2021-22 Annual report to the community
For an entire generation, Hôpital Montfort is a permanent presence, a hospital in full expansion, an organization that is essential to the health of the region.
It is inconceivable for these people that Montfort’s very existence was once threatened.
And yet, on February 24, 2022, we marked the 25th anniversary of the SOS Montfort cause, which lasted from 1997 to 2002.
As the saying goes, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” And, sure enough, our hospital would not be as strong today if it were not for the struggle that was waged to save it.
When Montfort’s survival was finally guaranteed by the courts, the hospital received the funding it needed and began to expand. Today, Montfort is twice the size it was in 1997; the Montfort team has grown from 600 members to more than 2,300; and the annual budget, which was $39 million in 1997, is now $235 million.
Today, Montfort offers the community services that did not exist in 1997, including nuclear medicine, a sleep lab, a range of specialized services in mental health, and many specialized ambulatory clinics in diabetes management, pediatrics, breast health, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and others.
In 2013, Montfort was designated an academic hospital, which added two components to its mission: in addition to offering exemplary care, from that point on it would also conduct research and train the next generation of healthcare providers. With the opening of the Aline-Chrétien Health Hub in 2021 and its involvement in the Ottawa East Ontario Health Team, Montfort is participating in an integrated care system and is extending its reach and impact in Ottawa East.
In a sense, winning the SOS Montfort cause “condemned” us to excellence—we had to prove that Montfort did indeed deserve the support of our community. Beyond being an institution “necessary to promote and enhance the Franco-Ontarian identity,” Hôpital Montfort has the duty and responsibility to offer exceptional services—with you and for you.
Of course, we have staffing challenges and—as is the case across Ontario—the pandemic has exacerbated the skilled labour shortage. We’re working hard to overcome these challenges, developing new approaches and new systems to ensure the future of Montfort and guarantee excellent health services, offered in French and in English.
The hospital’s 70th anniversary is fast approaching. For past generations, this generation and future generations, we are committed to pursuing the path of excellence.
Montfort. We are, we will be!
Dr. Bernard Leduc
President and Chief Executive Officer
Chair of the Board of Trustees
We’ve moved from one pandemic year to another, but things have changed.
Each wave has brought its own challenges.
This edition of the Annual Report to the Community certainly talks about how COVID-19 continues to influence the hospital’s activities. But, above all, the report is an opportunity to present our plans for the future, to celebrate our many innovations, to highlight all of the partnerships that enable Montfort to be more present, and to better respond to the needs of our community.
In 2021, we launched a new strategy, closely aligned with our mission and our vision.
- Our breakthrough: You will have integrated health services, centred on your needs
- Our goals:
- You will benefit from a Centre of Excellence in Chronic
- Disease Management
- Francophone minority communities will have access to quality health services
- Everyone—patients, loved ones, staff members—will have an exceptional experience with each interaction
Our strategic priorities are updated annually so that we can respond to organizational objectives. For example, the priorities for 2021–2022 included deploying a post-COVID recovery strategy and launching a retention program for the Montfort team.
Because, let’s be honest, managing the pandemic and its successive waves took up a lot of our energy again this year, but in different ways than last year.
In 2020, as our knowledge of COVID-19 evolved, we had to be very creative in reorganizing our space and our work methods.
Over the last year, thanks to the vaccines, the challenge shifted to catching up on wait lists for surgeries and other postponed procedures and, above all, managing human resources.
Most members of the Montfort team got their first dose of vaccine at The Ottawa Hospital, where vaccine distribution was centralized during the first months of the vaccination campaign. Then, in May 2021, we were very happy to be able to finally offer the vaccine on site at Montfort, both to staff members and eligible patients.
When we decided to put in place a universal COVID-19 vaccination policy, in August 2021, we knew it was the best thing to do to ensure everyone’s safety. And in November 2021, we were pleased to report that 100% of the people working at Montfort were in compliance with our COVID-19 vaccination policy. Current and future employees, physicians, midwives, students, interns, residents and volunteers at Montfort must comply with our universal vaccination policy.
Despite all of their efforts to protect themselves, many staff members were affected when cases of the Omicron variant surged across Canada, at the end of 2021. More staff members tested positive for COVID-19 as of December 2021 than during the first 20 months of the pandemic. Fortunately, our staff were double vaccinated, which gave them additional protection against serious symptoms.
