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Merger with a mission: rebuilding lives
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 5 avril 2012

Photo: Gerri Barrer

Henri Lehalle applies skin tone acrylic to a leg prosthesis

On Darlington Ave. just across from the Wilderton Shopping Centre stand two renowned health care pavilions dedicated to helping people with serious orthopedic and spinal cord injuries, as well as head trauma and stroke victims.

Pavillion Gingras used to be the French-speaking Institut de réadaptation de Montréal while Pavillion Lindsay was the English-speaking Lindsay Rehabilitation Hospital. Now they’ve become one bilingual facility through a merger that started in 2008.

“It was a form of speed dating,” says executive director Jean-Philippe Cotton of the newly named Institut de réadaptation Gingras-Lindsay de Montréal. “Our teams of clinicians and researchers from the two institutions had to quickly get to know each other so they could adopt unified programs to reflect the best approaches for our clients,” Cotton says.

The marriage seems to be working well according to the technicians who customize prosthetics and orthotic devices in the institute’s own lab. Before the merger much of the work was done by private contractors, but now it’s all handled internally, paid for by Quebec Health Insurance. “We certainly have more clients and more work,” says orthotic technician Johanne Labrie, “but I like the fact I get to practice my English,” she says.

$1.8M has been recently allocated to the institute for building renovations and updating wheelchairs and occupational and physiotherapy equipment. Work is still ongoing to ensure nurses, social workers and psychologists all use the same evaluation procedures in assessing clients needs and treatment.

Cotton says the merger makes perfect sense since the two former institutions, standing side by side, have the same mission: rebuilding lives.

[ Gerri Barrer ]

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