English Posts

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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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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English Posts

Refugees

Over the last couple of months, the daily headlines have consistently focused on the stories of refugees who are making their way into Canada, whether by plane, train or the now high-profile Roxham Street in Champlain, New York. Regardless of how a refugee or asylum seeker enters our country, many end up in the excellent care of our staff at the Regional Program for the Settlement and Integration of Asylum Seekers (PRAIDA). I want to take a moment to publicly single out the work of this supportive, informative and, in some cases, life-saving program, and its dedicated staff. Our nurses, …

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Global exchanges

One of the great benefits of working in healthcare is having the opportunity to meet other professionals who have a willingness to share insights and trade knowledge. The result: improvement isn’t limited to one site, but is experienced all over. For example, I’m fortunate to have had some wonderful exchanges over the past 10 days during a visit to Clalit, the largest HMO in Israel. I’ve had the pleasure of learning first-hand about their triumphs and setbacks, and how the lessons that they learned can benefit our network. As I prepare to return home, I’m especially encouraged by the health …

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Disney

With spring break starting this week, and many families taking off to Disneyland I fondly recall my first visit to the Magic Kingdom – 84 acres of rides, restaurants and entertainment, a fantasy land for young and old. And yet, among the throngs of people was a sense of controlled chaos, and a general feeling that this was one well oiled machine. My fascination and admiration for the theme park stayed with me long after I’d removed the Mickey Mouse ears. The notion of putting the client first, and making sure they had the best experience, was one that has …

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My vision for the creation of a McGill Health Network

On October 19, at the behest of the Minister of Health and Social services and in his presence, I outlined the concept of creating an integrated McGill Health and social services network before a room full of representatives of all McGill University related health and social service institutions. The Gazette reporter was also present. The text of my presentation was widely circulated by the Ministry to all stakeholders as part of a consultation undertaken by Dr. Arvind Joshi at the request of the Minister. In that context, I recently took the initiative of summing up the content of this presentation …

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A voice on the inside

Health care is so ubiquitous and ever-changing that the latest news pops up on TV, on Facebook, in the newspaper—practically everywhere you look. But those voices come from the outside, not the inside. I’d like to introduce a new voice to the mix—my own, a voice on the inside. Every Monday, I look forward to sharing my thoughts and reflections with you about the healthcare landscape, what we’re doing to improve it, and what lies ahead for us. My reflections will be about us—the patient, the resident, the caregiver—and what inspires us all to keep going. As the great Vince …

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A historic moment in the life of the Jewish General Hospital

Dear members of the JGH community, Needless to say yesterday, January 24, was an historic moment in the life of the Jewish General Hospital. Not only for the hospital, our patients, the community and the healthcare network, but notably for those of us who were privileged to participate in the movement of patients into Pavilion K. In inaugurating Pavilion K, we finally harvested the fruits of seeds of imagination, persistence, resilience and community fellowship, that had been planted some eight years ago. Truly, we were reliving what the founders of the original hospital must have experienced when they first opened …

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The perfect (transformational) storm

We are in the midst of a storm. The transformation of the healthcare system and of health care delivery will undoubtedly leave in its wake an entirely new world. It is a time of transition. As writer Erica Brown has said, at times of transition, we are neither here nor there. It can be hard to believe that temporary difficulties are only temporary. If we believe that transitional places are permanent, we are no longer on a journey of transformation; we are stuck in a place of frustration. Confusing transition with destination adds needless layers of anxiety. The future will …

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