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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 been, and continues to be, my greatest run.

I’ve spent a great many years in health care—over 30—as a researcher, physician and administrator, with many exceptional experiences to look back on, but these past two years are the source of some of my proudest memories.

When our facilities first merged, we faced an uphill struggle. We had to learn to work together, understand one another’s historical legacies, and gain an appreciation for the culture that makes each institution tick. We also had to give serious thought to what the culture of our new CIUSSS was going to be—not a simple task for a network that encompasses more than 9,000 employees and 34 sites.

Yet, when I look back on all that we’ve accomplished together over the past 24 months, I can’t help but think that we’re now seeing the payoff for all the effort and training that each person has put into making this one of the best CIUSSS’s in the province.

On Friday, I had my personal annual performance evaluation with the deputy minister and an associate deputy minister. There is always a feeling of trepidation in the days preceding such an encounter. But once in the room, the conversation flowed very freely and I proudly presented the many accomplishments of our CIUSSS from the past year. This was indeed an extraordinary year of accomplishment, and this was acknowledged by the ministers as I proceeded to run down the full list of our achievements.

As the famous runner, Steve Prefontaine, once said, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” We’ve all given our best, and for that I am deeply grateful to our dedicated management team and staff. To them I say, “We’ve had a great two-year sprint, but we still have a marathon ahead of us. So, let’s keep running!”

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