No appointment? No problem!

jgh.ca

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JEAN CHRÉTIEN’S KEYNOTE • PSYCHOSOCIAL ONCOLOGY • PAVILION K GROUND-BREAKING

Jewish General hospital jgh.ca

Volume 47, no. 1 Spring 2011

No appointment? No problem!

Quicker, easier access to health care

at the Herzl CRIU Walk-in Centre

Weekend to End Women’s Cancers,

Ride to Conquer Cancer:

Two events, one family, three participants

JGH News

1


2 spriNG 2011

F I R S T P E R S O N S I N G U L A R

Library’s wealth of knowledge

is vital to patients’ well-being JGh news

A

s John Lennon once sang, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy

making other plans.” That, in a nutshell, is how I ended up spending

more than 40 years at the Jewish General Hospital in a dream job that I

had never originally dreamt of. I’ve always loved books and the feel of libraries,

but a librarian is not something I imagined I’d become.

After earning my B.A. in

1968, I was about to take off

for Paris to study French at

the Sorbonne, when protesting

Sorbonne students

began rioting—and there

went my plans! So I enrolled

in the Master’s program in

Library Science at McGill

University which led, in my

second year, to a part-time

job at the JGH Medical Library

(renamed the Health

Sciences Library in the

’80s). In 1970, I launched

Arlene Greenberg

my career at the JGH Lady

Davis Institute for Medical Research and, in

1978, became Chief Medical Librarian.

Over the years, most of my contact has

been with doctors, nurses and other healthcare

professionals who come to the Health

Sciences Library (Pavilion A, second floor)

for trustworthy, timely information. However,

I take great satisfaction in knowing that,

ultimately, it’s the patients who benefit. By

supporting scholarship and research—for

everyone from the greenest student to the

seasoned veteran—our team plays a crucial

role in improving the quality of patient care.

Through the library’s Patient and Family Resource

Centre, we are also in direct contact

with patients (or their relatives) who need

reliable health information. To play such a

vital role in a patient’s well-being is extremely

gratifying.

I’ve also been fortunate to witness a remarkable

evolution. In the pre-digital ’70s,

everything was manual and time-consuming.

To find an article from the medical

literature, I had to comb

through the massive Index

Medicus for appropriate

references. Today, if you

know where to look, answers

can be pinpointed

more quickly. No longer

are librarians the only ones

capable of locating medical

information. Although the

staff still depends on us to

help navigate a vast array of

online databases, journals,

books and other resources,

we have become educators.

In this role, we provide others

with skills to search for themselves, keep

up to date and avoid information overload.

Since so much data is available online, we go

where staffers work and teach them in their

own environment. We also attend rounds—

for instance, in Surgery or the Neonatal

Intensive Care Unit—to better understand

their needs and quickly respond to highly

specific requests.

Fortunately, not all vestiges of the past

have disappeared. During the hospital’s 75 th

anniversary in 2009, the Health Sciences Library

launched the Legacy Project to properly

catalogue and preserve our rich trove

of archival materials. To me, the library still

feels like the oasis it always was—a refuge

from the hospital’s hustle and bustle, where

you can browse through newspapers, journals

and books on subjects ranging from

medicine to Judaica. Above all, it’s an essential

repository of knowledge, to be navigated

with a mouse-click or the turn of a printed

page. Either way, I’m proud to be the guide.

Arlene Greenberg

Chief Medical Librarian

Care for all.

Spring 2011

Published by:

SIR MORTIMER B. DAVIS -

JEWISH GENERAL HOSPITAL

DEPARTmENT OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

AND COmmUNICATIONS

communications@jgh.mcgill.ca

President:

Bernard Stotland

Executive Director:

Dr. Hartley Stern

Director of Public Affairs

& Communications:

Glenn J. Nashen

Editor:

Henry mietkiewicz

Contributors:

Laure-Elise Singer

mark Shainblum

Stephanie malley

Pascal Fischer

Francesca Frati

Graphic design:

Christine Lalonde

Translation:

Louise Trépanier

Printer:

Colorama Packaging and Printing

Photography:

JGH Audio-Visual Services

To subscribe, please see page 13

Publications Mail Agreement

#40062499

Return undeliverable mail with Canadian

addresses to:

Jewish General Hospital

3755 Côte Ste-Catherine Road, A-107

Montreal, Quebec H3T 1E2

Tel.: 514-340-8222

jgh.ca

facebook.com/hgj.jgh

twitter.com/hgj_ jgh

A mcGill University

Teaching Hospital


Cover Stories

Features

Jean Chrétien

Contents

No appointment? No problem!

Pilot project soars 10

Easier access to health care

Come one, come all 12

Patients’ walk-in experiences

Vital signs 13

Adding up the numbers

What, where, when? 13

Basic info

On the cover: At the Herzl CRIU Walk-in Centre, Zohaib Ahmed is examined by Nurse Practitioner Kristel Constance

with assistance from Nurse Practitioner Kelly Thorstad

Annual General Meeting 4

Jean Chrétien’s keynote speech

Pavilion K under way! 5

Premier Charest breaks ground

Mind + body vs. cancer 14

The psychosocial strategy

Of Special Interest Familiar Faces

National recognition 7

JGH’s leadership award

Healthcare strategies 7

Dr. Stern at the Board of Trade

Survey says… 29

Patients rate the JGH

Dynamic recruitment 30

A push to hire the best

Surgical pioneer 19

New solution for aneurysms

The Weekend and the Ride 20

One family, two events

Reheating cold cases 22

Medical mysteries solved

Foundation report 15

Auxiliary report 24

Newsmakers 26

To your health 28

The big picture 31

JGH News

3


JGH praised as “the image of Canada”

Jean Chrétien addresses Annual General meeting

With his characteristic mixture of self-deprecating wit and from-the-heart bluntness, former Prime

minister Jean Chrétien used the Jewish General Hospital’s 76 th Annual General meeting to express

his gratitude for his life-saving surgery at the JGH—an institution he described as “the image of

Canada”.

Mr. Chrétien, who underwent surgery last year

and returned as the keynote speaker on Nov. 10, said

he admires the JGH for its long history of extending

treatment to people of all backgrounds from across

Montreal and Quebec. “All the religions, all the colours

of the skin, all the political beliefs, and they all

work together. That is the Canada I love.”

Describing his experiences in this multicultural setting,

Mr. Chrétien drew warm laughter as he recalled

the morning of his operation: “There came a guy to

shave me. So here I am in a Jewish hospital, the guy

shaving me is a Muslim, and I’m a Chrétien!” In a

similarly light tone, he said he was impressed by the

awards that would be handed out at the meeting, “but

the best award is a guy like me who gets out alive.”

Concluding on a more serious note, Mr. Chrétien

said he was “very impressed that all of you care about

your hospital and that you are concerned about the

quality of the lives of your fellow citizens.” Referring

to Canada as a whole and the JGH in particular, he

added,

“We are together. We live together.

We respect one another.”

Samuel Minzberg (centre) receives the Distinguished Service

Award from Executive Director Dr. Hartley Stern (left) and

President Bernard Stotland, FCA.

4 spriNG 2011

Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien,

keynote speaker at the JGH Annual

General Meeting.

Another highlight was the presentation of the Distinguished Service

Award, the hospital’s highest honour, to Samuel Minzberg who had served

as JGH President from 2007 to 2009. Mr. Minzberg thanked his colleagues

on the Board of Directors and members of staff for their close cooperation

on the milestones of his term, including the transition of Executive Directors

from Henri Elbaz to Dr. Hartley Stern; the launch of robot-assisted

surgery; and a major expansion of the Division of Radiation Oncology.

Acknowledging these achievements, President Bernard Stotland noted:

Not only did Sam help guide the hospital with vision and expertise, he

did so with patience, warmth and genuine concern for everyone who relies

on the JGH.”

In reviewing the major accomplishments of 2009-2010, Dr. Stern noted

that “we will be taking some justifiable pride in those events. However, rest

assured that we are not celebrating these achievements as ends in themselves.

Rather, we are celebrating our collective ability to do more on behalf

of the patients who entrust us with their lives and well-being.”

Serving as Master of Ceremonies, Lynne McVey, JGH Director of Nursing,

briefly recalled the landmark Annual General Meeting of the previous

year, adding, “Even though years like 2009-2010 aren’t milestones, every

year is still special. The need to do our best for our patients is an ongoing

challenge that yields outstanding achievements, regardless of what the

calendar says.”

It’s Care my for hospital!

all.


Awards of Excellence

President Bernard Stotland, FCA, (left) and Executive Director

Dr. Hartley Stern (right) congratulate Award of Excellence

winners (from left) Dr. Calvin Melmed, Dr. Ernesto Schiffrin,

Gloria Aronoff, Isabelle Caron, Barbara Lang, and Michèle

Lefort. Dr. Brett Thombs could not attend.

The following staff members were honoured with

Awards of Excellence in recognition of their outstanding

contribution to the JGH:

• Dr. Calvin melmed, Emeritus Chief of the Department

of Neurosciences – Medical Excellence

• Isabelle Caron, Associate Director of Nursing for

Medicine, Geriatrics and Mental Health – Excellence

in Nursing

• Barbara Lang, Director of the Department of

Volunteer Services – Excellence in Management

• Dr. Ernesto Schiffrin, Physician-in-Chief and

founder of the JGH Cardiovascular Prevention

Centre – Excellence in Basic Research

• Dr. Brett Thombs, an investigator in the Division

of Psychiatry Research – Excellence in Psychosocial

or Clinical Research

• michèle Lefort, Administrative Technician to the

Director of Nursing – Excellence in Administrative

Support

• Gloria Aronoff, an Occupational Therapist in

the Department of Psychiatry – Excellence among

Allied Health Professionals

Find out more about winners of the Award of Excellence

in the JGH Report to the Community 2009-2010 at

jgh.ca/annual.

pavilion K

is under way!

Premier and cabinet ministers

attend ground-breaking

Describing the Jewish General Hospital as “a shining light”

in the healthcare systems of Quebec and Canada, Premier

Jean Charest joined three of his senior cabinet

ministers and the Chair of the Government Caucus in breaking

ground on Nov. 8 for the first phase of the Jewish General Hospital’s

ambitious, new critical-care wing, Pavilion K.

Ground for Pavilion K is broken by (from left) Lawrence Bergman, Raymond

Bachand, Pierre Arcand, Dr. Hartley Stern, Dr. Yves Bolduc, Premier Jean Charest,

Bernard Stotland and Philippe Castiel, JGH Director of Planning and Development.

Speaking in the Block Amphitheatre to a packed audience of JGH board

members, administrators and staff, Mr. Charest congratulated the hospital

on the meticulous planning that led to government approval for the first

phase. He also expressed the hope that subsequent phases would follow a

similar course.

Mr. Charest noted that the JGH’s reputation for outstanding care has

been the key to strong community support for the project, whose modern,

spacious Emergency Department is scheduled to open in spring 2012. In

this first phase, the government will contribute $93.9 million, while the

JGH Foundation will raise additional funds for other aspects of the project

in all of its phases.

Later phases of the $300 million pavilion will include facilities for intensive

care, coronary care, neonatal intensive care and surgery, as well as new

patient rooms, each containing no more than one or two beds. The overall

goal is to minimize the spread of infection, bolster efficiency, accommodate

the most sophisticated medical technology, and enhance the privacy, dignity

and safety of patients.

Echoing the premier’s sentiments, Dr. Yves Bolduc, Minister of Health

and Social Services, praised the Foundation and its volunteers for playing

Continued … please turn the page.

JGH News

5


pavilion K … continued from page 5.

Premier Jean Charest addresses hospital officials and staff in the Block

Amphitheatre.

a vital role in enabling the JGH to perform strongly, rather than

merely adequately. Raymond Bachand, Minister of Finance and

Revenue, and Minister Responsible for the Montreal Region, called

the hospital “a great institution” and acknowledged its leadership in

research and teaching.

The JGH’s dedication to the continuous improvement of its care

won compliments from Pierre Arcand, Minister of Sustainable

Development, Environment and Parks, and MNA for Mount-

Royal, who added, “Your excellence passes beyond our borders and

we will be behind you.”

Lawrence Bergman, Chair of the Government Caucus and MNA

for D’Arcy McGee, recalled the hospital’s long tradition of serving

people across Montreal and Quebec, and he concluded, “My final

words are for all Quebecers of varied languages, colours, religions

Get ready to rumble

From late winter until mid-spring, the construction of Pavilion

K will be something not only to watch, but to hear and feel.

Patients, visitors and staff may briefly notice mild vibrations

and muffled rumbling at various times during the day, because

dynamite will be used until the end of April to break up and remove

large, underground rock beds from the site where Pavilion K will

stand. But there’s no need to worry! All necessary safety measures

have been put into place to ensure that sensitive hospital equipment

will not be affected. Seismographs are also being used to measure

the vibrations to ensure that they are not too intense. Your understanding

during this period of construction is greatly appreciated.

6 spriNG 2011

Care for all.

and origins who benefit from this wonderful hospital: today health

care in Quebec takes another step forward.”

“Pavilion K is a tangible and concrete symbol that highlights

the strong and productive relationship among the government,

the people of Quebec and the Jewish General Hospital,” said Dr.

