities she serves, providing diabetes information, education, programming, and events. She is well-known for her events such as the Mocc Walk, the Turkey Trot, nutrition bingos, grocery store tours, cooking demonstrations, wellness events, and the annual diabetes conference. Eleanor puts her whole heart into her work, often testing out recipes or doing some food prep at home on her own time to be prepared for her events.”

The Tony H. Jocko Memorial Heroes in Health Awards are named after Tony Jocko-baa who worked tirelessly for the Anishinabek Nation as a federal health policy analyst.

PHOTOS: Beverley Nahwegahbow of Whitefish River First Nation receives an Anishinabek Heroes in Health award at the Tony H. Jacko Memorial Awards held recently.

Eleanor Debassige receives Anishinabek Heroes in Health award. She has worked at Mnaamodzawin Health Services Inc. as the Diabetes Health Promotion Worker since 1995. Photos by Jesse Johnson -Anishinabek News 

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