Akwesasne Welcomes Three New Family Doctors
Kentenha/October 3, 2017
MCA Medical Team Now Includes Seven Doctors & Two Nurse Practitioners
TERRITORY OF AKWESASNE – The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne is proud to announce the hiring of three new general practitioner doctors to serve the community of Akwesasne. Dr. M. Letourneau, Dr. Emy Martineau-Rheault, and Dr. Enrique Torres are now serving MCA’s two medical clinics, as well as the Iahkhisohtha and Tsiionkwanonhso:te long-term care & elderly homes.
Dr. Enrique Torres started on September 20th and will be seeing patients twice a month at the Kawehno:ke Medical Clinic.
Dr. Emy Martineau-Rheault will begin on October 10th. She will work at the Akwesasne Medical Clinic one week per month.
Dr. M. Letourneau will begin on October 10th as a family physician with a focus on palliative and geriatric care. Dr. Letourneau will rotate his time between the Akwesasne Medical Clinic, Iakhihsohtha, and Tsiionkwanonsoh:te.
The three doctors will join the existing team of medical professionals at MCA: Dr. Horn and Dr. Forson (general practitioners), Dr. Saylor (pediatrician) and Dr. Levac (internal medicine & endocrinology), and Janet Brant and Lannie Mitchell (nurse practitioners). The team also includes: Nicky King (Clinic Supervisor), Sarah Thompson (Nursing Supervisor/RN), RPN’s Dawn, Sandra, Anna and Loretta, and admin staff Yolanda, Sabrina and Donna.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for our health department as it will allow us to improve and increase the medical attention Akwesasne community members receive,” said Keith Leclair, Director of Health. “We recognize the challenges faced by our clients and patients as they navigate the health care system and jurisdictional complications that are unique to Akwesasne. Our aim is to alleviate the challenges and give community members the ability to prioritize their health. Having additional doctors on hand, close by, is very promising for our department going forward.”
Securing medical professionals is challenging at MCA due to Akwesasne being a multi-jurisdictional community. MCA’s Wholistic Health & Wellness Program, under the Department of Health, is responsible for providing medical clinic services to the community in two different provinces. This creates licensing issues as well as logistical challenges in scheduling and operating.
“One of the concerns we hear from community members on a regular basis is the need for more doctors,” said District Chief Karen Loran, co-chair of the Health portfolio. “We recognize it as a priority and continue to explore every avenue that may assist us in addressing the unique licensing issues our territory experiences.”
Wholistic Health & Wellness Program Manager Amber Montour said, “Our team has been functioning with a shortage of doctors, so we are all very excited about our growing team and the positive changes we can expect in our services.”
District Chief Dennis Chaussi, co-chair of the Health portfolio added, “With winter upon us, our clinics are a high priority and we are very proud of our health team for the hard work they’ve done in securing these new doctors. Our community will be thankful.”
MCA’s Department of Health serves the Akwesasne community with several programs, including Wholistic Health & Wellness (medical clinics, addictions, prevention, mental wellness & traditional medicine), Community Health (diabetes prevention, Healthy Babies, immunizations), nursing and home care services, the Akwesasne Mohawk Ambulance, and two long-term care/elderly homes.