• James Armstrong

Regional English Community Health Forum comes to Hudson


A popular healthcare forum held in February, 2018 emphasized the need to raise awareness of available English language services in Vaudreuil-Soulanges, and is being presented again in Hudson November 9.

An English forum titled ‘Community Health Matters’ is coming to Hudson on Friday, November 9 and is aimed at English-speaking residents from across the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region.

What to expect

“It’s not a trade show as such – it’s a mix of community organizations and businesses,” said Forum organizer Fred T. Agnew, the Coordinator of Community Networking Initiatives for Réseaux Emploi Entrepreneurship Vaudreuil-Soulanges (REE V-S). “We have nutritionists, seniors’ relocation services, and the Sûreté du Québec with a presentation on Seniors Abuse Awareness,” said Agnew listing a few of the participants.

The event provides an opportunity for caregivers of all ages, families, seniors, new Quebec residents and single parents to meet with experts in a variety of healthcare fields. “The forum covers anything to do with health, social services, mental health, nutrition, and physical health,” he added.


This is the second Community Health Forum presented through the collaborative work of Parrainage Civique de Vaudreuil-Soulanges /APPUI, REE V-S Community Health Network, Saint-Thomas Aquinas and Saint Patrick of the Island Parishes. “The February 2018 Forum held at Saint Patrick in Pincourt was very successful despite the bitterly cold day,” said Agnew. “We had over 125 participants that came out during the day and evening.” Having an afternoon and evening session provides an opportunity for those who work during the day to attend.

“We introduce each of the participants and they have three minutes each to describe who they are. Once that is done, attendees have more than an hour to visit the tables and get more detailed information and ask questions,” he said.

The faith-based communities are involved because Saint Patrick of the Island Church offered space for the first event along with volunteers to help with registration and who also provided coffee and muffins. Similarly, Hudson’s Saint Thomas Aquinas Church offered support for the November event.

“We try to save as much money as possible,” said Agnew. He described the event as basically self-funding with the fees paid by exhibitors. “The churches are providing background support and are not involved as exhibitors.”

Raising awareness

According to Agnew, the Forum is about raising awareness in the English-speaking community about their right to healthcare services in their language and the variety of services available to them when they go into healthcare facilities in Vaudreuil-Soulanges. He said the Hôpital du Suroît in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield is not necessarily obliged to provide services in English.

“The new hospital in Vaudreuil-Soulanges is designated as a bilingual hospital so we will have full English language services when it opens in seven or eight years,’ he said. The Valleyfield hospital, because of the Suroît demographics, provides English language services based on the capability of the hospital personnel. A program to identify bilingual healthcare professionals within the system was recently implemented in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region by Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS), according to Agnew.

“We don’t have a perfect system but we are working towards having the full identification of people who can provide services in both languages,” he added. “Supposedly, we are never more than a step away from a person who can assist you in your language when you enter the system in Vaudreuil-Soulanges.” Agnew said the new hospital would require approximately 2000 employees, from doctors, nurses, orderlies, staff, and volunteers.

‘Community Health Matters’ takes place Friday, November 9 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre, 394 Main Road, Hudson.