English Posts

Jobs to be done

We live in an age of surveys, with marketers constantly asking us our age, gender and personal preferences. All the while, they hope this information will unlock the key to edging out their competitors, once and for all. If we apply this trend to health care, we can agree that some of this information could prove useful, but is it going to help us provide the best possible experience for our patients, clients and residents? The simple answer is – no. A favourite author of mine, Clayton M. Christensen, wrote in 2016 that instead of focusing on demographic or psychographic …

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The Helpers

Like all of you, I have listened with sadness to the stories of Quebecers who have been affected by the flooding these past weeks. The loss, as we know, is widespread—from personal belongings to homes and even life. Many members of our network’s staff come from the areas that have been hardest hit. This week, I learned of employees who have lost everything. But as I read about these tragedies, other emails started to trickle in—emails of hope. Each told of staffers who had decided to give of their time to fill sandbags, or to donate food or clothing. In …

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English Posts

Grappling with the ever-increasing needs of the elderly

One day last week, while reading the morning’s top news stories, I was fascinated to discover that we’d arrived at a turning point that’s been anticipated for years. There, in black and white, were some key figures from Statistics Canada’s 2016 census: The number of seniors in our country (5.9 million) has officially exceeded the number of people 14 years old and younger (5.8 million). Statistics Canada also projected—as gerontologists and demographers have been telling us for two or three decades—that this lop-sided situation will become even more glaring as more of the baby boom generation hits retirement age. As …

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Better health care through collaboration

Last Monday, along with our partners at Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal, Sainte Justine Hospital and the CHUM, we unveiled the TransMedTech Institute. This collaborative project will see us develop superior designs and methods to treat three areas that pose major health risks for Canadians: cancer, cardiovascular illnesses and musculoskeletal disorders. The Jewish General Hospital, a key facility in CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, is proud to play a crucial role in the area that focuses on cancer. This marks not only the first time that all of these organizations have come together on a project, but the first project of its …

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The art of the huddle

Ask someone what they associate with the word “huddle”, and nine times out of ten, they’ll say “football”. However, in the last few years, that has begun to change. On my recent trip to Yale New Haven Health, when I received an invitation to the morning huddle, I wasn’t being asked to suit up for a friendly game. Rather, I was welcomed to participate in the daily patient safety report. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived the next morning at 8:00 a.m. As I sat there, senior leaders, nursing directors, middle managers and department chairs came in, …

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Dr. Mark Wainberg: an exceptional man

For those of us who observe Passover, celebrating with family and friends is a focal point of the holiday. Together, as we sit around the Seder table, we read the Haggadah and relive the chronicle of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. Our wine glasses are filled, emptied and filled once again- four times. However, at the centre of the table, one wine-filled cup remains untouched—reserved for the prophet Elijah. According to a centuries-old tradition, the contents of this special cup are never consumed. Instead, it sits ceremoniously and symbolically, representing staying power, perseverance, in anticipation of the Messianic times to …

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The meaning of change

Ten years ago, if your family lived abroad, the only ways to stay in touch were by phone, email or snail mail. Today we can also take advantage of Skype or FaceTime to maintain or rekindle a closeness that would have been inconceivable a decade earlier. These same kinds of advances are being made in health care. On a recent trip to Yale New Haven Health in Connecticut, I was privy to some major technological advances, including the InSight Tele-ICU. In what looked like a command centre, physicians, nurses and other healthcare staff sat at computer workstations and remotely monitored …

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The perennial student

It could be said, quite accurately, that I love to learn. I was a student until the age of 35, by which time I had earned an MD, MSc and PhD. Then at the age of 49 I returned to the classroom to complete a MEng in Management Science. I’m a firm believer that we should continue to learn throughout our lives, whether in the classroom, through books or from one another. A concept that I find particularly inspiring—known as “the learning organization”—was developed by Peter Senge, a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of The …

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Let’s keep running

Not many people know this about me, but I’m an avid runner. Over the course of a week, I log a few 8k runs on the treadmill, because it’s all about staying active in body and mind. I’m methodical in my running—constantly looking to improve, but not so hastily as to open myself up to injury. As I put on my running shoes the other day, I took a moment to reflect on what CIUSSS West-Central Montreal has accomplished over a period of just under two years. And I realized that, in many ways, my work with our CIUSSS has …

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English Posts

Circles vs. rectangles

In my office hangs a cityscape of Montreal, with the focal point being the landmark Orange Julep. It’s unusual shape, and bright colour distinguishes itself from any other building in Montreal – or the province for that matter. To me it is symbolic of change: when everyone else is building rectangles, sometimes you have to look at things in a different way, and build a circle. Last Friday, I was fortunate to find myself in a room filled with “circle” thinkers. Some brilliant health care minds from across North America congregated at a morning-long conference to discuss the future of …

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