Hartley Stern, JGH Executive Director. “Our symbolic handshake

confirms our intention to give of our insight, expertise and experience

to help strengthen the healthcare system as a whole. We are

not just building a modern hospital; we are building a modern

healthcare system.”

JGH President Bernard Stotland said Pavilion K promises “greater

effectiveness in combining the personal touch with the requirements

of modern medicine. The founders of the Jewish General

Hospital would surely have been astounded to see how their facilities

have grown. However, I am certain that if they had the chance

to step into the existing building or even into Pavilion K, they

would instantly recognize it as their hospital.”

Dr. Hartley Stern speaks about Pavilion K to an audience that includes

Premier Jean Charest and members of his cabinet (second row).

Private support is critical

to Pavilion K

Nearly $50 million in private funding must be secured to furnish

and equip the new operating rooms, intensive care units and new

private and semi-private rooms in the new Pavilion K. Private

support will be critical at all stages of the project and will be

essential in ensuring that this critical-care pavilion reaches its full

potential and yields maximum benefits to patients from across

Montreal and throughout Quebec.

Donations can be made at www.jghfoundation.org

or by calling the JGH Foundation at 514-340-8251.


News

checkup

JGH saluted for public-sector leadership

Winning out over more than 70 entries from across Canada, the

Jewish General Hospital and the LaSalle Hospital have been honoured

with a major national award for their innovative collaboration

to reduce waiting times for surgery. In a ceremony in Toronto

in November, the hospital was named a 2010 winner of the IPAC/

Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Awards, founded by the Institute

of Public Administration of Canada and Deloitte, in recognition of

excellence in public-sector health care.

On an initiative by the JGH, the hospitals began working together

in 2009—with cooperation from the CSSS Dorval-Lachine-La-

Salle—to take advantage of underused operating rooms at LaSalle.

Operations are now performed at LaSalle by JGH surgeons on JGH

patients who need straightforward surgery, such as hernia repair.

Not only are these patients scheduled more promptly, the JGH’s

own operating rooms are freed up more quickly for complex cases

such as cancer surgery. The JGH is now rated by the Quebec Ministry

of Health and Social Services as one of the rare hospitals with

acceptable waiting times for surgery.

Heading the project at the JGH were Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg,

Chief of Surgical Services; Valérie Vandal, Nursing Director of Surgery;

and Executive Director Dr. Hartley Stern. Working with them

at the LaSalle Hospital were Micheline Ulrich, Director of Nursing;

Dr. Hélène Daniel, Director of Professional Applications; Dr. Jean-

François Courval, Chief of Anesthesiology; Ghislaine Fortin, Coordinator

of Surgical Services; and Executive Director Yves Masse.

The public healthcare system will continue to face major and

mounting difficulties in the coming years, Executive Director

Dr. Hartley Stern warned business leaders on Jan. 13. However,

in addressing the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Dr.

Stern offered reassurance that solutions can be achieved through

initiatives that the JGH is already implementing.

Dr. Stern also urged his audience to become more active in safeguarding

the viability of the public healthcare system. “Quebec’s

private sector can play a stronger and more prominent role by

establishing partnerships with public-sector healthcare institutions,”

he said. “Ultimately, this will strengthen the entire public

system, to the benefit of everyone.”

Dr. Stern said patients should have access to data about the

quality of their healthcare institutions and the effectiveness of their

doctors—information the JGH plans to release later this year. He

also advocated greater use of personalized medicine, development

of healthcare teams in hospitals, and integrating improvements in

the quality of care into an institution’s strategic vision.

To view a video of the presentation, please visit jgh.ca/stern.

The IPAC/Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Award is accepted by the JGH’s

Dr. Hartley Stern, Valérie Vandal (second from left) and Dr. Shannon Fraser,

Chief of General Surgery (second from right). Representing the LaSalle

Hospital is Micheline Ulrich (third from left). Presenting the award are Jill

Birch, Principal of Market Development at Knightsbridge Human Capital

Solutions (left), and Maureen Hennessy, President of Hennessy Consulting.

Healthcare system fixable, business leaders told

Dr. Hartley Stern addresses the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

JGH News

7


Cabinet minister praises clinical teams

Michelle Courchesne, Quebec Minister of

Government Services and Chair of the Treasury

Board, got a first-hand look at progress

on Pavilion K, during a tour of the JGH in

January. “The minister was able to recognize

the speed of construction, which began just

four months after authorization to proceed

with preparatory work on the first phase,” said

Philippe Castiel, JGH Director of Planning and

Development. “Minister Courchesne also witnessed

the excellence of our clinical teams and

the care they provide in facilities that are sometimes

less than ideal.”

From left: Lawrence Bergman, President of the

Government Caucus and MNA for D’Arcy-McGee;

Michelle Courchesne; Dr. Hartley Stern, JGH Executive

Director; Lynne McVey, JGH Director of Nursing;

JGH President Bernard Stotland; and Philippe

Castiel.

Labouring toward better obstetrical care

A

safe hospital environment is not born, but created. That’s why the JGH Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

has joined birthing centres across Canada in ensuring best practices in obstetrical clinical care through

participation in the mORE OB program (managing Obstetrical Risk Efficiently).

With 136 JGH obstetrical staff enrolled in this patient safety initiative,

an entire healthcare team “labours” along with the birthing

mother to ensure safe childbirth.

All of the department’s obstetricians, residents, family medicine

physicians and obstetrical nurses who are involved in deliveries are

participating in the three-year program, as are affiliated midwives.

Together they revisit the theory behind current, evidence-based

obstetrical care while refining their skills as a team. “This helps us

to intervene and communicate more effectively in complex patient

situations” explains Kimani Daniel, Clinical Nurse Specialist.

“Through this program we will have a common language regardless

of prior training or background,” says Verna Grizzle, a

nurse in the Family Birthing Centre. Ms. Grizzle co-chairs MORE

OB with Dr. Cleve Ziegler, JGH Director of Gynecology; Dr. Ann

Rothman, a family physician at the Goldman Herzl Family Practice

Centre; and midwife Karine Valle-Pouliot.

“The collaborative team approach to learning exposes gaps that

may exist in departmental guidelines and practices,” Dr. Ziegler

says. “If there’s a chance that safety may be undermined, we

work together to remedy these inconsistencies.” This is achieved

through workshops and skills drills where obstetrical techniques

can be practiced in a non-stressful environment. Close teamwork

is essential, adds Dr. Louise Miner, Chief Physician in Obstetrics,

because “we need to set aside the medical hierarchy in emergency

situations and communicate effectively about the patient’s needs.”

8 spriNG 2011

Newscheckup

It’s Care my for hospital!

all.

A MORE OB workshop combines serious training with a lighthearted

approach.


Anniversary tributes

keep coming

On Dec. 8, 2010, Lawrence

Bergman, President of the Government

Caucus and Member

for D’Arcy-McGee, rose in the

National Assembly to read the

following declaration:

“We congratulate the Jewish

General Hospital on its 75 th

anniversary. This hospital has

become a leader in the field of

research and is among the best

teaching institutions. Health care and related services are provided

to all Quebecers, regardless of their origin, religion, colour or language.

The Jewish represents what is finest in the tradition of the

Jewish people: benevolence and good deeds. And it is the age-old

Jewish concern for the well-being of the community which inspired

the founders of the Jewish to go about building the hospital

in the first place.

“I pay tribute to all the doctors, nurses, researchers, administrators

and volunteers who have given the best of themselves durng

the past 75 years. Today, The Jewish is a hospital where cuttingedge

knowledge and human compassion go hand in hand. May the

Jewish General Hospital continue to go from strength to strength.”

Transforming ideas

into efficiency

In keeping with its traditional focus on upgrading the quality of

care and putting patients’ needs first, the JGH is embarking on a

multi-year, hospital-wide program to improve efficiency and trim

waste in innovative ways. The program, known as Transformational

Change, calls for careful scrutiny of various hospital activities—

for instance, how patients move through various stages of treatment,

and how supplies are ordered, purchased and distributed.

Once weaknesses are identified, techniques to overcome them are

developed by specially trained members of staff.

“The reality of the economic state in Quebec and Canada is that

we have to do more with less,” says Dr. Hartley Stern, JGH Executive

Director. “Through Transformational Change, we will give staff

the ability to work more efficiently, to create, to innovate.” He notes

that when staff work in a more logical and consistent way, waste

can be cut and savings can then be reinvested in developing programs

that enhance patient care.

To symbolize the importance of Transformational Change, the

program is being co-chaired by two of the hospital’s top clinical administrators:

Lynne McVey, Director of Nursing, and Dr. Lawrence

Rosenberg, Chief of Surgical Services. “We will be starting small,

but ending up by involving everyone on staff, as well as patients and

their families,” says Ms. McVey. “We will also joined by members of

our community who are volunteering their expertise.”

Care – and training – for all

JGH technologist Thérèse Bendavid (seated) shares her skills with visiting

laboratory directors from China.

Eight laboratory directors from China’s Gansu Province have completed

an intensive, three-week management training course led by

Dr. Elizabeth MacNamara, JGH Chief of Diagnostic Medicine. The

trip to Canada last fall was arranged specifically for the visitors to

train at the JGH, in recognition of Dr. MacNamara’s expertise in

laboratory management.

Delegates concentrated on subjects they can apply in the hospitals

they represent, including training technologists, budget control,

research opportunities, informatics and point-of-care testing.

Two analysts from the Gansu Provincial People’s Hospital also participated

in more extensive, one-year training on all aspects of a

university hospital laboratory.

Dr. MacNamara first visited Gansu in 2008 at the invitation of

the Chinese Minister of Health, and will return to China this year

to help implement laboratory quality initiatives.

Hope & Cope turns 30

Hope & Cope is gearing up for anniversary celebrations in recognition

of 30 years of innovative, volunteer-based support for cancer

patients and their families. The festivities will climax in August on

the theme of “30 Years in 30 Days”. Among the premier events will

be the annual Soirée Fantastique (Aug. 23); a symposium featuring

leading experts on cancer and wellness; and the fabulous Denim &

Diamonds, where young adults (ages 18 to 35) will gather to support

the JGH Hope & Cope Wellness Centre and its young-adult

programming.

Also planned are many other exciting events, including picnics,

cooking classes in the Wellness Centre’s kitchen, and demonstrations

of yoga and qi gong. Many events will be free, while a nominal

fee of $30 will be charged for others. As soon as plans are finalized,

a full schedule will be posted at hopeandcope.ca.

JGH News

9


Open-door policy

Herzl CRIU Walk-in Centre welcomes patients

who lack a family doctor but want to avoid the ER

Sunday morning, and the whole family is together. Eddie Shahini and his wife, Franca,

are reading. Nearby, 7-year-old Vanessa and 5-year-old Andrew are playing quietly with

hand-held video games. A picture of domestic tranquility? It would be if this were an

average Sunday. But it’s not.

It’s early January and winter has landed with full force. Vanessa

has come down with a fever and Andrew’s cough won’t go away.

They need help—now. Which is why they and their parents are

waiting patiently in the bright, airy lounge of the Herzl CRIU Walkin

Centre, an innovative, community-based satellite of the Jewish

General Hospital, just up the block from the main hospital building.

Normally, Eddie and Franca would have two options. They could

keep the kids at home and hope for an appointment with their doctor

later in the week. (The risky down-side: a bad medical situation

might get much worse.) Or they could seek immediate help in

a hospital Emergency room. (The extremely fatiguing down-side:

they’d probably face a marathon wait at the height of flu season.)

Luckily, they have a third choice: the Herzl CRIU Walk-in Centre,

available 365 days a year to anyone without an appointment or a

prior phone call. Just drop in—which is what the Shahinis did.

Today, as on most days on the fifth floor at 5858 Côte-des-

Neiges, a line-up forms early, snaking around the corner and down

the hall by the time the Centre’s doors are opened. Scarves are unwound

and salty slush scraped off boots, amid hushed conversations

in French and English, as well as cell phone conversations in

Spanish, Polish and Chinese.

After registering and settling into their seats in the lounge, the

patients-to-be find what diversion they can. This being a Sunday,

some watch a gospel music show on the Walk-in Centre’s large flatscreen

television (kid-friendly DVD movies will be shown later.)

A couple of children are fascinated by the bubbles rising in the

water cooler as they fill their paper cones. Older fingers flip through

paperbacks and magazines, while younger ones tap on tiny screens.

Many people, many colours, many ages, all seeking the same thing:

relief—some from eye infections, others from back sprains, this

one from a bout of unexplained dizziness, that one from the sharp

twinges of pregnancy.

Mr. Shahini knows the routine because he brought his kids to the

Centre a week earlier. Vanessa was given antibiotics for a sore throat,

but now she’s running a fever. The ear infection that had been bothering

Andrew is gone, but his week-old cough hasn’t cleared up.

“We’re one sick family,” says Mr. Shahini. “I’m on antibiotics, too,

for strep throat. But it’s winter. What can you do?”

What you can’t do, he says, is run the ER gauntlet. “Even a couple

of hours here is better than who-knows-how-long in an ER. We’re

very happy with the way the kids were treated the last time they

were here. And it’s not like they were rushed in and out in two minutes.

