10 Years of the MUHC
It is hard to believe that a decade has passed since the creation of the McGill University Health Centre. In 1997, the Montreal Children’s, Montreal General, Montreal Neurological and Royal Victoria hospitals, as well as the Montreal Chest Institute, came together in what was at the time the most ambitious voluntary merger in Canadian health care history, with a view to relocating to new facilities on a single site. Although we have now shifted to a two-site model, the McGill University Health Centre’s central vision remains unchanged: to form a comprehensive university health centre and Research Institute where patients receive seamless lifelong care alongside world-leading teaching and medical discovery.
10 years of evolution have created a McGill University Health Centre that is stronger than ever before and that is truly more than the buildings in which it is housed. Services have been consolidated, missions have been unified and strengthened, clinical and laboratory research has been integrated, and the necessary renovations and new equipment have been incorporated to ensure that the quality of our care has remained excellent. The next step, which is now underway, is to create facilities that match the talent of our caregivers and the high standard and innovation of our services. To celebrate the McGill University Health Centre’s anniversary, we take a closer look at milestones that have brought us to where we are today.
Creating a 21st-century university health centre and Research Institute is a complex process. Since its formation in 1997, the McGill University Health Centre has undergone a profound evolution, bringing together five diverse teaching hospitals into a modern health care environment. Here, we highlight some of the steps in this evolution and demonstrate how the MUHC has set the stage for the provision of internationally recognized patient care, teaching and research in new facilities at the Glen and Mountain campuses.
In 1997, the Montreal Children’s, Montreal General, Montreal Neurological and Royal Victoria hospitals and the Montreal Chest Institute merged to form the McGill University Health Centre. Under a single governing administration, plans were made to gradually consolidate all departments and services. Two years later the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre was formed, bringing all MUHC researchers together and structuring their work around key research axes. Once the redevelopment is complete, the Research Institute will be present on both campuses, having as its centrepiece the state-of-the-art Centre for Innovative Medicine at the Glen.
Moving our missions forward
Prior to the creation of the McGill University Health Centre, the Royal Victoria and Montreal General hospitals had many services in common. Following the merger, a plan was put into place to bring together specialists from both sites into missions that reflected the priorities of a leading university health centre and that could be, as much as possible, consolidated at a single location.
Medicine and Surgery
Encompassing a wide range of diverse disciplines, the Medicine and Surgery missions represented one of the greatest consolidation challenges. A few key areas underscore the important advancements that have modernized and streamlined these core services.
- Cardiology and cardiac surgery have always been areas of excellence at the Montreal General and Royal Victoria hospitals. Following the merger, specialized services such as cardiac catheterization and cardiac intensive care were consolidated at the Royal Vic site. A new Cardiac Catheterization Lab was opened there in 2005, the MAUDE unit for congenital heart patients relocated from the General to the Vic in 2006, and by January 2008 all cardiac surgery will take place at the Vic. These services will soon move to the Glen, while the Mountain campus will retain a Cardiac Critical Care Unit.
- Organ transplantation also benefits from a critical mass of specialized expertise, and has been consolidated at the Royal Victoria Hospital site in advance of its move to the Glen campus. Currently, transplant is supported by three Minimally Invasive (MIS) operating suites at the Montreal General site, which are also home to a wide range of other surgeries that can now be performed through keyhole incisions. Once the redevelopment is complete, MIS will also be available at the Glen, bringing all of transplantation to one location and expanding our capabilities in the most advanced surgical techniques.
- Orthopedics and Trauma were consolidated at the Montreal General site, which had a history of excellence in emergency medicine and trauma care. There, the MUHC operates one of only two level-1 trauma centres in Montreal, a service that will remain at the Mountain campus.
With the establishment of the McGill University Health Centre came the creation of a single Oncology Division. Originally a sub-unit of the Medicine mission, oncology brought together cancer specialists from both the Montreal General and Royal Victoria hospitals, whose collaboration was strengthened by the Division’s near-complete consolidation at the General. Then, in 2006, reflecting the MUHC’s commitment to become a national leader in oncology, the Cancer Care mission was officially created. Once the redevelopment is complete, all of the services of the mission will be offered in a new, state-of-the-art Cancer Centre at the Glen. Closely related to oncology, palliative care came to the General site from the Vic in 2001. The two services will remain linked at the Glen.
