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Patient Stories

Bruyère President and CEO Guy Chartrand

Together we will move toward better lives and better futures.


This has been a year we never could have imagined. The world has witnessed unimaginable loss, heartwarming human kindness, daily acts of courage and perseverance, and now, a glimmer of hope.
If you’re like me, you’ve spent a lot more time recently thinking about that word, hope. We hope that we and our loved ones remain safe, whole, and healthy. We hope there will be an end to the seemingly endless isolation and fear. And hope is what has kept us going.
It is because of caring people like you that hope is alive at Bruyère. As a friend of Bruyère, thank you for standing with us!
During this pandemic, I know you have been presented with countless opportunities to support important organizations and causes here within our region, across the country and/or internationally. I want you to know I truly appreciate your kind attention during such an uncertain time. Community support makes a tremendous impact not just on the way we are responding to this pandemic, but also on the way we are caring for our patients each and every day of the year.
I have also taken great strength from the courage and determination of our healthcare workers, not just at Bruyère, but everyone in this region and around the world who are working tirelessly to provide care. And I don’t just mean the incredible front line, but all who have stepped up – from housekeeping, infection control, HR, the support teams, shipping and receiving… the list goes on.
Will you consider supporting Bruyère or giving monthly in 2021 so we can continue to serve the people who need us most?
While this pandemic has not been easy on anyone, I take heart in knowing Bruyère is well prepared for the challenges ahead.
We’ve seen acute care hospitals and emergency departments overflowing with needs both related to the pandemic and for other chronic and acute illnesses. Many of these needs, while complex, do not require acute care treatment, but also can’t be handled in family health clinics. That is where Bruyère makes a significant difference.
We are creating solutions both for those we serve and for the system as a whole. In the past year we have opened 6 new vent beds and over 40 transition beds on two of our hospital campuses. And, just recently, we opened a 120-bed transition unit at Greystone Retirement which is taking patients from acute care hospitals who no longer require that level care but still require hospitalization for rehab and strengthening in order to get back home.
To get back home.
Those words are key, and central to what Bruyère is – we are a bridge home for people who once may have been looking at living the rest of their lives in an institutional setting.
Robert is one of those people, and his story reminds me every day of the triumph of determination and the importance or quality, compassionate medical expertise. At the age of 37 Robert never imagined that a freak misstep would be the last step he would ever take. He worked hard to adapt to life as a quadriplegic, but when he developed breathing difficulty last year, he feared it would mean the end of his cherished independence when he needed to be placed on a ventilator.
After a year and a half in the hospital, Robert was admitted to Bruyère’s vent unit, and that could have been the end of his story. But, as he tells it, he “wanted off this thing.” So, through his own persistence, and with the support of expert respiratory therapists and clinical staff, Robert was successfully weaned from the ventilator – for good! He’s now living independently.
Since Robert’s experience, with the consistent focus, desire, and passion of our teams, and supported by best-evidence research, we were able to transition another patient off a ventilator and bring them home.
I am tremendously proud of these successes, especially when you consider that today Bruyère has the oldest facility in the province.
Imagine if together we were able to create the best conditions possible, not just for our teams to continue to do their great work, but for all patients, who cross our doors.
This cannot happen without you. Please consider your support of the Bruyère Foundation today. Together we will move toward better lives and better futures.
The future we envision for Bruyère is to build a state of the art, single-site rehabilitation hospital that incorporates best-in-class design and forward-thinking technology and equipment to not just deliver care, but change the way care is delivered.
I see a facility with lots of windows and natural light, with wide hallways, rehab gyms on every floor, and heating coils in the sidewalks so no one slips on the ice. A place where state of the art robotics and equipment are standard and where our clinical teams are working with technology that provides all the information needed to take care of you or your loved one. All in a place that constantly evolves based on the research we do and on best practices we learn from others.
These days, many patients entering the hospital have multiple medical issues rather than just one. Increasingly, these patients enter the hospital for urgent or emergency procedures, but that’s not what keeps them in the hospital. They find themselves unable to walk properly, with muscle weakness, or with cognitive issues that leave them unable to return home.
Bruyère serves a critical role between hospital and home. It’s here that you learn to walk again after surgery, build your strength and improve your quality of life so that you can return home.
Your generous gift will be put to work creating the care facility of the future.
As you know, we also operate two Long-Term Care programs at Bruyère along with a full continuum of independent living and supportive housing for seniors and we have a vision for the future for Long-Term Care as well.
It’s no secret, there is not enough Long-Term Care space in our region. So, we have applied for 244 new Long-Term Care beds. And as we think about Long-Term Care at Bruyère we are committed to innovating in that space as well. Our bold plan calls for creating a health care village in Ottawa’s West End and create a full continuum of care for seniors.
Again, innovation is central to this vision.
Elder Care and Living Spaces will be small pods, where we specialize and support populations that don’t typically get admitted to Long-Term Care because their needs are so complex.
But, imagine this is all delivered in a space with walkways, cafes, and lots of natural light and windows. A true community where people can safely walk the grounds, welcome their families, enjoy the companionship of their pets, and have access to transit to connect them to the rest of the community.
With your support we will design the innovative space to best respond to needs of seniors in Ottawa.
Can I count on you to make a vital donation today in support of everyone who comes through Bruyère’s doors? We need the support of people like you to re-imagine and reinvent how and where healthcare is delivered across Ottawa and Canada as a whole.
Your generous gift or monthly support will make an incredible difference as we work towards creating the care facility of the future. We are determined to continue our leadership in research and teaching, and developing an integrated service model to better address the needs of an aging population.
Without your support and generosity, we would simply not be able to provide the patient experience that we do. You give us the means to perform cutting-edge research, share critical knowledge, and utilize the most advanced technology and equipment available to treat patients each day.
Thank you so much for enabling us to transform lives.

With my sincere thanks,
Guy Chartrand
President and CEO
P.S. Please consider giving monthly or offering your support today so we can continue working together to offer the best care possible for people in our community.