Dr. Pierre Daloze co-founded Métro-Transplantation, together with Dr. Claude Beaudry and Dr.
Jean-Guy Beauchemin, in 1970, after initiating several ground-breaking advances in organ transplantation. Metro-Transplantation would eventually become the organization known today as Transplant Québec. From the very outset of his career, Dr. Daloze fostered an interest in organ transplantation. He went on to perform the first kidney transplant at Montreal’s Hôpital Notre-Dame in 1969, followed by the first liver transplant in 1970 (also performed in Montreal) and the first pancreas-kidney combined transplant in 1984. In addition, Dr. Daloze created Canada’s first liver transplantation program in 1970 and the pancreas-kidney combined transplantation program in 1984. In the 1990s, he actively collaborated on the establishment of the Société québécoise de transplantation and the Maison des greffés. As a surgeon, Dr. Daloze is widely respected for his intelligence and the caring spirit he brings to the service of patients. He received the Grand Prix Transplant Québec in 2015, in recognition of his exceptional, career-long contribution to the advancement of organ donation and the practice of transplantation.
Raffaele Forcione was named Métro-Transplantation’s first clinical coordinator-advisor on
September 1, 1987. At the time, he was one of only three clinical coordinator-advisors working for the organization. Driven by a desire to give back to society, Mr. Forcione has held the position for more than 30 years. Mr. Forcione is proud to have played a part in the adoption of in-person coordination over the years, and in the establishment of a medical-social questionnaire for families of organ donors. In 2012, the Canadian Organ and Tissue Donors Association (CODA) presented its Good Samaritan Medal of Honour to Mr. Forcione in recognition of his exceptional contribution and commitment. The award expresses the recognition of all Canadians.
Dr. John Dossetor is among the founding fathers of dialysis and kidney transplantation in Canada.
The Indian-born physician emigrated to Canada in the 1950s, where he first taught at McGill University’s Royal Victoria Hospital. It was there that he performed Canada’s first kidney transplantation. This achievement served as a springboard for a career dedicated to research in nephrology. Dr. Dossetor co-founded The Kidney Foundation of Canada in 1964, and in 1970 he joined the University of Alberta as a professor and co-director of a research group on transplantation led by the university hospital’s medical research council. In the 1980s, Dr. Dossetor spawned an interest in medical ethics and went on to become a professor of bioethics at the University of Alberta. He also created and chaired the university’s clinical ethics committee. Over the course of his career, Dr. John Dossetor has earned numerous awards and distinctions in recognition of this work, including being named an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Dr. Pierre Grondin performed Canada’s first heart transplant at the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI)
on May 30, 1968, working alongside Dr. Gilles Lepage (MHI). At the time, a heart transplant was a rare occurrence, with Canada’s first such transplant coming a mere six months after the world’s first heart transplant, performed in South Africa. This ground-breaking transplant procedure made headlines across the country and also drew international attention. Télé-Québec dedicated a documentary to the milestone in 2004, and the daily La Presse hailed it as the day when the “excellence of Quebec medicine first attracted notice.” A native of the Mauricie region and a graduate of Université Laval, Dr. Grondin worked in the United States for a few years, where he honed his skills before embarking on a career as a surgeon at Hôpital Saint-Marie in Trois-Rivières, now affiliated with the Centre hospitalier régional de Trois-Rivières. He was among the first physicians to be hired at the Montreal Heart Institute in 1954, where he went on to serve as chief of the MHI’s cardiac surgery department from 1963 to 1975. Dr. Grondin founded the cardiac surgery department at Hôtel-Dieu de Québec (now integrated into the CHU de Québec-Université Laval), and he was subsequently named clinical professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the Université de Montréal. Dr. Grondin was named Officer of the Order of Canada, and prior to his death in 2006, he received the Prix Lenègre awarded by the Fondation Nativelle in France.
