Hidden Archives | Jewish General Hospital Foundation

Jewish General Hospital treats first patient in Quebec with state-of-the-art MOLLI medical device

Elevating Level of Care for Breast Cancer Patients

Montreal, November 27, 2023 – For the first time in Quebec, the Jewish General Hospital (JGH), a member facility of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, has used a medical device known as MOLLI® on a breast cancer patient.

The made-in-Canada device implants a tiny tissue marker for localizing lesions for breast surgery. This innovative technology is wire-free and radiation-free.

"The MOLLI device is a game-changer," says Dr. Jean-Francois Boileau (Surgical Oncologist, JGH Segal Cancer Centre), who performed the procedure earlier this month. "From the radiology team that inserts these markers into the patients before surgery to the operating room nurses and surgical oncology teams, this is truly a multi-disciplinary effort that leverages expertise across our healthcare spectrum. We look forward to treating and helping many more patients going forward."

“The procedure was painless, it was a seamless experience," says the patient who wishes to remain anonymous. "The entire team was wonderful. Thank you to everyone who made this possible."

"We are very proud to be the first in Quebec to employ this technology," says Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, President and CEO of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal. "Innovation is what we’re all about and it’s gratifying to see how technology and clinical expertise continue to be at the forefront of how we provide healthcare in a manner that is safe, more efficient and in line with better outcomes for our patients.”

“Thanks to an exceptional donor, whose vision is to rapidly provide cutting-edge equipment, the Foundation is thrilled to play a role in the introduction of this state-of-the-art procedure. Once again affirming our mission to provide patients in Montreal and the province of Quebec with access to innovative care,” says Bram Freedman, President and CEO of the Jewish General Hospital Foundation.

The MOLLI device:

Video-recording of the procedure:

About the Jewish General Hospital:

The Jewish General Hospital (JGH), repeatedly ranked by Newsweek among the top 3 hospitals in Quebec, among the top 10 in Canada and among the top 125 in the world, is an acute and specialized care McGill University teaching hospital. The JGH has been serving a diverse patient population irrespective of religion, language, or ethnic background since it was founded in 1934.

About the Jewish General Hospital Foundation:

Since 1969, the mission of the Jewish General Hospital Foundation has been to advance healthcare and medical research for the people of Quebec by supporting Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital. The Foundation provides essential assistance to the Hospital to enhance its extraordinary patient care, further scientific discovery, and acquire innovative medical equipment. We partner with inspired community members to implement a variety of fundraising initiatives to achieve the Hospital’s ambitious goals.

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Montreal, QC, Canada; November 20, 2023 – Through the Jewish General Hospital (JGH) Foundation, the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Foundation, and the Montréal General Hospital (MGH) Foundation, the Estate of Herta Vodstrcil is benefiting nursing, heart health, surgical techniques, mental health initiatives and much more.

Herta Vodstrcil’s story is straight out of a Hollywood movie.

She was born in Czechoslovakia in 1916. She married Tomas Vodstrcil, who was from a prominent family, and they lived with their two young sons in Belgrade. When the Nazi Party came into power in the late 1930s, Hitler invaded. Facing arrest or worse, the Vodstrcil family fled.

Fearing for their lives, the family left their home. They narrowly avoided capture: when they called for a car to leave the country, two arrived. The first was a real taxi; the second was the Gestapo. They were lucky to escape to India before finally immigrating to Canada.

Herta, Tomas and their infant sons, Andrew and Peter, eventually settled in Montréal, where Tomas began working in the dental supply business. They were proud members of the city’s German community, and demonstrated great resilience despite all they had faced.

Herta called Montréal home for the rest of her life. She was a devoted volunteer at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts and known for her talent with languages—she spoke half a dozen at least. She passed away in 2014 at the age of 98. When her will was read, the family’s remarkable generosity came to light: Herta left $15 million to three hospitals in Montréal, including $5 million each to the JGH Foundation, the MUHC Foundation, and the MGH Foundation. This extraordinary gift is having an immense impact on health care in the city and beyond.