The vaccine protected most of them from getting seriously sick, but the absences resulting from mandatory isolation after a positive diagnosis required us to make difficult decisions in order to continue to offer our patients quality and safe care.
All of this was exacerbated by that fact that in January 2022 there was a record number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, whose care was more complex, in great part because of the steps that had to be taken to prevent the virus from spreading.
The members of the Montfort team were extraordinary during this wave, as during the previous waves. They were flexible, agreeing to be reassigned to other sectors in the hospital, or receiving and guiding staff coming from other health organizations. Yet again, we had to postpone non-urgent procedures—a situation that was as unhappy for us as for our patients particularly because we were still in catch-up mode. All of this added to the stress of the last year, and increased the sense of burnout among many of our staff members.
In response, we increased our efforts to offer tools and resources to maintain and even improve the psychological well-being of Montfort’s team members. Consultation services were offered, through the employee assistance program and by members of our teams—psychologists, social workers, spiritual advisors—who offered a compassionate ear to people who needed it. And we trained our managers so that they could be attentive to the psychological well-being of their teams.
The Montfort Foundation also funded the installation of two rest cabins that staff members could reserve free of charge to take a break from it all. The soundproof cabins, the first of their kind to be installed in Ontario, feature a zero-gravity seat that massages and heats, relaxation programs, and a light therapy lamp, allowing staff members to disconnect and recharge their batteries, right in their workplace.
A sign of the evolving fight against the pandemic was the closure of our two treatment and testing clinics. The Heron clinic, which opened on April 9, 2020, in an old school building, closed its doors on July 2, 2021. The Ray-Friel clinic, located on rink #3 in the community centre of the same name, ran from October 19, 2020 to March 23, 2022. A few days after the Ray-Friel clinic closed, we started offering drive-thru PCR testing at the Aline-Chrétien Health Hub.
Despite all of this, the pandemic brought some positive changes, in particular the increased telehealth service offer. We have known for a long time that virtual consultations, by video or telephone, would play an important role in the future of patient care. Most of the obstacles and reticence around this, for both patients and health professionals, were resolved at the beginning of the pandemic. At Montfort, telehealth services continued to expand in 2021–22.
Virtual visits are now offered to patients from several ambulatory clinics, for example, for a consultation with a specialist in pediatrics, speech therapy, diet or gestational diabetes. Patients preparing for surgery can receive information in advance and ask specialists their questions without having to go to the hospital. And several telehealth programs are offered to patients in the outpatient mental health program.
We have also launched several innovative home telemonitoring programs, enabling patients an earlier return to the comfort of their own homes. These programs are run in partnership with other health organizations, such as Home and Community Care Support Services and our colleagues from the Ottawa Paramedic Service. In addition to the support provided by telemonitoring, patients can receive a home visit if necessary. This promising model makes it possible to offer patient-centred care, and to enhance the patient experience and the transition from hospital to home by offering support and a safety net 24/7 for 14 days after their discharge. Through this program, we have been able to optimize the use of regional health resources and free up beds more quickly for patients who require acute care in the hospital.
We have also successfully activated the functions necessary to electronically document prescriptions and medication administration in our patients' health records. For the first time, our physicians have switched from prescription pads to keyboards, and our nurses are now using scanners and barcodes to administer medications. Our patients now have an integrated electronic record, whether they use our ambulatory or acute care services. We have entered a new era and are continuing on our path to becoming a paperless hospital.
We were also really proud to learn that Montfort continued to progress in Newsweek’s compilation of the World’s Best Hospitals, ranking 55th in Canada.
Research proceeded apace during the pandemic, and Montfort ranked 39th among Canada’s leading research hospitals.
In fact, the coronavirus provided physicians at Montfort and researchers affiliated with Institut du Savoir Montfort with many subjects for observation. Dr. Marie-Hélène Chomienne and her team focused on the psychological distress of housekeeping staff during COVID-19. On the basis of this study, these employees were included more systematically in information sharing, which facilitated the organization of their work. The research led by Dr. Chomienne and her team has now been extended to other hospitals across Canada, in order to develop a more global portrait of the impact of the pandemic on housekeeping teams, who are an essential link in infection prevention.
Moreover, thanks to the expertise and knowhow of 15 of its member researchers, the Institut du Savoir Montfort (ISM) achieved a 45% success rate in a competition of Canadian Institutes of Health Research seeking to improve research into the health care of minority communities in Canada.