There’s a real human connection. If the staff need to take their

time with you, that’s what they do.”

Even though waiting times in the Walk-in Centre are generally

10 spriNG 2011

Care for all.

Nurse Rosette Castor performs a preliminary assessment of Rolando

Rimando’s stomach discomfort.

shorter—sometimes much shorter—than in the ER, waits of three

hours or more are not unheard of during busy periods, such as cold

and flu season. But when waiting times are lengthy, patients are given

beepers so they can shop or run errands in the neighbourhood,

and be notified when their turn is coming up.

Though today’s visit means a great deal to the Shahinis, it does

raise a key question: Is such an ambitious project really worth

launching just to relieve some relatively simple aches and pains?

The answer is “Yes”, because there are far-reaching consequences

to the work of the Herzl CRIU Walk-in Centre. Perhaps most significantly,

it creates a highly desirable ripple effect in the healthcare

system by being the first to pick up on potentially serious medical

conditions in patients who can’t contact their regular doctor or have

no family doctor at all.


At the registrations desk, Coordinator Audrey Bouadana arranges for Monique

Perez to be seen by a doctor.

Since opening as a pilot project last summer, the Centre—along with a

counterpart at the Verdun Hospital—has also focused on easing the immense

pressure on the overburdened Emergency Department. By treating

fairly simple cases, the Walk-in Centre has diverted dozens of patients per

day away from the ER, which now has a greater ability to cope more quickly

and effectively with urgent cases.

As a further benefit, the Walk-in Centre deals promptly with minor ailments

which, if left untreated, could worsen into ER cases at a later date.

And when the ER does treat patients who have no family doctor, the Walkin

Centre handles their follow-up visits and tries to find a doctor for them

at the JGH’s Goldman Herzl Family Practice Centre or outside the hospital.

There are also instances where individuals with chronic diseases (for example,

hypertension or diabetes) need medical attention, but aren’t so sick

that their problems warrant an ER visit. The Walk-in Centre steps in to act

as a bridge, providing immediate care until these people can be seen by

their regular doctors. Without this assistance, they would probably have

headed straight for—and added to the strain on—the ER.

Thus, a concerted effort is being made by the Jewish General Hospital to

tackle two of Quebec’s (and Canada’s) most pressing healthcare problems:

excessive ER waiting times and shrinking access to care among those without

a family doctor.

“We are, against all odds, handling a lot of people in the Walk-in Centre,”

says Dr. Michael Malus, JGH Chief of Family Medicine. “It’s estimated that

somewhere between 30 and 40 per cent of Montrealers have no family doctor,

and we’re actively trying to do something about that. We’re also flagging

some of the ER’s ‘frequent flyers’ and treating them ourselves to take

the load off the ER. We’re the role model, the pioneer for interdisciplinary

primary care which has been shifted out of the hospital and into the community.”

So promising is this concept that the Herzl CRIU Walk-in Centre

(“CRIU” means it’s a Clinique réseau intégrée universitaire, or Integrated

University Network Clinic) may become the example upon which similar

facilities are eventually launched elsewhere in Montreal.

For this reason, its development has benefited from its close link with

the JGH, which can offer consultation and hospitalization, where necessary;

and with the CSSS de la Montagne, which can provide a wide array of

resources, such as home care. Strong support has also come from the Montreal

Regional Health and Social Services Agency, and McGill University.

For the moment, it’s too soon to compile any statistical

data about the direct effect of the Walk-in Centre on the

JGH’s ER. However, Dr. Marc Afilalo, Chief of the Emergency

Department, says he’s confident the Centre’s impact

is being felt. “This is a huge step forward,” he says, “not just

because it’s an attempt to do something concrete about ER

overcrowding, but because patients without a family doctor

can now get care that’s continuous and coordinated.”

Dr. Malus also notes that the “U” in “CRIU” is significant,

since it represents the JGH’s leadership role as teacher

of multidisciplinary health care in a university hospital setting.

This places the hospital at the forefront in training a

new wave of medical students, residents, nurses and other

professionals to work as members of closely integrated

healthcare teams.

The emphasis on teams and partnerships has prompted

the Walk-in Centre to develop a team of its own to cover

almost every situation, says Administrator Isabel Pereira.

In addition to doctors and nurses, patients can benefit

from consultations with a nutritionist, psychologist, social

worker, clinical pharmacologist, exercise specialist and foot

care specialist.

Ms. Pereira says the Walk-in Centre even offers classes

on diabetes, hypertension and healthy lifestyles, as well as

Continued … please turn the page.

Nurse Éric Harnois takes Émilie Provost-Cabana’s blood pressure.

JGH News

11


a mental health workshop on depression. In response to the obesity

epidemic among youngsters and teenagers, the psychologist and

exercise specialist can also counsel young walk-in patients about

weight loss.

Another important service involves prenatal care. “Our personnel

follow the pregnancies of women who come to us because they

don’t have anyone else who can do so,” says Head Nurse Mina Ladores.

“Even if the JGH is at capacity when these mothers need to

deliver, we can arrange to send them to other hospitals.”

To keep the Centre itself from becoming clogged, ample use is

made of nurse practitioners, adds Ms. Ladores. Special training

and certification entitle these nurses to perform certain tasks—

for instance, prescribing medication and ordering diagnostic

tests—that would normally be handled by doctors. As a result, Ms.

Ladores says, patients can be moved through the Centre at a brisker

pace, with the doctor always available to collaborate with the nurse

practitioner.

“The pace can sometimes be pretty hectic,” says Nurse Practitioner

Kelly Thorstad, “but it’s work that I love because I see it all—

people of all ages with a wide range of illnesses. Whether I’m treating

a patient with a chronic illness or someone who has no family

doctor, it feels good knowing I’m able to make a difference in the

lives of people who may have no one else to turn to.”

Dr. John Maunders examines Marie Michel Paul Charles.

12 spriNG 2011

It’s Care my for hospital!

all.

Administrator Isabel Pereira (seated) and Head Nurse Mina Ladores discuss

patient flow in the Herzl CRIU Walk-in Centre.

Come one, come all

No time is a good time to be sick, but Muriel Devemy can’t believe

her terrible luck. As a citizen of France, she’s been living and working

in Montreal for four years. Never had a serious health problem.

Never been to a hospital. Never even needed a doctor. And now,

four days before Christmas, just as she’s about to leave for a week’s

vacation in San Francisco—boom: she’s hit with some sort of eye

irritation.

Ms. Devemy, who works in communications in the film industry,

says she decided to give the Herzl CRIU Walk-in Centre a try after

she heard about it from her girlfriend, whose mother works at the

JGH. When she first arrived on a weekday evening in late December,

she was “quite stressed, because it was the first time I needed a doctor

in Canada. But everything went great. It was convenient being

able to come in after work and I’m relieved my vacation plans have

worked out.”

For Gustavo and Olma Andino, the Walk-in Centre came to the

rescue, because neither had seen their family doctor for at least 18

months and their files were closed. So when Mrs. Andino began

experiencing neck pain and a bit of dizziness on a Sunday morning

in early January, the Walk-in Centre provided the help she needed.

Here, too, word of mouth played a role, because Mr. Andino first

heard about the Centre last year from his niece who is a JGH nurse.

At that time, he needed to be checked for chest pains “and I got

good service quite quickly.”

Larisa Caragheorghii’s lunch-hour visit in late December was

actually a follow-up appointment—with no pain and plenty of

smiles. She was 10 weeks pregnant with her first child and had come

to see Nurse Practitioner Kelly Thorstad to make sure everything

was progressing properly. “I also want to ask her whether I should

be getting the flu vaccine when I’m pregnant,” said Ms. Caragheorghii,

“but otherwise, everything feels fine. It’s so comforting to

know there’s someone I can turn to.”


Légaré Street

De la Peltrie Street

Jewish General Hospital

Walk-In Centre

5858 Côte-des-Neiges, 5 th floor

Pav. H

Côte Ste-Catherine Road

Counting on the Walk-in Centre

Activities at the Herzl CRIU Walk-in Centre between

July and December 2010:

• Average visits per day: Approximately 80

• Vulnerable, doctorless patients from the CSSS de la Montagne

area who were assigned to doctors: 168

• Vulnerable, doctorless patients who were assigned to residents

or nurse practitioners at the JGH’s Goldman Herzl Family Practice

Centre: 166

• Doctorless obstetrics patients who were transferred to residents

at the Goldman Herzl Family Practice Centre: 40

• Doctorless patients, pregnant more than 16 weeks, who were

accepted into the Walk-in Centre’s low-risk prenatal clinic: 20

Warmest thanks to JGH donors

The generosity of private donors was instrumental in carrying out the

extensive renovations that created a home for the Herzl CRIU Walk-in

Centre—a testament to the importance of private funding in advancing

patient care for all. The JGH Foundation thanks all of the donors who are

enabling the hospital to achieve excellence in addressing the healthcare

needs of patients from across Montreal and throughout Quebec.

Côte-des-Neiges

At your service

The Herzl CRIU Walk-in Centre

is open 365 days a year to

anyone, without an appointment

or a prior phone call.

Located at on the fifth floor

of 5858 Côte-des-Neiges

(at the corner of de la Peltrie

Street), the Centre is open

from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

monday through Friday, and

from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

on weekends and statutory

holidays.

more information is available

at 514-340-8311.

Keep up to date with JGH News!

The world of the Jewish General Hospital

is yours to discover in JGH News.

By donating $36 or more to the

JGH Foundation, you’ll receive

JGH News by mail. Just phone

514-340-8251 or visit

www.jghfoundation.org.

This applies to all Foundation

donations, except memorial funds.

You will also receive a tax receipt

from the JGH Foundation for the

full amount of your donation.

For changes to your subscription,

please phone 514-340-8251 or e-mail

communications@jgh.mcgill.ca.

Your inside view of

“Care for all”!

NaNaMusical

Brighten your day by singing along with the

Jewish General Hospital’s NaNa Music Video at:

YouTube.com/NaNamusical

JGH News

13


Mind over matter

Coping with cancer through psychosocial support

When Elliot Shatsky first learned he had been targeted by cancer,

he fully expected to fight back on the battlefield of his body. But

in preparing to counterattack, he soon discovered that the battleground

had grown to encompass his mind. Sadness, stress, doubt, worry…

If he allowed himself to be overwhelmed by the negative emotions that his

mind generated, fighting the disease might become even tougher than he

anticipated.

What Mr. Shatsky needed was

“a place where my mind could

go—where it could sometimes

get out of the way for a while, and

let the doctors do their work.”

That refuge is what he found

with the help of self-hypnosis,

through counselling by Dr. Sylvain

Néron, a psychologist with a

speciality in oncology, and a team

member in the Louise Granofsky

Psychosocial Oncology Program

at the JGH Segal Cancer Centre.

More and more healthcare

professionals are now coming to

realize that medical treatment for

the body, though central in the

struggle against cancer, sometimes

needs to be complemented

by support for the emotions and

spirit. “Cancer affects the way patients see

themselves, think about themselves and

interact with their spouses, children, relatives

and friends,” says Dr. Zeev Rosberger,

Director of the Psychosocial Oncology

Program and Chief of the JGH Division of

Psychology.

“That’s why our program complements

the efforts of oncologists by drawing on the

expertise of social workers, psychologists,

psychiatrists, nurses, sex therapists, couple

and family therapists, and chaplains. Our

team helps to alleviate the significant levels

of stress that 35 to 40 per cent of cancer

patients experience before, during and after

their bodies have been treated.”

For Mr. Shatsky, the stress took hold in

fall 2007, when he was diagnosed with lung

cancer. Treatment began with intravenous

chemotherapy, followed by oral chemotherapy

and, in spring 2009, surgery to remove

a lung. For more than a year, everything

seemed fine, but last summer, the reappearance

of cancer was confirmed and Mr.

Shatsky was put back on intravenous chemotherapy.

14 spriNG 2011

During chemotherapy, Elliot Shatsky chats with Dr. Sylvain Néron about

coping with cancer-related stress.

These broad changes in his medical condition,

as well as day-to-day ups and downs

at all stages of his diagnosis, testing and

treatment, have led to what Mr. Shatsky

calls “the roller-coaster effect. When someone

gets in your face and tells you that you

have cancer, it utterly changes you. It’s overwhelming.

I’ve never experienced a faster

life-change than that. You begin living from

scan to scan. One bad scan and—boom!—

you’re down low. One good scan and—

zoom!—you’re up high. These emotions

can be really hard to manage.”

When help was offered through the Psychosocial

Oncology Program, Mr. Shatsky

took it and, after a couple of sessions, felt that

he and Dr. Néron had forged “a tremendous

relationship, which is why I consider him a

friend. Early on, he didn’t say, ‘Don’t worry,

everything will be okay.’ He dealt head-on

with reality, counselled me and taught me

how to ride the roller-coaster.”

Prior to surgery, Dr. Néron proposed

using hypnosis to calm Mr. Shatsky’s particularly

frazzled nerves—“and to be honest,

I thought it wasn’t working, but I was

Care for all.