Herta’s generosity is supporting the following programs:

Attaining Magnet Recognition at the JGH

$3.5 million is being used to propel the JGH’s advanced nursing standards to the next level through the Magnet Recognition Program®. The prestigious program recognizes health care organizations that provide quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. To become a Magnet hospital, known for better patient outcomes and high job satisfaction among nurses, requires significant data collection and benchmarking against other institutions. The process of certification can take several years. Among other initiatives, Herta’s gift is funding JGH employees who are supporting the process of certification, with the aim of making the JGH the second hospital in Canada to achieve Magnet Recognition Status.

Mental Health Initiatives at the JGH

$1.5 million is supporting multiple mental health initiatives at the JGH, including the Trauma-Focused Therapy Program, which is a specialized psychotherapy program to help people overcome the impacts of childhood and adult trauma. Through group and individual therapy, the program aims to enhance resilience and promote recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder and complex post-traumatic stress disorder, in order to allow people to reconnect with themselves and their communities.

Nursing enhancement at the MGH and the MUHC’s Glen site

$3.7 million of Herta’s gift is supporting nursing enhancement through simulation training for nurses. Simulation training uses lifelike, high-tech manikins to teach nurses to respond to medical emergencies in simulated environments that feel real. Simulation training is incredibly important because it allows nurses to become comfortable with high-stress situations and ensures they can practice lifesaving procedures in a controlled environment before trying them on patients.

Women’s Heart Health through the MUHC Foundation

$250,000 created the Women’s Health Heart Initiative (WHHI) endowment. The WHHI is a nurse-led initiative that provides individualized, specialized care to reduce a woman’s overall risk for heart disease. Participants are monitored and given strategies to make lifestyle changes to improve their heart health. Thanks to the endowment, the WHHI will now have a stream of funding to ensure it can continue to save lives.

Vascular Surgery Prehabilitation through the MUHC Foundation

$1.3 million benefits the Vascular Surgery Prehabilitation Program at the MUHC’s Glen site. Most of us are familiar with rehabilitation, the process of recovery after surgery. Dr. Kent MacKenzie and Dr. Heather Gill flip this idea on its head, helping patients improve their fitness through exercise and nutritional support before they have surgery. This program is revolutionary for patients, allowing them to recover in a fraction of the time normally required. In some cases, patients for whom surgery is too risky become candidates thanks to the program.

Surgical Innovation through the MUHC Foundation

$1.25 million is supporting several projects related to improving surgical techniques and outcomes at the MUHC’s Glen site. Funding for therapeutic endoscopy allows the MUHC’s gastroenterologists to pioneer new minimally invasive techniques for everything from removing colorectal tumours to relieving blockages in the intestines. On the cardiology side, the new cardiac surgery database provides a one-stop resource for information on both individual patients’ response to surgery and aggregated data on how age, medical history and other factors can affect surgical outcomes.

Patient Connect: High-tech Vital Signs Tracking through the MGH Foundation

The Patient Connect system automatically records patient vital signs and transmits the data to the patient’s electronic record. With the push of a button, nurses can easily collect patient data, saving time and ensuring every individual in their care is closely monitored. $1 million was designated to this important technology to help optimize workflow for MGH staff and improve patient safety.

Improving Patient Care Using Artificial Intelligence through the MGH Foundation

An aortic aneurysm occurs when the aorta—the large artery through which blood travels out of the heart—becomes enlarged, less flexible and more susceptible to damage from the pressure of the blood pumping through it. Aortic aneurysms are like ticking time bombs—they could rupture at any time, an event that can be fatal.

The prevalence of aortic aneurysms has doubled over the last 15 years, and they remain silent until a life-threatening rupture occurs. $500,000 is supporting cardiologist Dr. Kevin Lachapelle and his research team to use artificial intelligence (AI) to predict which patients are at high risk of aortic aneurysm rupture. This allows the medical team to make informed decisions about whether the patient needs surgery. This ongoing research will lead to improved patient care by allowing physicians and patients to make better informed decisions about treatment of aortic aneurysms.