Dr. Steven Paraskevas is a graduate of Harvard University and McGill University. In 2015, he
performed the first transplantation of pancreatic islets in Quebec. The procedure marked a significant breakthrough in the treatment of type-1 diabetes. Dr. Paraskevas previously obtained a doctorate, with a thesis on the response of lesions in human pancreatic beta cells and cell-signalling pathways. In 1997, he received Diabetes Canada’s Scientific Trainee Award in recognition of his research. On the strength of his interest in the transplantation of islet cells and the treatment of diabetes, Dr. Paraskevas received a research grant in multi-organ transplantation surgery from the University of Minnesota, where he worked alongside Dr. David Sutherland, a pioneer of pancreatic islet transplantation. After returning to Montreal, Dr. Paraskevas joined the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), where he was later named Associate Professor of Surgery, Director of the Pancreas and Islet Transplant Program, and Director of Transplant Research at the MUHC. Dr. Paraskevas also serves as Director of the MUHC’s Human Islet Transplant Laboratory, a state-of-the-art facility that acts as an islet distribution centre for all of Eastern Canada. Dr. Paraskevas was an active member of the national and international transplantation community. He served as president of the Canadian Society of Transplantation from 2013 to 2015, and was an active member of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, acting as co-chair of the planning committee for the 2011 American Transplant Congress held in Philadelphia. Credit: MUHC
In 2018, Dr. Daniel Borsuk directed a team of nine surgeons at Montreal’s Hôpital
Maisonneuve-Rosemont assigned to performing the first-ever facial transplant – nose, jaw, orbital cavity – in Canada, and the world’s 41st facial transplant procedure. His achievements are now recognized across the country. Dr. Borsuk is currently Chief of Plastic Surgery at the CHU Sainte-Justine and Associate Professor of Surgery for pediatric and adult craniofacial surgery and plastic surgery at the Université de Montréal, the CHU Sainte-Justine and Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont. In spite of his young age, Dr. Borsuk has distinguished himself for years with his expertise and the quality of the care he dispenses to young patients at the CHU Sainte-Justine. Shortly before his ground-breaking facial transplant, he successfully performed a delicate operation aimed at rebuilding the skull of a young girl with hydrocephalus. In 2019, the Premier of Quebec presented Dr. Borsuk with the title of Officer of the Ordre national du Québec.
Neurosurgical intensive care nurse Lisa Goulet was 20 years old when she had her first contact with
organ donation. A young person of the same age had died in a car accident, and thanks to Ms. Goulet’s empathetic approach with the donor’s family, some eight people were able to find renewed health. For her efforts, Ms. Goulet received messages of thanks from Transplant Québec and the donor’s family. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Goulet began her university studies in nursing science, with a concentration in organ donation and support for grieving families. These two subjects became the focus of the majority of her university projects. In 1998, Lisa Goulet became the first person to hold the position of resource nurse. One year later, the hospital where she was working recruited three times more organ donors than it had during the previous year. This significant improvement was largely due to the creation of the resource nurse position, and it served to convince the government to fill similar positions across Quebec. While Lisa Goulet is no longer working in the nursing profession, she continues to be involved in government committees related to organ donation, and her company takes part in fundraising events presented by various organizations in the organ donation field.
Richard Tremblay, a career police officer, has spent his lifetime working with the public. In 1983,
he founded the Canadian Organ and Tissue Donors Association (CADO) with a mission to promote organ donation across Quebec and Canada. Four years later, the association added emergency transport to its mandate, thereby ensuring that hundreds of people waiting for an organ transplant were able to survive. Today, more than 2,000 volunteer police officers transfer organs and medical teams to hospitals across the province, without interruption. In addition to his duties as president of CADO since its inception, Mr. Tremblay has been active with Transplant Québec, serving as chair of its board of directors for a few years, then as a board member appointed by the Minister of Health and Social Services to represent a volunteer organization or an association of transplant recipients. Transplant Québec presented Richard Tremblay with its Ambassador Award in 2008, in recognition of his boundless initiative, dedication and tenacity. Credit: ACDO
After receiving a liver transplant in 1987, Lina Cyr took it upon herself to meet an essential need
among many people waiting for a transplantation. First, she founded the Association des greffés du Québec, thereby making it possible to foster closer ties between those who have to endure this difficult experience. In 1991, Lina Cyr created the Fondation Lina Cyr, an organization that raises funds to provide various forms of assistance to transplant recipients or people waiting for a transplant. After a series of steps and with considerable effort and determination, Ms. Cyr finally opened the Maison des greffés, with the invaluable collaboration of Dr. Pierre Daloze. The Maison des greffés has since offered comfort to the people who stay there for weeks and sometimes months while awaiting a transplant. To honour its founder, the Maison des greffés du Québec in 2012 officially changed its name to the Maison des greffés Lina Cyr. Lina Cyr received Transplant Québec’s Ambassador’s Award in 2009, in recognition of her dynamism, determination and tenacity. Credit: Maison des greffés Lina Cyr
Lucie Dumont, a retired teacher, enjoyed a long and productive career. With characteristic energy
and passion, she dedicated her 35-year career to educating young people in her classes about the importance or organ and tissue donation. Ms. Dumont was moved when one of her students, a young man waiting for a liver transplant, gave a personal account of his experience to her class at the École secondaire de Rivière-du-Loup. Touched by his story and galvanized, a short while later, by an initiative put forward by another student, Lucie Dumont used her ESL course (English as a second language) to embark on a long-running human and professional adventure called the Chain of Life project. In order to meet her objectives, Ms. Dumont formed an association with Transplant Québec. Impressed with the quality of the educational, scientific and citizen content geared to students, Transplant Québec agreed to produce this project, which harmonizes with its mission to promote the values of solidarity and generosity. These values in turn help promote organ donation through education across all age groups, particularly youth. Lucie Dumont has since founded the Chain of Life Challenge, an annual fundraising event aimed at supporting the implementation of the Chain of Life in high schools across Quebec. In conjunction with the event, representatives of the organ and tissue donation chain gather around a regional flagbearer to plant the Chain of Life flag at the summit of mountains across Quebec. Credit: Chain of Life
In 1983, Diane Hébert received some devastating news from her family physician: An embolism, which
went undetected when she gave birth, degenerated into pulmonary hypertension. In the hope of being able to watch her daughter grow up, Ms. Hébert had no choice: In order to survive she needed a new heart and new lungs. More than two years later, in November 1985, she became the first Quebecer to receive a heart and lung transplant, following a procedure performed at the Toronto General Hospital. Following her operation, Ms. Hébert chose to dedicate her life to promoting the cause of organ and tissue donation. In 1987, she founded the Fondation Diane Hébert in support of people who are waiting for a transplant or who have received one, by offering medical equipment and accommodation services, to go along with constant moral support on the long journey towards a renewed new lease on life. Thanks to her sustained efforts, Quebecers in 1987 were given the option of signing their health insurance card in order to indicate their desire to donate their organs upon dying. Through her work, Diane Hébert played a key part in promoting social acceptance of this type of donation and increasing the number of people willing to exercise that option. Ms. Hébert passed away in June 2008, some 25 years after she was told that she had only six months to live.
