For the first time since CIUSSS West-Central Montreal came into existence in 2015, our network has purchased a new property. Located next to Catherine Booth Hospital, its acquisition will translate into improved services for rehabilitation patients.
The property on Montclair Ave. in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce was owned until this year by the Salvation Army, which operated it as the Montclair Residence for seniors. Directors from our CIUSSS had been interested in the site for years, and finally got an opening in 2019 when the charitable organization expressed a willingness to sell it.
In May, the transaction was completed. With funding from the Quebec Ministry of Health, our CIUSSS purchased the property for $3.45 million.
“This is good news, and marks the result of a long-term effort behind the scenes,” says Georges Bendavid, Director of Technical Services of our CIUSSS. Negotiations continued despite the added difficulties of the pandemic. “It made everything more complex, but we did it.”
The purchase reunites two buildings with a shared history. The Catherine Booth Hospital, named for the wife of Salvation Army founder William Booth, was run by the charity until it was taken over by CSSS Cavendish in 2012; CSSS Cavendish was then integrated into our CIUSSS. The two properties are connected through the basement and share food services, heating, electricity and other essentials.
Francine Dupuis, Associate CEO of our CIUSSS, began discussions with the Salvation Army about acquiring the building as far back as 2005, when she was Director General of CSSS Cavendish.
“The Salvation Army was not quite ready to close its residence at the time,” Ms. Dupuis explains. “We were patient but persevering. We continued the conversation.”
That patience has paid off. With the addition of the new site, our CIUSSS will be able to increase its offer of rehabilitation services; the property could accommodate 30 to 35 new patient beds.
“This gives us the opportunity to grow,” says Gary Stoopler, Director of Rehabilitation and Multidisciplinary Services. Land is in short supply in the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal area, which makes the purchase all the more important, he adds. And new rehabilitation beds would mean patients who require in-patient rehabilitation services could be discharged more quickly from acute-care hospitals after undergoing orthopedic surgery or other procedures.
“It would allow us to improve the flow of patients within the continuum of care,” Mr. Stoopler says.
Mr. Bendavid says the Salvation Army deserves credit for giving our CIUSSS the right of first refusal on the property, thereby allowing it to maintain its public vocation within the community.