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~ This generous donation is not the first to be made by the cooperative financial group, which has been involved for many years with the Foundation. ~

Montreal, QC, Canada; October 17, 2023 – The Jewish General Hospital (JGH) Foundation is pleased to announce that DESJARDINS GROUP is making a major donation of $750,000 to support the JGH, a follow-up to an even larger donation made in 2012.

The additional funds will support a scholarship program at the JGH’s research arm, the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research (LDI). The scholarship will be entitled the Desjardins Award of Distinction in Emerging Research, and six annual bursaries will be awarded to post-doctoral fellows at the LDI over a period of five years.

Desjardins has been a long-standing supporter of the JGH Foundation, particularly as the lead sponsor of the annual Golf Classic.


“At the JGH, we know that research makes exceptional patient care possible,” said Bram Freedman, President and CEO of the JGH Foundation. “We are honoured to receive Desjardins’ generous gift, knowing that these scholarships will support potentially groundbreaking work at the JGH’s Lady Davis Institute.”

“We are so grateful for this gift, which will help fund the next generation of researchers and contribute to the advancement of medical knowledge,” said Dr. Stephen Robbins, Director of Research at the LDI.

"Desjardins' support for the Jewish General Hospital through this $750,000 donation will give post-doctoral fellows the help they need to excel and reach their full potential, said Michel Cantin, Vice-President of Development and Partnerships for Western Quebec, Desjardins Group. "The scholarship and the bursaries this will fund over the next five years demonstrate the value our organization puts on education and on the health innovation space."


Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in North America and the fifth largest cooperative financial group in the world, with assets of $409.6 billion. It was named one of the World's Top Female-Friendly Companies by Forbes magazine. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. Ranked among the world's strongest banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has some of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry.


The Jewish General Hospital, repeatedly ranked by Newsweek among the top 3 hospitals in Quebec, among the top 10 in Canada and among the top 125 in the world, is an acute and specialized care McGill University teaching hospital. The JGH has been serving a diverse patient population irrespective of religion, language, or ethnic background since it was founded in 1934.

The Hospital is home to one of the highest number of births in Quebec with a specialization in high-risk pregnancies and neonatal care; one of the busiest and most efficient Emergency Departments in the province; the Segal Cancer Centre, which is recognized internationally for its groundbreaking cancer treatment and research achievements; and the Lady Davis Institute, one of the largest and most influential medical research centres in Canada. The JGH is the hub institution of the regional health authority known as the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal.


The Lady Davis Institute (LDI) opened its doors in 1969. The LDI is the research arm of the Jewish General Hospital (JGH), which is affiliated with the CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l'Île-deMontréal (CCOMTL) and is administered by the CIUSSS CCOMTL. The LDI is also part of the McGill Integrated University Health Network (RUIS). All basic science and clinical investigators at the LDI have university appointments. The LDI boasts more than 220 researchers, 400 administrative and support staff, and about 265 post-graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who receive their research training at the Institute yearly. Special areas of interest include Cancer Therapeutics, Molecular Oncology, Cell and Gene Therapy, AIDS/HIV, Aging, Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease, Clinical Epidemiology, and Psychosocial Aspects of Disease. The LDI is one of the most productive hospital-based research institutes in Canada in terms of peer-reviewed grant funding per square feet.


Since 1969, the mission of the JGH Foundation has been to advance healthcare and medical research for the people of Quebec by supporting Montreal’s JGH. The JGH Foundation provides essential assistance to the Hospital to enhance its extraordinary patient care, further scientific discovery and acquire innovative medical equipment. We partner with inspired community members to implement various fundraising initiatives to achieve the Hospital’s ambitious goals.


Amanda Starnino
Jewish General Hospital Foundation
Cell phone: 514-806-7078
Email: amanda.starnino@jgh.mcgill.ca

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The Jewish General Hospital and its Foundation's joint 2023 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING will take place on Thursday, September 28, 2023.

Below are the documents to be approved at the AGM. Please right click to save each document.

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Thank you for registering for the Jewish General Hospital and its Foundation's joint 2022 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING which will take place on Thursday, September 29, 2022.

