Three decades after the founding of Cité de la Santé, Laval’s first comprehensive hospital, municipal, provincial and health officials gathered at the landmark health campus in Laval’s Vimont sector earlier this week, to launch celebrations marking the historic occasion. At the time of its founding in 1978, Cité de la Santé was Laval’s only hospital facility. It was also the culmination of a dream, which had been started by Dr. Lucien Paiement, the former mayor of Laval.
With its strikingly modern architecture and emplacement atop a plateau, making Cité de la Santé visible from afar, the hospital has become Laval residents’ pride. More than 200 medical staff and other employees who have been with the hospital since the begining still work there. Today, the hospital is part of the comprehensive health system, the CSSS Laval, which provides health services for Laval. Cité de la Santé held a large celebration five years ago to mark its 25th anniversary. Since then, the hospital has expanded to include a new emergency room, expanded clinics and other services.
According to Cité de la Santé’s director general, Luc Lepage, the hospital’s client profile has changed over the years, because of factors such as aging of the population, a greater incidence of chronic diseases requiring longer treatment, more births in the Laval region, and simply because Cité de la Santé is retaining more clients. The hospital is in the midst of expanding certain health services − for specialized cancer treatment, more short-term beds, the development of a research centre, the enlargement of the birthing centre. Cité de la Santé is also currently seeking special status as a teaching hospital in conjunction with a university.
The development of Cité de la Santé is often seen in parallel to the growth of the City of Laval, since both were emerging and growing at about the same time. “Laval’s development has followed that of Cité de la Santé,” Lepage said during a short ceremony held last Monday outside the hospital. “It was one of the first large public institutions that was created in Laval. Laval had just been merged together.” Cité de la Santé is part of a CSSS which is the largest in the province. “The destinies of Laval and Cité de la Santé have been closely related,” added Lepage.
“As an MNA with the government of Quebec for the last five years with Premier Jean Charest, we are all very happy to be here to support you,” said Liberal MNA for Laval-des-Rapides Alain Paquet. Other dignitaries included Laval executive committee member Jocelyne Guertin. “Certainly the history and the future of Cité de la Santé and CSSS Laval demonstrate that, with its team and all its devotion, health is being produced by all the services for the population of Laval,” Paquet added.
The Cité de la Santé administration is holding a week of special events in honour of the hospital’s 30th year. A special edition of the hospital’s former internal newspaper, Citéphile, has been published, and a health walk around the hospital’s grounds was also organized. On Friday, a commemorative artisans’ fair is taking place at the hospital.