The MUHC Foundation's Health Matters

Gratitude for our community

October 09, 2022 The McGill University Health Centre Foundation Season 2 Episode 53
The MUHC Foundation's Health Matters
Gratitude for our community
Show Notes Transcript

This week on Health Matters, Norman Steinberg describes what he is most proud of after his tenure as Chair of the MUHC Foundation’s Board. Helene Gagnon explains why she wanted to support the campaign to raise $5 million for Lachine Hospital. Dr. Lisa Iannattone shares her specialty in complex medical dermatology and introduces a new way of learning in the department of dermatology. Cardiologist Dr. Matthias Friedrich discusses his upcoming guitar performance at MUHC’s Got Talent and fundraising for cardiac imaging. 

Cette semaine à Questions de santé, Norman Steinberg nous parle de ce dont il est le plus fier à la suite de son mandat de président du conseil d’administration de la Fondation du CUSM. Hélène Gagnon nous explique pourquoi elle tenait à participer à la campagne de collecte de fonds de 5 millions de dollars pour l’Hôpital de Lachine. La Dre Lisa Iannattone discute de sa spécialité, la dermatologie médicale complexe, et présente une nouvelle méthode d’apprentissage au service de dermatologie. Et le Dr Matthias Friedrich, cardiologue, discute du numéro de guitare qu’il présentera à Le CUSM a du talent afin de recueillir des fonds pour l’imagerie cardiaque.

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Tarah Schwartz:

Hi there. Thank you for joining us. I'm Tarah Schwartz and this is Health Matters on CJAD 800. On today's show, the MUHC has recruited a top talent to join the division of dermatology. Later in the show, we discuss her expertise in complex medical dermatology, and why she chose to come to Montreal. Plus, cardiologist and researcher by day guitar player by night. We speak with another physician performing in our upcoming fundraising event, MUHC's Got Talent. But first, it's hard to put into words the tremendous gratitude we have for our next guest. Norman Steinberg has been involved with the MUHC since 2008. He has been chair of the MUHC Foundation's Board of Directors since 2018 and his tenure as chair has come to an end. Norman's impact on the MUHC Foundation and the hospital is enormous. And he joins me now. Hello, Norman.

Norman Steinberg:

Hi, Tarah, my God, thank you for that wonderful introduction.

Tarah Schwartz:

I mean it. I mean it, Norman. It has been such a pleasure and a privilege to watch you at the helm over the last couple of years. And I know I'm going to miss you. I know I'm going to miss you. What will you miss about being part of the MUHC Foundation's Board of Directors?

Norman Steinberg:

As you say, my history goes back about 16-17 years, I had the privilege of working on the best care for life campaigns that managed to raise $300 million, so that the Quebec government would then authorize construction of our great hospital. So it's been a wonderful run. I've been involved from the beginning with the construction of the hospital, visiting it under construction, seeing the fantastic results, and now working with our team of which you are part of to raise money for world-class research and development. So it's been wonderful. And quite frankly, I will remain involved with the Hospital Foundation, even as I move on and leave my successor, Marc Tellier, a great person in place.

Tarah Schwartz:

It's amazing when you put it in perspective that way; to say like you were involved at the beginning, raising a massive amount of money to build the Glen hospital, watched it get built, saw it gets staffed. Now we're raising $200 million for incredible research, that must be an incredible legacy to look back on. Are you proud of yourself? You should be Norman, are you proud of what you've accomplished?

Norman Steinberg:

Absolutely, as I've discussed on your program, before, it wasn't just about building a world class hospital, it was building a eco center that would attract the top talent to Montreal. Doctors, researchers, and many of them start to start up companies in the healthcare sector and attract other investment. So Montreal has become, in large part due to what we've done together, one of the world's great centers in health care. The Research Institute at our hospital is the second or third most important connected to a hospital in Canada. So it all feels very good. And, there's a lot of collateral benefits to building this great hospital and Research Institute.

Tarah Schwartz:

We're speaking with Norman Steinberg and we're talking about his history as chair of the MUHC Foundation's Board of Directors which has just come to an end. So Norman four years as chair, you have accomplished a great deal. What do you see as something you have really left with the foundation in those four years that you've been a part of it?

