SOAHAC and the Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU) had a successful, celebratory launch of the new SOAHAC dental clinic on Monday, April 30, 2018. Ron Hill of Oneida Nation, Bear Clan provided a smudge of the new clinic space to start things off in a good way. Our partnership with MLHU will provide new dental treatment options for Indigenous community members across the region. Effective May 1, 2018 the Dental Clinic space at 50 King Street will be shared between MLHU and SOAHAC in order to provide culturally safe oral health care for Indigenous families.
Initial discussions about a collaboration began in the fall 2017, when the MLHU adjusted its programs to focus on preventive services. With treatment space and equipment available, the Health Unit approached SOAHAC to gauge its interest in establishing a downtown dental office focused on Indigenous oral health.
“For over 15 years, our Board and staff have been seeking ways of addressing the pressing oral health needs of our clients and the Indigenous communities we serve,” says Brian Dokis, CEO at SOAHAC. “We were very happy when the Health Unit approached us and this opportunity presented itself so perfectly.”
“The Health Unit is developing a plan to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action in a meaningful way,” says Dr. Christopher Mackie, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “Today’s announcement is a demonstration of our commitment to working with, and seeking direction from, local First Nations and Indigenous-led organizations.”