For 23 years Susan Commanda has worked as administrative support to the Regional Health Centre for three First Nations, and is currently the Non-Insured Health Benefits coordinator at Lawrence Commanda Health Centre on Nipissing First Nation, which, incidentally, was named after her father who was the first Community Health Representative for Nipissing First Nation.
Susan embodies the 7 Grandfather Teachings in all she does. She displays strength, perseverance, and effective community leadership. Everyone knows her, and it’s said she has this way of making everyone feel special.
Susan’s interest in Palliative Care came when, in May 2016, her family was able to grant their mother’s dying wish of passing at home on her beloved Nipissing First Nation Traditional territory. “The care and assistance of the Palliative Care Team who helped us carry out Mum’s request is what made me realize that this was a great thing that we were doing and this realization prompted me to try to help others who had the same wish. The Nipissing Serenity Hospice is a much needed service within the Nipissing area which will grant many this same wish.”
In August 2016 Susan was awarded the Anishinabek Lifetime Achievement Award in the category of Health.