Dr. Jean-François Lizé, Chief of Intensive Care at the CHUM, has always shown a marked interest in
promoting organ donation and the quality of care in this field. Between 2010 and 2017, Mr. Lizé held the position of assistant medical director of Transplant Québec. During his tenure, he played a role in several achievements, the most recent of which was his support for the development of the practice of donation after cardiocirculatory determination of death (CDD) in Quebec hospitals, and more recently, in the development of Transplant Québec’s organ donation protocol in situations involving medical assistance in dying (MAD). Over the years, Dr. Lizé has also served as a conference speaker or moderator at a number of congresses and training days for several organizations, and he has given numerous media interviews to educate the public and raise awareness of the importance of organ donation. As Chief of the Intensive Care Department at the CHUM since 2018, he quickly identified organ donation as a priority mission, and this philosophy, in practical terms, has led to the exemplary interdisciplinary management of potential donors. Dr. Jean-François Lizé received Transplant Québec’s 2020 Grand Prix in recognition of his exceptional career.
Dr. Ronald D. Guttmann, a native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, completed his studies and began his
career in the United States. In 1970 he moved to Montreal, where he accepted a position as director of the transplantation department at the McGill University Health Centre’s Royal Victoria Hospital, and associate professor of medicine in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. During the course of his university career, Dr. Guttman directed an active fundamental and clinical research program in the immunobiology of transplantation, immunogenetics, immunosuppression and long-term complications among transplant recipients. He also fostered an interest in social and ethical issues related to transplantation, the shortage of organs, and human rights violations. Dr. Guttmann currently serves as executive vice-president, clinical and international development, at BioMosaics Inc. In addition, he works as a consultant in the biomedical and biotechnology industry. Dr. Guttmann is the author of more than 310 original publications.
Dr. Pierre Marsolais, an internist and intensivist at Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur-de-Montréal, has
served as an inspiring model for students and medical interns. He worked to promote best practices in organ donation for several years, and has been described as a passionate go-getter and an excellent communicator. Dr. Marsolais has made 100 percent identification of potential donors one of his chief priorities. By implementing an approach aimed at continuously improving practices through the timely and effective resolution of problematic situations (PDSA Plan-Do-Study-Act), he has helped improve organ donation performances at Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur and at several other hospitals. His many achievements include the creation of an accessible, useful, interactive and exportable teaching model for the medical management of organ donors. Dr. Marsolais has become a leading authority for many of his peers, and his convictions have carried him all the way to the summit of Argentina’s Mount Aconcagua, a climb he proudly completed while donning the green ribbon flag symbolizing organ donation. At the outset of his career, Dr. Marsolais was involved in a pilot project on donation after cardiocirculatory determination of death (CDD). He helped optimize efforts to promote organ donation with youth, visiting movie theatres and also appearing on the popular TV show Tout le monde en parle! Transplant Québec presented him with its 2010 Grand Prix in recognition of his extraordinary leadership in advancing organ donation across Quebec. Dr. Marsolais went on to receive the 2014 Leadership Award for a physician, presented by the Association québécoise d'établissements de santé et de services sociaux (AQESSS), and the Prix Reconnaissance de carrière Persillier-Lachapelle 2014 presented by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec. He also won the 2017 Prix d’humanisme awarded by the Collège des médecins du Québec. Finally, Dr. Marsolais created the Mission du Dr Marsolais, which provides concrete support to donor families in advance of the organ donation process.