Norman Steinberg:

Tarah, I would view it as building blocks. And by building blocks, what I mean is, you start with the proposition that you need to extremely strong and diverse board. So I feel very proud that we have in my view, the best or one of the best, non for profit boards in the city. The board brings multiple talents, of diversity. It includes so many of our communities in Montreal. And with that in place, with Julie Quenneville, my great friend and collaborator; we built a great team, which is one of the best of the city, I would say the best. And from that, we created a great campaign cabinet for the $200 million campaign that you were talking about. That campaign is led by three great Montrealers, Marc Parent, Suzie Orr and Jean Charest. They in turn have created their own team of volunteers and so forth. So those are all the building blocks and I'm very proud that they've all worked together in a very synergistic way and I'm proud to leave it

Tarah Schwartz:

When you say that you're Chair of the Board of the MUHC Foundation; for those people who really don't understand what that means, perhaps give just a short explanation of what it is that you do and how your work matters? How it impacts?

Norman Steinberg:

There's several aspects to it, Tarah. As a board you meet about four or five times a year. When we have a board meeting, I work with Julie and you and other members of the team on an agenda, to both keep it interesting, but also make strategic decisions about where we're going. Also, between board meetings, I have many calls with the Julie, our CEO about different issues. I've always felt it very important to bring new donors to the table. So Julie and I would meet very often. Particularly before and after COVID, for breakfasts or lunches with possible donors to bring them into the fold. Then work with the different committees of the board. We have all kinds of committees that do different things; involved in audit and donor allocation, and so forth. I work with the committees to ensure that we're operating efficiently and in a way that our donors would be very proud of. So that's a little bit about where I see the position.

Tarah Schwartz:

Norman Steinberg is the outgoing Chair of the MUHC Foundation. Norman, when we leave things, it's always a time to look back and reflect and think, what have I learned? Have you learned something from your time as chair at the MUHG Foundation?

Norman Steinberg:

Of course, I think all these are great learning experiences. One of the things I learned is how important this hospital in our foundation is, both to the city and to Canada. And I would say internationally as well now. The research that we're doing has a global impact. So it's been a great learning experience. And I've been involved in other nonprofits in Montreal. Each activity and each of my for-profit boards; each of them brings lots of lessons. And that's what I like is learning from everything I do.

Tarah Schwartz:

And you are far from somebody who enjoys being idle. Norman, I think I know a little bit about you to say that. So what do you plan to do now that you have a little bit more free time. I know you're still involved in multiple philanthropic endeavors. But what's going to take up this time now?

Norman Steinberg:

Right now I have what I would call a portfolio of about 12 different positions. I'm very proud of the fact that I'm Vice-Chair of BFL Canada, which is where my principal office is. And I work very closely with Barry Lorenzetti, who also has been a great supporter, both personally and through his foundation of our foundation. I'm on three public company boards, Fiera, Dorel and ATCO. My work in private equity. I'm still involved with the Montreal symphony and Women in Governance and several other things. So I will continue to be very busy with all the things that I've been doing. Coincidentally, when it was announced that I was stepping down from the Foundation, I received a call from my friends at Teneo, which is a global consulting company, asking if I would like to be a senior advisor. So in a sense, maybe that time replaces the time I was spending with Julie, you and the Foundation.

Tarah Schwartz:

You are in high demand, Norman. What message as we say goodbye and say thank you here on this radio show. What message do you have for our listeners about volunteering and philanthropy? Because it's been such a big part of your life for so long?

Norman Steinberg:

Some people have a sense that philanthropy is for wealthy people or something. Everybody in our community should be volunteering and be involved in philanthropy, whatever their position in life is. We need everyone to help, whether it's the hospitals, the churches, the synagogues, whatever it is, we need everybody in our community to be involved in helping our community. And I think that's a very important message. It's not just about money. It's about spending the time and volunteering to help people where we can and what appeals to us. So that's my message.

Tarah Schwartz:

It's a good one. Norman Steinberg is the outgoing Chair of the MUHC Foundation's Board of Directors. Thank you, Norman, for joining us on the show. Thank you for everything that you've done over the last four years and I will definitely miss you.

Norman Steinberg:

Thank you very much. And first of all, I appreciate being re-invited to your program. And we will stay in close touch; I promise you.

