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The “season of ideas”

Offering health care in French, to a fast-growing population on the outskirts of Ottawa: that was the request of Father Ducharme of the Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes d’Eastview parish (present-day Vanier). The Daughters of Wisdom answered his call. At the time, the congregation even put up all of its Canadian assets as collateral to fund the construction of the hospital. Montfort opened its doors in 1953.

Who would have believed 70 years ago that today Montfort would be a successful academic hospital, ranked among the 40 leading research hospitals in Canada, recognized by Newsweek as among the top 50 hospitals in Canada and top 1000 hospitals in the world, and would have earned accreditation with exemplary standing—the highest distinction offered by Accreditation Canada—for three consecutive accreditation processes?

Who would have believed that today Montfort would be housing the Canadian Forces Health Services Centre Ottawa, a 128-bed long-term care centre, would have inaugurated the Aline-Chrétien Health Hub in Orléans, a mental health service point in Rockland and a vast telemedicine program, would have contributed to founding the Montfort Academic Family Health Team and would have co-founded Montfort Renaissance, which provides assistance to vulnerable Francophone populations for drug addiction, mental health, housing and seniors?

Photo des deux PDG de l'Hôpital Montfort et l'Institut du Savoir Montfort

Who would have believed that Montfort would have become a social symbol, a symbol of resistance for Ontario’s Francophone population, a symbol of hope for the rights of minority language communities?

Who would have believed that the Court of Appeal for Ontario, on the basis of the constitutional principle of respect for the protection of minorities, would have recognized that in addition to offering medical training, Montfort’s broader institutional role also includes maintaining the French language, transmitting Francophone culture and promoting solidarity within the Franco-Ontarian minority?

Here we are in 2024. A pandemic shook the country’s health services. Every hospital in North American is dealing with human resources challenges. The population of Ottawa and Eastern Ontario will grow by 210 000 people in the next 10 years, 80 000 of whom will be 65 years of age or over. Artificial intelligence is taking its place in clinical and research activities.

We need to act now to envision our future.

Together, we’ll produce two deliverables:

  • A 2024–2028 Strategic Plan by October for Montfort, the Institut du Savoir Montfort and Santé Montfort.
  • A multiyear provincial action plan by this summer that will put forward tangible and concrete initiatives to improve health services (in all spheres of activity), education and research in each of the province’s major regions by 2030. These initiatives could be developed and implemented by partners, with or without Montfort’s support, or by Montfort.

The 2024–2028 Strategic Plan will also influence the update by 2025 of Montfort’s master program (clinical services) and the master plan (assets) for the next 25 years.

The provincial action plan will fall within the framework of the four streams of the provincial mandate assigned to Montfort by the province in 2013. These four streams are:

  • Participate in the planning and the support of health services in French, including clinical support for patients and health professionals in communities across Ontario
  • Support the Ontario government in honouring its obligations under the French Language Services Act
  • Serve as a centre of excellence and a hub for training health professionals in French, including ensuring the stability and coordination of clinical placements in French
  • Support research and education activities worthy of an academic hospital

It’s up to us to take charge, be creative and be proactive.

Join us for this important “season of ideas,” from February to April 2024. 

Co-chairs of the 2024–2028 Strategic Plan Steering Committee,

Dominic Giroux, president and CEO, Hôpital Montfort and Santé Montfort
Estelle Ethier, CEO, Institut du Savoir Montfort, and Vice-President, Education and Research, Hôpital Montfort