Dr. Stephan Langevin, an anesthesiologist-intensivist at the Institut Universitaire de cardiologie
et de pneumologie de Québec, is a unifying force and a skilled negotiator. While participating in the development of a consensus among the Canadian medical community on various subjects related to organ donation, he was instrumental in allowing Transplant Québec to meet numerous elected officials at the National Assembly during National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week. Dr. Langevin served as assistant medical director of Transplant Québec from 2006 to 2010. Working effectively behind the scenes, he helped foster discussions with pathologists, coroners and attorneys as part of an effort to review methods of collaboration and reduce the incidence of refusal among coroners in relation to organ donation. Forming an inseparable duo with Dr. Pierre Marsolais, he implemented a pilot project on donation after cardiocirculatory determination of death (CDD). This project, now deployed in hospitals across Quebec, is among his crowning achievements, much to the benefit of people waiting for an organ transplant. Transplant Québec did not hesitate to present Dr. Langevin with its 2010 Grand Prix in recognition of his exceptional leadership role in advancing organ donation in Quebec, and his big-hearted work on behalf of the Percée collective québécoise en don d’organes et en transplantation. Dr. Langevin has served as ambassador for the Chain of Life Challenge, and since 2010 he has scaled several mountains for the cause.
Ms. Sonia Maheu was an engaged and dynamic woman. Born with a heart defect, which led to her
contracting Eisenmenger’s syndrome, Ms. Maheu’s health deteriorated rapidly. Slowed by the disease, she eventually joined the waiting list for a heart and lung transplant. But she didn’t let her condition get the best of her and continued on her path, in spite of the severity of the diagnosis. Instead, Ms. Maheu poured herself into raising awareness of the importance of organ donation and making your intentions known in this regard. She took part in countless awareness activities and organized fundraising initiatives in an effort to promote organ donation. In addition, she provided support to families of people who recently joined the transplant waiting list by helping them deal with the wait and the unknown, and offering reassurance. Ms. Maheu gave regular media interviews to explain the importance of thinking about donation and speaking to friends and family about it, and she was a founding member of the non-profit organization Pose un geste, serving as its communications director. The recipient of Transplant Québec’s 2012 Ambassador Award, Ms. Maheu was an inspiration and an example of courage and determination for all people waiting for a transplant, for the general public, and for health professionals. Sonia Maheu passed away in 2018.
After serving as a volunteer for the Canadian Organ and Tissue Donors Association (CADO), Annie
Chouinard secured her first position as a resource nurse at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) in 2000. The following year, she was among the first group of resource nurses to complete the organ and tissue donation training offered by Transplant Québec. Driven by her passion for the cause, Ms. Chouinard went on to establish the structure required to ensure the effective operation of the organ and tissue donation program at the CHUS. In doing so, she improved the work of health professionals and facilitated collaboration between care teams and units. She also developed new work tools meant to facilitate organ donation. At the same time, she created a follow-up tool for grieving families in connection with the electronic health record, and drafted a sympathy card used to approach families concerning donation, regardless of their final decision. Ms. Chouinard is fully engaged in her work and in life, and she is invested in the cause beyond the CHUS, by giving presentations in high schools and supporting community groups. In 2012, she received the Grand Prix awarded by Transplant Québec in recognition of her commitment – which has long extended beyond a professional context – and her key role in advancing the cause across her community.
Ms. Annie Girard was born with a serious heart disease. After receiving a heart transplant in May of
2008, she became a dedicated ambassador for organ and tissue donation. Thanks to the gift of life, Ms. Girard was able to lead an active life again and return to work. Ms. Girard made a decision to remind people that organ donation not only benefits transplant recipients, but it also has a positive impact on the quality of life of their loved ones. She is a living example of the fact that life can resume its normal course after transplantation. Ms. Girard is now involved with the Fondation de l’Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec, and she also served as a volunteer for the Association des Greffés (es) de l’Est-du-Québec and Transplant Québec for several years. She never hesitated to grant requests for interviews, give testimonials, and participate in conferences and kiosks in order to raise public awareness of organ donation. She gave a moving testimonial at one of Québec Transplant’s recognition ceremonies for organ donor families, which had a positive effect, helping the families feel at peace with their decision to authorize procurement on behalf of their deceased loved one. Transplant Québec presented its 2011 Ambassador Award to Ms. Girard, who has been a source of inspiration, courage and determination for young people in Quebec as well as for health professionals and all people waiting for a transplant and their families.
Ms. Rosa Shields has distinguished herself as a volunteer at the McGill University Health Centre
(MUHC) and an outstanding ambassador for the benefits of organ donation and transplantation. As a kidney and liver transplant recipient herself, her commitment is rooted in the unconditional sense of gratitude she feels towards the donors and the medical team that saved her life. Ms. Shields has competed in four Canadian Transplant Games and two World Transplant Games, winning a total of 10 medals. Through it all, she never hesitated to give interviews and was also involved in creating advertisements and carrying out media initiatives to remind people of the importance of making known their decision to donate their organs. Her loved ones emphasized her involvement in the annual Celebration of Life Gala held by the MUHC’s multi-organ transplant program, which she organized for more than 15 years, raising more than $500,000 for the cause. Surrounded by a seasoned team of professionals, she established the teaching program for patients on dialysis and their families. The program is intended to promote a better understanding of the disease and prepare patients for dialysis and eventual transplantation. A source of inspiration for the people around her, Ms. Shields stood apart thanks to her boundless enthusiasm. Transplant Québec proudly presented her with its 2013 Ambassador Award in recognition of her exceptional contribution as a volunteer.