Below are the documents to be approved at the AGM. Please right click to save each document.

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André Aisenstadt Clinical Day

Aisenstadt 2021_email header

The JGH is excited to present the 58th Annual André Aisenstadt Clinical Day, an expert panel on COVID-19, featuring six renowned experts. This day will include talks on the myriad of topics related to psychiatry, obstetrics, thrombosis, long-term complications of Covid, as well as the historical making of the mRNA vaccines. This event is accredited by the FMSQ and attendees will receive a CME certificate post-event.

Date: October 28, 2021
Time: 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


In departments across the hospital, the personnel responded to the unique challenges posed by COVID-19 with grace and skill. We are pleased to recognize their selfless contributions and demonstrated leadership.

Director, Emergency Department, Jewish General Hospital
Professor and Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, McGill University

Georges Bendavid, B. Ing, M.Sc
Director of Technical Services, Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre for West-Central Montreal

E. Ruth Chaytor, MD, FRCSC
Associate Professor of Surgery, McGill University
Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeon & Chief of Surgical Services, Jewish General Hospital

Dr. Justin Cross
Chief Digital Health Officer for the Integrated Health and Social Services University Network for West-Central Montreal

David Diachidos
Chief of Laundry and Linen Services for the Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre for West-Central Montreal and President of the Board of Directors of the CPE Les frimousses for the CCOMTL

Khan Du Dinh
Associate to the Director DRHCAJ- Global security, Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre for West-Central Montreal

Beverly Kravitz
Director of Human Resources, Communications and Legal Affairs for the Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre for West-Central Montreal

Roderick R. McInnes, CM, MD, PhD, FRSC
Alva Chair in Human Genetics
Director Emeritus
Lady Davis Institute

Carmela Pepe, MD, FRCPC
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Diseases
Department of Medicine, Medical Director Covid Units and K7 CTU, Jewish General Hospital

April Shamy, MD, FRCPC
Associate Professor of Medicine, McGill University
Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Medical Director Covid Units and K7 CTU, Jewish General Hospital

Roberta Shear, MD, FRCSC
Director of Obstetrics & OBS Ultrasound, Jewish General Hospital
Assistant Program Director, McGill OBGYN Residency Program
Assistant Professor, McGill University

Elliott Silverman, PMP, CRP
Director of Logistics and the Internet of Things, Jewish General Hospital

Lucie Tremblay, inf., M.Sc., Adm.A., CHE, ASC
Director of Nursing, Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre for West-Central Montreal

Anthony Turi
Department Head - Environmental Services, Integrated Health and Social Services University Network for West-Central Montreal

Paul Warshawsky, MD, CM, FRCP(C)
Chief, Adult Critical Care Medicine, Jewish General Hospital
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, McGill University

Karl Weiss, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Jewish General Hospital, Professor of Medicine, McGill University, Department of Medicine



Director, IRCM Post-COVID-19 Research Clinic; Director, Microbiome and Mucosal Defence Research Unit, Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM); Assistant Clinical Professor, Université de Montréal

Dr. Emilia Liana Falcone is the Director of the IRCM Post-COVID-19 research clinic and the Director of the Microbiome and Mucosal Defense Research Unit at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM). She is also an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine at Université de Montréal, an Infectious Diseases Specialist at Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), and holds a Canada Research Chair in the Role of the Microbiome in Primary Immunodeficiency. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Falcone established the IRCM Post-COVID-19 (IPCO) research clinic, the first clinic of its kind in Montreal. The IPCO research clinic integrates the clinical evaluation of post-acute COVID-19 sequelae with a research protocol (clinicaltrials.gov; NCT04736732) and biobank aimed at understanding the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of the post-COVID-19 condition.



Professor of Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Lead of the Pandemic Readiness Stream at the University of Toronto Institute for Pandemics

Dr. Fisman is a physician-epidemiologist with research interests at the intersection of applied epidemiology, mathematical modeling, and applied health economics. He trained in medicine and epidemiology at Western, McGill, Brown and Harvard Universities, and has held faculty appointments at Drexel, McMaster, Princeton and the University of Toronto, where he is currently Professor of Epidemiology. He currently serves on Ontario's COVID Science and Modeling tables and holds emergency COVID-19 research funds from Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He leads the Pandemic Readiness stream at the new University of Toronto Institute for Pandemics.


