Improving the quality of life of patients and families begins with a sense of support and a seamless experience between institutions. A number of projects have been developed within the scope of MUSCO to allow patients and their families to feel supported and to streamline and facilitate the corresponding administrative procedures. This involves providing tools and resources to improve logistics and families’ experiences throughout their care trajectory.

MUSCO Projects
Collaboration

Relay

Project leader

Rachel Tremblay-Bélanger Head of the Volunteer Services, CHU Sainte-Justine

The project

Giving volunteers the tools they need to care for patients with complex needs and their families.

MUSCO Strategic Goal

Provide direct support to patients and their families

Project Objectives

  1. 1

    Improve the patient and parent experience when they come to the hospital

  2. 2

    Strengthen the support of families

  3. 3

    Allow parents to have peace of mind when they come to the hospital

  4. 4

    Enable partner institutions to provide an adapted service offer

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Progress Report

Progress Report
Progress Report
Progress Report
Progress Report
Progress Report
Progress Report
Progress Report
Progress Report
Photo Credit: Thibault Carron

The project’s intention is to go beyond temporary solutions to meet the ongoing needs of families. The underlying goal is to allow parents of children with complex needs to feel more at ease when having to step away from their child in the hospital setting (during clinic appointments, hospital stays, etc.).

An assessment phase was conducted in collaboration with representatives from the volunteer and Childlife services of the partner institutions, as well as representatives from the community and a family. They concluded that the support services for children with complex needs were often inadequate, that promotion and awareness
of services needed to be strengthened and that staffing levels were often insufficient.

Two priority areas have been identified as possible solutions and have begun to be addressed by a working group:

  1. Short information videos on complex care to enable volunteers to meet the needs of children and their families in specific situations. This training would better equip volunteers to work with patients when called upon, depending on the specific needs of the family
  2. An annual conference to allow volunteers in the pediatric field to share ideas about situations they encounter and to support one another in their work.

The first edition of the conference took place on June 1, 2023, and filming of the information capsules has also begun. A second edition of the conference is going to take place on June 5, 2024.

Working Committee:

  • Caroline-Marie Fidalgo, Patient Expert, MUSCO
  • Chantal Jasmin, Patient Ressource, MUSCO
  • Helen Kastanis, Manager of Social Services, Psychology and Nutrition, Shriners Hospital for children – Canada 
  • Joanna-Marie Sciascia, Professional Coordinator, Volunteers and Patient Partnerships
  • Lise Gagnon, Certified Childlife Specialist, The Montreal Children’s Hospital
  • Louise l’Hérault, Volunteers Coordinator, Le Phare Enfants et Familles
  • Rachel Tremblay-Bélanger, Head of Volunteer Service, CHU Sainte-Justine
  • Suzanne Lessard, Volunteer, The Montreal Children’s Hospital
  • Camille Brosseau, Inter-establishment Navigator, MUSCO 
  • Katharina Bourgin, Project and Communications Manager, MUSCO

Volunteering: A supportive relationship at the heart of complex care (1st edition)

Date June 1st, 2023
Location Montreal Children's Hospital
Number of participants 91

This very first edition of the MUSCO Conference, entitled Volunteering: A supportive relationship at the heart of complex care, attracted nearly 100 participants, speakers and panellists. The audience was treated to a series of lectures, workshops and panels aimed primarily at pediatric volunteers active in the Initiative’s partner establishments who wanted to learn more about the support they can offer families whose children require complex care during their hospital visit.

This was also an opportunity to present the very first information capsule on complex care, which will be made available to volunteers active in MUSCO partner establishments so that they can validate and deepen certain notions and be better equipped in their volunteer work.

Photo Credit: Thibault Carron
Photo Credit: Thibault Carron
Photo Credit: Thibault Carron
Photo Credit: Thibault Carron
Photo Credit: Thibault Carron
Photo Credit: Thibault Carron

Exploring the complex care journey: Tools and strategies to support families (2nd edition)

Date June 5, 2024
Location Shriners Hospital for Childrens - Canada

This conference is primarily intended for volunteers working in pediatric centers who wish to learn more about the support they can offer to families whose children require complex care during their hospital visit.

It is thanks to the collaboration of the teams of four Montreal pediatric centers, namely, the CHU Sainte-Justine, the Marie Enfant Rehabilitation Centre, the Montreal Children’s Hospital and the Shriners Hospitals for Children – Canada, and in cooperation with Le Phare, Enfants et Familles, that the second edition of this conference will bring together pediatric volunteers around a unifying theme: Exploring the complex care journey.

  • Free event with breakfast, snacks and lunch included
  • Simultaneous translation will be available for all presentations (French and English)

All the details and opening of the registration will be available soon.