Montfort’s medical team is comprised of specialists and professionals from different fields who interact on a daily basis. In conjunction with hospital administrators, physicians sought to establish organizational structures to help them manage the quality of care dispensed at the hospital. With the addition of the following two key positions and two committees, medical governance was thus enhanced.
In 1954, the position of Medical Director was created to ensure the daily management of the hospital’s medical service. Dr. Laurent Potvin was the first incumbent. His successor, Dr. Wilbrod Cormier, took over in 1958 and served in the same position until November 1967. Dr. Raymond Paiement held the position on an acting basis for seven months in 1968, until the arrival of Dr. Vilbon Bellegarde. Dr. Bellegarde, like his predecessors, ensured sound, effective management for 19 years, until the Medical Director position was abolished in 1987.
In 1969, Hôpital Montfort established a medical advisory board, a requirement for all public hospitals in Ontario. According to Section 7 of the Ontario Public Hospitals Act, the board is responsible for the supervision of medical, dentistry, midwifery and nursing services at the hospital. It reports directly to the hospital’s Board of Trustees.
In 1972, the Chief of Staff position was created. The Chief of Staff is responsible for the overall organization of the hospital’s technical services and for monitoring medical, surgical and obstetrical treatments given to hospital patients. Only an active member of the hospital’s medical staff can be appointed to this position by the Board of Directors. In all, there have been seven Chiefs of Staff since 1972: Dr. Jean Hamel (1972-1976), Dr. Lauréat Tremblay (1976-1980), Dr. Jocelyn J. Deneault (1980-1994), Dr. John Joanisse (1994-2000), Dr. Gilles V. Bourdeau (2000-2003), Dr. Bernard Leduc (2004-2009), Dr. Louise McNaughton-Filion (2009) for an acting period of three months, when Dr. Leduc’s left to become Chief Executive Officer and prior to the arrival of Dr. Guy Moreau, who filled the position between 2010 and 2020. Since 2020, the Chief of Staff is Dr. Stéphane Roux.
The Chief of Staff chairs the Medical Advisory Board.
All physicians participating in the hospital’s various clinical activities are members of the Council of Physicians (known as the Medical Bureau in the 1950s and 1960s). This group has collective responsibility for ensuring that all hospital patients receive the necessary medical care, whether they are their own patients, the patients of outside consultants, cases admitted to Emergency or indigent patients.
Doctors of Hôpital Saint-Louis-Marie-de-Montfort welcome Msgr. Gérard Deschamps, s.m.m., during a visit on 1 February 1962.
The Founding Physicians
There would be no Montfort today were it not for the dedicated and committed physicians who supported it throughout its history.
When the hospital opened, family physicians offered their services at the hospital free of charge. Local doctors like Dr. Émile Major and Dr. Jérôme Corbeil sent their patients to the hospital for care.
Between October 1953 and September 1954, the hospital had no permanent surgeons on staff. Surgeons from the Ottawa General Hospital, such as Dr. François Côté, would come to perform surgeries at night after office hours, aided by anesthesiologists, such as Dr. J.‑A. Dufresne.
Many physicians from the region helped shape the hospital’s history by contributing to the creation and management of services, including:
Dr. Émile Tessier, the first full-time physician and first Chief of Radiology from 1953 to 1982;
Dr. Thomas Dufour Sr., Chief of Obstetrics and birthing doctor of the hospital’s first baby, Louis-Marie Côté, born the day of its official opening, on October 11, 1953;
Dr. Horace Viau, first Chief of Pediatrics in 1953;
Dr. Charles Fink, first Chief of Gynecology in 1953;
Dr. Ernest Couture, first President of the Medical Bureau (later known as the Council of Physicians) from 1954 to 1955;
Dr. Laurent Potvin, first Chief of Internal Medicine from 1954 to 1967;
Dr. Raymond Paiement, first Chief of Orthopedics from 1957 to 1983;
Dr. Wilbrod Cormier, first Medical Director from 1958 to 1967;
Dr. Jean Hamel, first Chief of Staff from 1972 to 1976;
Dr. Vilbon Bellegarde, Medical Director from 1968 to 1987;
Dr. Alphonse Blais who launched the department of psychiatry (now known as the mental health care program) in 1976 and was its director until 1980;
Dr. André L. Gauthier who fostered the implementation of a palliative care program; and
Dr. Jocelyn J. Deneault who has enjoyed an extensive career at the hospital since 1969.
Several highly-reputed physicians with a large patient base spent most of their careers at the hospital (20 years or more), some filling hospital administration positions for many years. Their numbers include Drs. Jérôme Corbeil, Émile Major, Pierre Sarda, John Peter Burke, Lomer LeBlanc, Jean Laframboise, Gérald Carr, Marc Germain, Jean-Pierre Germain, Robert Morel, Jean-Pierre Desjardins, René Laliberté, François Antoine Ugnat, Laurent Walker, Camille Ladouceur, Raymond Archambault, Lucien Faucher, Thomas T. Dufour Jr., Ismael Osman and Jiri Oliva.
Physicians of Hôpital Montfort, members of the organizing committee of the "Journées médicales" Montfort, September 1978.
Montfort honours its pioneers
Did you know that …
…. the hospital’s medical library was named after one of its pioneering physicians?
Although born into a family of physicians, Dr. Annie Powers was not encouraged to choose a career in medicine. It was only after she had obtained her teaching certificate and taught in Hawkesbury for eleven years that she decided to follow her dream of becoming a doctor. She inherited her father’s practice based in Rockland, but her clientele was spread across the four corners of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell. It was said that she spent as much time making house calls as she did seeing patients in her office! If her patients needed hospital care, she would always send them to Montfort.
In 1976, she received the Pro Pontifice et Ecclesia papal medal in recognition of her tireless dedication to her patients and charitable kindness to others. In the same year, the Association des médecins de langue française du Canada awarded her member emeritus status.
To learn more about this exceptional woman, read the newspaper article published in the Ottawa Citizen on April 30, 1979.
There are other areas of the hospital that have been dedicated to physicians who made a difference at Montfort, such as:
- The Raymond-Paiement Wing
A memorial plaque commemorating Dr. Raymond Paiement (1926-1983), founder and first Chief of Orthopedics from 1957 to 1983, was unveiled in 1983 before his widow and four of his children.
- The Émile-Tessier Wing
A memorial plaque identifying the wing used by the hospital’s radiology services was unveiled on May 25, 1984 in honour of Dr. Émile Tessier (1921-1982), the first physician who became an active member of the hospital and who worked there from 1953 to 1982 as Chief of Radiology.
- The Deneault-Beaulieu Family Medicine Teaching Unit
The inauguration of the Deneault-Beaulieu Family Medicine Teaching Unit is the major event of Hôpital Montfort's 40th anniversary celebrations. Named in honour of Dr. Jocelyn J. Deneault, the hospital’s Chief of Staff, and Dr. Maurice Beaulieu, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, this unit offers all of its training entirely in French, a first for the francophone community in Ontario. It is also marks a successful partnership between the University of Ottawa and Hôpital Montfort.
Discover other highlights of Montfort...
Discover the administration of the Montfort Hospital for the past 60 years.
Look at the photo album of the Board and that of CEOs.