Provincial honour for JGH respiratory therapist

Toula Trihas
Toula Trihas

Toula Trihas, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Coordinator for the Multidisciplinary Services Directorate of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, has received the 2017 Quebec Interprofessional Council’s Merit Award.

The prize, the most prestigious awarded by the Professional Order of Quebec Respiratory Therapists, is given to an individual who gains distinction through teaching, research or professional influence on a provincial, national or international scale.

“I was speechless,” Ms. Trihas says. “I’m someone who usually likes being under the radar, so it’s been a humbling experience.”

Ms. Trihas has led many innovative clinical projects, such as the creation of 24/7 services run by respiratory therapists, and the implementation of nitric oxide and high-frequency oscillation ventilation at the JGH for adult and neonatal patients.

The first position for a respiratory educator in Quebec was created by Ms. Trihas, who trains peers and students to become experts in their field.

Ms. Trihas received six letters of support from colleagues, including one from Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, President and CEO of the CIUSSS.

“It truly means a lot to have received this recognition from the people I’ve worked with, who have nominated and supported me,” she says.

In 1986, Ms. Trihas joined the JGH for a year, before returning to Concordia University to complete her science degree. She returned to the hospital in 1991, becoming Assistant Chief of the Department of Respiratory Therapy and Anesthesia for 12 years, and then Chief for the next 13 years.

In her current role, she is responsible for numerous areas: Anesthesia, Respiratory Therapy, Respiratory Physiology, Neurophysiology, Nuclear Medicine, Electrophysiology, Neurophysiology, Ultrasound, and Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology.

“My approach has always been a collaborative one,” she says. “It takes a team to create the right working environment, not just for staff, but for the proper care of patients.”