Professor of Medicine, McGill University

Dr. Kahn is a clinical epidemiologist and internist based at the Jewish General Hospital, where she is the founder and director of the Centre of Excellence in Thrombosis and Anticoagulation Care. She is appointed as Professor with Tenure and Associate Chair-Research in the Department of Medicine, McGill University. She founded the McGill Thrombosis Fellowship, for which she was Program Director from 2007-2018. She is co-Director of the CIHR-funded CanVECTOR Network, a Canadian national venous thromboembolism research and training network. In 2016, she was elected to Fellowship in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, considered one of the highest honors for members of the Canadian health sciences community.


Associate Professor, Dept. Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Section Head of the Division of Obstetrics, Women’s Hospital, Winnipeg Health Sciences

Dr. Poliquin attended medical school at the University of Western Ontario and completed her residency training in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Manitoba. Following her residency, she pursued a fellowship in Reproductive Infectious Diseases and a Master’s Degree in Epidemiology through the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Since completing her training, Dr. Poliquin has provided clinical service in reproductive infectious diseases and is now Section Head of Obstetrics at Women’s Hospital Winnipeg Health Sciences. Dr. Poliquin runs a wet-lab affiliated with the Child Health Research Institute of Manitoba and her primary research program, THRIVE, looks at the vaginal mucosal system in the context of BV, candidiasis and HPV. Dr. Poliquin’s research also involve a number of clinical studies, including the national CANCOVID-Preg collaboration. She has received several accolades, most notably the CMA’s Early Career Leader Award for 2020. Poliquin chairs Manitoba’s Shared Health Provincial Obstetrical Working group as well as the Infectious Diseases Committee for the Society of Obstetrician and Gynaecologists of Canada and wearing these hats, she played a key role in guiding prenatal providers in Canada through the thick of the pandemic.


Professor, Division of Social and Cultural Psychiatry, McGill University

Dr. Cécile Rousseau, MD is professor of the Division of Social and Cultural Psychiatry at McGill University. She received her training in medicine and psychiatry at the University of Sherbrooke, Université de Montreal and McGill. She has worked extensively with immigrant and refugee communities, developing specific school-based interventions and leading policy-oriented research. Presently her research focuses on intervention and prevention programs to address violent radicalization. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she led a wide community intervention program and conducted a number of research projects on the mental health consequences of this context on Canadian communities. 


Roberts Family Professor in Vaccine Research, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Drew Weissman, M.D., Ph.D. is a professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. He received his graduate degrees from Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Weissman, in collaboration with Dr. Katalin Karikó, discovered the ability of modified nucleosides in RNA to suppress activation of innate immune sensors and increase the translation of mRNA containing certain modified nucleosides. The nucleoside-modified mRNA-lipid nanoparticle vaccine platform Dr. Weissman’s lab created is used in the first 2 approved COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. They continue to develop other vaccines that induce potent antibody and T cell responses with mRNA–based vaccines. Dr. Weissman’s lab also develops methods to replace genetically deficient proteins, edit the genome, and specifically target cells and organs with mRNA-LNPs, including lung, heart, brain, CD4+ cells, all T cells, and bone marrow stem cells.

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A Catalyst for Transformative Change

From left: Dr. Zoë Thomas, Adult Psychiatry Day Treatment Program and Trauma-Focused Therapy Program, Jewish General Hospital; Edward Wiltzer, Chair, JGH Corporation; Susan Avon, Director and Secretary, Doggone Foundation; Paul R. Marchand, Executive-Director and President, Doggone Foundation; Bill McLellan, Director (deceased); Dr. Karl Looper, Psychiatrist-In-Chief, Jewish General Hospital

Paul Marchand, a catalyst for transformative change via two family foundations

“Pay it back by doing all kinds of good things.” This enduring philosophy has guided Paul R. Marchand throughout his life in both his personal and professional actions, often enabling transformational impact—including at the Jewish General Hospital.

