James Smith Cree Nation opens unique medical imaging clinic in Saskatoon

First time a medical imaging centre has Indigenous organization as a partner.

The James Smith Cree Nation in Saskatchewan is one of the owners of a unique clinic that provides the latest technology in CT scans and MRI imaging.

The National Medical Imaging Clinic, Education and Research Centre opened its doors in Saskatoon with the nation as a partner.

James Smith Cree Nation Chief Wally Burns says the clinic has been in the works for years.

“Four years ago today, it was a discussion, a discussion and a vision a vision to reality. Today we are opening this MRI (centre) to the public and also the province,” Burns says.

Dragan Racic, president and CEO of the centre, says this is the first time a medical imaging facility has an Indigenous organization as a part owner – and the clinic will play an important role in education and research.

“The importance of this type of project in the city of Saskatoon in the Market Mall is this type of clinic is needed in current health system,” says Racic. “It’s a CT and MRI machines that provide the studies and important services Saskatchewan Health Authority and doctors can do their job and we can educate and work with researchers.”

Darcy Marciniuk, vice president of Research at the University of Saskatchewan, said this clinic will help patients, educators and researchers in Saskatchewan as well as neighbouring provinces with the latest MRI, CT and X-ray technology. It will also contribute to education and research.

“This is a big deal, this is a really big deal. Not only do you have expert people, state of the art equipment to help individuals at the time when they are sick, but this can help prevent and heal,” said Marciniuk.

The clinic’s newly formed education and research centre will collaborate with educational institutions like Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the University of Saskatchewan province-wide to provide research and educational opportunities in the field of imaging.

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