Ribbon-cutting at new Health Centre
The Coopérative de solidarité du Centre de Santé de la Vallée Massawippi (CSVM) held its official opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday morning. Several dignitaries, supporters, donors as well as some of the doctors and staff were on hand for the occasion. The health centre will host an Open House, to which members and non-members alike are invited, this Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm each day.
The health team at CSVM is composed of three part time doctors, one full time nurse, one part time nurse and a full time secretary/receptionist. To manage this team and to insure a high level of service, an Interim General Manager has been appointed by the Board.
Three days a week, Doctors Julie Martin and Danielle Mercier see patients at the clinic. Both doctors have over 20 years of experience in family practice and emergency medicine. Dr. Nabil Petraki, an experienced surgeon from Magog, performs minor surgeries in a scheduled Minor Surgery Clinic twice a month. Janet Manuel-Gagnon, full-time nurse and Ines McNeill, a part-time nurse complete the medical staff. Sarah Côté is the full time secretary/receptionist. Melanie Drew provides a part time presence as General Manager on an interim basis. They all live in the region, are fully bilingual and committed to making the first community health cooperative in the Massawippi Valley a success.
The president of the CSVM’s board, Carol Mooney, spoke about the health centre’s beginnings during the ceremony: “Five years ago, one woman, Dian Cohen, had a dream to create a quality health centre in the heart of the Massawippi Valley……. one with doctors, nurses, and health professionals. Forty-two people from all ten municipalities of the Massawippi Valley united with her in an extraordinary community effort. More individuals and businesses combined to donate over $250,000 to support the project. Some of our volunteer members gave 25 hours, some 100 hours and several gave thousands and thousands of hours. Look around and see the ones who look healthy and happy. When a community of cooperative members has a passion for health care, they look after their own health.”
“Moving to the present, the doors of CSVM opened on April 13th. To date, our nurses and doctors have seen more than 300 patients. Already, we see that clients have the opportunity to have minor ailments cared for before they become major. Prevention of disease is a main priority. During the first week, the 1000th member, Christopher Charron, joined CSVM. We now have 1200 members; that is a tribute to our MRC, municipal and business leaders, as well as our individual donors who risked their moral and financial support to ensure that a health clinic can exist in a small town in a rural valley.”
“CSVM and the Massawippi Valley looks forward to a bright future. Health cooperatives work in Quebec. More than fifty now exist and they bring vitality and economic growth to their regions.
In conclusion, CSVM is here to support our public health system. The cooperative model is a unique concept because it is a community partnership with the public health system and the public in the community – both business and individual citizens. A health coop is also different in the sense that it combines healing and prevention of illness; it is a model that CSVM believes will emerge as both useful and economically
efficient in the future,” concluded Mrs. Mooney.
In an interview with the Stanstead Journal following the inauguration, Mrs. Mooney commented: “It is really rewarding right now to meet daily people from all the towns who are so positive about being able to go to a clinic right in town. It is heart-warming for all of us on the Board of Directors; we began this five years ago and we’ve just had two very busy years. Luckily there is a tremendous diversity of strengths on the committee.”
Mrs. Mooney also spoke about the Open House coming up this weekend. “We wanted to make sure that all of our members and the public would get a chance to see the clinic. We can still take on more members. We wanted people to have the chance to see what we’re all about,” said Mrs. Mooney. Visitors can also see all the people who donated generously to the project by looking through the Donation Book and by looking at the Donor’s plaque, created and donated by Picture this on Granite, which will be installed.
The doctor services at this new clinic are open to non-members as well as members. “If someone has an emergency they can come and see a doctor at the clinic,” said Mrs. Mooney. However, the special services at the clinic such as nursing care, psychotherapy, workshops, podiatry and more, will be available only to members.
CSVM has been welcoming patients since April 13, 2015. It is open 5 days a week, Monday to Friday, between 8:30am and 5:00pm.
The region’s new health centre, the Centre de Santé de la Vallée Massawippi (CSVM), was officially inaugurated on Monday in a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Orford MNA Pierre Reid, CSVM President Carol Mooney, and Ayer’s Cliff mayor Alec van Zuiden.