Dr. Esther Tailfeathers

Physician Advisor

image of Dr. Esther Tailfeathers

Dr. Tailfeathers is a highly regarded harm reduction specialist and a public, population, and Indigenous health leader. She has expertise in implementing quality improvement and is an award winning community Family Physician with the Blood Tribe Department of Health, working only blocks from where she was born and raised. Dr. Tailfeathers is an impassioned advocate for improving Indigenous health care and is a sought after keynote speaker and panel and committee member on efforts related to the health of Indigenous peoples.

Nationally, Dr. Tailfeathers co-leads health service redesign with Correctional Service Canada health teams where she focuses on culturally sensitive, trauma informed care delivery. Provincially, she is the Senior Medical Director of the Population, Public and Indigenous Health Strategic Clinical Network with Alberta Health Services (AHS). In this role Dr. Tailfeathers helped launch Alberta’s first Indigenous Virtual Care Clinic aimed at reducing barriers to primary care for rural and remote Indigenous Albertans. In addition, she leads the Provincial Indigenous Wellness Core and provides strategic partnership and cultural advice on engaging with Indigenous groups. As a Family Physician with the Blood Tribe, she advocated for, designed, and implemented a critical response to the Fentanyl Crisis working alongside interdisciplinary clinical and Indigenous team colleagues to deliver integrated, life saving medical, mental health and substance use initiatives. Dr. Tailfeathers provides guidance to implement culturally appropriate strategies to engage Indigenous patients and to bridge gaps between patients and providers in primary care and emergency department settings.

Alongside other health system leaders in Alberta, Dr. Tailfeathers spearheaded the development and implementation of the Indigenous Wellness Program Alternative Relationship Plan and supported creation and implementation of an AHS staff cultural competency program and worked with Oncologists and cancer support staff to incorporate traditional medicines in the cancer journey.

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