Beginning today, four primary healthcare physicians from the Wynyard and District Community Health Centre will provide primary healthcare services at the Day Star First Nation’s on-reserve health clinic. The clinic will offer physician services on the first and third Tuesday of every month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“The primary healthcare services that the physicians will provide include preventative care such as annual physicals, chronic disease management and health promotion,” says Paul Lendzyk, Executive Director of the Wynyard and District Community Health Centre.

“Having these healthcare services available in the Day Star community will improve access to health care and support for patients and their families, providing better health outcomes and patient-centred care for Day Star residents,” says Andrew Will, interim President and Chief Executive Officer of Saskatoon Health Region. The Region has been facilitating partnership discussions between Day Star First Nation and the Wynyard and District Community Health Centre since 2014.

Day Star Chief Lloyd Buffalo is enthusiastic about what this means for his community.

“This partnership demonstrates the positive outcomes when leaders work together to build good relationships,” says Chief Lloyd Buffalo. “Statistics consistently demonstrate that First Nations people have much poorer health than the rest of the country. The work we have done here will go a long way towards improving those statistics and closing the gap between First Nations and non-First Nations health outcomes by offering preventative health services, especially for our Elders and those with mobility issues. We hope that this is just the beginning of Day Star’s relationship with the health regions, and look forward to building on this partnership for years to come.”

From left to right: Day Star First Nation Counsellor Delbert Kinequan; Dr. Marty Salter; Executive Director Paul Lendzyk; Day Star First Nation Counsellor Genell Wright; Chief Lloyd Buffalo.  

The ribbon is cut to officially welcome physicians from Wynyard to the Day Star First Nation on-reserve clinic. From left to right: Day Star First Nation Councillor Delbert Kinequan; Dr. Marty Salter; Executive Director Paul Lendzyk; Day Star First Nation Councillor Genell Wright; Chief Lloyd Buffalo.

Other partners include Health Canada and Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, which have supported the process to make this service available in the Day Star community.

“Health Canada would like to congratulate Day Star and its health partners for working together to ensure that the residents of Day Star have the most appropriate health services available in their community. We are confident that this new partnership will support the growing needs of the community,” says Alexander Campbell, Regional Executive of Health Canada.

“It is inspiring to see the cooperation of all groups come together to address the common goal of improving access to every day healthcare needs in the Day Star First Nation community,” says Maggie Petrychyn, Executive Director of Rural and Primary Health Care Services with the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region. “Although Day Star First Nation lies within the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region borders, it has really been the leadership from Saskatoon Health Region, Wynyard community clinic and the Day Star First Nation community that has been the driving force behind the success of this initiative. We look forward to the growth of this partnership and what it will mean for health care in this community.”

The four primary healthcare physicians who will provide care at Day Star’s on-reserve clinic are Drs. Crystal Litwin, Marty Salter, George Iskander and Pradeep Amarasooriya. The care provided excludes emergency services and procedures, which will be provided at Wynyard Hospital. The hospital has also agreed to deliver medications to the on-reserve clinic through its pharmacy.