Reflecting the Royal Victoria Hospital’s leadership in obstetrics and gynecology, these activities were consolidated at the Women’s Pavilion. In 2002, the McGill University Health Centre created the Women’s Health mission to encompass all specialties that impact women’s health care, including cardiology, endocrinology, mental health services and others. Currently, some of these services are offered in locations across all sites; they will be provided in dedicated clinics in a new Women’s Health Centre at the Glen.
The consolidation of the psychiatry departments of the Montreal General and Royal Victoria hospitals accompanied a reorientation of mental health care towards community-based treatment. The Mental Health mission was created with this in mind, with outpatient psychiatry now consolidated at the Vic site and in-patient psychiatry offered at the General site, where it will remain post-redevelopment. The current plan is for outpatient psychiatry to be offered entirely through community-based institutions once the project is running.
The Children’s, the Neuro and the Chest
While the Royal Victoria and Montreal General were full-service adult hospitals, the new McGill University Health Centre also brought together three specialized institutions: the Montreal Children’s Hospital, the Montreal Chest Institute and the Montreal Neurological Hospital. The past decade has seen many important developments at these sites, which will enjoy closer collaboration with other specialties once the redevelopment has been concluded.
The Montreal Children’s Hospital
The Children’s was already a renowned tertiary and quaternary pediatric hospital and teaching centre when it merged with the adult hospitals to form the McGill University Health Centre, creating Quebec’s only pediatric-to-geriatric centre. While continuing to advance its special Pediatric mission, the Children’s has evolved to include a number of unique collaborative programs with their adult counterparts aimed at easing the transition from pediatric to adult care. A prime example is the MAUDE unit, which provides specialized care to congenital heart disease patients who survive into adulthood.
The Montreal Chest Institute
As a consolidated centre for respirology within the McGill University Health Centre, the Chest has seen significant developments over the past decade. In 2002, new outpatient clinic and radiology departments were inaugurated, creating a major ambulatory facility. In 2006, donors to the Best Care for Life campaign funded a total renovation of the Respiratory Intensive Care Unit. At the Glen campus, the Chest and its affiliated Meakins Christie Laboratories will continue to thrive in fully integrated facilities.
The Montreal Neurological Hospital
With the creation of the McGill University Health Centre, the Neuro gradually assumed responsibility for all in-patient neurological care for adult patients, previously offered at the General. The Neuro will relocate to the Mountain campus, where its proximity to the Trauma centre will facilitate the complex neurosurgeries that trauma cases frequently require.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
The consolidation of patient care, teaching and research at the McGill University Health Centre will reach its fruition with the completion of the redeveloped facilities on the Mountain and Glen campuses. The table below indicates how programs and services will be distributed at these two sites, achieving the most rational distribution of services, the greatest concentration of specialists and the optimal use of teaching and research resources. Most importantly, the two campuses will represent the best in modern tertiary and quaternary health care design, and will offer patients a technologically superior healing environment in which to celebrate countless future McGill University Health Centre anniversaries.
- General medicine and surgery
- Trauma care
- Oral and maxillo-facial surgery
- Mental health
- Plastic surgery
- Ophthalmology (tertiary level)
- Geriatric medicine
- Intensive care in the form of a surgical and
- medical intensive care unit, a neurological intensive care unit and a coronary care unit
- General medicine and surgery
- Cancer: medical oncology, radio-oncology,
- surgical oncology, hematology
- Palliative care
- Montreal Children’s Hospital of the MUHC
- Shriners Hospital
- Women’s Health Centre
- Cardiovascular program
- Respiratory medicine
- Thoracic surgery
- Plastic surgery
- Intensive care in the form of a surgical and medical
- intensive care unit and a coronary care unit