Representatives from the College of Medicine and James Smith Cree Nation sign a memorandum of understanding on Oct. 25. Photo by Kristen McEwen

U of S and James Smith Cree Nation explore joint research and health care initiatives

SASKATOON – The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) College of Medicine, James Smith Cree Nation (JSCN), and JSCN Medical Clinic LP have signed an MOU to collaborate on initiatives that could include a joint radiology research chair, medical imaging services and research, and educational development opportunities for Indigenous youth.

“We acknowledge that the MOU is the start, a good start, for further discussion, and that we will work together to realize the opportunities and potential of this relationship,” said U of S  College of Medicine Dean Preston Smith. 

JSCN is a Cree First Nations community 70 kilometres east of Prince Albert that comprises three separate Cree communities: James Smith, Peter Chapman, and Chakastapaysin, all of which are on Treaty 6 land, as is the U of S. 

JSCN Medical Clinic LP is a new private start-up company specializing in medical imagery services and diagnostic laboratories. The company is setting up an MRI (medical resonance imaging) and CT (computed tomography) facility in Saskatoon to provide both clinical services integrated with the Saskatchewan health-care system and dedicated research studies. 

The proposed facility would increase access to MRI 3 Tesla (MRI 3T) and other radiology services for U of S researchers. MRI 3T, advanced MRI equipment with a magnetic field strength (measured in Teslas) twice as powerful as standard MRI scanners, provides extremely clear and vivid images, particularly for brain, vascular, musculoskeletal and small bone imaging, and is proving to be an exciting research tool. This would be only the second MRI 3T in Saskatchewan.

Read more on the university's news site.

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