Frontline heroes: Occupational Therapist Jaclyn Stevenson does something special

For many years I had the privilege of being Jaclyn Stevenson’s city councillor in District 2.

Jaclyn is the great niece of the late Isadore Goldberg, a longtime city councillor. Her mom Joy remains my constituent as do her grandparents who reside on Marc Chagall Avenue.

Jaclyn Stevenson on the job.


Jaclyn became an occupational therapist at the McGill University Health Centre  (MUHC) a year and a half ago. Presently she is working on the COVID-19 unit.

Recently, Jaclyn faced a language barrier with a patient on the  unit and reacted in a truly beautiful way. Colleague Kendra Berry saw what happened and was moved to write about it in an email to their mutual colleagues and supervisors:

“Today I witnessed something beautiful and heartwarming that I wanted to share,” Kendra wrote. “ Jaclyn was performing a swallowing evaluation with a patient on the COVID unit. There was a language barrier, so Jaclyn contacted the family and placed them on speaker phone. I believe this was the first contact that they had with the patient. Their voices were filled with love, gratitude and relief. It brought tears to my eyes. Jaclyn gave them such a gift. On each of her units, her gestures are having positive impacts on patients and their families. I am inspired by her bravery, dedication and perseverance. Very proud of my entire OT Department. Let’s keep chasing these rainbows.”

When Kashif Baig, manager of Occupational Therapy, Adult Sites, read Kendra’s account, he was filled with joy: “The poise and calm demonstrated by Jaclyn is remarkable, especially considering how busy she is. Jaclyn had the empathy and resourcefulness to balance her clinical need for a translator with the patient’s emotional needs. The fact that this was brought to my attention by Kendra makes me even more proud; it shows how my team celebrates each other’s victories.”

I was so inspired I decided to do a podcast with Jaclyn. In my role as communications and marketing specialist for the English Montreal School Board I am proud to say that she attended Edinburgh Elementary School and Royal West Academy  in Montreal West and had nice things to say about both experiences.

Here is a link to the podcast: https://soundcloud.com/themikecohenpodcast/occupational-therapist-jaclyn-stevenson-and-her-efforts-during-the-pandemic

From Côte Saint-Luc EMS to US Army Reserves

Here is the link to my newest podcast
Dr. Jonathan Trager
Dr. Jonathan Trager is a true local boy makes good story. Raised in Côte-Saint-Luc, he was a member of their Emergency Medical Services from 1994 to 2001. En route to becoming a physician in Pensylvannia, he continued to pursue his passion of serving as a paramedic Today Jonathan is the medical director of St. Luke's Emergency and Transport Services in Fountainville Pensylvannia, very much in the trenches fighting the coronavirus. But he also has the title of Major in the United States Air Force Reserves. He is a graduate of Solomon Schechter Academy and Bialik High School.  

Introducing my new podcast: please tune in

For many years now I have thought about starting my own podcast. 

Now it is a reality at : 



On your iPhone or iPad go to  the Podcasts folder and in the search engine type in "Mike Cohen Podcast" and subscribe.



I graduated from Concordia University's Broadcast Journalism Program in 1985 and a future in radio or TV was definitely on my radar screen. Yes, I was able to get some freelance assignments. Mitch Melnick,  then  with CJAD, gave me my first taste in the business when he arranged for me to do some post game reports at Montreal Expos games. A number of years later, I served as the Montreal correspondent for The FAN all-sports radio in Toronto and for two  years co-hosted the Expos pre  and post game shows on the old CIQC Radio 600 (a successor to the old CFCF Radio). It  was a blast. Meanwhile, as the then national director  of communications for Canadian Jewish Congress I became an official spokesperson and did countless interviews. That continued  in 1999 when I joined the English Montreal School Board as communications and marketing specialist, a position I still hold today. Responding to media inquiries is a huge component of this job. From time to time I also get to  do a sports radio bit on TSN 690 with the likes  of Tony Marinaro and Matthew Ross.

In 2005 I was elected to city council in Côte Saint-Luc. I started this blog as a way to regularly communicate with my constituents. Last September my colleague, Councillor Oren Sebag, started his own podcast. I think that was the wakeup call I needed to launch mine. My intent is to draw from the people I interact with via my three main jobs: the EMSB, city council and as a writer for a number of publications, notably The Suburban. During the present COVID-19 pandemic,  interviews will be done by phone. As such the podcasts will not have a lot of bells and whistles attached, but I do hope to  chat with different players in the field under the three hats I wear. I greatly look forward to the day when I can go on location.

My first interview is with the Liberal MNA for D'Arcy McGee David Birnbaum. David and  I go back decades. We first met when he was  the communications officer for the former Protestant  School Board of Greater Montreal and I was a reporter for The Suburban.It was David,  in fact, who recommended me for my job at the EMSB.  I thought it would be interesting to get his take  on the COVID-19 pandemic. How does it impact local MNAs? Is the CAQ government doing a good job? Where does the Liberal leadership race stand? Will Bill 40, the school board reforms, be enacted on time? Please give it a listen and stay tuned for more.

You can click on this direct link: https://soundcloud.com/themikecohenpodcast/an-interview-with-darcy-mcgee-liberal-mna-david-birnbaum.

and this one  for my interview with Anthony Housefather: https://soundcloud.com/themikecohenpodcast/anthony-housefather-interview