MCA Announces New Health Director
Onerahtohko:wa/May 16, 2017
AKWESASNE MOHAWK TERRITORY - The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne is pleased to announce the hiring of a new director for its Department of Health. Beginning on June 5, 2017, Keith Leclaire will take on the responsibilities of operating MCA’s massive health department and facilities.
“Keith is a familiar face and name to us all here at the Department of Health and we are excited for him to officially join our team,” said Acting Director of Health Cindy Francis-Mitchell, who will return to her substantive position as the Assistant Director of Health when Leclaire arrives.
Leclaire will bring a wealth of education, information and experience in First Nations healthcare to MCA. A Mohawk from Kahnawa:ke, Leclaire has most recently served the people of Naskapi in northeastern Quebec as the Director General of their health facility for the past decade. Prior to that position he also served his home territory of Kahnawa:ke as the Director of Auxiliary Services at their hospital during the 90s, and during the 80s he held the position of Executive Director of the Onen’to:kon Healing Lodge in Kahnesatake during its infancy. He has held additional positions in the health field, at Health Canada as well as the Assembly of First Nations.
Leclaire has devoted his life and work to First Nations health, with a strong focus on addictions. He has extensive knowledge of the system and he is eager to begin working at MCA.
“Akwesasne is a leader in Indigenous healthcare and I am honored to be able to work here,” Leclaire said. “I am looking forward to collaborating with a large and dedicated staff, many of whom I’ve had the opportunity to work with previously, and I am also excited to work in an organized and developed program that strongly values Mohawk culture…I feel it will be rewarding to be here. I feel like I’m coming home.”
Along with the addictions field, Leclaire is also experienced in non-insured health benefits, ambulance service, and funding strategies. He also brings to the table a strong sense of community responsibility having served as a volunteer firefighter for many years and dedicating his time to many community sports organizations as a volunteer and coach. He looks forward to meeting the Akwesasne community, connecting, and helping Akwesasne reach its goals in health and well-being.
“We would like to give Mr. Leclaire a big welcome and we look forward to having his direction and expertise here at MCA,” said Health Portfolio Chief Dennis Chaussi.
MCA's Department of Health programs include Administration , Community Health Nurses, Wholistic Health & Wellness, Tsiionkwanonhs:ote Long Term Care, Iakhihsohtha Lodge, Akwesasne Non-Insured Health Benefits, Home Care/Home Support & the Akwesasne Mohawk Ambulance.