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New Active Offer training module increases equitable access to care for Francophones in Northern Ontario

Posted on June 29, 2023

A new complementary online training module added to the was created by the Réseau du mieux-être francophone du Nord de l’Ontario (Réseau) in collaboration with NOSM University. This specialized training is designed for professionals working in the primary-care sector and will enhance their ability to provide tailored services to Francophone patients. The module was created as part of a series of sector-specific courses that can be completed individually or as part of the full Active Offer Training.

Diane Quintas, Executive Director of the Réseau explains, “The primary goal of this training module is to empower health-care professionals with the necessary skills and strategies to ensure the active offer of French language health services. The goal of implementing these best practices is to bridge the language barrier and ensure equitable access to health care for Francophones.”

The training module, which is one hour in length, is free of charge and provides valuable insights and practical tools for health-care professionals. Dr. Mélanie Patrie, a NOSM University alumna and family physician who works with Francophones in minority communities says: “This training gives us a good insight into the reality of Francophones living in minority situations and the importance of active offer. No matter what our speciality is, whether we speak French or not, this training enables us to come up with practical and flexible strategies to meet our needs.”

“NOSM University is expanding its efforts to support Francophone medical students who will practise in French, as well as support Francophile and Anglophone medical students in recognising and providing linguistic and culturally sensitive care,” says Dr. Sarita Verma, President, Vice-Chancellor, Dean, and CEO of NOSM University. “To create a lasting impact, a fulsome Active Offer training is mandatory for all new medical students admitted to NOSM University. This new training module will soon be rolled out to other learners. By raising awareness about the importance of Active Offer and providing all learners with the necessary tools, we are fostering a future generation of care providers who are equipped to meet the needs of Francophone patients.”

NOSM University was founded with an explicit social accountability mandate, which informs how students interact with communities across Northern Ontario through advocacy for equitable access to care. This mandatory online training module is one more way that NOSM University learners are becoming leaders who can help to transform health-care systems and improve population health outcomes.

Réseau du mieux-être francophone du Nord de l’Ontario and NOSM University invite all primary-care professionals to take advantage of this training opportunity by registering at “Together, let us strive to enhance the quality of health-care services provided to Francophone communities and promote equitable access to care,” says Quintas.

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The Réseau relies on evidence-based data, the community and the Francophone movement, as well as its collaboration with the healthcare system to ensure active offer and equitable access to French language health services.

NOSM University is Canada’s first independent medical university and one of the greatest education and physician workforce strategy success stories of Northern Ontario. More than just a medical university, it was purpose-built to address the health needs of the region. While advocating for equitable access to care, the university contributes to the economic development of Northern Ontario. NOSM University relies on the commitment and expertise of the peoples of Northern Ontario to educate health-care professionals to practise in Indigenous, Francophone, rural, remote, and underserved communities. With a focus on diversity, inclusion, and advocacy, NOSM University is an award-winning, socially-accountable organization renowned for its innovative model of distributed, community-engaged education and research.

For more information:

NOSM University
Caroline Cox, External Relations Officer

Réseau du mieux-être francophone du Nord de l’Ontario
Katia St-Onge, Communications Lead or 705-335-1781