Dr. Michel Lallier has been an active member of several Transplant Québec committees dating back to
the early 2000s, including the medical advisory committee, the kidney-pancreas sub-committee, and the liver sub-committee. He co-authored the pilot project protocol on donation after cardiocirculatory determination of death (CDD) and also represented Transplant Québec on the American-led ODTBC project (Organ Donation and Transplantation Breakthrough Collaborative), which evaluated the quality of the approach taken by health professionals in organ donation hospitals. Dr. Lallier also co-created the weekly meetings held by the Percée collective québécoise en don d’organes et en transplantation. The approach developed under this collaborative project is responsible for Quebec’s spectacular progress in organ donation and transplantation in recent years. He is one of only three Quebec specialists who perform transplantation procedures on children. Dr. Lallier is a sought-after speaker, specifically for training, awareness and motivation-building activities among organ donation teams, and he serves as an ambassador for organ donation wherever he goes. After completing his term as vice-president of the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec, he helped advocate in favour of better working conditions for physicians working directly or indirectly in organ donation and transplantation. In 2009, Dr. Lallier received Transplant Québec’s Grand Prix in recognition of his remarkable involvement and leadership.
Dr. Jean Tchervenkov, a transplant surgeon at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), is
recognized by his peers and colleagues as a “quiet leader.” His remarkable achievements include actively supporting the creation, in 1998, of the position of resource nurse in organ and tissue donation to work with grieving families at the McGill University Health Centre. Today, there are some 10 resource nurses in organ and tissue donation practicing in 11 hospitals across Quebec. As a member of The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s organ donation committee and of several Transplant Québec committees, he has organized a number of fundraising events aimed ta purchasing specialized transplantation equipment. He never passes up a chance to express his recognition and admiration for donor families, his gratitude towards the volunteers along the donation chain, and towards Transplant Québec, which coordinates the medical teams involved in organ donation and transplantation. Transplant Québec presented Dr. Tchervenkov with its 2008 Grand Prix in recognition of his contribution to the organ and tissue donation cause through his sense of innovation, his listening abilities, and his efforts to share his ideas and knowledge.
Wendy Sherry has demonstrated leadership qualities throughout the course of her distinguished career
as a resource nurse in organ and tissue donation at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), by stimulating and supporting the development of organ and tissue donation. She has played an active part in organ donation activities at the MUHC, including through organ donation committees, awareness and teaching activities, and efforts to improve, identify and maintain potential donors while ensuring access to the operating room. Ms. Sherry, a highly engaged individual, has also overseen continuing professional training activities for physicians, nurses and inhalation therapists. Drawing on her approach, Ms. Sherry has helped coordinate close to 300 organ donations in support of some 400 families. Kindness and communication are the cornerstones of her commitment, and her exceptional human qualities allow her to offer excellent support to grieving families. In recognition of her remarkable efforts to advance the organ and tissue donation cause through her dynamism, empathy and dedication, Transplant Québec presented her with its Grand Prix in 2019.
In 2001, Ms. Claude Proulx, a nursing graduate from the Université de Montréal, was offered the
newly created position of resource nurse in organ and tissue donation at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont. Drawing on her human qualities, Ms. Proulx has done remarkable work with donor families, who often come to her in a state of shock. As part of her work, she helped create mechanisms for optimizing and identifying potential organ and tissue donors, and she collaborated on the development of trainings on best practices for approaching and supporting families in organ donation situations. She continues to offer these trainings, with enthusiasm, to this day. Thanks to Ms. Proulx, several members of the medical staff now know that a carefully crafted approach to organ donation can facilitate the donation and grieving process for these families. In 2016, Ms. Proulx received the Grand Prix awarded by Transplant Québec in recognition of her consistent contribution throughout the years, specifically on Transplant Québec’s family committee.
Ms. Louise Quintal and Mr. Raymond Cyr have been a couple for more than 50 years. For several
decades, they have quietly and effectively worked to improve our understanding of cystic fibrosis in the general population, promote organ donation for transplantation purposes (the recognized treatment for patients with cystic fibrosis), and develop targeted training for hospital staff. In 1963, the couple dedicated themselves to raising funds for research on cystic fibrosis and to simplifying our understanding of the disease, which afflicted both their children. In 2010, at a time when their son Bernard’s condition was deteriorating and transplantation was necessary, the couple redoubled their efforts, teaming up with the organ donation team at the CHUM to offer training on nursing practices, specifically in support of families of potential organ and tissue donors. Thanks to their tenacity and careful efforts to solicit private foundations and individual donors, and to their collaboration with the CHUM organ donation committee and the Fondation du CHUM, close to 400 health professionals have completed the three-day training session since 2011. What’s more, some 5,000 health professionals have benefitted from Transplant Québec‘s online training program since its inception. Louise Quintal and Raymond Cyr received Transplant Québec’s 2017 Ambassador Award in recognition of their vision, mobilization efforts, and significant achievements.
