As the presence of fall becomes more evident with every passing week, we find ourselves approaching a season of reflection and celebration, as we express our gratitude for what has been bestowed upon us, while preparing for challenges yet to come.
In the first week of October, Montreal’s Jewish community embarks on one of the most soul-stirring periods of the year, with the observance of Rosh Hashana (New Year), followed by Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) and, in the middle of the month, the harvest festival of Succot. Thoughts of the harvest and family get-togethers are also on the minds of people of all backgrounds, with the celebration of Thanksgiving on October 10.
The great value of these autumn holidays is that, after summer’s hectic pace, they offer us an opportunity to pause and take stock of our ourselves—both professionally and personally—during the past year. With CIUSSS West-Central Montreal now well into its second year, we can also see more clearly how far we’ve come and what still lies ahead. The ability of healthcare users to follow a smoother continuum of care has shown considerable progress. Numerous teams within our departments are continuing to gain cohesion as they proceed with their inter-facility integration. Efforts are proving successful to register increasing numbers of healthcare recipients with family doctors. More and more is being accomplished every day for the elderly, the vulnerable, the refugees.
As well, the upcoming commemoration of Jewish holidays in several of our facilities is a reminder that, along with improving health care and social services, our CIUSSS remains cognizant of the unique characteristics of its member institutions. Within our network, the special history, unique traditions and noteworthy contributions of facilities with Catholic, Presbyterian and Jewish roots deserve to be acknowledged, remembered and preserved for embracing values that are common to us all—the desire to cure illness and ease pain with diligence and compassion.
However you choose to celebrate this season, I would like to extend to everyone a sweet and healthy New Year and a joyous Thanksgiving, in the hope that each of us can live up to the goals that we have set for ourselves. As well, we must recognize and fulfill our obligations to others—to family, friends and co-workers, as well as our clients, residents and patients—as we strive to do our best for the benefit of society as a whole.