Launch of the Blanchard Family Chair in Palliative Care

September 10, 2014

A newly created chair at the Université de Montréal will do much to strengthen teaching and research in palliative care.

The announcement of the Blanchard Family Chair in Palliative Care was made in the presence of the donors, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Louise Béliveau, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Dr. Hélène Boisjoly, and Dr.  Jean Pelletier, Director of the Department of Family and Emergency Medicine, who was named as the chair’s first holder.

Funded by substantial donations, including $1 million from Dr. Guy Blanchard and $600,000 from the Franciscan Oblates of St. Joseph through the Œuvres Marie-Anne Lavallée (represented by Sister Pierrette Bertrand), the chair will focus on training future professionals and conducting research work to advance knowledge in the palliative care field.

“Creating this chair is an exceptionally generous gesture, both because of the donors’ significant contributions and the purpose those contributions serve,” said Ms. Béliveau. “Very few people have such moral worth that they are willing to bestow a gift on their fellow citizens that involves exploring opportunities to improve end-of-life care.”

“Part of the Faculty of Medicine’s mission is to deliver better health care,” said Dr. Boisjoly. “With the surge in Quebec’s aging population, it is our duty to take action and learn more about end-of-life issues for the benefit of all our citizens; these sizeable donations will help us achieve this.”

“I am honoured to be the first holder of this chair,” said Dr. Pelletier. “Our main goal will be to improve palliative care to people in the end-of-life stage, and particularly for those who wish to receive such care at home or in a residential care facility.”

Dr. Blanchard chose to make a donation to support this research area following some difficult situations he experienced in 2013. From then on, quality end-of-life care became a priority for him.

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