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New CEO at the helm of local health service

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The Fort Frances Tribal Area Health Services recently saw a change in leadership with the hiring of a new CEO.

“I'm very honoured and excited about the opportunity,” enthused Kayla Caul-Chartier, who officially stepped into the role last Monday.

Caul-Chartier first started at FFTAHS about three years ago as a community care nurse, in which she provided home-care services to patients.

She later became the director of health services at FFTAHS before being promoted to CEO.

And while happy to have been chosen for her new role, Caul-Chartier said she would have been shocked to hear of her new position a decade ago.

“To be honest, I don't think I ever imagined myself in management when I entered nursing,” she admitted.

“But as you get involved on the ground level, you see things that you would like to see improved,” she explained.

“I think that if you want to help make change happen, you have to be a part of the solution.”

Caul-Chartier studied nursing at Brandon University while simultaneously working as a PSW at Rainycrest Long-Term Care Home here.

Upon graduation, she was hired by Riverside Health Care as a registered nurse and later became its unit co-ordinator before being promoted to the director of nursing.

Caul-Chartier also covered a maternity leave at the Northwestern Health Unit to assist with the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children and sexual health programs prior to being employed at FFTAHS.

Over the past few years, the organization has seen a lot of growth and “positive changes,” which Caul-Chartier said she would like to help continue moving forward.

“My hope is to continue with this momentum, and ensure that we are carrying forward with the goals and vision that we set out to start with [the former CEO] Calvin [Morrisseau],” she remarked.

Morrisseau recently retired after six years as CEO at FFTAHS.

“These are big shoes to fill," Caul-Chartier said of Morrisseau. ”He was a great mentor and role model.

“I'm very grateful for my time I got to spend with him.”

Meanwhile, there are several different projects on the go at FFTAHS, including the Children's Oral Health Initiative (COHI) that launched in September.

Through it, two dental hygienists deliver fluoride varnishing to children up to age seven.

“The best part of that program is that we have a COHI aide in every community that works with a dental hygienist,” Caul-Chartier noted.

Looking ahead, Caul-Chartier hopes to continue the work being done at FFTAHS and take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.

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