Improving Patient Care Further Afield

Dr. Pierre Gfeller didn’t let the biggest snowstorm of the season in southern Quebec keep him from achieving a New Year’s resolution. While Montreal was being blanketed in 40 centimetres of snow on February 13, the president and executive director of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) took an airplane to make the first of a series of planned visits to RUIS McGill’s outlying areas, notably to Northern Quebec (Region 10).

The delegation visits the Centre de la santé de Chibougamau.
The delegation visits the Centre de la santé de Chibougamau. From left to right: Amine Saadi, Coordinator, Psychotic Disorders Continuum, CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’île-de-Montréal; Dre Ewa Sidorowicz, Director of professionnal services at the MUHC; Dr Jean Lemoyne, Director of medical and social affairs and professional services, CRSSS Baie James; Nathalie Boisvert, President and executive director, CRSSS Baie James; Dr Pierre Gfeller; President and executive director, MUHC; Dr Samuel Benaroya, RUIS McGill Coordinator and MUHC physician; Dr Vasilevsky, nephrologist and clinical site Director at the Montreal General Hospital; local hemodialysis nurse

Soon after arriving at the MUHC in May 2018, Dr. Gfeller made it an objective of his to tour every region of the RUIS McGill network, which covers 63 per cent of the Quebec territory. Why did Dr. Gfeller deem this trip around the province so important? Firstly, he wanted to put faces to names and engage in direct dialogue with local health organizations on the challenges to overcome and the opportunities to seize, particularly for communities in remote regions. The ultimate goal, of course, is to support continuous improvements in health services for the population we serve. 

Dr. Gfeller and five of his MUHC peers visited the Centre régional de santé et de services sociaux de la Baie-James, where the health of patients with diabetes and renal failure is cause for concern because of the increasing demand for dialysis services. Dr. Murray Vasilevsky, Clinical Site Director at the Montreal General Hospital for the Division of Nephrology, joined Dr. Gfeller and Dr. Ewa Sidorowicz, Director of Professional Services at the MUHC, for this visit. 

The Lung Cancer Care Mission was an equally important topic, with Dr. Gfeller discussing the availability of on-site health services and patient transfer needs. Health care for the network’s indigenous populations, including mental health services, was also addressed, as Dr. Samuel Benaroya (Associate Vice-Principal (Health Affairs), Vice-Dean, Faculty of Medicine of McGill University, RUIS McGill Coordinator and MUHC physician), Carole Lapierre (Assistant to the Director of Professional Services, Partnerships Office), and Amine Saadi (Coordinator, Psychotic Disorders Continuum, CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal) made the trip as well.

“I’m so pleased that the RUIS McGill tour has gotten off to such a positive start,” Dr. Gfeller said from the confines of the small Dash 8 aircraft. “It’s important to visit these centres to learn more about the particular needs of each region’s population groups, establish better relationships with local providers and improve the delivery of specialized and ultra-specialized care to all our patients, regardless of their geographic location.”

Next stops on Dr. Gfeller’s tour circuit are: the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de l’Outaouais (Region 7, February 22); the Régie régionale de santé et de services sociaux du Nunavik and the Conseil Cri de santé et de services sociaux  de la Baie James (Regions 17 and 18; March 4-6); the CISSS, Abitibi-Témiscamingue (Region 8, April 30); and CISSS de la Montérégie-Ouest (Region 16, May 7).

Dr Pierre Gfeller and Dr. Ewa Sidorowicz
Dr Pierre Gfeller and Dr. Ewa Sidorowicz