After the tragic and unexpected death of their daughter Stéphanie in 2008, Ms. Sylvie Massia and
Mr. René Tapp acted as spokespersons for donor families at the annual posthumous tribute to organ donors held by the Canadian Organ and Tissue Donors Association (ACDO). The ceremony takes place in Sherbrooke. To mark the occasion, they welcome families with the utmost respect and recognition for their life-saving gesture. As ambassadors for the Chain of Life project, Sylvie Massia and René Tapp never hesitated to venture out and meet young people and teachers or to promote their project in the media. They also took every opportunity to remind people that discussion, as a family, is a determining factor in the decision to donate organs, because it gives grieving loved ones peace of mind and allows them to feel comfortable with their decision. They also organized activities and events and acted as conference speakers. For several years, Mr. Tapp, a former SPVM police officer, provided organ and tissue transport services by land as well as transport services for procurement teams through the Canadian Organ and Tissue Donors Association (ACDO). Transplant Québec proudly presented René Tapp and Sylvie Massia with its Ambassador Award in 2015. They are an inspiration for everyone they meet, and both continue to serve as outstanding volunteers.
After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in nursing, Nicole Thérriault turned her attention to organ
and tissue donation with the goal of supporting families in difficulty after the loss of a loved one, through the CISSS de l’Outaouais. Her track record attests to her visionary qualities as well as her warm and proactive personality and her ability to mobilize people. Added to that is her boundless energy and contagious dedication. Ms. Thérriault’s approach has allowed many families to experience the loss of a loved one with greater serenity, while contributing, in many instances, to organ donation. In addition, Ms. Thérriault has participated in activities intended to raise public awareness and educate people about the organ or tissue donation process. She has consistently worked to remind people about the importance of indicating in writing their intentions to donate organs and talking about it with their loved ones. In 2018, Transplant Québec presented her with its Grand Prix in recognition of her remarkable commitment and leadership, her collaborative approach, her efforts to develop tools adapted to patients and their loved ones (big and small), her empathy and her dedication.
Renée L’Heureux held the position of resource nurse in organ and tissue donation at the CHU de
Québec-Université Laval for several years. She worked closely with the loved ones of the deceased, helping them understand the circumstances and make informed decisions regarding organ and tissue donation. Ms. L’Heureux is now retired. Her duties included working with peers, future physicians and health professionals, by offering training on how to communicate with grieving families and approach the subject of organ and tissue donation. Specifically, she established a number tools for health workers in order to help them provide guidance to grieving parents and children. Ms. L’Heureux’s colleagues singled out her listening skills and empathy, as well as the remarkable quality of her work with donor families. In 2016, Ms. L’Heureux received the Grand Prix from Transplant Québec in recognition of her remarkable contribution to the advancement of organ and tissue donation in Quebec.
Dr. Pasquale Ferraro was appointed chief of surgery for the lung transplantation program at the
Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) in 1997. This program is the only lung transplantation program in Quebec, the second largest in Canada, and one of the top-performing programs in North America. Dr. Ferraro was subsequently appointed associate professor in 2003. He was the holder of the 2008 Alfonzo Minicozzi and Family Chair in Thoracic Surgery and Lung Transplantation, and in 2009 he was named chief of thoracic surgery. In 2012, he participated in the first lung-liver transplant performed in Quebec. Widely recognized for his medical and scientific achievements, Dr. Ferraro is also described by his patients and their loved ones as an extraordinary physician who regards his profession as a vocation. He is deeply involved in his community, in touch with the latest advances in knowledge and cutting-edge technology, and dedicated to serving his patients; but perhaps most importantly, he is admired for his profoundly human qualities. In 2014, Dr. Pasquale Ferraro received the Grand Prix awarded by Transplant Québec in recognition of his remarkable achievements. These include allowing the CHUM to remain a world leader in lung transplantation by acquiring two ex vivo perfusion devices, which make it possible to increase the number of donors by 25 percent. Today, he serves as chair of the board of directors of the Maison des greffés Lina Cyr.
Dr. Charles Poirier, a respirologist, has served as medical director of the lung transplant program
at the CHUM since its inception. The members of his team describe him as a peerless clinician with an engaging and endearing personality. His patients and their families, for their part, single out his expertise and human qualities. Among his many achievements, Dr. Poirier in 1997 established Quebec’s lung transplant program aimed at offering advanced care and services to patients with lung disease who are waiting for a transplant or have received a lung transplant. This program, today, is the second largest in Canada and the sixth largest in North America. In terms of promotion, Dr. Poirier has actively collaborated with the Canadian Lung Transplant Working Group since joining the CHUM in 1997. In 2017, Dr. Poirier received the Grand Prix awarded by Transplant Québec. This award recognizes the remarkable contribution of a physician, health professional or manager to the advancement of organ donation and transplantation practices in Quebec.