In terms of training, the Institut du Savoir Montfort showed creativity in pursuing its mission. Although the health measures forced it to cancel certain training sessions that could not be offered virtually (such as an accredited session requiring participants to be physically present) or reduced registration, we nevertheless offered 644 training sessions involving a total of 4,629 participants, not counting the offer of over 100 online trainings on various subjects. Moreover, the ISM put together more than 15 new trainings for employees, participated in the opening of the Aline-Chrétien Health Hub by offering orientation for employees and partners, and increased its training offer for students in clinical programs.
The Hub...at last!
Pandemic aside, the biggest news of the year for the Montfort team was, without a doubt, the official opening of the Aline-Chrétien Health Hub, on October 4, 2021.
Located at 2225 Mer-Bleue Road, at the corner of Brian Coburn, the Aline-Chrétien Health Hub is a unique and innovative model that brings together a range of specialized and community healthcare services under one roof, offered by various partner organizations, including Hôpital Montfort. Housed in an ultra-modern building, the Hub has been long awaited by the community of Ottawa East. It opened its doors after two years of construction, at a budget of $88 million.
The opening ceremony was held outdoors, in the presence of a limited group of people including elected officials, representatives of the Hub’s partners, and members of the community. The speeches were followed by a first raising of the flags, which replaced the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Since the Hub is being opened over several phases due to the pandemic, the services available for the time being are for seniors, along with medical imaging, rehabilitation, some mental health and wellness services, specialized clinics, a laboratory, care coordination and a mobility aid store. A coffee shop, some mental health and wellness services as well as other specialized clinics from Montfort will be added soon.
As always, we worked closely with our regional partners—including hospitals, family health teams, Ottawa Public Health, teaching institutions—in order to offer the best possible care to patients and the community.
One of our most important partnerships is with the members of the Volunteer Association.
In 2021–22, the frequency and nature of volunteer activities had their ups and downs, and we had to adapt according to the health restrictions. One of the consequences of the prolonged pandemic was a reduction of about 200 in the total number of volunteers available. Despite the ongoing difficult circumstances, some 95 volunteers provided close to 17,000 hours of volunteer work to Montfort and the Aline-Chrétien Health Hub.
These hours made is possible to offer services in several sectors, including patient and visitor reception, virtual yoga and pet therapy in mental health, virtual friendly visits, the boutique and the thrift shop. The volunteers were also active at the Hub right from opening day, receiving and directing patients. They also took several initiatives to congratulate and encourage staff, for example by distributing candies and fruit and sending messages and greeting cards.
Another group that makes an important contribution to Montfort on a volunteer basis is our committee of 18 patient partners. From their presence on the strategic committee of the Aline-Chrétien Health Hub, to the action plan on quality of care for patients with dementia, to a research project and a grant application, the contribution of this group is undeniable.
In order to remain true to our commitment to offer an exceptional experience with each interaction, and to provide an inclusive, stimulating and safe work environment, it is essential that we take steps to better understand the reality and diversity of our environment.
In this context, it is important to highlight the work accomplished by our Committee Against Racism and for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in its first year. Launched in the midst of the events around the death of George Floyd in June 2020, a group of people from Montfort formed a committee, adopted a mandate and an action plan, led an awareness campaign and carried out the work necessary to submit a report produced in partnership with an external firm, in September 2021. This portrait of the situation at Montfort, as well as the report’s recommendations, will guide us in implementing priorities in our action plan to counter racism and foster an environment of inclusion and belonging.
Montfort's Board of Trustees subsequently adopted the statement Countering Discrimination, Racism, and Racial Inequality and Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, in the spring of 2022, which states that it “is committed to building a culture of inclusion and valuing the benefits that diversity offers.”
We also signed an agreement with the Wabano Centre, on November 1, in order to offer culturally adapted care to our Indigenous patients and their loved ones. As a centre of excellence in Indigenous health services, Wabano—which is located close to Montfort on Montreal Road—will guide and help Montfort in creating a reliable and welcoming environment and becoming the hospital of choice for Indigenous people.
Our project to renew major equipment aims to improve some of our mechanical systems that are reaching the end of their life, but also, and above all, to reduce our energy consumption and operating costs. This project is nearing completion.
