Health Matters Newsletter – Summer 2017

Click here to download a pdf of the Summer 2017 Newsletter

Honouring two MUHC medical luminaries

Drs. Sylvia and Richard Cruess have been synonymous with the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) for over 60 years. Both graduates of Columbia University’s medical school, they came to the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) in 1955 to each complete two years of postgraduate training.

An orthopaedic surgeon and endocrinologist respectively, Richard and Sylvia have both made significant contributions to the advancement of medicine at the MUHC. In 1967, Sylvia headed the RVH’s Metabolic Day Centre, which was the first facility of its kind in Canada at the time. She was then recruited to be the first female Director of Professional Services at the hospital, and held the position for 18 years.

In addition to being a surgeon, Richard took on the role of Dean of Medicine at McGill University for an unprecedented 14 years. During his tenure, which was the longest in McGill’s modern history, , he established 26 new medical chairs – sustainable sources of funding to help attract the best international talent. Together, following their clinical careers, Drs. Cruess have dedicated the past 22 years to medical education as core members of McGill University’s Centre for Medical Education.

Richard and Sylvia Cruess have also played leadership roles in inspiring the community to support McGill and the MUHC. They were involved in fundraising for the construction of the hospital and research institute at the Glen site and co-chaired the MUHC’s Legacy Year. To celebrate the outstanding contributions made by these two medical pioneers, the MUHC Foundation is very proud to be launching a $10 million fundraising campaign in their honour. All of the funds raised will support continued excellence in research at the MUHC including: professorships, fellowships, and studentships, as well as a Research Ignition Fund. We plan to name the amphitheatre of the Research Institute in honour of Drs. Cruess as it is a most fitting way in which to show our gratitude and appreciation for the indelible mark that they continue to leave on the MUHC and McGill University.

Click here to support the campaign in honour of Drs. Sylvia and Richard Cruess.

Julie Quenneville
McGill University Health Centre Foundation
Royal Victoria Hospital Foundation


Susannah Tam: Mrs. Miracle

“I cannot express how grateful I am to Dr. Shum-tim and the entire staff at the MUHC.” – Susannah Tam

Susannah Tam always thought of herself as a healthy person but all that changed on one sunny day in September in 2012.  What started out as a typical day at work took a tragic turn, and the next time Susannah woke up, she was at the Royal Victoria Hospital at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).

MUHC cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Dominique Shum-Tim came out of the operating room and was informed that there was an emergency case in the Intensive Care Unit. “I remember Susannah’s case very well,” he says. “I had finished a long day in the operating room, and one of the residents told me of a patient suffering from a mitral valve endocarditis (an inflammation of the heart’s valves) who was also in septic shock and experiencing multiple organ failure.” Susannah had significant internal bleeding, and she was critically ill. With little time to spare, Dr. Shum-Tim performed an emergency surgery to save her life.

Click here to read the rest of Susannah’s story.

First Gala of the Three Stars celebrates Montreal’s Chinese Community and the MUHC

On April 21, 2017, more than 350 guests were treated to an exceptional evening at The Windsor Ballrooms as part of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Foundation’s first Gala of the Three Stars. This fundraising gala, which raised $200,000, was held in conjunction with Montreal’s Chinese Community. It was attended by many dignitaries, including the Consul General of China in Quebec, Peng Jingtao, MNA and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Social Services, Marie Montpetit, and Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace borough mayor Russell Copeman.

Click here to read more about the Gala of the Three Stars

Upcoming Events


You are cordially invited to a cocktail dinatoire hosted by Co-Chairs Cynthia Price Verreault, JoAnne Kelly Rudy, and Anna Capobianco-Skipworth in support of the MUHC Breast Clinic.
When: Thursday, October 12, 2017
Where: Le Mount Stephen, 1430 Drummond Street, Montreal, QC  H3B 1K1

Click here to purchase tickets or to donate to Enchantée


Pink in the City Masquerade Ball
Join us for an exciting evening with Pink in the City. The proceeds from this masquerade will go towards the purchase of an ultrasound machine for the MUHC’s Breast Clinic.
When: Friday, October 27, 2017
Where: Embassy Plaza, 1003 Curé-Labelle Boulevard, Laval, QC H7V 2V6

Please contact Mary at to purchase tickets to the Pink in the City Masquerade Ball


Le Bal Rouge
Save the date for the Second Annual Le Bal Rouge, honouring Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Gerald Fried of the MUHC
When: Thursday, November 16, 2017
Where: Ritz Carlton Montreal, 1228 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC H3G 1H6

Please contact Mary at to purchase tickets to, or for more information about, Le Bal Rouge

Click here to read about the success of last year’s Bal Rouge