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Large or small, renovations inevitably cause headaches and ultimately bring satisfaction

A few years ago, I renovated my kitchen—and not without a certain amount of trepidation. If you’ve ever been through the process (or something comparable), you’ve felt the nervousness that comes in dealing with the dust, the disorder, the displacement and an array of logistical headaches. Can the job be put off yet again? Yes, but there comes a time when you just have to face the music. My own kitchen had seen many years of use (it was after all, the original 60 year old kitchen), which is why the paint had started to fade, the appliances weren’t working as well, and the configuration that had once seemed so perfectly designed now felt flawed.

The same goes for the healthcare and social services facilities in our CIUSSS. Of course, there’s a big difference in scale, but there’s no escaping the fact that our institutions, like our homes, become dated. Actually, in most cases, the CIUSSS’s facilities age much more quickly, given the constant flow of people into and out of these buildings.

In 2017, the time finally came for CIUSSS West-Central Montreal to bow to the inevitable and perform an exhaustive renovation on the Henri Bradet Residential Centre. Talk about a logistical challenge! Dozens of patients had to be moved into temporary quarters at the Jewish General Hospital, and then returned to Henri Bradet after two years. But the wait was worth it. The upgrade provided them with much-needed improvements, plus a renewed sense of pride and comfort in the place they call home.

And that was just for starters. Catherine Booth Hospital and the Guimont Residential Complex are currently in the middle of their own renovations. And let us not forget of the JGH’s Pavilion K, a massive project that opened in stages, starting in 2014, and has had an undeniably positive impact on staff and patients.

When my kitchen renovation was complete and the last of the dust had been swept away, I pulled my chair into the kitchen table and looked around with great pleasure at the newly updated space. Would I have preferred to avoid the hassle? Sure, who wouldn’t? But am I glad I stuck with it? No question.

That’s how I and many others feel about the challenges that confront us in our CIUSSS: Initially, they’re a burden, and afterwards, they’re a source of great pride and satisfaction. With six major renovations and numerous smaller projects undertaken since our CIUSSS came into existence in 2015, I’ll admit there have been times of stress when I’ve asked myself whether it’s all really worth the effort. But later, when I look at the smiles on the faces of healthcare users and staff, I think back to my own “kitchen-table moment” and I know for certain that the answer is Yes.


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