The Montreal Fluency Centre (MFC) was incorporated as a charitable institution in 1998, but the vision was born in 1987 out of a private practice established to treat children who stutter by Rosalee C. Shenker.
Subsequently, clinicians with expertise in other areas of Speech Pathology formed a group private practice, which became known for excellence in treatment of some of the lesser-known speech and language disorders, including stuttering and childhood apraxia of speech. This core group that included Karen Evans, Laura Polomeno, Andrea Gingras, Catherine Rebellati and Antonietta Conte, shared a vision that led to the creation of a charitable institution that could offer specialized services in speech-language pathology to the community at large. The dream became reality in 1998, when the Fluency Centre was incorporated as a charitable institution. In January 2000, the Board of Directors resolved to expand the mandate of the charity to include the clinical operations of the Montreal Fluency Centre. The Centre in its current location, a permanent home purchased in 2006, is the realization of the initial vision.
In 2001, the MFC received a leadership gift from the J.W. McConnell Foundation to develop its strategic plan for the future. The focus of the plan was on the development and implementation of the programs of the MFC as well as the clinic infrastructure. At this time, the clinic is entering into a new strategic plan that will utilize its strengths to expand its programs: a) to include clinical mentoring and professional education to the professional community; b) to adapt its early intervention programs to meet the needs of vulnerable populations in the community at large; and c) to continue to expand its objective to provide best clinical practice through evaluation of clinical outcomes and treatment efficacy.
While serving more than 100 children weekly at the current site, the MFC provides services to additional children through programs in Kahnawake, Côte-des-Neiges and Parc-Extension as well as the nine Cree communities in James Bay.
The MFC pursues various clinical research projects to focus on its mission to provide treatment whose outcomes are both successful and efficacious. These programs, in treating early stuttering, emerging literacy in four-year-old children and oral language and social language projects, are offered both in the clinic and in the community. The ongoing success of the MFC can be attributed to its continuous clinical performance evaluation and to encouraging parents to be partners in treatment.
The clinicians at the MFC have been published in peer reviewed journals and have presented a variety of workshops and seminars at both Canadian and international meetings.
During the past 14 years, since the Centre was established as a charitable institution, the MFC has raised nearly $2,000,000 to support its mission. This generous support has allowed the Centre to develop and expand a Summer Language Camp, an Early Intervention Stuttering Program, and an Emerging Literacy Program. The MFC also provides in-service education to professionals and parents.