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Fraser Health Authority

Cultural Safety Policy as a Tool for Improving Access to Primary Health Care for Aboriginal People

In 2011, Fraser Health Aboriginal Health and Simon Fraser University (SFU) were awarded a Canadian Institutes for Health Research Planning Grant which aimed to investigate key primary health care (PHC) research priorities identified by Aboriginal communities in the Fraser region. Following extensive consultation with communities in the region, the most prominent finding from this project was the urgent need to address barriers communities face in accessing basic PHC services. In 2013, Fraser Health, SFU, Stó:lo Nation, and First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) were awarded a Vancouver Foundation Development Grant to build on partnerships and develop a research team to further examine barriers to PHC for Fraser region communities, including the development of a research question and methodology. Community discussions were held, and community participants and partners identified lack of cultural safety in PHC as a key barrier to accessing care and achieving wellness, and named this as their top priority for new research. Throughout both projects, communities called for applied and participatory community research with a focus on policy reform to eliminate the barriers they face in accessing basic PHC. The aim of the current proposed project is to build upon the results of previous research by conducting a community-based participatory research study to examine how cultural safety can be embedded into health policy in the Fraser region.