June 4, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The official opening of the Centre de santé Noreen-Richard Health Centre, a satellite health centre of the Gibson Health Clinic, took place today in Fredericton. The centre will provide wellness programs primarily to francophone residents in the Greater Fredericton area.
"This event is a true milestone for our francophone community in Fredericton," said Health Minister Michael Murphy. "Many people were instrumental in the development of this project, and our government is pleased to have the opportunity to be a partner in the establishment of this community health centre."
In 1999, the project to create a new community health centre for primary health care and health promotion services in French was championed by the Société Pierre-Amand-Landry, the local chapter of the Société de l'Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick. In 2003, the Comité Santé en français de Fredericton was created to collaborate with the local Regional Health Authority to help ensure that the centre became a reality. In January 2008, the provincial government included establishing a community health centre in Fredericton in its 2008-12 provincial health plan.
Noreen Richard was a leading advocate for the centre. She shared her extensive knowledge of the health-care system on committees at the provincial and national levels. Because she played a crucial role in the creation of the centre, its name is a tribute to her.
"Advancing the cause to create a community health centre primarily for the francophone community in Fredericton, the late Noreen Richard played an outstanding role in making this vital project possible," said Pierre Cormier, board chair of the Centre communautaire Sainte-Anne. "Noreen Richard was not only a persevering woman but for many years a devoted nurse. This unveiling is not only an homage to her, but to all nurses."
The Centre de santé Noreen-Richard Health Centre is offering health and wellness promotion programs utilizing the skills of a registered nurse, a community developer, and administrative support. Active recruitment is underway for a family physician and nurse practitioner.
"The opening of this clinic will allow for enhancement of Regional Health Authority B's capacity to deliver health care in a patient's official language of choice," said Fonda Kazi, vice- president of Community and Primary Health Care Services, Regional Health Authority B.
The centre will be the first point of contact with a health-care provider for the French-patient population. Patients without a family physician, who wish to receive health care in French, are to register their name on the No Physician Patient Registry at www.rivervalleyhealth.nb.ca/en/familydoctor, or by calling 1-866-544-5959.
The Centre de santé Noreen-Richard Health Centre is located at the Centre communautaire Sainte-Anne, 715 Priestman St., Fredericton.
Enhancing access to health services is a focus of Transforming New Brunswick's Healthcare System: the Provincial Health Plan, 2008-2012, which released in April 2008.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Meghan Cumby, Communications, Department of Health, 506-457-3522; Carol Rankin, Communications, Regional Health Authority B, 506-443-2603.