• James Armstrong

VSPCR welcomes new Executive Director


Recently appointed Executive Director Christine Boyle (left) attributes the success of VSPCR to its many volunteers such as Gerry Foliot (right) and his canine companion Casey.

The Board of Directors of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence (VSPCR) announced the appointment of Christine Boyle as Executive Director for the Residence on Tuesday, September 3.

“I love working in healthcare with vulnerable populations and to be able to combine that with working in, and for, my community is what drew me to the residence,” Boyle told The Journal. She has extensive experience as an Executive Director in the health care network having held that position with the Montreal Association for the Blind – Mackay Rehabilitation Centre for 13 years before being appointed as Executive Director of the Shriners Hospital for Children in 2016.

“I have joined a remarkable team,” said Boyle when asked about the first five days in her new post. “From what I have learned, so far, from our Board of Directors and our President Anne Lauzon, we receive only 35 percent of our budget from the Quebec government,” she said. “In order to provide our services to the members of our community, we have to fundraise the balance of 65 per cent every year.” According to Boyle, that amount is $1.8 million to cover operating costs. “That’s a big load on our shoulders,” she said.

Fundraising events

For Boyle, the delivery of palliative care is extremely important. “We are really fortunate to have a wonderful team of nurses, nursing staff, and physicians,” she said pointing out that Medical Director Sylvie Dufresne is one of the founding members of the Residence. Her goal is to focus on best practices, continue with teaching and research and ensure the VSPCR is well known so that as many people as possible may benefit from its services.

Boyle outlined the major annual fundraising events for the VSPCR.

“We have ‘The Walk’ this coming Sunday, September 15,” she noted. The annual Walk marking the 9th Anniversary of the VSPCR is all about the footsteps and donations of approximately 1,000 participants who have taken part in the event since its inception in 2010.

“It’s in a new location this year,” Boyle added, “the Parc Nature Les Forestiers-de-Saint-Lazare.”

The annual Wild Game Dinner is scheduled for Saturday, October 5 in Coteau-du-Lac.

“It’s a unique and wonderful event that connects with a wide range of residents from across our region,” she said adding she was looking forward to the experience.

“The Happening is our very large event at the Château Vaudreuil in January, 2020. It’s the dinner with an entertainment extravaganza,” she added. The date for the annual Charity Golf Tournament usually held in June has not yet been announced.

The Poinsettia Campaign happens just in time for the holiday season in December. “It’s absolutely phenomenal. It’s totally volunteer driven,” she said with a smile. In 2018, the eighth edition of the event raised more than $74,000 with a team of enthusiastic and energetic volunteers.

Dedicated volunteers

“We have over 250 volunteers and we could not exist without them,” said Boyle, explaining the organization could not afford to pay for all the services provided through volunteer hours. A case in point was Boyle’s unexpected hallway introduction to volunteer Sylvia Foliot, her husband Gerry and their Tibetan Terrier Casey. While Sylvia takes care of the laundry, Gerry and Casey spend time visiting some of the patients.

Implementing Strategic Plan

Going forward, in addition to fundraising, Boyle sees her role as being actively engaged in the action plan that will bring the strategic plan to life.

“I will be working with our team so we can help our patients,” she said. “Bottom line, that’s what we are here for.”