Northern Ontario and Rural Health Advocacy
Photo credit: Kathleen Walsh
The Northern Ontario and Rural Health Advocacy (NORHA) portfolio aims to address health care disparities existing within Northern and rural communities directly through our student-led advocacy initiatives including NORM in the News, a position paper focusing on the lack of mental health supports in rural and Northern areas, a commentary focusing on the pros and cons of virtual palliative care in rural areas and researching the importance of actively offering French language services to the Francophone population in health care. We also highlight the work of generalist physicians in Northern and rural Ontario through our Rural Doc Spotlight and created a handout focusing on employment opportunities for physicians in rural Ontario.
Our Projects and Resources
NORM in the News and Rural Research of the Week
Want to know more about health in the Northern and rural communities of Ontario? The best way to learn is by reading the news! The Northern Ontario and Rural Health Advocacy posts weekly links to news articles or research papers about rural health and lifestyle on our Facebook page. Here is an archive of some of our past NORM in the News articles!
Work Opportunities in Rural Ontario Handout
Interested in working in Northern Ontario as a physician? Wondering what hiring opportunities are available in rural and Northern Ontario? Check out this quick reference document to learn more!
Position Paper: Inadequate Mental Health Supports in Rural and Northern Ontario Communities
Here is an OMSA position paper written by Anchaleena Mandal and Madison Burella, Sr. and Jr. Leads of NORHA in 2021, about the barriers to accessing mental health support in rural and northern Ontario and possible solutions.
Rural Resident Spotlight
The purpose of this project is to spotlight a rural resident and their residency program with the goal to increase awareness and interest in the practice of rural medicine across Ontario.
Rural Doc Spotlight
This initiative aims to increase awareness and interest in the practice of rural medicine across Ontario, and hopes to inspire medical students across Ontario to consider practicing medicine in a rural environment.
We have many more ongoing projects that we are excited to publish soon! Some of them include:
- A commentary on rural palliative care
- A research study with Reach Accès Zhibbi about access to French interpreters in Sudbury’s Health Sciences North
About the Current Team
Madison Burella, NOSM, Sr. NORHA
Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, I am passionate
about responding to the needs of Northern communities. Prior to
pursuing medicine, I worked as a Registered Nurse in the
Emergency Department where I recognized the chronic shortage of
physicians and the impact it had on the health of my community. I
hope to return home one day to work towards alleviating the
barriers to optimal health that still exist and continue to
advocate for a healthier North.
Zugic, NOSM, Jr. NORHA Lead
I hail from Thunder Bay, ON and have had the privilege to learn and grow along the rugged North Shore of Lake Superior. Prior to attending NOSM I worked as a psychometrist and researcher serving remote and rural communities across Northwestern Ontario. My deep ties to the north coupled with the opportunity to practise remotely have highlighted health disparities affecting remote and rural populations, and has underscored the role that physicians have in advocating for and implementing change. I am currently working on several projects centred around sustainable practice and improving healthcare accessibility for our remote and rural communities in order to address these barriers to care.
Want to learn more about our committee? Find us on social media!