To contact the Louise Granofsky

Psychosocial Oncology Program

at the JGH Segal Cancer Centre,

please phone 514-340-8222,

extension 3223, or e-mail

tgreenidge@jgh.mcgill.ca

willing to go along. He asked me

to create a safe haven in my mind,

somewhere warm and protected

where I’ve already been or would

like to be. In hindsight, I now

know the hypnosis worked so

well that, at the time, I wasn’t

even aware of the seriousness of

the surgery until it was over.

“The main thing that Dr.

Néron instilled in me is an attitude

of ‘Keep living; don’t stop.’

It pretty well sums up the caring

philosophy and the support

of everyone on the staff of this

hospital. Their warmth is contagious.”

The existence of such a program

may, at first, seem redundant

in a hospital like the JGH

which is known for compassionate care and

for treating the patient as an individual,

rather than as a collection of symptoms.

However, Dr. Rosberger explains that when

it comes to cancer, patients need more from

a hospital than a warm, positive approach;

they require help from specific types of

healthcare experts within a structured program.

For this reason, Dr. Rosberger began collaborating

in the early to mid-2000s with

Allan Ptack, Director of the JGH Department

of Social Services, to work more closely

with cancer patients. They also began

mapping out plans for what was formally

inaugurated in 2008 as the Louise Granofsky

Psychosocial Oncology Program.

Dr. Rosberger notes that patients also

derive great benefits from the wide array

of volunteer-based services that Hope &

Cope provides. However, in its solidly clinical

focus, the Psychosocial Oncology Program

functions as a “sister program” that

draws on a staff of professional counsellors.

Patients can be referred by nurses, doctors,

Continued … please turn to page 24.


REPORT

Exciting times

for the entire

JGH community

Rarely in the history of the Jewish General Hospital has there been an era when the feeling of dynamism and

excitement has been more palpable than it is today. Everywhere we look, new facilities are being opened and

new programs are being launched to provide quicker, easier access to outstanding, compassionate healthcare

for patients of all backgrounds from across Montreal and throughout Quebec.

Major accomplishments

include building a new

facility for Quebec’s first

Centre for Child Development

and Mental Health;

construction of the Herzl

CRIU Walk-in Centre; relocation

of the Department

of Obstetrics and Gynecology

to modern, renovated

facilities in Pavilion H; and

expansion of the Division

of Endocrinology’s Ambulatory

Centre. And that’s all just in the past

six months.

By the end of this year, the entire community

will be able to enjoy enhanced

access to the most advanced and comprehensive

care with the anticipated launch

of an expanded Breast Referral and Investigation

Centre, a new Skin Cancer Centre,

the Peter Brodje Lung Cancer Centre and a

Radiology Department that has been upgraded

with the latest in state-of-the-art

equipment and digital technology.

Kudos to a great team!

The Boards of Directors of the Jewish General Hospital

and the JGH Foundation greatly value the contribution

of all the people who support the hospital and its commitment

to providing excellence in patient care, research

and teaching for all Quebecers. We would like to thank

the dedicated individuals of the JGH Foundation for

their commitment, passion and tireless efforts—day in,

day out—in raising critical funds and public awareness

about the JGH. Their talent, energy and enthusiasm

have played an integral role in the tremendous success

of the Power to Heal campaign—the most ambitious

fundraising campaign in the JGH’s history—which has

not only reached, but surpassed, its $200 million goal.

Equally exciting, construction

has begun on

the hospital’s new Emergency

Department, the

first phase of the new

critical-care wing, Pavilion

K. Many other vital

initiatives are also in the

works, which will allow

Montrealers and Quebecers

to reap the full benefit

of the latest medical and

technological advances.

Among them are creation of a Molecular

Pathology Institute, major expansion

of the Information Technology Department’s

infrastructure and software applications,

and establishment of a Centre of

Excellence in Spinal Surgery.

All of these exciting projects are part

of our plan to build the hospital of the

future with the very best people, equipment,

facilities and programs. This will

enable the JGH to meet the changing

and ever-increasing healthcare needs of

Quebecers and to overcome the challenges

facing our healthcare system as a whole.

What is truly remarkable is that these

impressive advances and further initiatives,

however vital they may be, would

not have been possible and could not even

be contemplated without the inspired

partnerships we enjoy with our dedicated

medical staff and our very committed

supporters. Indeed, each accomplishment,

each step forward bears the mark of the

many people who are passionate about

supporting the JGH and the outstanding

individuals, ideas and dreams that drive

continued excellence in patient care, research

and teaching for the benefit of all

the communities we serve.

Such partnerships will again be the key

to our success in achieving our common

goal of better health and better health

care for the people of Montreal and Quebec,

now and in the future. We hope you

will join us along the way for this exciting

journey, and take a great deal of pride in

what we accomplish together.

— Myer Bick

President and CEO

JGH News

March 2011 Jewish General Hospital Foundation jghfoundation.org

15


JGH stories

During the 76 years of its

existence, the Jewish General

Hospital has touched many

people and changed many

lives. They have left a trail of

inspiring and compelling stories

that showcase the unique

qualities and spirit that make

the JGH such a special and

valued part of our community.

This section presents one of

the many incredible stories

that are featured on the JGH

Stories website (http://stories.

jghfoundation.org).

Coming soon!

2 nd issue of the JGH

Foundation special report

In June, JGH Foundation supporters

and partners can look forward to

the second issue of the JGH Foundation

Special Report. This issue will

provide you with even more unique

insights into the opportunities that

are shaping the future of health care

at the Jewish General Hospital and

across Quebec. Also featured will be

inspiring stories about our donors

and how their efforts and commitment

are helping the JGH remain at

the forefront of scientific discovery

and clinical excellence. All that, and

much more.

16 spriNG 2011

No-nonsense confidence

My story started as innocently as a lot I am sure... I had just returned

from a summer of guiding, biking, hiking and kayaking trips in Eastern

Canada. Along with the sun tans and sun burns that came with hours and

hours of fun in the sun, I developed a patch of irritated dry skin on the

bridge of my nose. Thinking nothing of it, I discarded the spot all summer

and went about my business.

Looking back, I actually had this recurring

spot of dry skin for well over a

year, but had ignored it until that summer

when the extended periods of sun

really made it act up. There was no pain,

per se, just irritation and once in a while,

bleeding.

Upon my return to Montreal, I booked

a visit with a dermatologist who, as one

who does not beat around the bush, hit

me plain and simple. “That’s cancer”, he

said. I have to be honest; at first, I didn’t

really think much of it. Even though there

is a history of cancer in my family, for

whatever reason, it didn’t affect me much

at that first instance. We discussed what

it meant (it was Basal Cell Carcinoma, he

was pretty sure, and we could handle it

promptly), and what the next steps would

be. It was only after my initial visit that it

hit me. And, boy, did it wallop me good.

Sitting in my car in the parking lot of the

medical clinic, my emotions boiled over

and I sat there, alone, crying and wondering

what was next, questioning my mortality

and wishing and hoping this didn’t

mean death. I know, this may sound

pretty severe for a non life-threatening

cancer, but I guess I was really hit by the

realization of my own mortality there and

then.

So the next few steps involved the biopsies,

bandaging, awaiting results, and

talking about it with friends and family

(lots of talking—wow did that help!). Finally,

when all was confirmed, I had my

meeting with Dr. Manish Khanna at the

JGH. He was recommended as one of only

a handful of specialists in a particular type

of skin cancer surgery called MOHS.

Care for all.

Right from the beginning, Dr. Khanna

took care of me as only an expert can. At

no time during any of the meetings with

Dr. Khanna did I feel stressed, scared or

worried about any of the upcoming procedures.

He was excited about this new

type of surgery and 100% confident in its

effectiveness. I can’t truly express what

his quiet confidence meant to me as a

cancer patient.

In my personal life dealing with the

surgery, I had moments when I felt alone.

But when I visited with Dr. Khanna and

the staff at the JGH, I felt truly important

and part of a much larger story being

enacted at the JGH. I can’t quite put

my finger on it, but there’s something

special about the team at the JGH... this

quiet confidence that somehow screams

at you every time you are there. That may

sound like an oxy-moron, but for those of

you that have been lucky enough to be

treated by this team of professionals, you

know what I mean.

At the end of the day, I am cancer free

and I owe it to the amazing team at the

JGH, namely Dr. Khanna. I have made certain

changes in my life to help reduce the

possibility of another run-in with cancer.

However, I know that if it were to happen

again, I would simply put myself back into

the good hands of the JGH. I am loving

life more than ever and looking forward

to many, many more fun-filled summers!

Thank you Dr. Khanna, and the whole

team at the JGH. You are true heroes to

me and countless others!

Read more incredible stories or share your very own story at

http://stories.jghfoundation.org

— Corey Pomkoski

March 2011 Jewish General Ho


Upcoming events for members

Governors' Circle

This spring, members of the Governors’ Circle will be invited to the

following exclusive, special events:

Spring Lecture

Private tour of new hospital facilities

may 10, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

“It’s not often that you have the opportunity to

find out about the latest medical and technical

advances from the very doctors and researchers

whose vision and work are shaping the future of

healthcare. The lectures are positively fascinating

and provide a tantalizing glimpse of what’s coming

down the road, from advances in robotic surgery

to personalized medicine.”

— The Honourable E. Leo Kolber

The Genetics of Aging and Other Things

You Can Blame Your Parents For

By Brent Richards, MD, M.Sc.

JGH Division of Endocrinology

may 3, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Block Amphitheatre, Pavilion B-106,

Jewish General Hospital

Refreshments will be served at 8:30 p.m.

The lecture will be given in English, with a question period in French and English

Open to all members of the JGH Foundation Governors’ Circle

Space is limited: first come, first served.

Please RSVP without delay to Tiffany England at 514-340-8222, ext. 5467.

Open to Gold and Platinum members, JGH Foundation Governors’ Circle

Space is limited: first come, first served.

Please RSVP without delay to Tiffany England at 514-340-8222, ext. 5467.

Annual luncheon with the

Executive Director of the JGH

Featuring Hartley S. Stern, MD, FRCS(C), FACS

may 3, Noon to 1:00 p.m.

Open to Platinum members, JGH Foundation

Governors’ Circle

Space is limited: first come, first served. Please RSVP without

delay to Tiffany England at 514-340-8222, ext. 5467.

Become a member!

Today more than 4,600 members of the JGH Foundation Governors’

Circle are providing exemplary support and are playing an important

part in advancing clinical research and/or patient care at the

JGH, with the promise these endeavours hold for all patients and

their loved ones.

You, too, can make a difference by joining us today! For more

information about membership or upcoming events involving the

Governors’ Circle, please contact Larry Sidel at 514-340-8222, ext.

1922, or at lsidel@jgh.mcgill.ca.

sweet holidays

sweet holidays at the JGH

Angie Holcman of Regal Confections

More than three years ago, Regal Confections, a

Canada-wide distributor based in Montreal, was approached

by the JGH Foundation to donate chocolates

to be given away during Christmas and Chanukah

to thank hospital staff for their dedication and hard

work. Company President Joe Neufeld accepted without

any hesitation and, from then on, the distribution

of chocolates has become a regular event throughout

the JGH to the great enjoyment of the hospital’s staff

and, starting in 2009, of visitors too.

The 2010 holiday

season saw this unique

tradition reach new

heights, with even more

smiling faces. On November

17, Les Aliments

Uni Midlon Foods, a

food broker based in

Saint-Laurent, became

involved, distributing

complimentary cookies

to doctors, staff and visitors

in the Segal Cancer

Centre, Emergency, Dermatology,

Orthopedics,

Gastroenterology and

the Intensive Care Unit.

Jodie Mintz Ginsberg of

Les Aliments Uni Midlon Foods

This was followed on December 14 and 23 by the handing

out of thousands of icy square chocolates, again

generously donated by Regal Confections.

“It was incredibly heartwarming for us to see so

many smiles illuminating the faces of patients, relatives

and visitors,” said Larry Sidel, Vice-President and

Chief Operating Officer of the JGH Foundation. “We

are grateful to Regal Confections and Les Aliments Uni

Midlon Foods for their generous and unique contribution—another

demonstration of the JGH’s philosophy

of going one step further in caring for all.”

JGH News

spital Foundation jghfoundation.org 17


Events

Events

18 spriNG 2011

Community action action

Throughout the year, the JGH Foundation hosts or benefits from a wide variety of events that call upon all of us to

take action in support of initiatives that empower the Jewish General Hospital. This enables the hospital to save

lives, improve patients’ quality of life and provide the most vulnerable members of society with the care they need.

past events

Let’s be unforgettable

October 20 – Zante Restaurant

Chair: Jeff Solomon

Raised over $67,000 for the Program for

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia (PADD)

The creation of a JGH Program for Alzheimer’s

Disease and Dementia (PADD) is vital in bringing

together the clinical, teaching, research and

educational activities involving dementia. It

also builds necessary synergy and momentum to

avert an impending epidemic. Establishing the

PADD will contribute to improving the lives of

individuals with dementia and those looking after

them in Montreal and across Quebec. Please

visit www.jghfoundation.org/sections/vpadd.

html for more information on this vital initiative.

