Rib­bon-cut­ting at new Health Cen­tre

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Ayer's Cliff

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.

Photo Stanstead Jour­nal

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.

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