Timmins’ first-ever community health centre aimed at the francophone population celebrates its grand opening on Monday.

Centre de santé communautaire de Timmins has been open since November. Executive director Julie Béchard says it currently has about 250 patients receiving primary care.

It’s staffed by two physicians, a nurse practitioner, registered nurses and practical nurses.

“Eventually our team will also include a dietitian, a physiotherapist, a psychologist, but we’re still in the process of developing what that programming will look like,” according to Béchard.  “But we do have the foundation though to offer primary care.”

Béchard says the centre allows people whose first language is French to deal with health care professionals in that language.

And she notes that specific health indexes indicate that francophones can experience certain conditions differently than the mainstream population.

“What our primary care services will be able to do is specialize in what are some of those health needs that the francophone community would tend to experience a lot of.”