Four Winds Initiative

Thank you for visiting Together4Health. We have paused our engagement activities on this project so that our AHS teams can focus on supporting Albertans as we work together to respond to COVID-19. We appreciate your understanding.

If you have questions about COVID-19, please visit www.alberta.ca/covid19 to learn more. Online resources include a self-assessment for COVID-19; complete that assessment before calling Health Link 811.

Please subscribe to this project to receive updates and be alerted when this project page is reactivated.




The Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Health System (PRIHS) Indigenous Patient Navigator project has the goal of helping Indigenous Patients and their families to navigate the complexities of the health system and to help them through the different transitions during their journey in and out of care. We know Indigenous people continue to experience barriers in accessing health care leading to health inequities and poor health outcomes compared to other segments of the population.

This project will work with Indigenous patients and families to co-design a navigation service with the goals of providing smoother access to services, creating better connections to health and other community services, and ultimately improving health outcomes.


Thank you for visiting Together4Health. We have paused our engagement activities on this project so that our AHS teams can focus on supporting Albertans as we work together to respond to COVID-19. We appreciate your understanding.

If you have questions about COVID-19, please visit www.alberta.ca/covid19 to learn more. Online resources include a self-assessment for COVID-19; complete that assessment before calling Health Link 811.

Please subscribe to this project to receive updates and be alerted when this project page is reactivated.




The Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Health System (PRIHS) Indigenous Patient Navigator project has the goal of helping Indigenous Patients and their families to navigate the complexities of the health system and to help them through the different transitions during their journey in and out of care. We know Indigenous people continue to experience barriers in accessing health care leading to health inequities and poor health outcomes compared to other segments of the population.

This project will work with Indigenous patients and families to co-design a navigation service with the goals of providing smoother access to services, creating better connections to health and other community services, and ultimately improving health outcomes.


  • Four Winds Stakeholder Engagement Session

    6 months ago
    Coinvestigators 2

    The first stakeholder engagement session was held on September 10, 2019. Co-Investigators, Katherine Chubbs and Dr. Melissa Potestio led the participants through an energizing and collaborative day to discuss the challenges of Indigenous patient navigation. Read more about the day here.

    Participants from the Kainai First Nation, Piikani First Nation, Métis and Inuit along with members from the community and staff from Alberta Health Services met to share and discuss challenges experienced by Indigenous peoples when accessing/navigating services within the South Zone of Alberta.

    Groups prioritized the challenges and brainstormed potential solutions. The group participation and collaboration was a key part of the co-design process.

    By the end of the day, 213 solutions were identified for 28 different challenges ranging from accessibility and access to primary health care to integration, collaboration and partnership.

    These potential solutions are now being discussed and reviewed by the Steering Committee to identify which solutions could be trialed within the South Zone.

    The project has the ultimate purpose of moving beyond identifying challenges, to actually address and provide necessary supports to improve transition in and navigation of services for Indigenous patients and families.

    A graphic recording was created by Aaron Russel and will be unveiled once it is completed. Below is a sneak peak of the work in progress.





    The first stakeholder engagement session was held on September 10, 2019. Co-Investigators, Katherine Chubbs and Dr. Melissa Potestio led the participants through an energizing and collaborative day to discuss the challenges of Indigenous patient navigation. Read more about the day here.

    Participants from the Kainai First Nation, Piikani First Nation, Métis and Inuit along with members from the community and staff from Alberta Health Services met to share and discuss challenges experienced by Indigenous peoples when accessing/navigating services within the South Zone of Alberta.

    Groups prioritized the challenges and brainstormed potential solutions. The group participation and collaboration was a key part of the co-design process.

    By the end of the day, 213 solutions were identified for 28 different challenges ranging from accessibility and access to primary health care to integration, collaboration and partnership.

    These potential solutions are now being discussed and reviewed by the Steering Committee to identify which solutions could be trialed within the South Zone.

    The project has the ultimate purpose of moving beyond identifying challenges, to actually address and provide necessary supports to improve transition in and navigation of services for Indigenous patients and families.

    A graphic recording was created by Aaron Russel and will be unveiled once it is completed. Below is a sneak peak of the work in progress.





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  • Elders Announce Indigenous Name for PRIHS Project

    7 months ago

    Indigenous Elders Morris Little Wolf (Piikani), Winston Wadsworth (Kainai), Alice Zwart (Inuit), Alice Bissonette (Metis) and Beatrice Little Mustache (Piikani) gathered to discuss the naming of the South Zone Indigenous Patient Navigation Model project.

    Through the Creator, "Four Winds" was identified.

    • Wind is of significance in the Blackfoot, Inuit and Métis cultures.

    • Wind is also significant to the South Zone (chinook winds).

    • Wind is never ending and transcends all cultures.

    • Winds bring calm and relaxation.

    • Wind also signifies a journey.

    • Wind is cleansing and healing.

    • Wind also comes from 4 directions...

    Indigenous Elders Morris Little Wolf (Piikani), Winston Wadsworth (Kainai), Alice Zwart (Inuit), Alice Bissonette (Metis) and Beatrice Little Mustache (Piikani) gathered to discuss the naming of the South Zone Indigenous Patient Navigation Model project.

    Through the Creator, "Four Winds" was identified.

    • Wind is of significance in the Blackfoot, Inuit and Métis cultures.

    • Wind is also significant to the South Zone (chinook winds).

    • Wind is never ending and transcends all cultures.

    • Winds bring calm and relaxation.

    • Wind also signifies a journey.

    • Wind is cleansing and healing.

    • Wind also comes from 4 directions (like the medicine wheel).

    • Wind is invisible – a power that you don’t see.

    The Four Winds project hopes to support and provide navigation services for Indigenous patients and their families. Moving from having to chase support, to feeling the support, like a warm wind.

    A naming transfer and Pipe Ceremony was held on August 21, 2019.

    The ceremony was a heart touching and emotional experience. Special thanks to the Elders for leading the steering committee through such a special cultural tradition and for telling such meaningful and impactful stories.



  • Launch of Indigenous Patient Navigation Project

    7 months ago

    June 17, 2019

    June 17, 2019

  • Research aims to improve Indigenous health outcomes

    7 months ago

    Research aims to improve Indigenous health outcomes

    Research aims to improve Indigenous health outcomes

  • New research hoping to improve health outcomes for the Indigenous population

    7 months ago

    New research hoping to improve health outcomes for the Indigenous population - Lethbridge News Now

    New research hoping to improve health outcomes for the Indigenous population - Lethbridge News Now