Now retired, he muses that his career in law—he was a partner at Byers Casgrain specializing in tax, estates and trusts—was not a given, “I sort of fell into it.” However, that career became a gateway for doing good which spanned decades, and continues today in his role as executive director for both the Doggone Foundation and the Vodstricil family estate.

“Early on at my first firm, I was fortunate to have had a wonderful, inclusive mentor, Bill Stewart, who looked after estates and trusts. He sadly died very young, and I tried my best to fill his shoes. He believed that happiness was not the result of success but by helping other people. And that would in turn give meaning to the work,” he recalls.

“Therefore, working in the area of estates, I never saw myself as someone who was doing just law. I felt I was helping people with their lives as well as their legacies—and to make a difference.”

Case in point: Elspeth McConnell, the woman behind the Doggone Foundation, which Paul Marchand established on her behalf, and administers. Widowed young, she continued to build a prolific collection of art, much of which was only discovered later in her life when Marchand personally helped her transition to a seniors’ residence. That art—including a Jackson Pollack and other notable works—combined with securities, resulted in an estate worth millions.

Strong-willed, McConnell eventually yielded to Marchand’s influence to use the funds for medical purposes. The choice to invest in the JGH stemmed from her admiration for the Hospital dating back to the 1970s, when her late husband had been treated there—and its inclusion and openness in the area of mental health.

“The Foundation at the Jewish General Hospital, with the guidance of Chief of Psychiatry, Dr. Karl Looper, has been instrumental in building The Elspeth McConnell Mental Health and Wellness Centre, one of the finest of its kind in Canada,” he states.

Stewarded by Marchand, gifts from the Doggone Foundation totalling over $4 million have established the Centre at the JGH, which opened in 2019, among other vital mental health initiatives.

“With the help of the Doggone Foundation, we have established the only publicly available comprehensive therapy program for trauma-focused therapy in Quebec,” shares Dr. Looper, “one which is facing a deluge of referrals reflecting the unmet needs in this area.”

In addition, its Mental Health Day Treatment Centre is a thriving hub for intensive outpatient mental health care—of unprecedented importance during the pandemic. The funding also supports the Centre of Excellence in Geriatric Psychiatry, enabling this JGH department to be “one of the prominent centres for geriatric psychiatry research and training in North America”, states Dr. Looper.

Paul Marchand is noticeably humble when it comes to his involvement in making these projects a reality. “When you have this kind of work, and work with these kinds of fascinating people, you have wonderful stories to tell, and important things to do.”

Another significant gift that Marchand orchestrated stems from the Vodstricil family estate, in which instructions were to leave the funds to the Jewish General Hospital, where one of their sons had been treated, but with no specific designation.

“When I met Mrs. Vodstricil, she was already a widow, and had an interesting story to tell,” he remembers. During WWII, they fortuitously decided to flee Belgrade, and their established life there, just 15 minutes before the Gestapo arrived on their doorstep.

“But I didn’t know when I helped organize her affairs initially, that this would be the result,” he states. In early 2020, when the funds became available to donate, the world was catapulted into an unprecedented time. Marchand explains that the pandemic revealed an opportunity to invest in nurses, particularly important now and for the future.

Most of the $3.5M contribution to the Jewish General Hospital has been dedicated to helping the JGH achieve ‘Magnet Hospital’ status for excellence in nursing and patient care as well as innovation in professional nursing practice—a stringent certification and coveted honour that helps hospitals attract and retain the best nurses and professional staff. It would be the only hospital in Quebec to achieve this designation.

“Nurses and people in healthcare do an extraordinary job, as we have all witnessed during this crisis. They are on the front-lines and should be better rewarded for their tireless efforts and expertise. Their future is all our future,” he shares. “Furthermore, if, through this private funding, I have indirectly helped bring greater public funds into nursing and nurse practitioners, I have done a good thing.”

Paul Marchand’s 80 years have been influenced by remarkable mentors, clients, family and a life lived by the early-learned tenet to pay it forward. And he continues to live true to the words that he learned as a boy attending Lower Canada College: Non Nobis Solum (not for ourselves alone).

