Dr. Day Event Answers Health-Related Questions that are Close to Students’ Hearts

by Darren Becker

The Heart and Hands Pediatric Clinic located in Verdun Elementary School has introduced a Dr. Day event as part of a new interactive way to teach students about their health.

As part of the Dr. Day event, physicians visited classrooms and answered any health/wellness questions that the students had prepared. The purpose was to create a safe space for them that provides a forum to ask questions that are important to them and where they can also receive reliable information from healthcare professionals.

“A lot of these students are going through puberty and may not feel comfortable talking to their peers about their concerns or their parents so this event really opens the floor for them to have a moment in this kind of setting which is quite unique,” said Melanie Babinsky a pediatric resident who participated in the Dr. Day event.

The Heart and Hands clinic is a unique residency model for McGill pediatric, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and dietician programs. They all work collaboratively to provide first line services to Riverview, Verdun Elementary and Beurling Academy students/families on-site at Verdun Elementary School one day a week through the clinic.

“Built by the community, for the community in a trusted environment, Heart and Hands bridges the gap between education and health sectors. Guided on the principle of equity and accessibility for all, the partnership between the school staff, LBPSB, McGill University Pediatrics department and the Montreal Childrens’ Hospital has provided all the critical ingredients to establish this first pediatric residency-based clinic serving the needs of families in the Verdun community,” said David Meloche, LBPSB Regional Director and Co-founder of the clinic.

Built directly into an elementary school, the clinic provides care directly to families in an environment they trust. In addition to pediatric medical services (including consultations), the clinic also provides a variety of health services, including occupational therapy, nutrition, and speech-language pathology (SLP), that can be especially challenging for marginalized families to access.

Since opening in October 2019, over 200 families have received care while also making applications for a family physician. There is also a strong link between the pediatric clinic and the Lester B. Pearson School Board as former Heart and Hands resident and Clinic Director General, Dr. David D’Arenzio, is also a St. Thomas High School graduate.

The school board provides the space and assumes the clinic’s heating and electricity costs.

Remi Poliquin


Margaret Manson

Elected in Pointe-Claire West

Susan Bartlett-Lewis

Elected in Ile Perrot

Eric Bender

Elected in Kirkland West

Patrick Carroll

Elected in Lachine

Ann Cumyn

Elected in Ste. Anne de Bellevue/Baie D’Urfe/Beaconsfield South/Senneville

Frank di Bello

Elected in LaSalle West/Ville St. Pierre

Sylvia Di Donato

Elected in Ile-Bizard/Pierrefonds

Barbara Freeston

Elected in Dorval and Dorval Island

Joel Hartt

Elected in Beaconsfield North

Allan Levine

Elected in Pointe-Claire East

Victor Levis

Elected in Dollard-des-Ormeaux Centre/West

Antoinette Modric

Elected in LaSalle North-East

Leo La France

Founding Assistant Director General

Daniel O’Reilly

Elected in Verdun/Nun’s Island

Diane Ratcliffe

Elected in St. Lazare/Hudson

Marion Roberts

Elected in LaSalle South

Bart Sellitto

Elected in Pierrefonds West

Cameron Sherry

Elected in Vaudreuil-Dorion/Hudson East, Les Cedres

Howard Solomon

Elected in Roxboro/Pierrefonds East

Marcus Tabachnick

Elected in Dollard des Ormeaux Centre

Joe Zemanovich

Elected in Dollard des Ormeaux
West/Kirkland East

Steven Tamas

Elected in Dollard des Ormeaux East

Ralph Tietjen

Parent Commissioner

Catherine Prokosh

Founding Director General

Stay current with the Lester B. Pearson School Board!
Enter your email below to be notified when a new issue is published.

N.B.: Lester B. Pearson employees are notified via their work email when a new issue is published — no need to sign up again.