Fall Fling

October 26 – Cavalli Restaurant

Co-Chairs: Gabrielle Bélanger and Marie-Aude

Gagnon-Rousseau

Raised over $70,000 to purchase endoscopic

equipment for the Division of Radiation

Oncology. Special thanks to Platinum sponsor

Stikeman Elliott LLP for its generous contribution

to the event’s success.

Fundraiser Dinner 2010

for Oncology

October 29 – Crowne Plaza

Organized by Joe and Lynne Gentile

and their family and friends

Raised over $11,000 for oncology patient

care at the Segal Cancer Centre

Please visit www.jgh.ca/SegalCancerCentre

for more information.

2 nd Annual Dimitrios Banousis Fund

for Pulmonary Hypertension

November 6 – Buffet Sorrento

Organized by the Dimitrios Banousis family

and friends

Raised over $18,000 for the Dimitrios Banousis

Pulmonary Hypertension Fund

Pulmonary hypertension, high blood pressure in

the lungs, is a rare disorder requiring specialized

treatment in an organized and caring environment.

The JGH Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic is

such a place, where these patients are treated by

physicians, nurses, physiotherapists and pharmacists.

The clinic is also a reference centre for pulmonary

hypertension in Quebec, internationally

recognized for offering the very latest in care

and for being at the forefront of pioneering

research. The clinic has many needs that can be

met only through private support. The Dimitrios

Banousis Pulmonary Hypertension Fund plays a

crucial role in helping purchase equipment that

allows for excellence in care.

6 th Annual Gloria’s Girls presents

It’s a Girl Thing, in honour of Chris-

Ann Nakis, owner and operator of

Bâton Rouge Restaurant Complexe

Desjardins and De la montagne

November 7 – Bâton Rouge Restaurant,

De la Montagne Street

Co-chairs: Susan Bercovitch and Maxine

Shapiro-Rosenblatt

Raised over $100,000 for the Gloria Shapiro

Endowment Fund for Ovarian Cancer Research,

which supports ovarian cancer research at the

Segal Cancer Centre. Please visit www.jgh.ca/

SegalCancerCentre for more information.

2 nd Doctors Gala

November 18 – Congregation Shaar

Hashomayim

Co-Chairs: Sarah and Allen Rubin, and

Heather and Joseph Paperman

Raised $925,000 for the Department of

Medicine Endowment Fund

Please visit www.jghfoundation.org/sections/

eventsgala.html for more information.

Sincere thanks to major sponsors HD Supply

Litemor, Merck, Pentax, Great West Life, AMD

Ritmed, Bernice and Morton Brownstein,

Janssen-Ortho, Pharmacie Frayne & Digenova

and Reitmans (Canada) Ltd.

The Department of Medicine deals with all

medical aspects of disease (except surgery) and is

the largest JGH department, with 15 divisions or

subspecialties: Allergy and Clinical Immunology,

Cardiology, Clinical Epidemiology, Dermatology,

Endocrinology and Metabolism, Gastroenterology,

Genetics, Geriatric Medicine, Hematology,

Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine, Medical

Biochemistry, Nephrology, Pulmonary Medicine,

and Rheumatology. Its mission is to provide excellent

medical care, train medical students and

young physicians to assess and manage patients,

and advance the frontiers of knowledge about

illness and its treatment through cutting-edge

patient-oriented research. The Department of

Medicine’s Endowment Fund—created and supported

by private donations—ensures a stable

flow of funding year to year. This support helps

to secure the continued recruitment of the very

best doctors and scientists from around the

world, thereby strengthening the department’s

ability to provide world-class care, teaching and

research.

F*** Cancer Event

November 20 – Club Newtown Downtown

Organized by Julie Greenbaum and friends

Raised over $7,000 to benefit research and

treatment in ovarian, breast, colon, lymphoma

and lung cancers at the Segal Cancer Centre.

Please visit www.jgh.ca/SegalCancerCentre

for more information.

Care for all.

Rock for Hope

March 19 – Café Théâtre, 1832 Ste-Catherine

Benefiting the Segal Cancer Centre

Amount raised unavailable at press time.

Upcoming events

may 14

POP!

Complexe Dompark

Benefiting the renovation of a new JGH

residents’ lounge

Info: Tali Chemtob – 514-340-8222, ext. 5391

June 6

19th Annual JGH-Silver Star

mercedes-Benz Golf Classic,

honouring morton Brownstein

Elm Ridge Golf & Country Club

Benefiting the Program for Alzheimer’s

Disease and Dementia (PADD)

Info: Tali Chemtob – 514-340-8222, ext. 5391

June 22

14th Annual JGH Tennis Classic

Jarry Park

Co-Chairs: Pat Ifrah-Stein, George Itzkovitz

and David Souaid

Sponsorship Chair: Richard Stein

Benefiting the Skin Cancer Centre

Info: Adrianna Di Pardo, 514-340-8222

ext. 2549

It is immensely gratifying to know

that together we can accomplish

great things to help people

throughout Montreal and Quebec

for many years to come. To support

any of the events and/or initiatives

described in these pages, please

contact the JGH Foundation at 514-

340-8251. Donations can also be

made at www.jghfoundation.org.

If you are interested in organizing

a fundraising event, please contact

Mary Etzitian, Associate Coordinator,

Events, at 514-340-8222, ext.

3986.

Thank you for making a difference!

Jewish General Hospital Foundation, 3755, ch. de la Côte Ste-Catherine, A-107, Montreal (Quebec) H3T 1E2

Tel.: 514-340-8251 · Fax: 514-340-8220 · info@jghfoundation.org

March 2011 Jewish General Hospital Foundation jghfoundation.org


Cutting-edge surgery requires less cutting

As a pioneer in minimally invasive vascular surgery, Dr. Cherrie Abraham

is delighted that patients have treatment options where no hope

existed before. This has made him a sought-after surgeon not only

for JGH patients, but among Canadian and international colleagues who are

eager to learn his breakthrough techniques.

Dr. Cherrie Abraham (left and in inset) performs vascular surgery at the JGH with Dr. Christos Lioupis

(centre), the McGill Fellow in Advanced Aortic and Peripheral Endovascular Surgery, and Dr. Kayvan

Abaiian, the McGill Fellow in Vascular Surgery.

The focus of Dr. Abraham’s work is aortic

aneurysms, swellings in the wall of the

aorta, the body’s largest artery which runs

from the heart to the abdomen. If a rupture

occurs, it can cause severe pain, internal

hemorrhage and death. Previously,

some patients had nowhere to turn, because

their cases were too high-risk for conventional

open-chest surgery. However, they

have benefited from the minimally invasive

treatment known as fenestrated or

branched endovascular aneurysm repair

(complex EVAR).

“Traditional open repair of these complex

aneurysms in the chest and abdomen

are some of the most invasive operations

that surgeons perform,” says Dr. Abraham,

“If we can lower the compication rate and

get patients out of hospital sooner, we have

to continue to push the envelope with these

new techniques”.

Over the past several years, Dr. Abraham,

an attending staff physician at the JGH since

2003, has established advanced aortic endovascular

programs across Canada, acting as

team leader for the first complex cases in

Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, London,

Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and Montreal

(at the Royal Victoria and Hôtel-Dieu Hospitals).

“I help or perform these surgeries

in centres besides the JGH about 20 to 30

times a year,” says Dr. Abraham, who has

conducted or supervised 90 per cent of all

endovascular repairs of thoracoabdominal

aortic aneurysms in Canada.

From mid-2010 to mid-2011, about 12

to 15 complex endovascular aneurysm repairs—believed

to be the country’s highest

rate—will have been performed at the JGH

by Dr. Abraham. It also makes him a rarity

in his field, given his ability to perform

traditional as well as highly specialized endovascular

procedures. He assisted his U.S.

mentor, Dr. Timothy Chuter, in performing

Canada’s first endovascular repair of a

thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm in 2002

at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal,

and led a team from St. Michael’s Hospital

in Toronto in the first operation of its kind

in Ontario.

Dr. Abraham has also been instrumental

in adapting these techniques to repair the

Living happily

after EVAR

Instead of opening the chest or abdomen

to insert a graft (a tube-shaped piece of

fabric) to reinforce the area weakened by

an aneurysm, surgeons who perform fenestrated

or branched endovascular aneurysm

repair (complex EVAR) gain access to the

aorta via small incisions in the groin. The

graft is guided to the aorta through smaller

arteries with the help of a stent, a mesh-like

metallic tube.

This type of minimally invasive surgery

results in shorter recovery (three to four

days, rather than seven to ten for traditional

surgery); little or no post-operative ICU

care; and fewer of the risks of open-chest

surgery, such as infection, kidney failure

and stroke.

What makes a patient unsuitable for

open repair? Age, multiple medical conditions,

a “challenging” vascular anatomy

and previous surgeries. So far, since there

is only data on the short-term efficacy and

safety of complex EVAR, open surgery is

still preferable for young, fit patients.

aortic arch (located above the heart) with

a stent graft, whose “branches” allow blood

flow to be maintained in major vessels connected

to the aorta. Last October, in operating

on a JGH patient who was too high-risk

for conventional surgery, Dr. Abraham became

first in the world to perform this type

of surgery. “That was truly a remarkable

achievement,” says Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg,

JGH Chief of Surgical Services. “The patient

had no ICU stay and spent only four days

in hospital.”

Dr. Abraham has since completed two

similar cases at the JGH and one at Toronto

General Hospital, with two planned for

Vancouver. Only five surgeons worldwide

have performed the surgery, and after each

intervention they explore ways to refine

the procedure. “I train people to go out as

leaders and offer that expertise,” says Dr.

Abraham, who is Program Director at the

JGH and the MUHC for a fellowship in advanced

aortic and peripheral endovascular

surgery. “A Saudi Fellow who trained with

us last year is now the most highly specialized

in his field in the Middle East.”

JGH News

19


20 spriNG 2011

Two big events, one committed

The arithmetic works out perfectly: divide two of Quebec’s

largest fundraising events into three relatives, and you get

one dedicated family that’s determined to eradicate cancer—with

thousands of dollars left over for treatment, prevention

and research at the JGH Segal Cancer Centre.

Even so, Jeremy Shafter can’t resist tweaking the equation. “The three of

us are in a single family, of course,” he says, “but when I’m on my bicycle in

the Ride to Conquer Cancer, or when I see my mother walking in the Weekend

to End Women’s Cancers, it feels as if everyone who participates is in

one large family. No matter which team you’re on or who your teammates

are, we all feel connected to each other when we’re out there.”

Even so, the Shafters

remain something of

an anomaly, with one

family producing participants

for both events.

Mr. Shafter, 29, was the

first to take the plunge

in 2009 when he set off

for Quebec City from

Montreal in the inaugural

two-day Ride. Last

summer, he did a repeat

performance, and this

July he’ll be back for

trek number 3 in the Enbridge

Ride to Conquer

Cancer. His mother,

Joelle, donned her

sneakers last year for her first time in the

two-day, cross-Montreal walk in the Pharmaprix

Weekend to End Women’s Cancers,

a feat she plans to repeat this August. Inspired

by her mother and brother, 25-yearold

Alexandra will be at her mother’s side

this summer as a first-time Weekend walker.

The Shafters count themselves lucky that

cancer has not touched any of their relatives,

but they feel deeply about the deaths

of two close friends, plus the fact that one

friend is fighting cancer, while another is in

remission.

Joelle Shafter (centre) with her teammates at the 2010 Pharmaprix

Weekend to End Women’s Cancers.

The essentials

The 2011 Pharmaprix Weekend to End Women’s

Cancers, Aug. 27 and 28, will raise funds for

treatment, prevention and research into all types

of women’s cancers at the JGH Segal Cancer Centre.

Participants have the option of walking one

day or both, with everyone paying a $75 registration

fee. Those who sign up for the full weekend

make a commitment to raise at least $2,000,

while one-day walkers must raise at least $1,250.

Participants walk a total of 60 kilometres

through the streets of Montreal, rain or shine.

At the half way point on Saturday, they enjoy

entertainment at a camping area and sleep overnight

in tents. The walk resumes Sunday morning.

www.endcancer.ca 514-393-WALK (9255)

It’s Care my for hospital!

all.

Joelle Shafter (right) will be walking with her

daughter, Alexandra, in the Pharmaprix Weekend to

End Women’s Cancers, while her son, Jeremy, will

hit the road on his bicycle in the Enbridge Ride to

Conquer Cancer.

All meals, drinks, tents and washroom facilities

are provided.

Anyone who is unable to walk the route but

wants to get involved can be a crew member who

serves meals, assists walkers or performs other

necessary jobs. Crew members pay the $75 registration

fee, and it is encouraged but not required

that they raise $500. Opportunities are also available

for volunteers.

For more information about the Pharmaprix

Weekend to End Women’s Cancers—including

registration, joining or forming a team, fund raising

and training—please visit the website at www.

endcancer.ca or phone 514-393-WALK (9255).


family, three eager participants

Jeremy Shafter heads for Quebec City in the 2010 Ride to

Conquer Cancer.

“The Ride is extremely demanding

physically and mentally,” says Mr.

Shafter, who works in the family business

selling heating and steam supplies.

“But if I get tired while riding, I think

about those who died. Or if I pass someone

on a bike with a yellow ‘survivor’

flag, that’s what gives me strength. My

pain is nothing compared to that.”

