English Posts

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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English Posts

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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English Posts

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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English Posts

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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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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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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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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English Posts

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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English Posts

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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