The Ottawa East Ontario Health Team brings together Montfort and 36 partners, and will soon be receiving around 20 new partners from the Prescott-Russell region. Over the last year, the members consolidated their ties by working together on initiatives, such as more rapid access to diagnostic tests for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and associated comorbidities; a reconsolidation therapy project for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder; and various COVID-19 vaccination and testing activities. The Ottawa East Ontario Health Team is the only Ontario Health Team that offers services in both official languages.
In terms of philanthropy, 2021–22 saw the much anticipated return of in-person events, and the Montfort Foundation held its traditional golf tournament in June 2021 after a hiatus in 2020. The most notable day of the year was probably the official launch of the major fundraising campaign for the Aline-Chrétien Health Hub, on October 17, 2021. The Foundation raised $8.2 million of its $12 million goal.
The year also saw a more diverse donor profile. For example, during the Infinity Cares gala in November, 600 members of Ottawa’s Indian community donated $100,000 to the Foundation. The fundraising campaign has almost reached its goal, and is ongoing. Anyone who would like to have their name engraved on the Butterfly sidewalk, at the Aline-Chrétien Health Hub, can make a contribution by purchasing one of the butterflies permanently displayed at the west entrance, or can have their name engraved on one of the benches or at the foot of one of the trees surrounding the Hub.
What does the future hold for us?
While Montfort, along with the rest of society, is learning what it means to “live with COVID,” we are already looking towards the future.
Our strategic priorities for the coming year include, among others, implementing an employee loyalty program, reviewing the care model in the context of the labour shortage, and planning the next phases of telemonitoring and early discharge, by aligning ourselves with the Hospital at Home approach.
Last year brought a lot of changes in leadership in the Montfort team. In upper management, our Vice-President of Clinical Programs, Suzanne Robichaud, retired in February 2022, and the Chief of Staff, Dr. Stéphane Roux, will be leaving his position shortly to devote more of his time to primary care. We have also welcomed many new managers and trustees who are bringing with them new energy and a new vision.
We will be sure to continue to transmit Montfort’s mission, vision and values to the new generation of the Montfort team.
In closing, we would like to thank all of the members of the Montfort family at large, not only those who work or study here, but all those who volunteer—the members of the Association and our patient-partners—who remained committed to “our hospital,” despite the difficult circumstances.
We would also like to thank our patients and their loved ones for their patience and understanding in the context of the many restrictions put in place for everyone’s safety. There’s never an ideal time for a hospital stay, and the last year was particularly challenging for everyone.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
|Specifically funded programs||1.38%|
|Salaries and benefits||59.78%|
|Medical staff remuneration||8.94%|
|Specifically funded programs||1.39%|
|Supplies and other expenses||21.57%|
Hôpital Montfort’s 2021–22 Board of Trustees was composed of the following members:
- Carl Nappert, Chair
- Marie-Josée Martel, Vice-Chair
- Pierre Lanctôt, Treasurer
- Roda Muse, Secretary
- Denise Amyot, Trustee
- François Brouard, Trustee
- Luc Généreux, Trustee
- Alain Jegen, Trustee
- Andrée-Anne Martel, Trustee
- Lucie Mercier-Gauthier, Trustee
- Me Caroline Richard, Trustee
- Jean Ste-Marie, Trustee
- Dr. Bernard Leduc, President and CEO of Hôpital Montfort
- Dr. Stéphane Roux, Chief of Staff
- Dr. Marie-Noëlle Nicole, President of Medical Staff
- Suzanne Robichaud, Vice-President, Clinical Programs and Chief Nursing Officer
- Dr. Josette Landry, Chief Executive Officer, Institut du Savoir Montfort
- Lucie Thibault, PhD, Representative, University of Ottawa
Hôpital Montfort’s 2021–22 medical team was composed of the following members:
Chief of Staff: Dr. Stéphane Roux
- Anesthesia: Dr. Sandra Bromley
- Medical Biology: Dr. Nicolas Roustan Delatour
- Surgery: Dr. Greta Dervish
- Diagnostic Imaging: Dr. Daniel Baxter
- Medicine: Dr. Marlène Mansour
- Family Medicine: Dr. Anne-Marie Brunet
- Obstetrics and Gynecology: Dr. David McCoubrey
- Ophthalmology: Dr. Steven Poleski
- Orthopedics: Dr. Andrew Marshall
- Pediatrics: Dr. Aarathi Sambasivan
- Mental Health and Psychiatry Program: Dr. Kristine Levesque
- Emergency: Dr. Marie-Pierre Carpentier