The family effort had its beginnings

two years ago, when Mr. Shafter became

aware that the CoreXcellence team had

been organized for the Ride by Don

White, the owner of a gym where Mr.

Shafter trains. His enthusiasm was so

infectious that his mother eventually

became the team’s fund-raising manager.

In addition, Mrs. Shafter, a jeweller,

has made and donated bracelets whose

proceeds are added to the totals of any

team members who need help hitting

their fund-raising targets. In 2010,

CoreXcellence raised a total of $80,000

in the Ride, while Mrs. Shafter alone

collected $2,500 in the Weekend. As of

late January, 50 CoreXcellence members

had signed up for the 2011 Ride and

nine for the upcoming Weekend.

Nuts and bolts

The 2011 Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer

hits the road on July 9 and 10 to help

fund cancer research and care at the JGH

Segal Cancer Centre. To take part, each rider

pays a $75 registration fee and raises at

least $2,500.

After the final check-in on Saturday

morning, riders spend Saturday and Sunday

pedalling from Montreal to Quebec City,

rain or shine. At the half way point in Trois

Rivères, they gather at a camping area to

relax, enjoy entertainment and sleep overnight

in tents. Then on Sunday, the ride resumes.

Throughout the trip, all meals, drinks,

www.conquercancer.ca 1-866-996-8356

Last in the family to get actively involved

was Alexandra Shafter, who is

studying photography in San Francisco,

but visits Montreal regularly. Although

2011 will be her first year as a Weekend

walker, she notes that she was involved

in the Ride last summer as the team’s official

photographer and as a CoreXcellence

assistant on the sidelines.

“I saw the joy and happiness that it

brought them and I couldn’t resist,” says

Ms. Shafter. “I’m in shape and last November,

I completed a half-marathon in

San Francisco. But for now, the Weekend

is the event I feel most comfortable

participating in.”

Despite the difficulties in cycling to

Quebec City, Mr. Shafter is heartened by

his memories of his previous two Rides.

“The thing to keep in mind is that it’s

not a race; it’s people enjoying themselves

because of the feeling they get out

there when they realize they’re doing

something special.”

“At the same time,” adds Mrs. Shafter,

“it’s very rewarding to know your children

share your ideals and commitment

to such an important cause.”

tents, medical aid and mechanical assistance

for bikes are available.

Individuals who are unable to ride can

get involved as crew members who serve

meals, assist riders or perform other necessary

tasks. Crew members pay the $75 registration

fee, and it is encouraged but not

required that they also raise $500.

For more information about the Enbridge

Ride to Conquer Cancer—including registration,

joining or forming a team, fund raising,

training or any aspect of the event—please

visit the website at www.conquercancer.ca

or phone 1-866-996-8356.

JGH News

21


esearCH aT THe LadY davis iNsTiTUTe

22 spriNG 2011

Dr. William Foulkes

Genetics reheats cold cases

The mystery began in 1976. Adolfo Pampena was diagnosed with a rare form

of cancer, including a strange combination of symptoms and tumours in his

stomach and colon. His perplexed medical team could not determine the

cause of his disease or the risk for his descendents.

Thirty-five years later, the answers are outlined in a

study led by investigators at the JGH Lady Davis Institute

for Medical Research (LDI), the Research Institute of the

McGill University Health Centre, and the McGill Program

in Cancer Genetics at the Gerald Bronfman Centre for

Clinical Research in Oncology. Senior author of the study—

recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine—is

Dr. William Foulkes, a genetics researcher at the

LDI and the MUHC’s Research Institute.

The researchers pinpointed a culprit gene, which is

involved in regulating the separation of chromosomes.

Instability during cell division can cause chromosomes

to end up in the wrong place, leading to the development

of tumours. “My father and family were relieved that the

cancer risk for other relatives is much less than we thought,”

says Mary Pampena, Adolfo’s daughter. “We now know what

screening test to perform in the future.”

Value of robotic surgery confirmed

Robot-assisted surgery, performed with technology

such as the Jewish General Hospital’s

da Vinci Surgical System, dramatically

improves outcomes in patients with uterine, endometrial,

and cervical cancer, a JGH study has found.

With fewer post-operative complications and shorter

hospital stays, robotic procedures also cost less, concludes

the study, whose results were published in late 2010 in The

Journal of Robotic Surgery and The International Journal of

Gynecological Cancer.

“Patients’ quality of life is dramatically improved,” says

Dr. Walter Gotlieb, who led the study and is Director of

Gynecologic Oncology at the JGH Segal Cancer Centre.

“They use far less narcotic pain medication—sometimes

nothing stronger than Tylenol.”

Robotic surgery technology was developed to overcome

the limitations of minimally invasive surgery, including such

notoriously difficult procedures as laparoscopy for cancer.

“Laparoscopy is the gold standard of treatment for endometrial

cancer,” Dr. Gotlieb says, “but the learning curve is too

steep for most surgeons. At the JGH, we went from only 15

per cent of our endometrial cancer patients undergoing laparoscopy

to 95 per cent using robotic surgery. Previously, for

cervical cancer, we did not perform minimally invasive surgery

at all, whereas now all of our patients benefit from it.”

Care for all.

In another study in the Journal of the American Medical

Association, Dr. Foulkes describes solving a mystery

involving five families with a long history of nontoxic multinodular

goiter. Goiter, a thyroid disease, can lead to extreme

swelling of the neck or larynx, but its cause is often

iodine insufficiency and not genetics. While multinodular

goiter was known to be genetic, no one had ever located the

specific gene or mutation that was responsible—until now.

A team led by Dr. Foulkes and Dr. Marc Tischkowitz of

the LDI and the Program in Cancer Genetics found that the

mutation changes the protein in only one place. “A mutation

in a disease gene usually causes many problems,” says

Dr. Foulkes, “but here we have no evidence it causes anything

except goiter.” He and his colleagues also confirmed

an idea, first raised in 1974, that a genetic link exists between

multinodular goiter and an unusual type of ovarian

tumour.

Dr. Walter Gotlieb performs robot-assisted surgery.

In a letter to Dr. Joseph Portnoy, JGH Director of Professional

Services, a patient with complex endometrial cancer,

lavishly praised her “surgeon and his robot” and called the

device a “marvel”.

The da Vinci Surgical System was brought to the Jewish

General Hospital in 2006 through the generosity and initiative

of private donors.


C. difficile targeted

by promising new drug

For the first time in several decades, a new

antiobiotic has been found to be more effective

against C. difficile infection than existing

treatments, says a study co-authored by

Dr. mark miller, a clinical investigator at the Lady

Davis Institute for medical Research.

In trials conducted by Canadian

and U.S. researchers, the new antibiotic

Fidaxomicin demonstrated a

45-per-cent reduction in recurrences

of C. difficile, compared to the existing

licensed treatment, says the study

whose results were published in The

New England Journal of Medicine.

Fidaxomicin is not yet licenced, but

researchers are optimistic about its

eventual approval for patients.

C. difficile is a bacterium that usually

lives in harmony with other types

of bacteria that are normally found in

the human intestine. When a patient

is treated with antibiotics (often while

in hosptial), many normal bacteria are

eliminated. C. difficile jumps in to fill

this “vacancy” and, while multiplying,

Tops in cancer research

Over the past three years, laboratory

studies by Dr. Michael Pollak at the

JGH Lady Davis Institute for Medical

Research and the JGH Segal Cancer

Centre have shown the widely used

anti-diabetic drug Metformin can

inhibit colorectal cancer in mice. The

grant will enable the Cancer Prevention

Centre to move the research into

a clinical trial at the JGH to explore

the potential of this drug in cancer

prevention.

“This project requires an environment

with excellent interaction between

clinicians and scientists,” says

Dr. Pollak, Director of Centre. “It is

rewarding to have an international

panel of experts judge the JGH to be

the right setting to take this research

to the next level.”

Dr. Mark Miller

creates a toxin that causes diarrhea.

“There wasn’t much interest in

C. difficile for many years, because it

wasn’t considered a serious disease,”

says Dr. Miller, who is Chief of the

JGH Divisions of Infectious Diseases

and Microbiology, and Assistant Professor

of Medicine, Microbiology and

Immunology at McGill University.

“However, over the past decade, it

has mutated into something much

more serious that has caused epidemics

worldwide. Recurrent C. difficile

is very difficult to treat, and this has

spurred interest in newer and better

treatments. Anything that can reduce

the recurrence rate is a very important

milestone.”

An application for research funding by the JGH Stroll Cancer

Prevention Centre has been rated the most deserving

of support among Canada-wide proposals submitted to the

Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute.

Under investigation will be people

at higher risk, such as those with a

family history of colorectal cancer or

a medical history of polyps. The trials

will be led by a multidisciplinary

team that includes the Department of

Oncology in collaboration with the

Divisions of Endocrinology, Gastroenterology

and Colorectal Surgery,

and the Department of Pathology.

The Centre has also received grants

to investigate possible applications of

Metaformin and related compounds

in prostate and breast cancers, adds

Dr. Pollak, who holds the Alexander-

Goldfarb Chair and Professorship at

McGill University’s Departments of

Medicine and Oncology.

Enzyme may hold key

to Alzheimer’s cause

Researchers at the JGH

Lady Davis Institute for

Medical Research (LDI)

believe they may have discovered

one of the root causes of Alzheimer’s

disease. A team headed

by Dr. Andréa C. LeBlanc of

the LDI’s Bloomfield Centre for

Research in Aging, has built an

impressive case for Caspase-6, Dr. Andréa C. LeBlanc

one of several enzymes that play a role in cell death and

inflammation.

Many scientists believe the fundamental cause

of Alzheimer’s is amyloid beta—also known as

“Abeta”— a peptide that forms “senile plaques” in

the brains of Alzheimer’s sufferers. Dr. LeBlanc’s

theory, controversial among her colleagues, is that

Abeta is a consequence of the disease, not its cause.

She believes that the active enzyme Caspase-6

increases the production of Abeta in human neurons

and contributes to several other cellular defects

associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Our research has shown that neurons, the type

of cells mainly affected in Alzheimer’s disease brains,

activate Caspase-6 when they are stressed,” explains

Dr. LeBlanc, who is the James McGill Professor in

Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University.

“We have also shown that otherwise healthy neurons

degenerate when exposed to active Capase-6.”

The brains of people who have died of Alzheimer’s

disease have extremely high levels of activated Caspase-6.

However, Dr. LeBlanc found virtually none

in the brains of older people who did not have the

disease, or anyone under the age of 45. Most tantalizingly,

she also found elevated levels of the enzyme

in the brains of some older people who did not suffer

from Alzheimer’s disease, but who had signs of

memory impairment.

The JGH Foundation is conducting a major fundraising

effort to support the creation of a Program for

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia (PADD) at the JGH.

This program is vital to accelerate research that will

lead to better diagnosis and treatment tools, hasten

a cure for a disease that has the potential to turn

into an epidemic of disastrous proportions, and improve

access to the required services and support

programs for individuals with AD and their families in

our community and across Quebec. The generosity of

donors will be crucial to making this urgently needed

program a reality, as it must be entirely funded by

private donations. For more information, please visit

jghfoundation.org/sections/vpadd.html. Donations

can be made at www.jghfoundation.org or by calling

the JGH Foundation at 514-340-8251.

JGH News

23


Mind over matter… continued from page 14.

residents or any member of staff who happens

to pick up on the fact that a patient is

under stress and needs an expert to talk to.

As Associate Director of the program,

Mr. Ptack has found that the strengths of

the Department of Social Services (with its

broad perspective on families) are a perfect

complement for the skills of the Division of

Psychology (with its attentiveness to the individual

patient). “With time, we also hope

to have social workers conducting more

evidence-based research,” he adds.

Clearly, Mr. Ptack says, cancer patients

aren’t the only ones who experience stress

Pulling together as a team

Among cancer patients, stress levels can

be heightened not only by legitimate fears,

but by myths, particularly those involving

sexual activity. That’s when sex therapist

Tobi Klein steps in to reassure patients that,

for example, having sex will not aggravate

cancer or make the disease more likely to

return after treatment has ended.

“Oncologists offer whatever support they

can, but their main concern is operating on

the organs,” says Ms. Klein, who joined the

Psychosocial Oncology team in 2009 and is

also part of the JGH Gyne-Oncology team.

“During cancer treatment, sex usually goes

by the wayside. But when the treatment is

over and thoughts of sex return, the stress

may linger. After an operation, patients

may be insecure about the way they look or

about revealing their bodies to their partners.

Also, even if they had a good sexual

relationship before cancer, they’re unsure

how to rekindle the spark. Readjustment

can take quite a while.”

In fact, stress can affect an entire family

so deeply that members of a cancer patient’s

24 spriNG 2011

during medical care, “which is why various

departments try to provide psychosocial

support wherever it’s needed. But Oncology

was the logical place for a formal interdisciplinary

program, because cancer patients

experience so much more uncertainty at

every stage of their illness. The up-days

and down-days come one after the other. A

period of stability can be followed by remission,

with any number of treatments that

are tough for patients and their families. It’s

a psychologically and emotionally draining

process.”

household are sometimes referred to as “cosufferers”,

says social worker Dr. Sharon

Bond, who has been on the Psychosocial

Oncology team for about two years.

