Rio Tinto supports the CHU Sainte-Justine Dialogue Program

by ahnationtalk on June 1, 202379 Views

MONTREAL, June 1, 2023 – The CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation is proud to announce Rio Tinto’s continued support for the CHU Sainte-Justine through a $500,000 donation to the Dialogue Program. This program aims to provide specialized maternal and pediatric healthcare and services to better support patients and families from First Nations and Inuit communities.

Unfortunately, even today, inequity, prejudice, and discrimination persist, often preventing members of these communities from making full use of existing services in conventional urban healthcare facilities—and from feeling entirely safe in doing so. The CHU Sainte-Justine established the Dialogue Program to meet the specific needs of these families and build a relationship rooted in mutual trust.

Thanks to Dialogue, hospital staff has access to training tools and programs that reflect the needs and realities of First Nations and Inuit clientele so that they can learn to recognize and respond to discrimination. Interpretation, translation, and personalized support services are also available to families.

Marielle Ottawa, mother of Christopher, a young patient who was treated at Sainte-Justine, highlights the importance of staff understanding their culture and reaching out to Indigenous communities. “The day Christopher was diagnosed, we felt lonely, helpless, adrift. For families like us, having access to culturally sensitive care is invaluable. I thank Rio Tinto for supporting the Dialogue Program from the bottom of my heart.” Guilaine St-Pierre, Liaison Officer and Service Navigator for Indigenous clients at the CHU Sainte-Justine, adds: “This collaborative effort is key to improving care while respecting the visions and values of Indigenous families. My role is to promote their well-being during their stay and to advocate for their cultural and personal needs.”

“Rio Tinto has been a steadfast partner of the CHU Sainte-Justine for decades,” says Delphine Brodeur, President and CEO of the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation. “The impact of its financial support, which totals more than $6 million over the past 20 years, including $3 million for research on rare diseases, transcends the institution. In supporting Dialogue, Rio Tinto is reaffirming its confidence in the university hospital centre’s ability to implement a new program aimed at transforming care for First Nations and Inuit patients across the province.”

In keeping with Sainte-Justine’s commitment to better support and represent its First Nations and Inuit patients, Dialogue aims to ensure that these individuals are involved in any decisions pertaining to their own health and well-being and to make services more visible and accessible within First Nations and Inuit communities. The institution is also committed to respecting Indigenous cultures and ensuring they are prominently represented within the organization through a variety of actions, such as incorporating art into healthcare settings and having books on hand for patients, families, and employees.

“The Dialogue Program, supported by Rio Tinto, is a necessary step toward increasing our awareness and knowledge so that we can provide the best care and services for First Nations and Inuit patients,” says Caroline Barbir, President and CEO of the CHU Sainte-Justine. “No one can communicate what these families need better than the families themselves. That’s why we will work to transform our practices and build trust by listening and engaging in a process of co-construction.”

“As a long-time partner of the CHU Sainte-Justine, our organization is pleased to renew our commitment to this hospital, which is recognized for its expertise and quality of care,” says Ivan Vella, Chief Executive of Rio Tinto Aluminium. “Hospital stays are difficult for children and their families, especially when cultural differences complicate interactions between the family and healthcare staff. By supporting the Dialogue Program, Rio Tinto is helping provide a better care experience for Indigenous families, in the spirit of respect, fairness, and reconciliation.”

At Sainte-Justine, some 1,200 consultations are sought annually by First Nations and Inuit families, resulting in 60 to 80 hospital stays and around 75 emergency admissions. The Dialogue Program aligns with the 2022–2027 Government Action Plan for the Social and Cultural Wellness of the First Nations and Inuit.

About the CHU Sainte-Justine Fondation

The CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation mobilizes communities in support of the excellence and innovation that are the hallmarks of Sainte-Justine. The Foundation strives to inspire and motivate donors to help transform pediatric medicine and improve the lives of children and their families. One gift at a time, the Foundation empowers Sainte-Justine to drive change and build a better tomorrow for all.

About the CHU Sainte-Justine

The Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine is the largest mother-child hospital in Canada. A member of the Université de Montréal extended network of excellence in health (RUIS), CHU Sainte-Justine has 5457 employees, including 1532 nurses and nursing assistants; 1000 other healthcare professionals; 520 physicians, dentists and pharmacists; 822 residents and 280 researchers; 411 volunteers; and 4416 interns and students in a wide range of disciplines. CHU Sainte-Justine has 484 beds, including 67 at the Centre de réadaptation Marie Enfant (CRME), the only exclusively pediatric rehabilitation centre in Québec. The World Health Organization has recognized CHU Sainte-Justine as a “health-promoting hospital.”

For further information: For more information or to request an interview: Catherine Montambeault, strategic communications advisor,, 514 345-4931, ext. 7960


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