65 years of governance
Managing a Catholic Hospital
From 1953 to 1969, Hôpital Saint-Louis-Marie-de-Montfort operated under the charter of the Daughters of Wisdom religious order. Nuns were responsible for administration under the guidance of a Board of Governors and a Board of Directors.
The Board of Governors was responsible for overseeing the interests of the Daughters of Wisdom in the hospital. It consisted of three to five nuns, appointed by the congregation’s General Council, including the Mother Provincial, the Assistant Provincial and advisors.
The Board of Directors was responsible for the hospital’s local administration. Appointed by the Board of Governors, its members included the Provincial Superior of the Congregation, the Financial Officer (called the “provincial steward” at the time), and the nun appointed to serve as the hospital’s Administrator.
Four nuns successively occupied the position of Administrator of the Catholic hospital: Sister Marie-Angèle du Saint-Sacrement (Gracia Leduc) began her duties in January 1952, even before the official opening, and remained in charge until May 1958; Sister Maria de l’Assomption (Gisèle Desmarais) took over temporarily for fifteen months in 1958-1959; Sister Béatrice de l’Immaculée (Alice Guindon) held the position from August 1959 to January 1965; she was later succeeded by Sister Alexandre-Marie de la Croix (Cécile Pelletier) in February 1965, who remained in the position for a little over three years, until 1969.
In the 1960s concern over the hospital’s future grew. The institution was confronting financial challenges and rising operating costs. Changes were required to secure the hospital’s survival and to be in a position to offer high quality hospital care and increasingly modern medical equipment.
The Daughters of Wisdom sought advice from regional leaders of the Francophone community. As a result, the Board of Governors delegated its authority to a new decision-making body in 1964: a Board of Trustees comprising lay members and nuns. This Board took on the role of a protective committee to ensure the hospital’s survival as a Francophone institution.
Responsible for overall management of the hospital, the priority of the Board of Trustees was to place the hospital’s finances on a solid footing. In the late 1960s, it therefore began talks with the Ontario Ministry of Health. It took charge of settling the private debt of the Daughters of Wisdom and negotiated the purchase of the land, buildings, equipment and furnishings with the Government of Ontario. The government expunged the hospital’s debt and issued a charter of incorporation to the new public hospital.
All of these events took place under the chairmanship of Jean-Pierre Beaulne, the hospital’s legal advisor from 1962 to 1964 and the first lay chairman of the Board of Trustees (from 1964 to 1967). He played a vital role in the negotiations until his resignation in July 1967, when he was called to the bench.
In 1969, Hôpital Saint Louis-Marie-de-Montfort became a public corporation henceforward known as Hôpital Montfort.
The transition was completed in 1970.
Managing a Public Hospital
In 1970 a new chapter in the history of Hôpital Montfort began. It was a period of modernization of medical services and transformation and enlargement of physical structures. It was also a period marked by the hospital’s struggle to maintain its accomplishments and ensure its survival.
The public hospital was governed by a Board of Governors/Trustees that was later replaced by the Association de l’Hôpital Montfort, and a Board of Trustees, comprising members elected at the annual general meetings.
The Board of Governors managed the hospital from the 1970s to the 1990s. During this time, the Chairman of the Board of Governors also chaired the hospital’s Board of Directors. Each of the following individuals, well-known within the local Francophone community, took their turn as chair: Pierre Camu (1967-1972), Jean-Louis Racine (1972-1978), Marcel Lalande (1978-1982) and Jean-Pierre Kingsley (1982-1990).
The Association de l’Hôpital Montfort
The Association de l’Hôpital Montfort replaced the Board of Governors and took over its duties: to elect Association members and directors; to approve the recommendations of its Board of Directors regarding the Association's linguistic policy ; and to recommend, review, correct, revoke or amend the bylaws of the Board of Trustees, as required. The Association includes a maximum of 100 members dedicated to the mission and vision of Hôpital Montfort. They are appointed for a term of four years.
The Boards of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is guarantor of property and public accountability of the institution. It sets out the objectives of the hospital, determines priorities, controls its operation and evaluates its performance. The responsibilities of the Board include determining the specific guidelines that will serve as framework to the Executive Director, the Medical Advisory Board and the hospital’s Council of Physicians.
