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Meet Our Alumni: Miranda Kelly, Regional Advisor

Regional Advisor for the Fraser Salish team at the First Nations Health Authority

Miranda Kelly’s work at the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) with the Fraser Salish team supports the regional health governance structure, ensuring the 32 First Nations communities in the region can engage in health and wellbeing planning and decision-making. She also aids the joint planning and implementation conducted with the Fraser Health Authority.

Her day to day work sees Miranda produce strategic documents, analyse and advise on aligning regional health investments with priorities, and promote collaboration and partnership, whether within departments of the FNHA or with the Fraser Health Authority.

With an initial interest in positively impacting the health of many people by changing health systems, Miranda began work with the FNHA after graduation in 2011. The opportunities she has to learn from the wisdom of community members as part of a community-driven healthcare transformation process is what she loves most about working in public health.

Miranda is a member of the Soowahlie First Nation, and says it is critically important for Indigenous students to be public health leaders, as Indigenous healthcare professionals are underrepresented in the system.

“I believe that Indigenous issues require Indigenous solutions, and that by fostering leadership of Indigenous peoples, we can shift the power imbalance in the health system that silences Indigenous voices.”

A day that stands out for Miranda during her time with the FNHA was when she witnessed the signing of the B.C. Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance, which looked to transform First Nations healthcare in the province.

Miranda says she found the signing ceremony emotionally powerful because of the significance of the agreement and the hope it inspires.

“I felt humbled to attend because I had only been involved in the work for a month at the time of the signing, but I was among many greater leaders who had dedicated a lot of time and effort to make the agreement a reality.” She also felt honoured to be present because many First Nations in the province could not attend.

“My fondest memory of the program is the lifelong friendships I formed.”

Miranda says she would recommend the degree to those considering a career in public health, and that the practicum in particular was invaluable for gaining practical experience and making contacts in the field. Her advice for students is to consider their practicum site carefully, and its potential to make connections that could lead to employment. She also advises students to take as many electives as they can, and explore the opportunities available at SPPH for additional work experience and networking.