Ambitious plans regarding the PERFORM Centre were the topics at hand at a presentation held Oct. 5 in an attempt to raise university awareness on the newly-built facility.
Nearly 40 people attended the most recent “Open to Question” session on the Loyola campus, most of them PERFORM staff and members of the departments of athletics and exercise science. Dr. Kevin Little, the chief administrative officer of PERFORM (which stands for Prevention, Evaluation, Rehabilitation and FORMation), spoke in detail about the centre and took questions from the audience.
“The vast majority of our health care costs as a society go to things that we know are preventable,” said Little, who has a PhD from McGill in experimental medicine. He explained that their vision is to see the centre become a world leader in research education and community engagement for improved health, foreseeing potential collaboration with groups all over the globe.
Construction started on the PERFORM Centre in the fall of 2009 and officially finished as of last Friday. The federal and provincial governments contributed $35 million to the project via the Knowledge Infrastructure Program to build and furnish the facility with what Little describes as “a tremendous battery of equipment.”
Located just next to the football field at Loyola, the PERFORM Centre is part gym, part research facility and is open to the public.
“The focus [is] really not so much on diagnosis and treatment but really on this ability to functionally assess,” said Little, emphasizing that the centre does not have doctors on staff.
Instead, Little said that PERFORM will aim to “better inform people of ways they can take charge of their own health” by assessing an individual’s health, implementing a recovery program and then re-evaluating the person afterwards to see the results.
Despite being open to all, the audience at the session had a marked lack of students. “The Open to Question sessions have not attracted students despite our promotional efforts to reach out to students,” said Karen McCarthy, Concordia’s director of internal communications.
Little said that it will take a few months to establish all the standard operational procedures, protocols and regulations required before any research can actually take place.
“Watch this space because I think in a few months you will see a lot of things come into focus at PERFORM,” he said.
Christian Durand, communications advisor for the PERFORM Centre, confirmed that a ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for Nov. 4 and will include tours of the facilities.
A second Open to Question session about the centre takes place Wednesday, Oct. 12 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in room H-763.