The ability of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal to prevail against COVID-19 will eventually be possible, thanks to “our professionalism, our leadership and our focus on the particular needs of individual users,” says Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, President and CEO of the healthcare and social services network.
Speaking on November 4 at the CIUSSS’s fifth annual Public Information Meeting, Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg praised “members of our staff—whether they have direct contact with patients or play other important roles—for enduring long shifts and difficult working conditions.
“They have also made many personal sacrifices while working in demanding situations to comfort and support the elderly and the vulnerable.
“Not only did they effectively fight the virus, they went a long way in dispelling the feelings of dislocation, disorientation and depression that many healthcare users experienced due to physical distancing.”
Because of the pandemic, the Public Information Meeting was held as a virtual gathering for the first time, with attendees logging in to Zoom. This was an opportunity for CIUSSS officials to meet with the public, in order to recap the highlights of 2019-2020 and to answer questions from those in attendance.
Dr. Rosenberg also noted that his emphasis in 2019 on increasing the use of new forms of digital technology had a beneficial effect during the pandemic, since platforms like Zoom were quickly implemented enabled users and professionals to stay in touch despite the lockdown.
“Digital technology—combined with compassionate, humane care—allows us take larger steps toward our goal of enhancing the quality of person-centred care,” he said. “It’s a powerful tool that enables us to better understand each person’s needs and, in many instances, to customize their care.”
Dr. Rosenberg concluded by promising “to continue our resolute battle with COVID-19, which can be summed up in one simple phrase: ‘Bodies apart, hearts together.’”
Alan Maislin, President of the Board of Directors, said that even though the pandemic brought change to almost every aspect of the CIUSSS’s activities, “one fundamental principle has remained the same: Our CIUSSS maintains its commitment to placing your needs first.”
This is why so much effort has been put into ensuring convenient access to testing clinics, making allowances—where medically adivsable—for caregivers to make personal visits, and implementing telehealth, Mr. Maislin said.
“Of course, we all hope that by this time next year, the pandemic will be a distant memory,” he added. “But whatever happens, you can rest assured our CIUSSS will continue to make you our top priority.”
Francine Dupuis, the CIUSSS’s Associate CEO, and Dan Gabay, Assistant Executive Director, reminded those at the meeting that even though COVID-19 has been the focus of attention for a full year, CIUSSS staff have continued to pursue excellence in matters unrelated to the pandemic.
Beating COVID-19 is a major challenge, Mr. Gabay said, “but the pandemic does not define us. Each and every department in our CIUSSS remains committed to improving the full spectrum of health care and social services.”
In addition, Carrie Bogante, Director of Finance, provided an overview of the CIUSSS’s sound financial health, while Maude Laliberté, Commissioner of Complaints and Quality of Service (Ombudsman), explained the complaints process and its importance in improvements to health care and social services.