Tarah Schwartz:

Good to hear. Good to hear. Thank you so much, Norman. Next up on Health Matters, an MUHC cardiologist with a passion for playing guitar shares why he is taking part in MUHC's Got Talent. I'm Tarah Schwartz, you're listening to Health Matters. Over the last couple of weeks, we've been sharing stories of hospital staff who are taking part in MUHC's Got Talent. This is the first ever event of its kind at the MUHC Foundation. It's a fundraising talent show where health care professionals from the MUHC share their not so secret talents. Dr. Matthias Friedrich will be performing live at the Corona Theatre on November 16. He is a cardiologist and the Scientific Director of the Courtois Cardiovascular Signature Program, and has multiple research projects in cardiac imaging and cardiovascular care. Thank you so much for joining us, Dr. Friedrich.

Dr. Matthias Friedrich:

Thank you very much for having me.

Tarah Schwartz:

How long have you been with the MUHC, Dr. Friedrich?

Dr. Matthias Friedrich:

I came to the MUHC in 2015, after having come from Germany to Calgary in 2004. But now it's seven years already that I'm at the MUHC.

Tarah Schwartz:

And tell us a little I gave a bit of an introduction. But tell us a little bit about what you do there.

Dr. Matthias Friedrich:

As you said, I'm the Scientific Director of the Courtois Cardiovascular Signature Program, but I'm also a staff cardiologist, and chief of cardiovascular imaging. My special interest is imaging the heart using magnetic resonance. And we're trying to find new ways of detecting heart disease early and in a very safe and accurate manner. So that's my main purpose. But I'm also doing some service on the coronary care unit and in the emergency room.

Tarah Schwartz:

And what did you think Dr. Friedrich, when you were asked to take part in MUHC's Got Talent? What was your first reaction?

Dr. Matthias Friedrich:

My first reaction was, Oh, my God because I am not a very nervous person, but I have a terrible stage fright. So that's my first reaction.

Tarah Schwartz:

Yet you're a musician who plays in front of people. So how do you pass over that stage fright when you do have to play?

Dr. Matthias Friedrich:

Yeah, so I actually do not perform regularly in front of people. I perform sometimes in front of friends and family. And we are also having some activities where we jam together. But I'm not an experienced public musician. No, that would not be honest, if I would say that.

Tarah Schwartz:

So tell us a little bit about your talent, then what is it that you're going to be doing? And how did you become interested in that?

Dr. Matthias Friedrich:

I'm playing some piano, and I'm playing some guitar. And with the guitar playing, as well as the piano, I tried a little bit of composing. It's mostly to entertain myself. But some of that also seems to be up to here. So what I thought after having overcome my initial reaction, what I thought I would do is I would just play a self-composed piece on the on the guitar. And in order to make it a little bit more interesting, I will use a so-called loop. So I will play first and then I will play myself on what I just recently played. So this will make it sound like several guitars and I hope that will be good enough, and I will not be too nervous to perform there.

Tarah Schwartz:

I'm sure you will do a wonderful job, Dr. Friedrich, and he is performing at MUHC's Got Talent on November 16 at Montreal's Corona theatre. It's a fundraiser where staff raise money for causes close to their hearts. So tell us what are you raising money for Dr. Friedrich?

Dr. Matthias Friedrich:

Yes. So as I mentioned before, I'm involved in imaging, so in creating images of the heart that give us clues about the diagnosis. And we're currently having a very, very important, maybe a revolutionary research program that uses a technique that allows us to kind of see how the oxygen in the heart muscle changes over time. And we don't even use a needle for that. So we don't need to inject something. We don't use any radioactive agents or radioactivity. We're just using magnetic fields to track what happens to the oxygen in the heart muscle over time. And this research program, of course, has a lot of aspects. We have to validate that in the careful experiments and this is all of course costly. And while we have a very generous donation that allowed us to get started this research program, which now involves collaborations with centers all across the globe, requires of course funding and we have wonderful students who are highly motivated. And we just need the funds to make sure that we can pay them during the research time and free up the time so that we can really make these advances happen. So this is what we're raising money for.