Since it first transformed into a public hospital in 1969, thirteen people (including one businesswoman, three politicians and two senior public servants) have chaired Hôpital Montfort Board of Trustees and made a significant contribution to its growth. The following is a list of these people who left their mark on the hospital’s history, along with excerpts of the messages they issued in the annual reports published during their respective terms of office.
"We are ready to move forward [… with a] major renovation program […]. Now all that we need, quite simply […] is permission."
Pierre Camu (1969-1972)
18th Annual Report 1971
"Despite increases of 8% in salaries, 17% in food products and 15-20% in medication, the hospital administration ended the year with a bottom line below its forecasted budget. […] They accomplished an astonishing feat that will be difficult to recreate this year, with the small 7.9% margin allocated by the Ministry [of Health]."
Jean-Louis Racine (1972-1978)
20th Annual Report 1973
"[The] Canadian Council on Hospital Accreditation […] issued Montfort a certificate of excellence and a three-year accreditation [that ordinarily] only teaching hospitals could hope to receive […] The Board of Trustees is proud of this success, which enhances the hospital’s prestige."
Marcel Lalande (1978-1982)
25th Annual Report 1978
"The Board of Directors is legally and morally responsible for leading all aspects of Montfort. It is responsible for offering services to patients and the community that meet their needs, and for ensuring the quality of these services. […] However, it relies on the support of the hospital’s physicians, employees and volunteers to carry out this responsibility."
Jean-Pierre Kingsley (1982-1990)
Annual Report 1986-1987
“An historic period for Montfort, the year 1991 was marked with progress and care to best serve the needs and expectations of the community. […]. From now on, the Emergency department can meet the increasing needs of the community. […] Also, the outpatient clinics […] enable it […] to offer services more tailored to the community at large, without the need for hospitalization."
The Honourable Jean-Jacques Blais (1990-1993)
Annual Report 1991-1992
"In its forty-year history, Montfort Hospital has remained undaunted in the face of tremendous odds and risen to the increasingly exacting challenges of its environment […] As the key provider of French-language healthcare services in the community, Montfort will continue to play a leading role in consultative endeavours that focus on the future of our health care system."
Gérard Raymond (1993-1995)
Annual Report 1993-1994
“Montfort would not have been able to survive the fight of the last four years if some people had not had the temerity to undertake the South wing construction project in the early nineties, thus giving the hospital one of the best infrastructures of the region, allowing it to go full speed ahead towards greater efficiency and ambulatory shift."
Michelle de Courville Nicol (1995-2001)
Annual Report 2000-2001
“If ever the Franco-Ontarian community had any doubts as to its strength and the depth of its talent and abilities, the New Montfort more than puts these doubts to rest. The New Montfort is a direct result of the courage, the endurance and above all, the solidarity of the Franco-Ontarian community. No other community could have succeeded in accomplishing what we have achieved together.”
Pierre J.C. Lefebvre (2001-2006 and 2008-2009)
Annual Report 2005-2006
"In less than a year, the New Montfort will be our reality. We have already given you our promise that we will be ready. We have made a commitment to opening this totally new hospital, one of the most modern in the country, equipped with all of the tools we need to implement existing best practices in health care delivery. "
Denis Pommainville (2006-2007)
Annual Report 2006-2007
“Construction, renovations and moving [of the New Montfort] did indeed finish in 2010, but the hospital is now starting a new chapter during which it will realize its dreams. Over the next five years, it will become the centre of excellence in healthcare that Franco-Ontarians have always wanted.”
The Honourable Gilles Morin (2009-2011)
Annual Report 2010-2011
From 2011 to 2015, Alain-Michel Sékula has chaired the Board of Trustees. During his term of office, the Board began to modernize hospital governance. The changes introduced at the Annual General Meeting on June 19, 2013 gave the Board of Trustees greater administrative and timely flexibility in making decisions.
The Board of Directors assigns responsibility for the hospital’s day-to-day management to the chief executive officer, the hospital’s senior manager. From 1969 to 2013, three people have filled the Chief Executive Officer position, the title of which was changed to "President and Chief Executive Officer" in 1997 to reflect the added responsibilities of the position: Guy L. D’Amours (1968-1985), Gérald R. Savoie (1986-2009) and Dr Bernard Leduc (2010 to the present).
The President and Chief Executive Officer performs his duties with the assistance of a team of Vice-Presidents and executive managers in charge of their respective sector, based on a decentralized organizational structure.
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