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Carol Timmings leads the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. During last week's visit to Kenora, she said poverty is closely linked to poor health.

"If you don't have adequate income, adequate financial support that absolutely is going to be a huge influencer on how healthy you're going to be. Whether or not you're going to have adequate housing. Healthy food to eat," she said.

Timmings -- who is from downtown Toronto -- also took a moment to talk about nurses, who work in isolated communities.

"We want to make sure those nurses feel supported, that they are able to work to full scope of practice. and that's why we have advocated for and are moving in the direction of  RN (registered nurses) prescribing," she said. "

"I think, unless we have indigenous leaders at the table of board rooms, in executive positions in health care institutions, and reflected across the workforce in these institutions, then we're really not going in the right direction," Timmings added. 

Safety was also a key issue, as the association invited members to speak out, if they had concerns. Kenora's hospital has already set up a task force to deal with the important issue.

Last month, talks between the Canadian Union of Public Employees and hospital managers broke off, as the union wanted to see more steps taken to protect members.

For more information:

Carol Timmings - Bio

Safety key for hospital workers

CUPE - Talks breakdown

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