“Perhaps there were marital problems

before the disease was diagnosed, and

now they need to be addressed in a different

context,” says Dr. Bond, Director of the

Couple and Family Therapy section of the

JGH Institute of Community and Family

Psychiatry. “Even if the relationship is good,

when cancer hits one spouse, the other is

suddenly forced to assume the role of caregiver,

and this can throw off the balance of

the relationship. And when parents suffer,

children can experience physical symptom

like stomach aches.

“More and more, we’re all coming to

understand that it takes special qualities to

step up and cope with cancer, whether as

individuals or as members of a family. The

strength may be there, but the patient still

needs real support—the kind you get in its

best form from a multidisciplinary team

like ours.”

Psychosocial support needs financial support

The Louise Granofsky Psychosocial Oncology Program was established by Mini and David Granofsky

in memory of their daughter, Louise, who died of cancer. Since the program is funded almost

entirely through private donations, the generosity of donors is the key to ensuring the future

of this vital service for a growing number of cancer patients and their loved ones throughout

Quebec.

“Living with cancer is a horrendous trial,” says patient Yvonne Gariépy. “Being able to count on a

sympathetic ear with a healthy dose of understanding and empathy helped me regain confidence

in life. To know that I can come back for more whenever I need it is greatly appreciated.”

Donations can be made at www.jghfoundation.org

or by calling the JGH Foundation at 514-340-8251.

It’s Care my for hospital!

all.

Auxiliary celebrates

75 caring years

Phyllis Karper and Linny Blauer

Get ready to sing “Happy Birthday”,

because the JGH Auxiliary is celebrating

its 75th anniversary! As we light

the candles, let’s recall that many pacesetting

programs were developed with

Auxiliary support—and were later absorbed

by or associated with the JGH—

including Hope & Cope, the Cardiac Rehab

Fund, the Stroke Rehab Program, the

Chronic Spinal Pain Support Group, the

Department of Volunteer Services and

the ER Urgence Presence Program.

Ever since The Auxiliary was founded

in January 1936 by a handful of dedicated

women led by Annie Goldbloom, it has

maintained a commitment to enhancing

the quality and effectiveness of hospital

services. Today, with a membership of

1,500, our mandate has changed only to

reflect modern attitudes and values. We

provide plastic bags for patients’ belongings

in the ER, Helping Heart Pillows

to alleviate pain in post-cardiac surgery

patients, layettes for mothers in need,

and pacifiers for premature babies in

the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Sales

of used books, collectibles, merchandise

from on-site vendors and our gourmet

Panache cookbook enable us to play an

integral role in helping the JGH to emphasize

the “care” in “health care” as well

as providing revenues.

Most recently, in our drive for innovation,

we have provided funding for

the therapeutic Dr. Clown program, the

Care Cart (morale-boosting visits to

patients) and Humour Cart. Our Menus

for the Mind Series showcases informa-


aUXiliarY news

tive lectures and inspiring movies, while

the Precious Treasures program lets

new parents celebrate a birth by buying

a teddy bear plaque for the wall of the

maternity unit. The Books-in-Motion

Cart offers books and magazines to

patients, and our Mobile Food Cart sells

light refreshments in clinics and waiting

rooms throughout the JGH.

To ensure continuity of this essential

work, we’re looking forward to our partnership

with a new group of passionate

young volunteers, known as The Auxiliary’s

“Next Generation”. Helping to keep

our future bright will be The Auxiliary’s

new Co-Presidents, Merle Klam and

Fran Yagod, and their new slate of officers,

to be installed in May at our Annual

General Meeting. Their vision will make

The Auxiliary stronger than ever—and

our patients will reap the rewards.

ON THE HORIzON

Don’t miss

these exciting events

May 2

Bridge and mahjong luncheon

11:00 a.m., Congregation Shaar

Hashomayim

May 11

Annual General Meeting

and Installation

11:30 a.m., Samuel S. Cohen Auditorium,

Pavilion A

May 26

Dessert reception and lecture

An evening with

Dr. Cleve Ziegler, JGH

Director of Gynecology,

speaking about

“Everything You

Wanted to Know, But

Were Afraid to Ask” Dr. Cleve Ziegler

Time and location to be announced.

June 2

Movie screening:

The Matchmaker

Petit souper at 6:00 p.m., movie at 7:00 p.m.

Block Amphitheatre

Proceeds to the Centre for Child

Development and Mental Health

Cheque for children

Fabulous Fall Fair

Adding holiday sparkle

Dr. Jaswant Guzder

and Rosemary Short

accept a cheque on

behalf of the Centre

for Child Development

and Mental

Health. Proceeds

came from The

Auxiliary’s Menus

for the Mind Series.

Representing The

Auxiliary are (from

left) Rhona Kramer,

Susan Raymer, Helene

Mandelcorn and Judy

Kaback.

As always, The Auxiliary’s Fall Fair and Raffle drew bargain hunters who snapped up a wide array

of items, including women’s and men’s clothing, toys and housewares. Proceeds will help purchase

specialized equipment for the Division of Neurosurgery.

From left: Fair Co-Chair

Allan Bramson, Auxiliary

Co-Presidents Linny Blauer

and Phyllis Karper, Fair Co-

Chair Sandra Gutherz, Dr.

Jeffrey Golan of the Division

of Neurosurgery, Raffle

Co-Chairs Bev Caplan and

Sandy Appel, Fair Co-Chair

Rhona Heisler, volunteer

Elaine Walfish, Auxiliary

Vice-President Phyllis Abosh

and Auxiliary Director

Nancy Rubin.

December’s holidays

were even cheerier,

thanks to The Auxiliary’s

boutique sale,

whose proceeds

benefit the Women’s

Care Centre. The

Co-Chairs were

Elisa Fremeth Frank

and Sheryl Fremeth

Frank.

JGH News

25


newsMaKers

NEW CHIEFS

Dr. michael Hier has

been named Chief of

Oto-rhino-laryngology/Head

and Neck

Surgery, after serving

as Associate Chief in

the department since

2002. Dr. Hier earned

his M.D. from McGill

University in 1990 and

Dr. Michael Hier

went on to complete

post-graduate training, including a fellowship

in Head and Neck/Plastic Reconstructive

Surgery at Rush University in Chicago.

He has been with the JGH since 1996. Dr.

Saul Frenkiel, the Chief since 1992, remains

an active member of the department.

Dr. Paul Warshawsky

is the new Chief of

Adult Critical Care,

having served as the

department’s interim

Chief since mid-2010

and as an attending

staff physician in the

Intensive Care Unit

since 2002. Dr. War- Dr. Paul Warshawsky

shawsky received his

M.D. from McGill University in 1993 and

joined the JGH in 2002, following residencies

in pulmonary medicine and critical

care at McGill, and in internal medicine at

McGill and the JGH. Dr. Denny Laporta,

who has stepped down after a decade as

Chief, continues to be active in the department.

Dr. Jeff Golan has

been appointed Chief

of Neurosurgery, having

re-established the

hospital as a training

site for neurosurgical

residents and orthopedic/spine

residents

and fellows since his

arrival at the JGH in

Dr. Jeff Golan

2009. Along with his

colleagues, Dr. Golan has also played a major

role in establishing a McGill University

teaching hospital multi-site clinical spine

service. As Chief, he will develop a clinical

and basic research spine program at the

26 spriNG 2011

JGH. Dr. Golan completed his neurosurgical

training at McGill University, as well as fellowship

training in minimally invasive and

complex spine surgery at the Medical College

of Wisconsin, and in spinal oncology at

Ohio State University. The outgoing Chief,

Dr. Gérard mohr, has been with the JGH

since 1989 and remains an active member

of the division.

Dr. Franck Bladou

has joined the JGH

as Chief of Urology,

coming to Montreal

from Marseilles,

France, where he was

Chairman of the Department

of Urology

at Sainte Marguerite

University Hospital; Dr. Franck Bladou

Chairman of the Paoli-

Calmettes Institute cancer centre; and Professor

of Urology in the School of Medicine

at the University of the Mediterranean. Dr.

Bladou has also conducted clinical studies

and extensive research into prostate cancer,

and is a member of numerous French and

international scientific societies related to

urology and onco-urology.

CONGRATULATIONS!

Dr. Carmen Loiselle,

a Senior Nurse Scientist

at the JGH Lady

Davis Institute for

Medical Research and

at the JGH Centre for

Nursing Research, has

been appointed the

inaugural holder of

the Christine & Her- Dr. Carmen Loiselle

schel Victor-Hope &

Cope Chair in Psychosocial Oncology at

McGill University. This position is awarded

to an outstanding research clinician whose

work will significantly help patients and

strengthen the relationship between the

JGH and McGill. Dr. Loiselle, who received

the JGH Award of Excellence in Medical

Research in 2009, has a particular interest

in the way cancer patients seek and benefit

from the information they are given in cancer

clinics and online.

Care for all.

The Christine & Herschel Victor-Hope &

Cope Chair in Psychosocial Oncology was

established thanks to a shared $3 million

donation from long-time JGH supporters

Christine and Herschel Victor and Hope

& Cope. This research chair, the first of its

kind in Quebec and only the third in Canada,

is an example of the strong support that

partnerships provide in cancer research,

prevention and care.

Dr. mark Wainberg,

former JGH Director

of Research and internationally

renowned

for his ongoing HIV/

AIDS research at the

JGH Lady Davis Institute

for Medical

Research, has been

chosen to receive the

Dr. Mark Wainberg

Wilder Penfield Prize

of the Prix du Québec. The prize recognizes

his outstanding contribution to advancing

HIV/AIDS medical research, care and

prevention programs. Dr. Wainberg, who

is Director of the McGill AIDS Centre and

the McGill’s HIV/AIDS Research Axis, has

previously been honoured for his work by

being named an Officer of the Order of

Canada, an Officer of the National Order

of Quebec, a Chevalier in France’s Legion

of Honour and a recipient of the Canadian

Medical Association’s Medal of Honour.

Dr. Gérard mohr,

who is currently Honourary

Chief of Neurosurgery

and who

served as JGH Chief

of the Division from

1996 to 2009, has been

named an Adjunct

Professor in the Department

of Surgery

at the University of

Montreal. Last year, Dr. Mohr was the invited

neurosurgery speaker and session moderator

at the XIth Dr. Gérard Mohr

Symposium of Interventional

Neuroradiology in Colmar, France.


Photo: Nicolas Gallenne

From left: Claudette Péloquin, President of the

the Quebec Association of Clinical Nutritionists;

Josée Bédard, Director of Corporate Affairs,

Provigo; Paule Bernier; and Michel Sanscartier,

President of the Professional Order of Quebec

Dietitians.

JGH Dietitian Paule Bernier has received

the highest distinction of the Professional

Order of Quebec Dietitians, the 2010

Suzanne Mavrikakis Career Achievement

Award. Ms. Bernier, who has been with

the JGH since her internship in 1978, was

acknowledge for her commitment to clinical

nutrition and her “deep concern for the

protection of the public which, for her, was

a leading priority through the pursuit of

scientific findings and consequently, an improvement

in the skills of clinical dietitians

and nutritionists.”

Dr. Igal A. Sebag, Fellowship Director and

Associate Director of Echocardiography at

the JGH, has received McGill University’s

David Stubington Teacher of the Year Award

for the 2009-2010 academic year. The honour

is bestowed on outstanding teachers in

McGill’s Cardiology Department.

Alan maislin, Chair of the JGH Users’

Committee, has been honoured with the

2010 RPCU Award for Personal Excellence,

in recognition of his work on behalf of patients

at the Jewish General Hospital. The

RCPU (le Regroupement provincial des comités

des usagers), a provincial organization

of users’ committees, helps to ensure that

the needs and rights of those who use Quebec’s

healthcare institutions are maintained

and upheld.

WELCOmE!

The JGH Division

of Hematology welcomes

Dr. Nathalie

Johnson, who has

also been appointed

as an Assistant Professor

at McGill University.

In her research,

Dr. Johnson investigates

biomarkers that Dr. Nathalie Johnson

are associated with

resistance to treatments for certain types of

lymphoma. She will be also be responsible

for the Clinical Flow Cytometry laboratory

in the JGH Department of Diagnostic Medicine,

as well as pursuing clinical activities

in the Bell Canada Adolescent and Young

Adult Oncology Program in the Segal Cancer

Centre. Dr. Johnson is the recipient of

a research fellowship from the Terry Fox

Foundation through an award from the

National Cancer Institute of Canada.

Dr. Olga Aleynikova has joined the JGH

Department of Pathology as an attending

staff pathologist, with an appointment to

McGill University as an Assistant Professor.

Dr. Aleynikova graduated from Dalhousie

University in 2002 and completed her pathology

training at Laval University and the

University of Montreal. In addition to clinical

activities that focus on gastrointestinal

pathology, she will coordinate quality control

activities in molecular pathology.

Dr. Sabrina Fallavollita is the newest

member of the JGH Division of Rheumatology,

where she is a clinician, clinical

researcher and teacher. Dr. Fallavollita

completed her medical training, including

a rheumatology fellowship, at McGill University.