“What we do for other people comes from what we give to other people, not what we amass for ourselves. If there is one thing I can suggest, it is to find something that makes use of your talents to help someone every day. You will be happier, have more success and deeper bonds. It sounds simple, but it is true.”

Last Updated August 2021

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A Personal and Lasting Legacy

Former grateful Jewish General Hospital patient leaves a lasting legacy for future exceptional care

For Lyette Soucy, the Jewish General Hospital (JGH) is synonymous with cutting-edge, innovative medicine. That is what inspired her to become a legacy donor.

In 2019, after undergoing routine breast cancer screening, her doctor referred her to the JGH to undergo more extensive testing.

“I had three biopsies with no pain at all. I was very pleased with the medical care I received from Dr. Francesca Proulx and her team at the JGH Radiology Department. I experienced right away the medical excellence of this Montreal healthcare facility, home to some of the world’s leading experts in a variety of medical specialities. In the time I spent in the departments where I was treated, I saw that they were equipped with the latest in medical technology.”

Lyette then learned that the hospital was able to purchase this highly sophisticated medical equipment thanks to donations to the JGH Foundation. “Most Quebecers believe that the government pays the full cost of our healthcare system, which is far from the case. Many are unaware of the admirable and enormous amount of work done by the foundations of major hospitals, including the JGH, which makes a big difference in the lives of the patients it treats.”

Wanting to learn more about the needs of the JGH, she visited three departments: Neurology, Oncology and Neonatology. “I was very impressed by the organization of these departments, their state-of-the-art medical equipment and the major advances they make every day in the field of medical research. During my visit, I had the privilege of meeting with senior members of these departments, including Dr. Té Vuong, a leading expert in colorectal cancer. They explained to me clearly the respective missions of their departments and the challenges they face on a daily basis.”

After the visit, which made a deep impression on her, Lyette seriously explored the possibility of making a legacy gift to the JGH Foundation. “I could clearly see the positive impact on the JGH by becoming a legacy donor to the Foundation.”

For Lyette, it is imperative that her legacy gift reflect her personal beliefs. “I want to ensure that the money I worked hard for and managed carefully during my lifetime will be put toward the collective well-being of our society, and used wisely by my heirs. This legacy gift will allow me to make a significant difference in the lives of many patients. It will also give me the tremendous satisfaction of having accomplished something extraordinary during my lifetime.”

She has full confidence in the JGH Foundation to manage her legacy. “The Foundation has a solid and well established reputation. I have opted for an endowment, with the annual income used to fund specific projects. The Foundation will also serve as my executor.”

In the meantime, Lyette has made a donation to the JGH, which she describes as “modest,” of which she is very proud. It was used to buy a new medical device for breast cancer screening. “The device will make it possible to screen 600 women a year for five years. These small technological tools can make a world of difference. They certainly help to reinforce the excellent reputation of the JGH.”

To find out more about Legacy Giving click here.

Last updated May 2021

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A Legacy in the name of his parents

Son of former JGH patients leaves a Legacy of excellence in care for future generations

The power of a planned gift is undeniable. To each person, leaving a legacy means something different and uniquely personal, to put a stamp on the future. To Yoav Ifergan it means honouring his parents who both underwent treatment at the Jewish General Hospital

“The greatest person who influenced me and I tried to emulate the most was my mother. She inspired me to give back,” Yoav shared. “Sadly, my mother succumbed to her illness many years ago, but her loving and caring generosity of spirit remains with me.”

In addition to his mother’s on-and-off treatment at the JGH, his father was also admitted to the hospital for three separate, equally concerning health issues.

“The first visit, he went in for bypass heart surgery,” Yoav explained. “The second visit was much more critical. He had suffered a stroke.”

While recovering in the Intensive Care Unit for over a month, the doctors made it clear to Yoav that his father had a 50 per cent chance of survival. He had developed an infection as a result of the stroke.

