MUSCO: Historic donation from the Mirella & Lino Saputo Foundation

The foundations of Montreal’s four leading pediatric institutions are proud to announce the creation of MUSCO, the first and largest collaborative initiative of its kind in Canada to help children with musculoskeletal disorders.

The Montreal Children’s Hospital, the CHU Sainte-Justine and its Marie-Enfant Rehabilitation Centre, and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Canada are coming together thanks to an exceptional and visionary $10 million donation from the Mirella & Lino Saputo Foundation that will allow us to revolutionize patient care and services in Quebec.

The mission of the MUSCO collaborative project is to transform the care and services offered to children with musculoskeletal diseases requiring complex care and that of their families.

Challenges for families

Mirella & Lino with kids“When you have a child with musculoskeletal disabilities needing complex care, you can easily feel as if you’re drowning in the healthcare system,” says Linda Moreau, mother of Nia who is hemiplegic (paralysed on one side of her body). “When Nia was a baby and doctors told us she’d never walk or talk, we were in shock. It was devastating,” she adds. “But what’s more is that we weren’t always referred to the right specialists at the right institutions and were on incessant waiting lists. There was no framework to help us navigate the system to get the best help for our daughter.”

Kids first

MUSCO (Initiative for children with MUSculoskeletal disorders who require COmplex Care) would not be possible without this generous and visionary $10 million donation from the Mirella & Lino Saputo Foundation. This donation is the largest contribution the Mirella & Lino Saputo Foundation has ever made.

The MUSCO collaboration will involve:

  • Re-evaluating procedures and tools to facilitate a patient’s trajectory through our four institutions and to improve the patient experience;
  • Recruiting key people (patient navigator) to accompany patients and their families ensuring they receive the right care, at the right time and at the right place;
  • Building infrastructure and buying state-of-the-art medical equipment and technology enabling patients in our system access to the best and latest care and diagnostic techniques;
  • Creating spaces encouraging innovation and discussion to share best practices and develop new protocols;
  • Organizing events and help centres to offer patients and families the best information possible;
  • Training medical professionals to offer a better bedside manner;
  • Including patients and families as partners.

MUSCO to Improve Patient Care and Services

Mirella & Lino Saputo“Some of the care teams and researchers from our institutions already know each other and collaborate, but this project is allowing and encouraging them to work together even more and to share expertise, information and ideas in order to push patient care and research further,” says Dr. Jean-Pierre Farmer, M.D., Neurosurgeon and Surgeon-in-Chief at Montreal Children’s Hospital and Chair of Pediatric Surgery, McGill University. “There are over 450 patient transfers between our four institutions every year,” he adds. “We expect this initiative will reduce waiting lists and the duplication of services, as well as increase satisfaction with the patient experience when it comes to patients with musculoskeletal disorders.”

On behalf of all of the kids and their families, and all the staff members at the Children’s, we would like to thank to the Mirella & Lino Saputo Foundation.

Click here to read the press release



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