Mr. Sylvain Bédard was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy at a young age. But that didn’t
hold back his professional and personal development. The father of five kids, one of whom was born after Mr. received a transplant, has enjoyed a successful career in the performing arts. With his condition deteriorating, he received a first heart transplant in 2000, followed by a second in 2018. Mr. Bédard went on to initiate several expeditions around the world to promote the organ donation cause, including ascents of Mont Blanc in France and Mount Sajama in Bolivia. These significant challenges were aimed at raising public awareness of the organ donation cause and honouring the memory of Mr. Bédard’s organ donor and donor family for giving him the gift of life. Mr. Bédard’s involvement in organ donation has taken many forms. He has promoted the cause through numerous awareness and education actions, and through his inspiring achievements he has shown that transplant recipients can achieve great things, even after a heart transplant. In 2018, Transplant Québec presented its Ambassador Award to Mr. Bédard in recognition of his impact on the community and his role in promoting organ donation on a large scale by drawing on his human qualities.
Mr. Gaston Martin received a heart transplant in 2000. He has since dedicated his “second life”
to the organ and tissue donation cause. In addition to serving as a volunteer with Transplant Québec, he has been involved with Héma-Québec, as a member of the advisory committee representing transplant recipients, and he was also provincial director of the Canadian Transplant Association. Mr. Martin has developed unifying projects, and he likes to pair his passion for sports with the promotion of organ donation. He spearheaded Quebec City’s bid to host the 5th Canadian Transplant Games in the summer of 2010, as Chef de Mission. He also established an annual friendly tennis tournament with the intent to raise awareness about organ donation, and as an athlete he has participated in various tennis and badminton tournaments in support of transplant recipients in Canada and abroad. This excellent spokesman for the cause also takes part in awareness activities with various groups, and he offers training on a volunteer basis. In 2010, Mr. Martin received Transplant Québec’s Ambassador Award in recognition of his remarkable volunteer contribution and availability, specifically when it comes to sharing his experience through the media and with the business community, as well as in schools and hospitals. In 2016, the Canadian Organ and Tissue Donors Association presented Mr. Marin with its Good Samaritan Medal of Honour, and in 2019 he received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers awarded by the Governor General of Canada.
Andrée Coulombe held the position of head nurse, intensive care unit, at the CHUQ-Hôtel-Dieu for
close to 50 years. At the outset of her career, she served as a general-duty nurse in intensive care, working with the first organ donors transferred from Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus to l’Hôtel-Dieu de Québec. It was Ms. Coulombe who cared for the first deceased organ donor in 1973. Through the years, Ms. Coulombe was active in raising awareness about organ donation. As a member of the organ donation committee at the CHUQ since its inception in 1996, she was involved in continuing professional education, in improving critical care knowledge, and in promoting the establishment of the resource nurse in organ and tissue donation program. As president of the Regroupement des infirmières et infirmiers de soins intensifs du Québec (RIISIQ) for several years, Ms. Coulombe helped implement a number of large-scale projects, including “priority” care for organ donors. In May 2011, the RIISIQ created a scholarship in her name in order to reward nurses who complete their Canadian critical care certification. Transplant Québec presented her with its 2011 Grand Prix in recognition of her involvement in the organ and tissue donation cause.
Dr. Isabelle Houde completed her studies in nephrology in Nantes, France. She returned to Québec
with the firm intention of dedicating herself to clinical transplantation and to teaching medical interns. After initially dedicating herself to the overall health of patients, she realized, over the years, that she was perfectly suited to nephrology, given that nephrology patients are followed for extended periods. Now an associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Université Laval and director of the kidney transplantation unit at the CHU de Québec, she wages a daily fight to improve organ donation in Quebec. Dr. Houde is among the people who coordinate organ and tissue transplantations in Canada, and the specialists that Transplant Québec consults to evaluate cases in which a deceased person donates their organs. Dr. Isabelle Houde was awarded Transplant Québec’s Grand Prix in 2007 in recognition of her achievements, her steadfast focus on the well-being of her patients, and her overall contribution to the cause.
Dr. Raymond Dandavino worked as a nephrologist at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont from 1977 to 2011.
He went on to serve as chair of the board of directors of Transplant Québec and president of its kidney-pancreas committee. Dr. Dandavino hails from a modest immigrant family. After completing his medical studies, he quickly shifted his focus to nephrology. Driven by a burning desire to change people’s lives, he chose to concentrate on transplantation. Dr. Dandavino ceased practicing actively in 2011, but continued to fulfil his duties as medical examiner. He also founded the Société québécoise de transplantation in 1999, in collaboration with three colleagues. He acted as secretary-treasurer of the organization until 2005, in addition to organizing its first annual symposium in 2000.
