MUHC Gala of the Three Stars 2019 bridges gaps of friendship

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On June 1, 2019, more than 400 guests gathered at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Montreal to celebrate the city’s Chinese community and its work with the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Foundation to bring superior cardiovascular care to remote villages in China. The third annual gala, under the theme “The Golden Bridge of Friendship”, highlighted the importance of the relationship between Canada and China, and the potential to build deeper and more meaningful connections between the two nations. Guests enjoyed live cultural entertainment and special performances, including a traditional lion dance.

Under the leadership of the Gala’s Executive Event Chair Mr. Martin Wong, Executive Chair of the Contemporary Norman Bethune (CNB) Endowment Fund Pierrette Wong, and CNB Endowment Fund Honorary Chair and MUHC cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Dominique Shum-Tim, the gala raised more than $250,000 towards the Contemporary Norman Bethune Fellowship in Cardiovascular Surgery.

Honouring Pierrette Wong

Pierrette Wong and her family

MUHC Foundation Vice-Chair Eddie Leschiutta, together with Pierrette’s daughters, Tanya and Jennifer, and her granddaughter Caitlin joined MUHC Foundation President Julie Quenneville in celebrating Pierrette Wong’s achievements.

The Gala honoured longtime MUHC Foundation board member Pierrette Wong for her work to improve the quality of teaching, training and patient care at the hospital during her more than ten years as a volunteer. Pierrette has led with passion, grace, and a joyful spirit, building bridges between the Chinese community and the MUHC in a deeply meaningful way. She has helped to improve health care and change the course of lives and medicine in the city.

The Contemporary Norman Bethune Fellowship in Cardiovascular Surgery

Dr. Dominique Shum-Tim is a cardiac surgeon at the MUHC, a prolific researcher, and a full-time professor of surgery at McGill University. His love of teaching and giving back inspired him to launch a very meaningful initiative – improving access to cardiac care in China.

Heart disease is one of China’s most prevalent health care challenges and after seeing first-hand the devastating effects it has on patients and their families living in remote areas, Dr. Shum-Tim was determined to help. In 2016, under his leadership, he was able to bring Dr. Chen Qiansu from the Guiyang Medical School Affiliated Hospital to the MUHC to improve his knowledge and surgical skills.

After spending one year learning from the hospital’s Division of Cardiac Surgery, Dr. Chen returned to the Guiyang Medical School Affiliated Hospital, and the impact of his training was felt immediately. His institution increased its cardiac surgery volume from 400 to 600 cases in 2017, a 50 percent increase from the previous year. Dr. Chen has also become one of the hospital’s medical leaders and regularly shares his expertise with the next generation of Chinese surgeons.

For Dr. Shum-Tim, improving access to cardiovascular surgical care in remote Chinese provinces has been a truly rewarding experience. His dedication and commitment to this cause have drawn comparisons to the work of Dr. Norman Bethune, so much so that he has been nicknamed a contemporary Norman Bethune. Dr. Shum-Tim is planning to continue to mentor and share his knowledge and experience in surgical education on an international scale, and to support his efforts the MUHC Foundation is raising $2 million to create the Contemporary Norman Bethune Fellowship in Cardiovascular Surgery.

Contemporary Norman Bethune Endowment Fund Advisory Council

  • Dr. Dominique Shum-Tim
  • Susannah Tam
  • Raymond Tsim
  • Pierrette Wong
  • Yin Ling

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