Canadians Travel to United States for Program on Indigenous Health

Canadian experts in Indigenous health will visit Washington, D.C., and other U.S. cities from May 1 to May 11 as participants in an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). They will have the opportunity to learn and share best practices in health care for Indigenous communities in the United States and Canada. The program is organized by the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

This program will offer participants the chance to discuss challenges and opportunities in health care access and services for Indigenous peoples in the United States. Canadian participants will benefit from a dialogue and exchange of best practices for addressing the health needs of Indigenous communities, while examining resources and services that successfully promote the improvement of Indigenous health in the United States.

Participants in this program are:

  • Priscillia Pichette, R.N., Community Health Nurse, Health Canada (Montreal)
  • Lisa Richardson, M.D., Staff Physician, University Health Network; Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine; Faculty Co-Lead, Indigenous Medical Education; Site Director and Wellness Lead, Internal Medicine Residency Training Program, University of Toronto (Toronto)
  • Alika Lafontaine, M.D., President, Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada (Calgary)
  • Karen Hall, Senior Policy Advisor, Aboriginal Health, Department of Health and Social Services, Government of Northwest Territories (Calgary)
  • Dawn Jacqueline Sinclair, Senior Program Manager, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada (Calgary)
  • Patricia Spittal, M.D., Professor, School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Colombia (Vancouver)
  • Jennifer Mirasty, R.N., Regional Nurse Educator, Health Canada First Nations Inuit Health Branch (Calgary)
  • Paul Tomascik, MBA, BSc, Senior Analyst, Health System and Policies, Office of Health Systems Innovation and External Relations, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (Ottawa)
  • Victoria Smith, R.D., Nutritionist, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Population Health and Primary Care Directorate, Health Canada, Government of Canada (Ottawa)

The IVLP enables Canadians who are emerging leaders in their professional field to observe U.S. institutions, practices, and culture first-hand, and to meet with professional counterparts to explore issues of common interest. Founded in 1940, the IVLP has given hundreds of thousands of emerging leaders — including hundreds of Canadians — the opportunity to observe and interact with American culture and society on a personal level. For more information, visit

Participants are available for interviews before and after the program upon request.