Veronica Nicholson LHINVeronica Nicholson has been named a Healthy Change Champion for her work in improving access to care for Aboriginal people living in Northeastern Ontario.

“Veronica contributes strongly to her own organization and to our Board’s Local Aboriginal Health Committee, and works in partnership with others to include the values of Aboriginal culture and traditions into today’s health care system,” says Louise Paquette, North East Local Health Integration Network (NE LHIN) Chief Executive Officer.

Veronica, who is Anishnawbe from the Michipicoten First Nation near Wawa, has been the Executive Director of the Timmins Native Friendship Centre (TNFC) since 2004. The Centre was established in 1974 to provide a cultural approach to the delivery of services and programs for members of the urban Aboriginal community.

“As an Indigenous service provider, we design programs to provide community-based support to individuals and families as they move through personal growth and family development,” says Veronica. “These maintain traditions and culture that are inclusive of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.”

Veronica believes that knowledge is the key to successful community relationships, particularly in collaborating with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities and organizations. “It’s important to provide a balanced understanding of historical issues and be adept at enhancing knowledge in a manner that uses humour, kindness and compassion,” she says.


  • About 11% of the 565,000 people who live in Northeastern Ontario identify as Aboriginal/First Nation/Métis.
  • A priority of the NE LHIN’s strategic plan is to improve the health status and health outcomes for the region’s Aboriginal/First Nation/Métis people.
  • The NE LHIN supports transportation services provided by the TNFC.
  • The TNFC Centre employs about 50 people in Timmins and Moosonee  to deliver culturally driven programs in the areas of health, mental health and addictions, employment and training, education, children and youth, and justice.

Background Information – Healthy Change Champion Award:

  • Who is Eligible? NE LHIN health service providers employees and volunteers of providers, as well as, health care leaders, community leaders, and other Northerners who are contributing to building a stronger health care system in the north east.
  • What kind of work does the NE LHIN Healthy Change Champion recognize? Those who are transforming the health care system so that it becomes more patient/client-focused, integrated, and easier to access. These are people or organizations who are reaching out to others in the course of their work to improve the system. Their work may be small or large in scope, but it’s significant in that it is making a difference in people’s lives.
  • Who can nominate? Any Northerner can suggest a Healthy Change Champion. We just ask that you tell us in one or two paragraphs why you believe the person or organization deserves this recognition. Send your nomination to or 555 Oak Street East, Third Floor, North Bay, ON, P1B 8E3.

·         How are they picked? Nominees are reviewed by our senior team. Consideration is also given to individuals and organizations advancing the care for special population groups within the NE LHIN including seniors, Aboriginal/First Nations/Métis, and Francophones.