St. Raphael’s is a non-profit charitable organization that was created to build and operate a palliative care home and day centre that will offer free, high-quality palliative care in one of the most densely populated areas of Montreal.
About palliative care
Beyond medical care, terminally-ill patients need a warm environment where they can pass away with dignity, surrounded by their loved ones and caregivers. It is with this in mind that today medical services are being provided by a multidisciplinary team committed to easing the end-of-life transition, through palliative care.
The palliative care approach is based on accepting death as a natural part of life. Instead of focusing on finding a cure at all costs or resigning oneself to suffering, palliative care aims to relieve physical and psychological pain and to enhance the quality of life for terminally-ill patients.
What’s more, as soon as a palliative approach is initiated, the wishes and desires of the dying person are taken into account, as are the needs and roles of the family, friends and caregivers who accompany the terminally-ill person.
Palliative care, a critical and growing need
The available resources in palliative care for terminally-ill Montrealers are inadequate in particular due to our aging population.
The number of hospital beds in palliative care is limited, and St. Raphael’s will meet a growing and ever more urgent need.
St. Raphael’s is located in a densely populated community of more than 362,000 people, encompassing six towns and five boroughs where there are no dedicated palliative care facilities.
By 2030, 25% of Montrealers will be 65 or over.
Chronic illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular or respiratory problems affect three out of four people over the age of 75. These are also the main causes of death.
Message from the Chair and the Executive Director
Why St. Raphael’s?
In addition to meeting a demand for capacity in the health care system, St. Raphael’s is introducing a novel concept as its palliative day centre will the first of its kind in Montreal.
This innovative approach has been tested in other countries and in three other cities in Quebec. The centre will allow care to be provided more quickly after a diagnosis and will improve patients’ quality of life as well as providing a respite for caregivers. Eventually we hope to offer a range of care services: at home, at the day centre and in the palliative care home.
Moreover, we aspire to make the home and day centre a research centre and a centre of excellence to facilitate the provision of palliative care training and collaboration with major hospitals in Montreal and throughout Quebec.
From the very outset, St. Raphael’s has attracted the attention of both English-speaking and French-speaking medical professionals as well as volunteers and donors from all walks of life. Its credibility has won over numerous collaborators and generous donors who have contributed to carrying out this ambitious project.
Because at the end of life, life comes first. Together let us build a future imbued with humanity.
Marie Michèle Del Balso
Chair of the Board
To offer exceptional palliative care in a warm and welcoming environment, free of charge, to people from all walks of life who are living with an incurable illness. To offer exceptional respite support and services to loved ones and caregivers. To be a centre of excellence and innovation that promotes training and collaboration with the healthcare and education sectors.
We share a profound desire to help others and give of ourselves to help improve the quality of life of all people in our community.
Our actions, interactions, and accomplishments are guided by a deep respect for others.
The care and services provided to patients and their loved ones and caregivers will respect their wishes and desires.
We firmly believe in the enjoyment of Life, wherever it is found, and we aim to create an environment conducive to countless moments of happiness and joy.
St. Raphael’s will welcome people from all walks of life, regardless of their social condition, ethnic origin, sexual orientation and gender identity or religious beliefs.
A heritage to preserve.
A new history to write.
The origins of the project date back to 2008. After the closing of the Church of St. Raphael the Archangel on Lajoie Avenue in Montreal, the Archdiocese of Montreal agreed to transfer the use of this magnificent building and its land to the community, with the intent of enabling a unifying and humanitarian project that would benefit the entire community.
A committee composed of former parishioners and people from the business and health care sectors was formed to study and analyze the needs of the community. They found that what the area needed most was a palliative care home and day centre. That is how the St. Raphael’s project was born, in memory of Father Gerry, the last parish priest at St. Raphael’s, a generous and devoted man whose simple mission in life was to serve others, and who passed away from cancer in 2007.
|2009||Agreement with the Archdiocese of Montreal for site development.
Recognized as a charitable organization by the Canada Revenue Agency.
|2010||Architectural plans drawn up.
Construction and operating cost studies completed.
|2011||Site rezoned by the Borough of CDN-NDG with a focus on sustainable development and harmonious integration.|
|2012||Feasibility study conducted with potential major donors, yielding favourable results.|
|2012-2015||Bonds established with the community, hospitals and organizations offering palliative care, as well as the Montreal West Island Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre. Awareness raising events.|
|2015||Beginning of the major fundraising campaign.|
|2016||Contribution to annual operating costs confirmed by the Ministry of Health and Social Services.|
|2017||Groundbreaking ceremony (fall).|
Olivia Lévêque, MBA
Interim Executive Director, St. Raphael’s
Karine Gimmig, B.Sc Nursing, CPSI, DESS
Day Centre Clinical Care Coordinator, St. Raphael’s
Dr. Krista Lawlor, MD
Medical Director, St. Raphael’s
Director of Development, St. Raphael's
Volunteer Program Coordinator
Board of Directors
Dr Manuel Borod, M.D., C.M., B. Sc., M. Sc., MBA
Director, Division of Supportive and Palliative Care Programs, McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) & Assistant Professor of Oncology, McGill UniversityRead the biography
Join our team
St. Raphael’s is recruiting! Work in an environment imbued with humanity while also contributing to a meaningful cause.