Councillor Cohen (holding sign) is surrounded by members of the Intercommunity Relations Committee and special guests at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Note: The following is a press release about the most recent Intercommunity Relations Committee meeting.
The Côte Saint-Luc Intercommunity Relations Committee, chaired by Councillor Mike Cohen, continues to give organizations and institutions operating within the municipality an opportunity to network and learn about each other’s initiatives. When Mayor Anthony Housefather gave Councillor Cohen the Intercommunity Relations portfolio at the beginning of the present council’s mandate nearly four years ago, organizations had never before had an opportunity to meet with each other on a regular basis. Work began on establishing a data base. After a first meeting at City Hall, it was decided that all subsequent meetings would be hosted by a different organization.
What followed were sessions at the Maimonides Geriatric Centre, Beth Zion Congregation, the CSSS Cavendish/CLSC René-Cassin, Congregation Or Hahayim and most recently, Mount Sinai Hospital. “We have had excellent attendance and the comment most often heard is from people who have worked in the city for many years, yet never before stepped into some of the buildings we visit,” said Councillor Cohen. “Our meetings are productive for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the organizations and institutions now have a more direct line to City Hall. Secondly, representatives are getting to know each other.” Representatives at this meeting came from Bialik High School, the JPPS-Bialik head office, Beth Zion, the CSSS Cavendish, St. Richard’s Parish, Congregation. Juive Francophone Chouva Israel, the MADA Community Centre, the Knights of Pythias, Hebrew Academy, National Council of Jewish Women, Maimonides Geriatric Centre, the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library, the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal, host Mount Sinai and Howard Liebman from the office of Mount Royal MP Irwin Cotler.
Councillor Kovac introduced Michel Amar, the interim executive director. Mr. Amar provided an interesting recap of the hospital’s history. Since its inception in 1909 in Ste. Agathe, by members of the Jewish community, Mount Sinai has always stood for excellence. Today, the hospital is a state-of-the-art institution, which specializes in Respiratory Care, Palliative Care and Long-Term Care, with the Canadian Council on Health Services accreditation. This is a 107-bed, McGill University affiliated teaching hospital where innovative research and ambulatory services play an increasingly key role.
Mount Sinai Hospital Montreal is an established hospital that treats anyone in Quebec and beyond. Mount Sinai’s history dates back to the hospital’s inception when members of the Jewish community recognized the need for a tuberculosis sanatorium. Before the discovery of an antibiotic, it was accepted that fresh mountain air, and pure water, could facilitate the treatment and ultimately cure tuberculosis. And so, Mount Sinai’s heritage began in Prefontaine near Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec, with a humble 12-bed facility. In 1939, the sanatorium was officially inaugurated and welcomed patients from all over. Tuberculosis intensified as a fatal disease placing pressure on the capacity of the establishment. Mount Sinai soon had 57 beds and welcomed not only tuberculosis patients but also those suffering from other respiratory diseases. Mount Sinai remained a tuberculosis sanatorium until the threat of the disease diminished in the 1950s. The focus then shifted to becoming an intermediate care facility specializing in respiratory diseases such as emphysema, bronchitis, asthma and other chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Eventually in 1990, Mount Sinai moved to its present facility in order to better serve the greater Montreal area. Since then, services have been constantly adapting to meet the changing needs of the community, with upgraded facilities and equipment to guarantee the highest level of patient care.
The hospital will be hosting an « Inspiration » exhibit at the Montreal Science Centre May 28 to September 7 , a Centennial Gala June 4 at the Cabaret de Casino (hosted by the Auxiliary and with Councillor Kovac as an honouree), an open house and annual general meeting September 16, a public session of the centennial medical symposium on sleep disorders November 12 and another on sleep disorders in clinical practice the following day at Le Windsor. Carol Steadman, who is responsible for community relations and volunteer services, noted that in addition to those involved with the Auxiliary there are 216 volunteers at the hospital. She has recently been working with students from Bialik and Herzliah to become active in this area. To volunteer one has to be 16 years of age.
One of the most interesting aspects of these meetings is the round-table discussion whereby each organization provides an update on its activities. This time information included renovations at Beth Zion and St. Richard’s, the library’s community outreach program,. JPPS-Bialik relocating its head office to the Bialik facility on Kildare Road from Decarie Square, plans for the Maimonides Centennial in 2010 and MADA’s desire to find a storefront to serve kosher meals to the needy in Côte Saint-Luc. Members of the committee also got a tour of the Mount Sinai building.