MUHC Director General’s Awards Shines Spotlight on Exceptional Employees


The McGill University Health Centre is proud to announce the exceptional contributions of nine employees and one team as part of the first annual MUHC Director General’s Awards, the latest addition to its Employee Recognition Programme. Nominated by peers, the winners span every job category at the MUHC. More than 900 staff gathered to celebrate at a gala at the Hilton Bonaventure Hotel on Saturday thanks to the support of gold-, silver- and bronze-level sponsors La Capitale, Borden Ladner Gervais, Sodexo, Roche, Contact Image and Esprit Communications.

“I feel privileged to lead such a diverse group of people,” stated the Hon. Arthur T. Porter, Director General and CEO of the McGill University Health Centre. ”They deserve to be recognized because no matter how challenging the healthcare sector is, they go above and beyond their duties to assure our patients receive exemplary care. They are dedicated leaders, team players, innovators and exceptional role models—what better way to say thank you, as well as attract and retain exceptional people than to shine a spotlight on them?”

The Director General’s Awards were launched in spring 2009 with a call for nominations to staff at The Montreal Children’s Hospital, Montreal General Hospital, Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal Neurological Hospital, Lachine Hospital and Montreal Chest Institute. More than 200 responses came in, explaining how individuals or teams are altruistic; how they have a positive impact on the organization, on patients and within their departments; and how they take initiative outside of their regular duties. A multidisciplinary committee then chose the winners.

“We work hard to inspire people to choose the McGill University Health Centre for their career,” added Stella Lopreste, Director of Human Resources and Organizational Culture. “The MUHC Director General’s Awards crown our Recognition Programme, but we won’t stop at this. We’re still enhancing our professional development, mentoring and other initiatives so that we’ll always be one of Montreal’s Top 15 Employers.”

The ten 2009 MUHC Director General’s Awards winners:

  • Para-technical, auxiliary services and trades: Pierre Hébert, 15+ years of service as patient attendant, now a housekeeper. Patients say he is a great source of joy and a ray of sunshine on the floor.
  • Clerical:  Santa De Agazio, unit coordinator in geriatrics. Colleagues say she has does everything to meet the needs of socially isolated patients.
  • Professional: Ronna Schwartz, occupational therapist, passionate about helping people with mental health problems; created the Work Integration Centre to improve quality of life.
  • Technologist/Technician: Franceen Browman, assistant chief of respiratory therapy, stays on top of the latest technology so her patients will benefit from the best care available.
  • Resident: Dr. Yuka Asai, a dermatologist who empowers her patients with increase awareness about disease prevention; believes in unravelling the mystery beneath the surface.
  • Nursing: Isabelle Parisien, brings creative spirit to nursing; thinks outside of the box to help vulnerable patients such as the homeless and First Nations populations deal with tuberculosis.
  • Physician: Dr. Mark Angle, associate director of professional services, chief of anaesthesia and ICU; embodies the word ‘dedication’; instrumental in developing MUHC Organ & Tissue donation program.
  • Management: Mitra Feyz, neuro-psychologist and director of the Traumatic Brain Injury program; colleagues say she promotes the highest MUHC ideals for care, research, outreach and education.
  • Volunteer: Linda Chernin Rosenblatt, currently helps Cedars CanSupport care for hemato-oncology patients; those who know her say her kindness is in a class of its own; bakes 40 cakes every month!
  • Team: The Children’s Audiology Department: Anne-Marie Hurteau, Anne-Marie Forget, Audrey Hardy, Elsa Ivry, Suzel Julien, Ellen Rishikof, Beverly Sofin, Barbara Zavalkoff, Jill Harrison, Nadia Mlaraha, Isabelle Lachapelle, Janet Mackay; worked earnestly to ensure a universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program would be offered province-wide.


Saturday’s gala celebration was also an opportunity for those shaping the new McGill University Health Centre to discover that employees may work within the walls of different hospitals but ultimately everyone is working together towards a common goal, namely the constant pursuit of excellence in patient care, research and teaching.

“Our Glen, Mountain and Lachine campuses are creating the modern, healing environments that will attract bright minds and dedicated staff in every field so that the McGill University Health Centre’s rich heritage continues to be perpetuated in one of the world’s foremost pediatric and adult academic health centres. The sooner they are ready, the better,” concluded the Hon. Arthur T. Porter.

As part of their gold-level sponsorship, La Capitale sponsored the Nursing Award while Borden Ladner Gervais sponsored the Team Award. As part of its silver-level sponsorship, Sodexo sponsored the entertainment. Bronze-level sponsors covered other expenses, including printing and photography. A number of other sponsors provided prizes, including Milos, Wienstein and Gavinos and the Hilton Bonaventure Hotel.

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is a comprehensive academic health institution with an international reputation for excellence in clinical programs, research and teaching. Its partner hospitals are the Montreal Children's Hospital, the Montreal General Hospital, the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Montreal Neurological Hospital and Institute, the Montreal Chest Institute and the Lachine Hospital. The goal of the MUHC is to provide patient care based on the most advanced knowledge in the health care field, and to contribute to the development of new knowledge.

Click here
to see video clips and other highlights of the 2009 MUHC Director General’s Awards gala celebration.



For more information, please contact:

Rebecca Burns
Communications Coordinator
MUHC Public Affairs and Strategic Planning
(514) 843 1560rebecca.burns [at]" target="_blank">
rebecca.burns [at]