In addition to pursuing research

interests in early inflammatory arthritis, she

will develop her skills in using ultrasound

to diagnose and assess rheumatic diseases.

Dr. Reza Forghani has joined the JGH

Department of Diagnostic Radiology to

focus on all facets of neuroradiology and

head and neck radiology, as well as general

radiology. A recipient of numerous awards,

Dr. Forghani has had papers published in

peer-reviewed journals and has authored

book chapters. He is currently involved in

several research projects, including molecular

imaging with potential applications to

multiple sclerosis and stroke.

IN mEmORIAm

The Jewish General

Hospital mourns the

loss of Dr. Amnon

Kahn, 79, who served

as Chief of Endocrinology

for 14 years

and was admired for

his personal warmth

and professional expertise

during his 47- Dr. Amnon Kahn

year career at the JGH.

Dr. Kahn, who died on Nov. 4, received his

M.D. from Queen’s University and completed

fellowships in endocrinology at the

Royal Victoria Hospital and Chicago’s

Michael Reese Hospital. He joined the JGH

in 1963 and was appointed Chief of Endocrinology

in 1975. Dr. Kahn was the father

of Dr. Susan Kahn, a JGH epidemiologist

and Associate Director for Clinical Research

at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical

Research.

The Jewish General Hospital extends its

condolences to the family of Dr. Simon

Gold, an obstetrician who won the love

and respect of his patients and colleagues

in delivering thousands of babies over the

course of more than 50 years. Dr. Gold, who

died on Dec. 28 at the age of 94, received

his M.D. from McGill University in 1940,

followed by post-graduate work at the JGH

and the Royal Victoria Hospital. He joined

the Jewish General Hospital in 1946 and retired

in 1998. Dr. Gold was also an Assistant

Professor at McGill, former President of

the Montreal Obstetrical and Gynecological

Society and the Montreal Clinical Society,

and a founding member of the Quebec

Medical Association.

JGH News

27


Ahhh, at last! Brighter mornings, warmer sunshine, idle

snow shovels. Spring is certainly invigorating, but it has

hazards all its own, such as insect bites and allergies.

To stay healthy, the JGH Patient and Family Resource Centre

has some reliable websites to put “spring” in your step. You can

start at the home pages listed below and then navigate to the

appropriate subject pages. However, your best bet is to go to

jgh.ca/pfrcspring for direct links to those subject pages.

28 spriNG 2011

To yoUr heaLTh!

Goodbye to frostbite,

hello again

to insect bites

• The U.S. National Library of Medicine at infocus.nlm.nih.

gov has some useful tips on spring cleaning, with a special

focus on safe household cleaning products and detergents.

• When we plunge into spring cleaning, we don’t usually think

about getting rid of outdated items in our medicine cabinet.

Good advice on disposing of old pharmaceuticals comes from

the American Osteopathic Association at www.osteopathic.

org.

• Gezundheit! Hay fever can really put a damper on spring.

If you need help in coping with sneezes and sniffles, turn

to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus at

www.nlm.nih.gov for useful links. Information on commonsense

gardening for allergy sufferers is also available from the

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology at

www.aaaai.org.

• The emphasis is on keeping children safe at pediatrics.about.

com, as About explores sun safety, allergies, water safety and

avoiding insect bites.

• It’s finally time to shed unwanted weight along with those

bulky winter clothes. But do it sensibly! To find out how, visit

WebMD at www.webmd.com.

For more information on good health, or to make an appointment

with a librarian for help in finding reliable, up-to-date

information on even hard-to-research subjects, visit the Patient

and Family Resource Centre at:

jgh.ca/PFRC

It’s Care my for hospital!

all.

Stress can be a mess,

unless…

Take a deep breath. Count to ten. Walk around the

block. There are a million and one ways to relieve

stress at work or at home—and people are always eager

to share their ideas. Over time, though, we realize that

one person’s solution, isn’t necessarily another’s. So while

there may be no foolproof stress reliever, here are a couple

of worthwhile suggestions from the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Just walk away. Removing yourself from a stressful situation

is half the battle. So what’s the other half? Finding

something enjoyable to focus on. For Dr. Philip Gordon,

JGH Chief of Colorectal Surgery, that 50 per cent is achieved

through “gardening, spending time with grandchildren or

putting together PowerPoint presentations.” Whatever your

outlet, making time to do the things you love increases endorphin

levels; this decreases stress and the symptoms related

to stress. If you end up laughing, all the better: laughing

is the body’s natural stress reliever, no matter what your age.

Become a collector. This is how you maintain and

strengthen your focus on what appeals to you. Traditionalists

love coins and stamps; non-conformists have been

known to collect everything from barbed wire to beer cans.

Rosemary Steinberg, Local Commissioner of Complaints

and Quality of Services at the JGH, credits a love of collecting

fountain pens for helping to ease the pressure. “I like

to search for them on eBay, and the pens don’t have to be

expensive. I just find the process of searching to be relaxing.

It allows me to turn off my mind for a while and genuinely

take it easy.”

Worth remembering is that people spend so much time trying

to meet the needs of others that they often forget to take

care of themselves. Setting aside a few minutes for yourself

gives your mind and body the rest that they require.

To learn more about reducing stress, visit:

www.heartandstroke.qc.ca


JGH

QUALITY

PROGRAM

In its latest hospital-wide survey of patients, the Jewish

General Hospital has maintained its consistently

high score for treating patients as individuals and not

simply as medical cases. As a result, an overwhelming

majority of respondents said they would not hesitate to

recommend the JGH.

Bilingual questionnaires were provided to 10 discharged patients

per day between April 1 and Nov. 6, 2010, and were completed by

627 of the 2,100 recipients (a statistically valid response rate). In

half of the questionnaires, more information was sought about areas

that need improvement, with less emphasis on subjects where

the hospital has a consistently good track record.

Among the findings:

QUALITY IMPROVEMENT · PATIENT SATISFACTION · SAFETY · RISK MANAGEMENT ·

respect for patients

Survey finds JGH sensitive

to personal needs

• a satisfaction rating of 93 per cent when patients were asked

about being “treated like a person and not like a case”

• a 95-per-cent rating among patients who said they are prepared

to recommend the JGH to family and friends

• ratings of 93 per cent among those who are satisfied about being

addressed “in a respectful manner (politely, not overly familiarly)”,

and 91 per cent among those who feel they were “treated

in a respectful manner, with sensitivity to my social, cultural and

religious needs.”

Paula Calestagne, Co-ordinator of the Patient Satisfaction Program,

explains that the questionnaires enable patients not only

to identify their likes and dislikes, but to state how much each issue

matters to them. Thus, even if relatively few people say that

something causes them great distress, finding a solution becomes

a greater priority.

Ms. Calestagne says there is growing satisfaction with the hospital’s

level of cleanliness, especially in the washrooms. However,

since this rating is still too low, additional efforts will be made for

improvement. She notes that since the survey asked patients to

specify the unit where they were hospitalized, it will be easier to

pinpoint the washrooms that patients found particularly unsatisfactory.

In response to patients’ dissatisfaction about not always being

able to get help from staff in eating, a special Continuous Quality

Improvement team has been created to develop and implement

solutions.

Honours for JGH

clot busters

The Jewish General

Hospital has been recognized

as a national

leader in preventing venous

thromboembolism (VTE), a

complication of hospitalization

in which a blot clot forms

in a vein and can be fatal if it breaks away and lodges elsewhere

in the body. At a ceremony at the JGH in January, the

hospital received the Venous Thromboembolism Prevention

Hospital Award from Safer Healthcare Now and Pfizer

Canada for its “significant commitment to preventing VTE

and achieving outstanding outcomes.”

The hospital’s VTE team has been involved in numerous

projects, including developing innovative strategies to

incorporate VTE into the surgical safety checklist; a month

of activities dedicated to VTE; and seeking feedback from

staff on the implementation of various proposals. The prize

includes an unrestricted educational grant to help support

additional patient safety initiatives.

Recognized for their efforts were Hetal Patel, Co-Chair

of the VTE team and a Nursing Educator in Orthopedics

(replacing Marie-Claude Germain on an interim basis);

Jessica Emed, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Medicine and

Thrombosis; Dr. Shannon Fraser, Chief of General Surgery;

and Markirit Armutlu, Quality Program Coordinator.

Eager to attend the spring series

of the JGH Mini-Med School?

Look for details on the back

cover of this issue.

In the meantime, you can view

lectures from previous series at:

jgh.ca/minimed

JGH News

29


Dynamic recruitment

helps upgrade care

Catherine Laganière first sensed there was something

special about the Jewish General Hospital

when she met last year with JGH recruiters and

realized she was involved not so much in a job interview

as a pleasant conversation.

“When I arrived, I felt nervous, because this kind of interview

can make a big difference to your career,” she recalls. “But the more

we talked, the more comfortable they made me feel. Their attitude

put me at ease and allowed me to describe myself naturally.” Which

is how Ms. Laganière became Brachytherapy Coordinator in the

Division of Radiation Oncology in spring 2010.

Mission accomplished, says Maria Monaco, who leads the

recruitment push for the JGH Department of Human Resources.

“One of the most important things we do is make the candidates

feel comfortable,” she explains. “We represent the image of the

hospital, so we want that comfort level to stay with the applicants

after they begin working here.”

Far from being just a bureaucratic strategy, this approach makes

a practical difference to care at the JGH, says Ms. Monaco. “The

bottom line is that our patients receive treatment of high quality

because some of the best young professionals are being recruited.

That’s important especially now, when there’s stiff competition to

attract the best and the brightest.”

Ms. Laganière, 26, had already spent about four years in Radiation

Oncology at Notre-Dame Hospital, when she heard about the

opening at the JGH through her professional association. She saw

the position of Brachytherapy Coordinator as a chance to use her

skills to their greatest potential—an ambition that has now been

realized. “This job is a great combination of direct contact with

patients and administration,” she says. “It’s just what I was hoping

for.”

Ms. Monaco says the JGH has been steadily upgrading its recruitment

efforts for about three years, with stronger links to regional

schools, universities and job fairs. This year she hopes the hospital

will have a presence at job fairs as far afield as Sherbrooke, Trois-

Rivières, Quebec City and the Saguenay region.

Members of her team are on the lookout for candidates in a broad

array of fields—for instance, respiratory therapy, social services,

diagnostic medicine and physiotherapy, as well as certain types of

Worth bookmarking

Thinning out your home library? Why not

donate unwanted English or French books

to the JGH Auxiliary. Through its sales of

used books in the Book Nooks (Côte-des-

Neiges lobby and Légaré entrance), The

Auxiliary raises tens of thousands of dollars

a year to buy much-needed medical equipment

for the JGH. For more information and

to find out where to drop off your books,

please phone 514-340-8216.

30 spriNG 2011

Care for all.

Catherine Laganière (right) tells Maria Monaco about her first year as

Brachytherapy Coordinator in the Division of Radiation Oncology.

support staff. Excluded are doctors and nurses whose recruitment

is handled by other JGH departments.

“The job fairs are especially important,” says recruitment officer

Kamil Luna, “because when you go farther out, you realize that

people don’t automatically think of the Jewish General Hospital for

employment. We remind them that this is a fully bilingual hospital

where there is ample opportunity to grow professionally.”

Mr. Luna and fellow recruitment officer Patrizia Capri have also

been involved in arranging for students to tour parts of the JGH.

Last year tours of the Test Centre and the main laboratory of the

Department of Diagnostic Medicine attracted about 60 students

from such insitutions as Dawson College and Collège de Rosemont,

resulting in the hiring of seven lab technologists.

Roll up your sleeve

Give from the heart at

The Auxiliary’s blood donor clinic

May 16

10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Samuel S. Cohen Auditorium

Pavilion A


The Big Picture

SPECIAL MOMENTS IN THE JGH

In the JGH Core Lab, laboratory technician Sophal Taing analyzes numerous blood samples in vials

capped by a rainbow of multi-coloured stoppers. In each issue of JGH News, the Big Picture presents

special views of the day to day life of the JGH, as captured by staff photographers.

Photo: Felipe Argaez, JGH Audio-Visual Services

JGH News

31


32 spriNG 2011

JGh Mini-Med School

returns!

May 11 to June 1

Back by popular demand:

crowd-pleasers from past series

They intrigued you before—they’ll fascinate you again. Get ready for updates

and insights into medical treatment and care in repeat performances by leading

JGH experts:

• Dr. David Zukor, Chief of Orthopedics

• Dr. Howard Chertkow, Director of the Bloomfield Centre for Research in Aging

• Dr. Walter Gotlieb, Director of Gynecologic Oncology and Colposcopy

• Dr. Cleve Ziegler, Director of Gynecology

$40 for adults, $25 for students (with ID) and seniors (60+)

Presentations are in English only and begin at 7:30 p.m. Présentations en anglais seulement.

To register, please call 514-340-8222, extension 3337, or visit jgh.ca/minimed.

For more information: minimed@jgh.mcgill.ca.

Lectures from previous series can be viewed at jgh.ca/minimed.

New address? Cancelling your subscription? Please phone the JGH Foundation at 514-340-8251.

Publications Mail Agreement #40062499

Care for all.

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