More than two decades ago, the physicians at Sainte-Justine took steps to actively invest in the hospital’s educational mission through personal investments to the Academic Fund. This past year, they donated a record $2 million plus, an amount that has been increased by the Foundation's other donors, representing more than $2.5 million for the training of up-and-coming medical professionals.
In 2013, Dr. Sébastien Perreault returned to Sainte-Justine from California, where he'd honed his skills at Stanford University's highly specialized neuro-oncology program. His arrival set off a chain reaction for Sainte-Justine. Dr. Perreault took on a leadership role in the neurology and oncology departments and, under his direction, new multidisciplinary teams were formed. This positioned Sainte-Justine to become a world leader in brain tumour research and treatment.
Dr. Perreault was the recipient of a fellowship grant, a type of scholarship that helps fund advanced training for talented young doctors. These grants give new members of the Sainte-Justine team the chance to train internationally at other prominent institutions while at the same time bringing rising stars in pediatrics from all around the world to Sainte-Justine to do the same.
I received a scholarship in 2011. We are looking to develop new expertise to improve child care, but without the financial support for our training, it is impossible.
Dr. Sébastien Perreault
Sainte-Justine is one of the largest teaching hospitals in Canada, and one of the best. As a provincial, national and international leader in pediatrics and obstetrics, Sainte-Justine hosts some 3,500 students a year and trains more than 80% of Quebec pediatricians. Needless to say, this new blood is essential to the hospital’s mission. That’s why, 20 years ago, this program was launched, the only one of its kind in Canada.
These days, the hospital has 28 different departments and services that train new pediatricians. Close to $22 million in scholarships has been awarded to more than 500 clinical fellows since 1998. In addition to sending a number of new team members to sharpen their skills at other prominent institutions, Sainte-Justine welcomes 35 fellows from abroad every year.
They are incredibly talented, but what truly fascinates me about the fellows who come here is what a diverse range of knowledge they bring to the table. Intensive care, immuno-rheumatology, child maltreatment pediatrics, medical microbiology and infectious diseases, neonatology, hepato-gastroenterology, dermatology, perinatology – the list goes on and on. Each visiting fellow contributes in their own unique way to the well-being of our patients.
Dr. Benoît Carrière
At Sainte-Justine as elsewhere, the fellows and their preceptors provide care, conduct patient research and work with other healthcare staff as part of a multidisciplinary team. This mutual exchange of expertise is immensely enriching for our institution.
In health care, skill and education are crucial, but so is the sharing of knowledge. Dr. Perreault is behind a new clinical trial for a targeted therapy in neuro-oncology. The treatment has the potential to be revolutionary for children with tumours that, while benign, nonetheless cause serious health effects.
I returned from the fellowship with the world-class expertise necessary to explore new directions here at home. I also connected with key players that have helped broaden Sainte-Justine’s network. Now that I myself am a teacher and donate to these same scholarship funds, I understand how crucial it is that as many pediatricians as possible have the same chance I did.
Dr. Sébastien Perreault
Our sincerest thanks go to all the physicians and donors who back this initiative year after year. With your unwavering support, CHU Sainte-Justine’s doctors, present and future, will be equipped to provide the best possible care to children and their families.