Tarah Schwartz:

Now, if you want to support Dr. Friedrich- $10 buys you one vote. The performer with the most votes, takes the crown on November 16. That's going to be a live show at the Corona theater. Dr. Friedrich, you're going to be up against multiple MUHC staffers who are showcasing all their different kinds of talents. Are you a competitive type of person? Are you going to be in a competitive mode for this talent show? How are you approaching it?

Dr. Matthias Friedrich:

I think I certainly have a competitive moment. But I've been in the business of life for too long. So I'm not competitive anymore. I enjoy being part of this. And I would be as happy for others to perform well and make this an event that will be good for all the involved scientists and research projects. So while of course, we'll be eager to perform well. And while I certainly would hate to be the last, but being part of it is probably most of the joy. And I'm looking forward to that.

Tarah Schwartz:

I hope so. And how do you think your patients people who are just the average person do you think they're going to enjoy seeing their doctors, their physicians up there on the stage out of context out of the lab coat performing their talents? Do you think that's going to be fun for people?

Dr. Matthias Friedrich:

Oh, I'm sure that that will be fun. And seeing someone who you deal with as you said in a completely different context. Certainly is always enjoyable and I'm sure that the patients but also donors and colleagues will enjoy seeing these people now doing something they never did in front of them. So I'm sure it will be a lot of fun.

Tarah Schwartz:

I think so to Dr. Matthias Friedrich, I want to thank you for joining us on the show. I want to wish you good luck at the live performance on November 16. And really appreciate speaking with you. I'm looking forward to hearing you perform.

Dr. Matthias Friedrich:

Thank you very much and best wishes to all the listeners and I hope you can join will be fun. Thank you very much for having me.

Tarah Schwartz:

Thank you Dr. Friedrich. I hope so too. And if you'd like to support Dr. Friedrich or any of the performers, just head to MUHC Foundation.com. And on the homepage, you'll see MUHC's Got Talent; $10 buys you one vote and the performer with the most votes takes the crown November 16 at Corona theater. You can also join us there, you can buy tickets to the Corona Theater, same website MUHC Foundation dot com. Coming up next, we meet a dermatologist specializing in complex medical care. I'm Tarah Schwartz and this is Health Matters. Recruiting top talent is really important. Doctors, researchers, scientists, we all want the best of the best to be treating us when we get ill, or when someone we love gets ill. Dr. Lisa Iannattone has been recently appointed the competence by design education chair in the Division of dermatology at the MUHC and she joins me now to discuss this new role. Thank you so much for being with us.

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

Hi, thank you for having me.

Tarah Schwartz:

So that is quite the title competence by design education chair in the Division of dermatology at the MUHC, what does that mean?

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

Essentially, there's been a whole overhaul to the way that medical training and residency is evaluated. So I'm basically chairing this new era of medical education for the dermatology residency program at McGill.

Tarah Schwartz:

And what is this new era? What signifies this as something new?

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

The traditional way of teaching was that residents would do rotations learn on their rotations, study nights and weekends, write exams, have a final exam and then that's how you pass residency. But now, we're realizing that there's value to evaluating residents more clinically, not just as an overall end of the rotation, how did you do. But patient by patient, making sure that they're able to evaluate certain diseases and be able to evaluate them and get the whole thing right, multiple times. For surgical residents, it would be surgical procedures, to be able to really be evaluated doing that skill or learning that skill or learning how to manage that disease so that it's much more equal, making sure that everybody ends with all the skills they need.

Tarah Schwartz:

It's almost like it seems to me more practical versus more booksmart which makes sense to be like you want to be able to see that they can do something. There's only so much studying you can do right; you need to be able to put it into practice. Is that what you are talking about?

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

That's a good way to put it. Very practical clinical training and evaluation. Absolutely, sort of coaching. I see it as like coaching.

Tarah Schwartz:

I like that. We're speaking with Dr. Lisa Iannattone, we're talking about her new role in the Department of Dermatology at the MUHC so you specialize Dr. Iannattone in complex medical dermatology, so what does that mean?

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

So that's essentially dermatology that deals with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Tarah Schwartz:

Can you give us some examples of what that might be?

