Mistissini patients will no longer have to go south for non-critical treatment thanks to the recently opened Multi-Services Day Centre. And the other communities aren’t far behind, according to the Cree Health Board.

“It went pretty well, it was very good,” said Johnny Loon, the Activity Team Leader, about the mid-February grand opening.

About 100 people attended, “a lot more than we expected,” according to Loon.

“The goal of the day centre is to have our people back in the community,” he said. “The ones that are down south can come back and have their treatment here at the day centre. Sometimes our people are sent down for an hour-long visit with a doctor for physiotherapy. We can do that here now.”

Every community is slated to open a day centre per month until Whapmagoostui’s projected December 2006 opening.

“We cannot have people in critical condition, but we can have people that want to and can help themselves,” said Loon.

The Multi Services Day Centre is an establishment intended to enhance the quality of life of disabled and frail people by improving the range of services, providing equitable opportunities and promoting the participant’s rights, according to a Cree Health Board release.

The MSDC’s mission is to combine and coordinate medical, social, educational and vocational measures in order to train or retrain the participant to the highest functional levels in all aspects of his life. It is also to provide opportunities for community integration and to provide continuous support in a way to maintain one’s physical, emotional, spiritual and mental balance.

The MSDC also aims at providing support and information to the family and the caregivers. It is hoped that the MSDC will create opportunities for community involvement as well as providing a place for social and cultural activities.

To apply for residency or treatment at the MSDC, one must meet the following requirements:

• Be at least 18 years old;

• Be proactive (ready to collaborate to his care);

• Be willing to attend on a regular basis;

• Be interested in a group setting;

• Not represent a threat to themselves or others;

AND must meet at least one of these criteria:

• Be intellectually challenged;

• Be mentally challenged by a persistent and significant impairment;

• Be physically challenged by a persistent and significant impairment;

• Be socially isolated;

• Experience a global loss of autonomy.

For more information or an update on when your local MSDC will open, call 819-855-2844. To make an appointment at Mistissini’s MSDC, call 418-923-4010.