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Facilities

$56 million invested in Montreal cancer centre

MONTREAL – The Segal Cancer Centre, an innovative medical facility that gathers and integrates a broad array of cancer-related services under one roof, was officially launched in August 2006 at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH).

Creation of the Centre is a result of a partnership among the Government of Quebec, the Jewish General Hospital and its generous partners. Leading the way among private contributors are Leanor and Alvin Segal, whose $20 million gift is the largest private donation in the history of the Jewish General Hospital. Altogether, the Segal Cancer Centre has received $23.9 million from the Government of Quebec and $32 million from the JGH Foundation and its partners. The total investment is $55.9 million.

Attending the launch ceremony were Health Minister Philippe Couillard and Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay. Also present were Leanor and Alvin Segal, who have generously made a major donation to this project; James Alexander, President of the JGH; Henri Elbaz, Executive Director of the JGH; Dr. Gerald Batist, Director of the Segal Cancer Centre; Lynne McVey, Co-Director of the Segal Cancer Centre; and senior representatives from McGill University.

Completion of the Segal Cancer Centre is a significant milestone in an ambitious development process that has encompassed the expansion and enhancement of a variety of ambulatory services at the JGH, including cancer care, the cardiovascular program and the test centre.

Located atop the JGH’s Cummings Pavilion E, the Segal Cancer Centre occupies four of the 8½ new floors that have been added to the building, thereby enabling the hospital to upgrade its clinical services – notably cancer care – and to achieve a tighter and more effective link between its ambulatory services and its research activities.

The Centre represents a critical new force in cancer research and treatment at McGill University. The project was completed on budget, within 14 months of Dr. Couillard’s announcement supporting the expansion.

The fully integrated facility unites a wide range of programs and services related to cancer treatment, prevention, screening, basic scientific research, clinical trials, follow up care and family support. As a result of this collaborative effort, the distance is literally and figuratively shortened between the patient’s bedside and the research lab, in order to ensure that patients receive timely benefits from the scientific discoveries of the Segal Cancer Centre’s team of world class researchers.

The focused nature of the Centre promotes greater effectiveness and efficiency in joint efforts among various medical professionals, such as oncologists working with psychosocial specialists, or nurses with pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. The interdisciplinary team also includes symptom management and palliative care, as well as input from diagnostic labs and radiologists. In addition, the availability of so many essential programs and services in close proximity to one another lessens the stress and physical effort that patients undergo as they seek treatment during a traumatic time in their lives.

“No individual has the solution to the problem of cancer,” said Leanor Segal, lead donor of the Segal Cancer Centre along with her husband, Alvin. “It demands a concerted effort by governments, the scientific community and private donors. As such, our contribution is just one step in a long journey. It is the sum total of all these steps that will perhaps one day enable us to triumph over this formidable foe.”

According to JGH President James Alexander, the Centre “aims to be ranked among Canada’s leading facilities for cancer treatment and research, while greatly contributing to improving Quebec’s overall standing in cancer prevention and recovery.”

Henri Elbaz, Executive Director of the JGH, noted that the Jewish General Hospital “is proud to offer brand new, state of the art facilities where we will continue to provide superior patient care, cutting edge research and a wealth of resources for cancer patients and their families from the Montreal area and beyond. This is possible, thanks to the integrated and comprehensive nature of the cancer-related services that distinguish the Segal Cancer Centre.”

The Centre benefits from outstanding synergies among doctors, nurses, researchers and other members of the interdisciplinary team. “The Segal Cancer Centre demonstrates that one can integrate the very best research into a patient-focused, clinical approach, resulting in the patient and family being assured that no stone has been left unturned in caring for them in every way,” said Dr. Gerald Batist, Director of the Segal Cancer Centre and Chair of McGill University’s Department of Oncology. “The Centre brings an important new strength to McGill University’s cancer research and treatment programs.”

Especially worth noting is the key role that nurses play in this integrated approach. Before treatment begins, each patient and his/her family are assigned to a nurse navigator (infirmière pivot), who has a detailed understanding of the patient’s medical situation. Then, this nurse provides the patient with personal guidance and consistent support, as well as helping to ensure timely continuity of care throughout the entire trajectory of the illness.

“Nurses team up with patients, doctors and other clinicians to alleviate suffering and help individuals and families cope with the impact cancer has on their lives,” said Lynne McVey, Co-Director of the Segal Cancer Centre and Director of Nursing at the Jewish General Hospital.

 

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