First certified diabetes wellness worker to be honoured

An indigenous diabetes wellness organization program, Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle (IDHC), has been granted professional certification status.

Certifications provide front line health workers and management the opportunity to advance their knowledge in the field of Indigenous diabetes prevention and management and be recognized by a credible, established certifying organization.

Certification as an indigenous diabetes community support worker can henceforth be granted by ICBOC through IDHC training programs — or via demonstrated equivalent experience working in diabetes prevention and promotion for Indigenous communities.

This year, Robert Fenton, is the first Indigenous community diabetes worker to be certified, in recognition for his decades of service and trust building to Indigenous community health.

As a non-profit organization in operation for 23 years, the IDHC promotes three distinct programs of holistic wellness models of care representing body, mind and spirit to reduce the impacts of type 2 diabetes on Indigenous peoples in Ontario.

Balancing traditional teachings and mainstream health best practices, IDHC acts on the knowledge that Indigenous people achieve best health outcomes through programs that are self-designed, self-developed and self-led.

The IDHC mobilizes front line health workers to engage communities, partners, stakeholders and allies to achieve this critical mission. The organization has evolved engaging grassroots tactics for communication, capacity building and stakeholder engagement.

Culturally Appropriate, safe, creative, collaborative, smart and now Certified.

IDHC entails a tremendously good news story of increasing health, empowerment and capacity building.

Incorporated provincially in 2005 and federally in 2011, the Indigenous Certification Board of Canada (ICBOC) is the nationally designated body specifically created to provide professional certifications to unregulated Indigenous workforce in the fields of addictions, wellness and in a range of social and health fields.

The ICBOC professional certification system is embedded in a unique, culturally resonant capacity development model that reflects the realities, needs and aspirations of unregulated First Nations, Métis and Inuit workers, and of the individuals, families and communities they serve. The ICBOC’s professional and technical certification standards and requirements match those of other non-Indigenous certification bodies in Canada and internationally — and exceed them with regard to cultural resonance, competence and safety.

ICBOC is the first Indigenous organization that has developed a rigorous culture-embedded accreditation process actively contributing to the Indigenization of academic university and college programs, and promoting the training and education offered by Indigenous providers. The main components of the accreditation process aimed at institutional academic programs are the assessment of Indigenous input in all stages of a program and of its cultural safety, competence as well as its technical relevance to ICBOC certification standards and requirements.

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