Dr. Denis Marleau is regarded as a pioneer in the development of liver transplantation in Quebec. He
helped establish the liver transplantation program at the former Hôpital Saint-Luc – now integrated into the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) – and served as its medical director. Dr. Marleau graduated from the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Medicine in 1965. He went on to complete his residency in internal medicine before pursuing his postdoctoral training in hepatology at the Hôpital Beaujon in Paris and at McGill University. In 1972 he joined the hepatology department at the CHUM’s Hôpital Saint-Luc, and in 1983 he became associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the Université de Montréal. Over the years, Dr. Marleau contributed on several Transplant Québec bodies: The scientific medical advisory committee, the liver transplantation committee, the executive committee, and the board of directors. He also served as chair of Transplant Québec’s hepatic sub-committee, and he held a seat on several transplant committees at the Université de Montréal. In addition, he served on the transplantation sub-committee for the Collège des médecins du Québec. In 2011, Transplant Québec presented Dr. Marleau with its Grand Prix in recognition of his involvement on behalf of the organ and tissue donation cause, specifically in the area of liver transplantation.
Dr. Michel R. Pâquet, a nephrologist specialized in kidney transplantation and president of the
organ donation committee at the CHUM, has been involved in the organ donation cause for several years. He is a member of Transplant Québec’s kidney-pancreas committee, and he is active with the Quebec Division of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. Out of a concern with Quebec’s poor performance in the area of living donation, Michel R. Pâquet made the issue his life’s work. He participated in numerous awareness activities, including the Toronto Marathon, with the intent to build further knowledge of organ donation among health professionals, and then the 2008 expedition to Mont-Blanc to promote kidney transplantation from a living donor. Working alongside members of The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s provincial organ donation committee, Dr. Pâquet also developed a proposal in 2008 to reimburse living donors in Quebec for the expenses they incur. Dr. Pâquet currently chairs the organ donation committee at The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Quebec Division. He also serves as director of the Quebec Living Kidney Donation Program. This program was established in 2018, after a pilot project that saw Quebec’s five kidney transplantation centres collaborate on the implementation of best practices in kidney transplantation through living donation. Transplant Québec awarded its 2013 Grand Prix to Dr. Pâquet in recognition of his remarkable achievements.
William Cusano began his political career as the MLA for Viau in 1981. He would continue to serve
the riding for more than 20 years. In 1992, organ donation became his leading cause, after he received a heart transplant. Fewer than eight months after Mr. Cusano received his new heart, the Act respecting health services and social services was amended with the addition of a section stipulating that the director of professional services in a health establishment must provide the organization designated by the minister (in this case Transplant Québec) with medical information on potential organ donors. Mr. Cusano skilfully showed the way on the vital issue of identifying potential donors in hospital critical care units, the first step in the process leading to organ donation. In addition, he initiated an awareness activity geared to MLAs at the National Assembly, in conjunction with National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week. This activity was held annually for several years. In 2006, Mr. Cusano founded the Fondation William Cusano: la vie en héritage to raise public awareness about organ donation and to support people waiting for a transplant and donor families. He served as president of the foundation until his death in 2012. The Fondation William Cusano: la vie en héritage has since ceased its activities. In 2007, William Cusano was the first to receive the Prix Ambassadeur presented by Transplant Québec in recognition of his remarkable contribution to organ donation as a volunteer citizen.
Dr. Marie-José Clermont, a pediatric nephrologist and chief of medicine at the CHU
Sainte-Justine’s nephrology clinic, possesses unique expertise in pediatric kidney transplantation and organ donation. Dr. Clermont is an associate clinical professor of pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine at the Université de Montréal. She holds a specialist’s certificate in pediatrics and nephrology, as well as a DESS (specialised graduate diploma) in bioethics. She holds a seat on the board of directors of Transplant Québec and on its ethics committee, which studies ethical issues and challenges surrounding organ donation and transplantation. As an active researcher, Dr. Clermont has given numerous presentations in Quebec, Canada and internationally. She has studied the transition to adult services among patients, as well as the relationship between ethics and technology.
Dr. Jacques Léon Corman played an important role in the creation of Transplant Québec. He served
as its executive director from 1991 to 1994, then as its medical director until 1998. The Belgian-born Dr. Corman moved to Quebec in 1973, after completing his medical studies at the Université de Louvain. He also spent two and a half years in Colorado, where he honed his techniques as a transplant surgeon. Once in Quebec, Dr. Corman played a part in the development of the multi-organ transplantation unit established at the CHUM’s Hôpital Notre-Dame by Dr. Pierre Daloze. During the course of his career, Dr. Corman has performed kidney, liver and pancreas transplantations, while teaching in the Faculty of Medicine at the Université de Montréal, specifically in the Department of Surgery. He helped establish the structure and ethical protocol aimed at ensuring timely, safe and fair access to transplantation for any person waiting for an organ. Dr. Jacques Léon Corman received an award from The Kidney Foundation of Canada in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the advancement of scientific knowledge and medical practices in organ transplantation.