It’s holiday time at CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, where staff are celebrating in a spirit of renewed joy and generosity.
After a two-year hiatus brought on by the pandemic, holiday traditions have happily resumed at some facilities in our CIUSSS, while new ones have begun at others.
At the Constance-Lethbridge Rehabilitation Centre, a 24-year-old ritual that was put on hold during the COVID-19 outbreak has returned. Staff collected donations of non-perishable items for clients in financial need, and a team of volunteers gathered on December 13 to pack the articles into bags. The Holiday Basket event was back—and 44 clients will benefit this year.
“We’re happy to be able to help again because things are pretty tough for some people right now,” says Mae Francisco, a Special Care Counsellor at Constance-Lethbridge, who organized the event. Bake sales and a holiday market of staff-made crafts also helped raise $2,545 toward helping the clients.
At other CIUSSS sites, new holiday traditions took root. Staff at the Henri Bradet Residential Centre noticed that residents missed their holiday outings to shops and church bazaars during two years of COVID-19 restrictions. So this year, the long-term care centre launched its first annual Winter Market to bring cheer and a festive spirit right to where residents live.
“It’s about creating joie de vivre and bringing back good memories,” explains Linda Banks, a Recreation Educator at Henri Bradet. Tables were set up in the recreation room to sell an array of crafts and artwork created by residents throughout the year. Proceeds will go toward outings or ordering in special meals.
Staff elsewhere came up with creative holiday fun—from a drag show performance at the Saint Margaret Residential Centre to an Ugly Christmas Sweater contest at the Father Dowd Residential Centre.
Meanwhile, the elves in the Employee Engagement and Recognition Program delivered sweet holiday treats of cookies across all CIUSSS facilities. It was an opportunity to say thank you to staff for the amazing work they’ve done in 2022.
That gratitude was expressed in an email to staff by Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, President and CEO of our CIUSSS. In an uplifting holiday message, he said that the worst of the pandemic appears to be behind us, and as an organization, “we have clearly shown what we’re made of.”
“Look no further than our outpouring of dedication and compassion for the most fragile and vulnerable among us, our resilience, and our innovative, entrepreneurial, pioneering spirit whose great strides are evident in the continued development of digital health across our sites.”Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, President and CEO of our CIUSSS
He also thanked staff for their “herculean effort” in easing the burden of users and colleagues.
“As we embark on the next phase of our CIUSSS’s future,” Dr. Rosenberg said, “we will need grit, resilience, stamina and persistence. But the journey is exhilarating, and there is no other way. The harder it may get, the stronger we will become.”