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Press Conference: The Pointe-Saint-Charles Community Clinic Celebrates 50 Years of Health and Solidarity

Ms. Françoise David and Dr. Richard Massé, presiding over the 50th anniversary, join together to recognize the Clinic’s uniqueness and applaud its community-based health model.


Montreal, 24 January 2019 – The Pointe-Saint-Charles Community Clinic is turning 50 this year. It takes the occasion to commit to fighting social inequalities in health and defending access to public healthcare for another fifty years. Ms. Françoise David and Dr. Richard Massé, presiding over the 50th anniversary, join together to recognize the Clinic’s uniqueness and applaud its community-based health model.

The Clinic was founded in 1968 by McGill University medical, nursing and sociology students concerned by the lack of health services in the Pointe-Saint-Charles neighbourhood. These students were inspired in part by people’s clinics set up in several poor neighbourhoods in the United States. In addition to providing healthcare, these clinics made links between the socio-economic conditions and the health of the population. Despite amalgamations and upheavals in healthcare and social services, the Pointe-Saint-Charles neighbourhood has - throughout the decades - never failed to mobilize to preserve the Clinic’s autonomy and its original mandate.

The Clinic is a people-centered organization which, over the years, has developed a detailed knowledge of the needs of the neighbourhood. Prevention is the cornerstone of its intervention work. Dr. Richard Massé believes its practice to be exemplary: “The Clinic has always favoured a holistic approach to health, addressing the social determinants which affect the living conditions of Pointe-Saint-Charles residents. Healthcare is not enough; we must work upstream and promote all forms of health.”

The Clinic does more than provide care and services: it fights for the right to health. Ms. David believes that what distinguishes it from other healthcare institutions is that it has waged numerous, local and national, struggles to reduce social inequities. “The Clinic represents over 50 years of speaking out in defence of the economic and social rights of the most vulnerable. It also carries 50 years of mobilizing to oppose the privatization of the healthcare system and to guarantee universal access to quality care and services, without having to pick users’ pockets.”

From its very beginnings, the Clinic was the result of the engagement of Pointe-Saint-Charles community members. Its board is still entirely composed of people living in the neighbourhood. “Community members have always held a prominent place in the Clinic because their involvement in governance ensures we listen to their needs,” explained Ms. Josée Ann Maurais, President of the Board. “It also helps everyone take responsibility and develop capacity to act individually and collectively for health,” she added.

“The Community Clinic is emblematic of the solidarity and struggles of a neighbourhood which has never stopped fighting to get services to which it has a right,” said Benoit Dorais, Southwest Borough Mayor and President of Montreal’s Executive Committee. “Because of its roots in Pointe-Saint-Charles, it continues to provide greatly appreciated local services.”

With 50 years of success under its belt, the Clinic proudly embraces its difference. It looks forward to working with members, partners and users to remain just as active and relevant in the decades to come, and to continue to write its history on its own terms.


The Community Clinic of Pointe-Saint-Charles is a healthcare organization overseen by community members. It provides preventive and curative services to the Pointe-Saint-Charles population and mobilizes them on issues related to health in order to improve their health conditions in both short- and long-term.


For information or to request an interview with the spokespeople:

Stéphane Defoy, Community Organizer
Cell: 438 822-8298

Lucie Poulin, Communications Officer
Cell: 514 544-6942



(in french)