RUIS McGill partners gather from far and wide

It took a vision, passion and perseverance to make it happen. The result: excellent feedback all around.

On May 28 and 29, in the New Residence Hall of McGill University, close to 200 healthcare professionals from Quebec came together to attend the inaugural RUIS McGill Symposium, under the banner, “A Network in Action.”

“I am very proud to be part of this community that is distributed over seven regions of Quebec,” said Dr. David Eidelman, the newly appointed President of the RUIS (Réseaux universitaires intégrés de santé) McGill, as well as Vice-Principal of Health Affairs and Dean at McGill. “This RUIS territory spans close two-thirds of the province and is populated by some 1.8 million people. For close to a decade, RUIS McGill has been a network in action, helping to improve access to health care, develop learning opportunities, promote training, and increase services and expertise in Telehealth.”

Jean Rodrigue, Assistant Deputy Minister, Direction générale des services de santé et médecine universitaire, shared his perspective on the advantages of the RUIS, its positive outcomes and the obstacles it will face to participants during the opening plenary, which was also attended by the heads of McGill’s major teaching hospitals.

Through workshops, panel discussions and presentations, the RUIS McGill Symposium offered an opportunity to share the inspiring health care initiatives ongoing within the network.  It allowed for an exchange of knowledge, best practices, strengths and challenges. Partners, who came from all over the territory, spoke about the actions taken to launch programs in areas of health care critical to all of the McGill RUIS communities, such as aging, children’s health, chronic pain, stroke, oncology and mental health, among others.

“By closely linking frontline support with specialized leading-edge care, research, training and practice, RUIS networks have achieved remarkable results,” said Yves Bolduc, Minister of Health and Social Services, Quebec, in his program message. “The RUIS structure has clearly led to new forms of cooperation and encourages the optimization of resources and state-of-the-art expertise. The positive results of knowledge transfer and skills maintenance in numerous fields are clear for all to see.”

The second day of the symposium was dedicated to the exceptional work of the TeleHealth team through The Virtual Health and Social Services Centre, a technology-based program that is achieving remarkable outcomes by opening access to health care in targeted areas.

“The quality of the Telehealth presentations attest to the quality of the clinical leadership seen in every region of our RUIS. When we listened to each speaker, we really felt that Telehealth is in a ‘seduction mode,’ to quote Guy Bergeron from Kuujjuaq,” said Johanne Desrochers, RUIS McGill Telehealth Associate Director “We witnessed the creativity of all regions in supporting the transformation of the professional practice that Telehealth requires, from the introduction of a dashboard and performance indicators to the emergence of intra-regional networks connected to the RUIS Telehealth network. The future can be summarized in one word: ubiquity. ”

According to the president of the organizing committee and manager of the RUIS McGill office, Rita Ziade, all expectations for the symposium were exceeded and the reactions received were overwhelmingly positive. A survey revealed that 98 per cent of participants agreed or strongly agreed that the symposium attained stated objectives and 97 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that the organization of the symposium was excellent. Jim Gates, Director, McGill Health Network Office, was thrilled to witness such cohesion among the vast span of professionals who work hard to help those in need from far and wide.

Thanks go the generosity of time and effort to all our speakers, as well as the organizers, Rita Ziade, Antoinette Ghanem, Carole Lemieux, James Gates, Johanne Emmanuel and all who participated with great enthusiasm for making this day such a success.
For access to the presentations delivered during the symposium, please visit “Post conference” at:

July 4, 2012