St. Mary’s Wellness and Education Centre marks 10 years in Saskatoon

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WATCH ABOVE: A unique partnership which took shape 10 years ago, combined education and health care at St. Mary’s in Saskatoon. Rebekah Lesko reports – May 12, 2017

Ten years ago, St. Mary’s became the first in Canada to have an in-school pediatrics clinic.

Trudy Moccasin’s son was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and is currently enrolled at St. Mary’s Wellness and Education Centre in Saskatoon.

“We moved here and the clinic was easily accessible,” Moccasin said on Friday.

“All the information that they gave me was … overwhelming because I didn’t know what ADHD was but they helped me through that.”

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The clinic is a partnership between the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) College of Medicine and the Saskatoon Tribal Council.

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This week, the three groups signed a memorandum securing the 10-year partnership into the future.

“This is truly a gem for Saskatoon, for the partners and I think we need to understand how far ahead of the curve we are in doing this initiative and doing it for 10 years,” the college’s dean Dr. Preston Smith said.

“Instead of expecting people to come to where we are, because it works for us. Even though we have lots of resources, this is about looking to eliminate barriers for patients,” St. Mary’s School pediatrician Dr. Maryam Mehtar said.

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Mehtar said student attendance has improved since the clinic was introduced to the elementary school.

“The other thing about the school is, it is a place, certainly in the core neighbourhoods, community comes together. This is where the kids are. This is where the families are,” Mehtar said.

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