Doctor with roots in Fort Nelson named new Aboriginal Health Physician Adviser

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Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall has named Dr. Danièle Behn Smith as the province’s new Aboriginal Health Physician Adviser.

Dr. Behn Smith is Eh Cho Dene of the Fort Nelson First Nation in BC with Métis roots in the Red River Valley.

She attained her Doctor of Medicine from McMaster University, and has a career that has taken her across the globe.

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Before taking on this role, she was the board director for the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada, the director of education for the University of Alberta’s Indigenous Health Initiatives Program and the site director of the University of British Columbia’s Aboriginal Family practice residency.

She was even the host of a 13-episode documentary series called “Medicine Woman”, where she explored the native medicine practices of cultures across the globe.

Dr. Behn Smith is focused on closing the gap in health outcomes between First Nations and other British Columbians.

“There’s still a lot that needs to be done to improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal peoples across the province, and I welcome to the opportunity to work with a team that shares this goal,” she said in a press release. “I am certain that in partnership with Aboriginal communities, we’ll make a big difference.”

She will work with Dr. Kendall, and deputy provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry,  to provide advice to the Ministry of Health on Aboriginal health issues.

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