“Miraculously, he overcame both ailments at the same time and had no side effects as a result of the stroke or the infection,” Yoav said happily. “The doctors and nurses that attended to him were just amazing. You don’t really realize when you’re going through something traumatic like that, it’s only many years down the line when you reflect back that you realize how amazing the doctors and nurses were.”

“To this day, my father claims that the staff at the Jewish General saved his life. The way my parents were treated at the hospital was part of why I made a planned gift to the JGH. It was an opportunity for me to pass on some of my mother’s values and virtues to future generations of patients.”

There are many ways to support the JGH Foundation through a planned gift, with the most common being a bequest in your will. This type of donation represents about 90% of all planned gifts in Canada. A bequest is essentially a gift made through your will or trust; it can be a piece of property, a percentage of your estate, securities or cash. The funds will be distributed based on your predetermined instructions—to support or endow specific departments or programs, or to be used at the Hospital’s discretion.

Yoav’s gifts reflect two priorities at the Hospital. One is a general gift, providing undesignated funds to the area of greatest need at the JGH. The other was designated for the Intensive Care Unit. 

“I see the ICU as a place where there’s sophisticated equipment. It’s a nurse being by your side 24/7. It is space that’s a combination of technology mixed with human care and tenderness,” said Yoav.

“The bottom line: my gift will provide funding that will serve the community in a meaningful and purposeful way and save human lives. You can’t put a price on that.”

To find out more about Legacy Giving click here.

Last updated April 2021

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The Gift of a Mother’s Love

Newly published book brings hope and healing to JGH esophageal cancer patients

Self-published book, all proceeds will go to the Jewish General Hospital

There is no bond that we know of in the world, greater than that of a mother and her child. A mother’s love remains unconditional, devotionally extending even beyond the realm of life itself. For Florence Cohen, this hits close to home.

Florence’s daughter, Dr. Andrea Joy Cohen, M.D., O.B.M., tragically passed away in 2015 of esophageal cancer. A doctor, scientist, cancer researcher, author, poet and inspirational speaker, Dr. Cohen epitomized success in the eyes of her mother. “I think about my daughter all the time. I'm proud of her. She radiated kindness and she was a wonderful daughter,” Florence shared.

Dr. Cohen authored many poems and a book, A Blessing in Disguise: 39 Life Lessons from Today’s Greatest Teachers, published in 2008. It received much acclaim and debuted on the LA Bestseller List in its first week, as well as ranking on other lists following. Andrea had written two more manuscripts but she became ill with esophageal cancer, and did not have time to bring them to publication before she passed away.

When she died, Florence felt it was her responsibility to honour her daughter’s legacy. With two of Dr. Cohen’s unpublished manuscripts in hand, she thoughtfully began to prepare the documents for publication but didn’t know where to start.

Florence’s physiotherapist at the JGH, Natasha Grant, took her story to heart. "She spoke to her partner, Paul DuVernet, a graphic designer, who volunteered to design the book, and help get it published.” Thanks to the generous guidance offered by Paul, Florence self-published the second edition of Dr. Cohen’s book aptly named A Blessing in Disguise: 42 More Life Lessons from Today’s Greatest Teachers.

Over the years, Florence and her family were patients at the JGH. Dr. Cohen spent most of her adult life in the USA but was treated at the JGH when she was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. “All the proceeds of this book will go to the Jewish General Hospital, and more specifically to research esophageal cancer. I realize this type of cancer could benefit from some attention so, I hope it raises awareness for esophageal cancer research,” Florence shared.

The JGH’s Segal Cancer Centre is a state-of-the-art facility which provides patients with the most comprehensive approach to care, combining cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, psychosocial support, nutritional support and clinical and fundamental research in cancer. In addition to patient care, the Segal Cancer Centre is home to thriving cancer research programs focusing on fundamental, translational, clinical, nursing, psychosocial and palliative care research.

Florence concluded, “I am so gratified to be able to fulfill Andrea’s wish, and I’m very pleased to be able to share it with you. I hope you enjoy Andrea’s book, and feel her spirit through it.”

To purchase Dr. Cohen’s book on Amazon click here.

Last Updated April 2021

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