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

So there are many, but the ones that I focus on primarily are autoimmune bullous diseases, so basically blistering diseases of the skin caused by the immune system, and rheumatological diseases like lupus, which can affect the skin. It's an autoimmune disease and autoimmune diseases related to lupus like myositis and other sorts of inflammatory diseases like vasculitis which is inflammation of the blood vessel. And I also see a lot of severe skin reactions from cancer drugs, the new era of cancer drugs.

Tarah Schwartz:

I think that I mean, I'm including myself in this I think that a lot of people don't realize that just hearing you describe it, dermatological conditions like these must be very, very painful, are they?

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

Very painful or very itchy and chronic itch is just as difficult to deal with as chronic pain.

Tarah Schwartz:

So how do you treat that? How do you treat chronic itching chronic pain, so it sounds like a terrible thing to have to live with?

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

So it depends on the disease but most of the treatments because there are problems of the immune system, autoimmunity and inflammation are treated with medications that decrease your immune system. So immunosuppressive medications, or biologic medications, which are basically medications that target specific areas of the immune system. And so most of them are treated that way. And in dermatology, obviously, we treat a lot with topical steroid creams and light therapy.

Tarah Schwartz:

What inspired you to pursue dermatology? What drew you to that field of medicine because there are so many?

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

There are. What I loved about dermatology was the diversity. So we deal with everything from cancers to autoimmune diseases, pediatrics to geriatrics, there's surgical skills involved in dermatology. So it's a very broad specialty. And I'm a very visual person. So the visual aspect of diagnosis was really attractive for me.

Tarah Schwartz:

And then how do you go from, say, dermatology to complex dermatology? How do you decide to take that path? Because it seems like there's a lot more, I guess, study that goes along with that study and practice?

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

Yes. So it was an extra year, I did a fellowship at Harvard University after some residency training. And I decided to do it because basically, complex medical dermatology is the place where dermatology overlaps with internal medicine. And internal medicine was the other sub specialties that I really enjoyed as a medical student and had a hard time deciding between internal medicine and dermatology. So for me, complex medical dermatology was just a very natural choice.

Tarah Schwartz:

So interesting. So tell us a little bit about your history. So you said that you did some studying at Harvard, tell us a little bit more about where you've come from.

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

I'm born and raised in Montreal, I did my medical studies at Universite de Montreal and my dermatology residency also at the Universite de Montreal. Then I went on to the fellowship at Harvard University at the hospital's Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Center, which is what I have experience with those cancer drug reactions. And then I came back and I am working at Maisonneuve Rosemont hospital, which is affiliated to the Universite de Montreal, and also at the Montreal General Hospital, which is affiliated to McGill University. And now I've been taken on this new role as the chair of the competency committee for the McGill University lessons program.

Tarah Schwartz:

Wow, sounds so fascinating. We're speaking with Dr. Lisa Iannattone; we're talking about her new role in the Department of Dermatology at the MUHC. How common Dr. Iannattone, are dermatological issues as a whole? How much of the population is affected by these?

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

Very common, extremely common. Even family practice, general practice, dermatological issues are something they see every single day. And right now in Quebec is quite a waiting list.

Tarah Schwartz:

You have quite a waiting list?

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

It's very common, and we have trouble keeping up. So we are trying to get through this waiting list in Quebec, which just shows that there's really a lot of demand; a lot of people are suffering with skin issues.

Tarah Schwartz:

And is it something that has gone up? Or has this been like a steady problem for years?

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

A steady problem for years, definitely.

Tarah Schwartz:

Really? What do you think that is? Is this something that gets talked about... why people have such a problem with skin issues?

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

That's a good question... I never really thought of it, why I think it's easy to see. As soon as there's an issue, you become aware of it quickly. It's also that it's our largest organ, it's the one exposed to the world. So it's very easy to end up with small infections, allergies, irritations, all kinds of things.

Tarah Schwartz:

Yeah, I think I often forget that skin is our largest organ. I often think of organs as inside the body. So I think most people will many of you I don't know, maybe many people think like me, I forget that skin is an organ. So tell us you, we've been through this long trajectory, which sounded really, really interesting. Why did you decide to join the MUHC, as this new role? What was it what was of interest there that you decided to take this on?

