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Annual Awards of Excellence Breakfast at the Montreal Children's Hospital

News

Published: 20 Apr 2004

Ten people will be honoured for their outstanding contributions to the Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre. What makes these awards special is the winners are nominated by their peers.

You are invited to attend the annual Awards of Excellence Breakfast at the Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre. Ten people will be honoured for their outstanding contributions to the Children's. What makes these awards special is the winners are nominated by their peers. What is also notable is that many of this year's recipients have dedicated their lives to the Children's, with careers spanning 30, 35 and even 44 years.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 20, 2004
7:00 am to 9:00 am
WHERE: The Montreal Children's Hospital of the MUHC
2300 Tupper
3rd Floor Cafeteria

Two winners of particular interest are Dr. Nicolas Steinmetz, Pfizer Leadership Award (Dr. Steinmetz will be stepping down as interim Executive Director of the Children's at the end of May), and 9-year-old Despina Probonas, TD Canada Trust Nicolas Matossian Junior Community Award. She receives this award for the time she has spent representing and raising funds for the Children's and the Foundation. Despina was diagnosed with intractable epilepsy at the age of two. Four years ago, neurologists decided to remove part of her front temporal lobe to alleviate seizures. Although she showed initial improvement, the seizures returned and occur many times each day. Despite her medical problems, Despina loves karate, art, dance, swimming and singing.

Thanks to the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation, the Awards of Excellence include a corporate sponsorship of $25,000 per category. Recipients are awarded $1,000 and designate $9,000 to the department of their choice. This year, four Honorary Chairs, Claudio F. Bussandri of McKesson Canada, Theresa Firestone of Pfizer Canada, Mel Hoppenheim of Mel's Cité du Cinéma and Monique F. Leroux of Société financière Desjardins are also supporting the Awards of Excellence. Their contribution of $50,000 each will be used to meet the hospital's most urgent needs.

Below are this year's ten winners of the Montreal Children's Hospital's Awards of Excellence.

  • Pfizer Leadership Award: Dr. Nicolas Steinmetz, interim Executive Director of the Children's and Associate Executive Director, Planning and Strategic Initiatives for the MUHC. Dr. Steinmetz is recognized for his lifetime dedication to the care of children and his tremendous impact on the future of health care in Quebec. Dr. Steinmetz has been associated with the Children's since 1963. Throughout his career, he has been involved in numerous community projects such as developing pediatric services in Pointe-St-Charles, Little Burgundy, Kahnawake, Baffin Island and Northern Quebec. Dr. Steinmetz played a leading role in the merger of the five McGill teaching hospitals that now form the MUHC, and he has been the driving force behind the development of the new MUHC to be built on the Glen Site.
  • TD Canada Trust Nicolas Matossian Junior Community Award: Despina Probonas receives this award in appreciation of the time she has given to represent the Montreal Children's Hospital and the Foundation and to commend her on inspiring other children to raise funds. Despina was diagnosed with intractable epilepsy at the age of two in August of 1993. Four years ago, neurologists decided to remove part of her front temporal lobe to alleviate seizures. Although she showed initial improvement, the seizures returned and occur many times each day. According to the Neurology team who treat Despina, what makes her stand out is that despite her significant medical problems, she and her family try to lead as normal a life as possible. In fact, Despina loves karate, art, dance, swimming and singing.
  • Mead Johnson Nutritionals Medical Award of Excellence: Dr. Patricia Forbes is recognized with this award for her 37 years of dedication to the Children's and the exceptional and compassionate care she has delivered to children and their families.
  • RBC Capital Markets Award of Excellence for Administrative and Clinical Support Staff: Rosa Insogna for her administrative expertise; for her enthusiasm and professionalism in building and managing the growth of the Adolescent Medicine and Gynecology Programme over the last 23 years.
  • Abbott Laboratories Award of Excellence for Professional Staff: Mrs. Maureen McCrory has dedicated her career to the care of children and their families. For almost half a century, as a nurse, volunteer and social worker, she has had a tremendous impact on the lives of many patients, families and staff.
  • Aldo Award of Excellence in Research: Dr. Paul R. Goodyer for his research into how genetic mutations affect the normal development of the kidney during fetal and neonatal life. The goal of Dr. Goodyer's research is to identify genetic markers that result in these poorly developed kidneys, which could lead to genetic screening in affected families and potentially gene therapy.
  • Bell Canada Nursing Award of Excellence: Mrs. Merley Cumberbatch receives this award in appreciation of her 35 years of dedicated service and outstanding nursing leadership. She will be retiring at the end of May.
  • Wal-Mart Award of Excellence for Technical Support Staff: Mrs. Jean Smith was selected because she is a shining example of how one person can make a difference in the life of a community. As an administrative technician in the Central Supply Room and Distribution at the Children's, Ms. Smith is responsible for ensuring the inventory and distribution of supplies throughout the hospital.
  • Desjardins Volunteer Award: Mrs. Elisabeth Sakoyannis has volunteered at the Children's for the past 16 years and has given more than 3,500 hours of loving care to young patients. Three mornings a week, she can be found helping mothers take care of twins, bathing toddlers, assisting at mealtimes or organizing games and activities for pre-school children.
  • McKesson Canada Award for Community Leadership: Mr. John N. Cole, Life Governor of the Montreal Children's Hospital and Honorary Chairman of the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation. Mr. Cole's personal support of the Children's dates back to 1951. Together with Mr. Arnold Steinberg and Mr. Paul Desmarais, Mr. Cole chaired the hospital's first major capital campaign in 1969, helping to raise $4,000,000 in public donations for the expansion of the Tupper street facilities, and was instrumental in the $44-million campaign in the 1980s.
  • Mel's Cité du Cinéma Centennial Spirit Award: Dr. Hy Goldman has dedicated himself heart and soul to the Children's for 45 years. He has worked tirelessly for the last few years planning the hospital's Centennial events in order to create a truly memorable year for the hospital's staff, their families and the general public. His enthusiasm is so infectious and his devotion to the hospital knows no bounds. Beyond the Centennial, Dr. Goldman wears many hats. His colleagues describe his outstanding contributions in the areas of teaching, research and patient care.

The Montreal Children's Hospital is the pediatric teaching hospital of the McGill University Health Centre. This institution is a leader in the care and treatment of sick infants, children and adolescents from across Quebec. The Montreal Children's Hospital provides a high level and broad scope of health care services, and provides ultra-specialized care in many areas including cardiology and cardiac surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, traumatology, genetic research, musculoskeletal conditions, child development. Fully bilingual and multicultural, the institution respectfully serves an increasingly diverse community in more than 50 languages.

The Foundation's mission is to support excellence in pediatric care at the Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre. This goal is achieved by contributing to the advancement of teaching and research activities and by funding state-of-the-art medical and surgical equipment.

Contact Information

Contact: Lisa Dutton
Organization: Public Relations and Communications
Office Phone: 514-412-4307
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