Indigenous health organizations implementing RNAO’s evidence-based guidelines gather in Northern Ontario

July 4, 2024

Health providers from the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s (RNAO) Best Practice Spotlight Organizations® (BPSO®) will meet in Thunder Bay for an inaugural knowledge-sharing event. Hosted by RNAO and developed with BPSOs, the Indigenous-Focused Symposium will take place between July 9 – 11, 2024 and celebrate the theme: Weaving Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing with the implementation of RNAO’s best practice guidelines (BPG).   

“By bringing together Indigenous-focused and other health providers serving Northern Ontario, we’re celebrating our collective commitment to enhancing evidence-informed and culturally appropriate practice changes and their impact on quality outcomes for persons, providers, organizations, communities and health systems,” says RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun, founder of the BPG and BPSO programs. 

Best practice guidelines (BPG) equip nurses and other health providers with up-to-date evidence-based recommendations that improve the quality of care people receive. As part of the BPSO program, organizations work with RNAO to implement BPGs and measure their impact on outcomes. 

Attendees will learn how Indigenous-led BPSO organizations are using a Two-Eyed Seeing approach – weaving together Indigenous and western ways of knowing – to implement RNAO’s BPGs in local practice. The three-day in-person event will serve to support northern health providers in building networks and collaborating with one another. “RNAO is committed to continuing its work with Indigenous partners to create and foster cultural awareness within our BPSO program,” says Dr. Michelle Rey-Lloyd, director of RNAO’s International Affairs and Best Practice Guidelines (IABPG) Centre. “We are honoured to take part in Indigenous teachings, ceremony and storytelling during our event.”

What: The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario hosts its inaugural Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) Indigenous-Focused Symposium in Northern Ontario. 

When: Tuesday, July 9 – Thursday, July 11, 2024 


  • Dr. Doris Grinspun, RNAO CEO and founder of the BPG and BPSO programs
  • Chief Michele Solomon, Fort William First Nation 
  • Alethea Kewayosh, director of the Indigenous Health Equity and Coordination team and Indigenous Cancer Care Unit at Ontario Health
  • Deborah Richardson, Ontario’s deputy minister of health (virtual)
  • Dr. Michelle Rey-Lloyd, director of RNAO’s International Affairs and Best Practice Guidelines (IABPG) Centre 
  • Grace Suva, senior manager, Indigenous Health, RNAO’s IABPG Centre
  • Sue Sweeney, program manager, RNAO’s Long-Term Care Best Practices Program
  • Nurses and other staff champions from 22 BPSO teams representing several health sectors across Northern Ontario 

Where: The Superior Inn Hotel and Conference Centre (555 West Arthur St., Thunder Bay, Ontario)

To learn more about RNAO’s work with Indigenous BPSOs, please visit the Indigenous Health and RNAO In Focus page. To learn more about some of the BPSO long-term care homes (LTC) in Northern Ontario, please visit the LTC Best Practices Program and RNAO In Focus page.  The global network map highlights BPSOs in Northern Ontario.

RNAO’s Best Practice Guidelines (BPG) Program is funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Health. It was envisioned by CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun in 1998 and launched in 1999 to provide the best available evidence for patient care across all health sectors and settings, with more than 50 guidelines developed to date. The Best Practice Spotlight Organization® (BPSO®) program supports service and academic institutions that have formally agreed to implement multiple RNAO BPGs over a three-year period, and evaluate their impact on patients, organizations and health systems. Launched in 2003, the BPSO program now has more than 1,500 BPSOs in Ontario, Canada and internationally.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public we serve. For more information about RNAO, visit or follow us on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Contact info

Victoria Alarcon
Communications Officer/Writer
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)
Madison Scaini
Communications Officer/Writer
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)