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

So the draw of the MUHC is really the team in the dermatology department right now. It's a really young and dynamic team that really have a lot of motivation to expand research and dermatology, to improve dermatology residency training and teaching. I do have a few colleagues that work there and in speaking with them, it really seemed like an excellent place to work. And my role is clinician-educator, more than clinician-researcher, I really have a passion for teaching. And there seem to just be a lot of opportunities at the MUHC, again, another natural fit for me.

Tarah Schwartz:

It seems that the natural fits are important and what do you hope to accomplish in this role? Or in the years that are ahead? I know you can't make goals too far in advance, or maybe you do but what do you hope to accomplish in the years ahead?

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

So I really just hope to be able to improve the residency training program, heading this new initiative, but also through improving exposure and the teaching of the residents get so that we can train excellent, competent dermatologists for the future. And of course, my number one goal is always to provide excellent patient care.

Tarah Schwartz:

Absolutely wonderful. That's a great goal. It's something that I'm sure all patients want to hear. Dr. Lisa Iannatone, I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us on Health Matters today. We appreciate your time.

Dr. Lisa Iannattone:

Thank you so much.

Tarah Schwartz:

Next up on the show, construction on the new Lachine Hospital is starting this fall we share what you can expect from the expertise of the MUHC in the West Island. I'm Tarah Schwartz. Welcome back to Health Matters on CJAD 800. The construction for the Lachine hospital begins tomorrow. This is an important step toward bringing the expertise of the MUHC to Lachine, Dorval and the West Island. The MUHC Foundation has joined forces with the Lachine Hospital Foundation to raise the $5 million dollars to bring state of the art equipment to the new modern hospital. We officially launched the campaign Dream Big Lachine Hospital this past week at a special event with the wonderful health care professionals who work at Lachine hospital. Joining us now is Helene Gagnon, Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice President at CAE but she is also the Dream Big Lachine Hospital co-chair, one of them. Welcome Helene and thank you for being with us today.

Helene Gagnon:

Thank you so much for having me, Tarah.

Tarah Schwartz:

So tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at CAE.

Helene Gagnon:

I'm Chief Sustainability Officer. Everything that has to do with community relations is at the center of everything that I do. I'm responsible for social impact of the company, and therefore it was kind of a natural fit for me when the MUHC Foundation and Lachine Hospital Foundation asked me to be one of the co-chairs of this fundraising campaign. Because it's so important CAE is one of the companies that is headquartered in the West Island, and not too far from the airport, and therefore a lot of our employees and their families live in the West Island and so we thought it'd be great if we can support this amazing new project that Lachine Hospital has.

Tarah Schwartz:

So why is it important do you think for companies, organizations who live in Lachine, in the West Island to get involved in a fundraising campaign like this one to be a part of it?

Helene Gagnon:

I think that the general public always think that health care and hospitals are something that is fully funded by our governments. And of course, the government has committed to $210 million for the expansion of the Lachine hospital. But what is not being funded by the government is the state of the art, medical equipment. So when a Hospital Foundation or hospital really wants to go further, and really increase the patient-support, the quality of the equipment, the cutting edge technology, that's where the foundations of the various hospitals really come in. And so in this particular case, we will have the opportunity in the West Island to have this new state of the art campus that will bring the same level of cutting edge technology that we get at the MUHC, but very close to the community. And therefore, I think it's very important for companies and individuals living in the West Island to rally around this campaign. It's a $5 million campaign. And we think it's important to complement the government funding for this project of the new campus of Lachine hospital.

Tarah Schwartz:

Absolutely, and it's interesting, because the Lachine hospital joined the MUHC in 2016. And now we're seeing the groundbreaking the construction beginning on Thanksgiving Monday, which is really exciting. So how exciting is it for you that after having this hospital in the West Island, Lachine, you're now part of this amazing campaign, the campaign co-chair. How exciting that this are the groundbreaking is starting now?

Helene Gagnon:

Well, I think it's really good that we're starting right after the election, I think that the project is now going to be officially launched. And therefore, that's when we're launching also this, this campaign. I think people should get excited because with the new hospital in Lachine, it means we're going to have 100% of single patient rooms. We'll bring the same quality of surgical suites as the Glen site that we have at the MUHC with cutting edge technology. We'll have an expanded emergency room, we'll have a state of the art intensive care unit, and really a comfortable palliative care unit. So we're really all bringing this modern facility to help attract top talent. So we do get some good services at the Lachine campus. More care, better comfort for patients, state of the art technology; it means a healthier community, for our employees, for people who live there, right there in the Lachine campus. And if there's a need to be transferred, then you can get transferred directly to the MUHC. But the initial care, the same level of services will be provided right there in the West Island.

