Montfort awards the March 22 Medal to the Daughters of Wisdom

 Ottawa, March 22, 2017 –  Montfort awarded the March 22 Medal to the Daughters of Wisdom congregation, during a ceremony taking place earlier this morning. This gathering was an opportunity for the current administration to express its appreciation for the founders of the hospital.

The Daughters of Wisdom founded Montfort in 1953, in close collaboration with the Francophone leaders of Eastview, the Montfortian Fathers and the leaders of the Association canadienne-française d’éducation de l’Ontario. When Montfort opened its doors, it was considered one of the most modern hospitals, with an emergency room, operating room, laboratory, pharmacy, radiology department and 200 beds.

The Daughters of Wisdom administered the hospital from 1953 to 1969, filling various positions—including clerks, secretaries, assistants, administrators, nutritionists, medical technicians and nurses. They often worked seven days a week and lived at the hospital. In addition to running the hospital, the Daughters of Wisdom also founded a nursing school, opened in the hospital in 1956.

In 2004, Montfort created the March 22 Medal to commemorate March 22, 1997, a crucial date in the history of the hospital. On that date, less than one month after the recommendation by the Ontario Health Services Restructuring Commission to close Montfort, over 10 000 demonstrators gathered at the Ottawa Civic Centre to support the SOS Montfort cause.

To date, only 10 of the 22 copies of the March 22 Medal have been awarded, on the recommendation of the Board of Trustees of Hôpital Montfort, to individuals or groups who represent the pride, tenacity and determination that constitute three qualities essential to the success of Montfort.

“The contribution of the Daughters of Wisdom extends well beyond the bricks and mortar they bequeathed to us,” states Suzanne Clément, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Hôpital Montfort. “Still today, their inspiring work and boundless devotion to others inspires Montfort’s staff each and every day. Twenty years after the battle that led to the creation of the March 22 Medal, it seems absolutely appropriate to pay tribute to the Daughters of Wisdom.”

“With this gesture, you highlight the initiative of the Daughters of Wisdom and the contribution of the Sisters who continue to work with you since 1969. Thank you!”, said Sister Linda Joseph, provincial leader of Daughters of Wisdom Canada.

Montfort is Ontario’s Francophone academic hospital, offering exemplary person-centred care. The hospital services over 1.2 million people in Eastern Ontario, in both official languages. In 2014, it earned Accreditation with Exemplary Standing from Accreditation Canada, and was designated Best Practices Spotlight Organization by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.

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Sister Linda Joseph, provincial leader of Daughters of Wisdom Canada, surrounded
by her fellow members during the March 22 Medal ceremony held at Montfort on March 22, 2017.

Additional photos available upon request.

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