Tarah Schwartz:

We're speaking with Helene Gagnon, the Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice President at CAE. But she's also the Dream Big Lachine Hospital co-chair, a fundraising initiative to raise $5 million for state of the art equipment that is going to go to the new modernized Lachine hospital. And then we've been speaking to some staff and what I find really interesting and lovely about the Lachine hospital is that the staff are so committed. It really does feel like a community and I know that you use that word in your previous answer saying that it was so community. What I love is that staff are excited about this hospital too. I like that they're getting the new hospital that they want. How do you feel about the excitement that staff has toward this this new modernized hospital?

Helene Gagnon:

Well, it's like everything. Talent is at the heart of everything that we do. With the right talent and the right staff, then we'll be able to build that that hospital. Brick and mortar are great equipment; great technology is phenomenal but without the staff we cannot get the real patient care. Health care support is about empathy. It's about having the right people there that are there to support our community. And so to know that the staff is excited about it; to know that we'll be able to retain and attract top talent on this campus with this amazing new campus that we'll have. I think it's good news for everyone. And that's why it's so exciting to hear that the staff is also excited because it means that we'll get the right support and empathy for the people that deserve it.

Tarah Schwartz:

I do want to bring up that building comes with moving pains right whenever you're building, growing. There's construction, there's a reduction of some space because you're expanding the hospital. So it is understandable that it can be a difficult period of change for people. What advice do you have for staff there for people who are working there? Just to sort of say, we know this is going to be a difficult time of growth, but what's coming from it is going to be so wonderful. What advice would you have?

Helene Gagnon:

Well, never, never forget about the North Star and never forget how it's going to look afterwards. Like any renovation project that you do in your own home, everyone has had that experience in the past. It's a bit of a growing pain when it's happening, but you know that it's going to be so much better afterwards. So I think if people experience delays, or traffic- they should keep in mind that we're doing this for the greater good, and that is going to be so much better for our community afterwards, for the staff. Therefore, if we keep that in mind, typically people will breathe and say, Okay, I'll take just a few minutes more, knowing that it's going to be so much better in just a few years.

Tarah Schwartz:

Helene Gagnon is one of the co-chairs of the Dream Big Lachine Hospital fundraising campaign. It seems like philanthropy is a part of your life. What message would you want our listeners, especially those who live in the West Island to know about the Lachine hospital and about why it's important to give to be a part of this?

Helene Gagnon:

Well, I think you know, when you're part of the community, to be there and support at the level that is appropriate depending on your situation is good. It's always good to donate. You sometimes can even more by being part of a campaign or donating then receiving. So when you have in mind that health care is so important in our life and in the lives of our families, to make sure that we have the right campus that is renovated, we have the state of the art technology. Everyone should consider giving a donation, no amount is too small. We would welcome just rallying people around this fundraising campaign for the new campus of the Lachine hospital. People who are listening to us also who are owners of small businesses, who operate in different companies in the West island. They should also consider supporting this campaign. This is for us that this campus is being built and therefore it's up to us to support it.

Tarah Schwartz:

A beautiful note to end on thank you so much. Helene Gagnon, Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior VP at CAE Dream Big Lachine hospital co- chair. Thank you so much for your time today, Helene. We really appreciate it and your enthusiasm toward this very exciting project.

Helene Gagnon:

Thank you so much. Take care.

Tarah Schwartz:

And if you'd like to learn more about the Dream Big Lachine Hospital fundraising project, just head to Lachine hospital foundation dot ca. I'm Tarah Schwartz, thank you so much for tuning in. What would you like to hear about on the show? Write to us at health matters at MUHC Foundation dot com You can also follow us on social media or sign up for our newsletter at MUHC Foundation dot com And once again, if you're interested in the Lachine hospital expansion project that is Lachine Hospital Foundation dot ca. I hope you'll join me again next Sunday. Thank you so much for listening to Health Matters and stay healthy.