Supporting Quebecers’ shared passion for saving lives and improving the health of people in desperate need of an organ, Transplant Québec:
- coordinates the organ donation process leading to transplantation, fostering the greatest possible availability of quality donor organs;
- ensures that organs are allocated fairly based on stringent ethical and clinical criteria;
- helps improve clinical practice in institutional settings by holding hospital training and development activities and participating in donation- and transplant-related teaching and research activities;
- acts as a catalyst to create interdependencies within the donation/transplantation system and serves as a facilitator tasked with fostering discussion and mobilizing stakeholders;
- promotes pro-donation, pro-transplantation values of solidarity among the general public, health professionals and concerned institutions.
The year 1958 marked the beginning of a new era in Quebec, the era of organ transplantation, when Dr. John Dossetor performed the first kidney transplant between related individuals, a living donor and a recipient, at the Royal Victoria Hospital. They were identical twins. Fifty years later, the donor is still alive and well.
The Montreal General Hospital (today part of the MUHC) attempts the first lung transplant. This would be the only lung transplant attempted in Quebec until Cyclosporin, an immunosuppressant, is developed in the early 1980s.
Three Montreal transplant specialists—Dr. Pierre Daloze, a surgeon at Hôpital Notre-Dame, Dr. Jean-Guy Beaudoin, a surgeon at the Royal Victoria Hospital, and Dr. Claude Beaudry, a nephrologist at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont—found a non-profit organization called Metro-Transplantation, a name chosen because transplant-related activities at the time are limited to the metropolitan Montreal area. In its early days, the organization’s mission is to establish the rules governing the allocation of kidneys to recipients at participating hospitals. Metro-Transplantation’s mandate is later widened to include organizing organ retrievals, transporting retrieved organs to hospitals treating recipients and compiling organ donation data. Metro-Transplantation’s originally meagre budget would eventually grow thanks to financial support from The Kidney Foundation of Canada, which helped the organization not only survive, but thrive.
Metro-Transplantation obtains its first letters patent and for the first time sees its funding needs covered by Quebec’s health and social services department, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS).
Royal Victoria Hospital performs Quebec’s first heart-lung transplant.
Based on the conclusions of an MSSS committee, Metro-Transplantation becomes Québec-Transplant to better reflect the organization’s province-wide mandate. Québec-Transplant.
1992: A letter of agreement between Québec-Transplant and the MSSS is signed on December 16, 1992. Ever since, Québec-Transplant, known today as Transplant Québec, has managed the one and only Canadian list of people awaiting an organ.
1992: Québec-Transplant opens an office in Quebec City alongside the head office in Montréal.
1997: The MSSS creates the Gélineau Committee and tasks it with reviewing all organ and tissue donation and transplant services in Quebec; the Committee then tables recommendations on how best to safely deliver accessible, high-quality services. Two of the Committee’s recommendations lead to the creation of the “organ and tissue donation resource nurse” position. The goal is to have the MSSS recognize, within the province’s health centres, the responsibility for “recruiting” potential donors, a task that would be entrusted to a physician or nurse. This person would carry out his or her mandate in close collaboration with Québec-Transplant and the Director of Professional Services at each of the institutions involved.
2001: In March, the MSSS grants Québec-Transplant $1.2 million to gradually carry out the pilot project for organ and tissue donation resource nurses, who would be responsible for the early identification of potential organ and tissue donors at 18 key medical centres.
2004: In September 2004, an evaluation of the project leads to changes in the distribution of resource nurses to better support the institutions with the largest pools of potential donors.
2007: The number of organ and tissue donation liaison nurses employed by Québec-Transplant is increased, overcoming the trouble filling some resource nurse positions. Today, four organ and tissue donation liaison nurses cover 10 healthcare centres.
2007-2008: During the 2007–2008 fiscal year, the MSSS mandates an external team to review all of Québec-Transplant’s management processes. The review yields recommendations that are adopted by Québec-Transplant’s Board of Directors. It also leads to the creation of an action plan dealing primarily with the organization’s governance and management; the plan sought to help Québec-Transplant consolidate its assets and grow.
2011: Québec-Transplant changes its name to Transplant Québec. The organization adopts a new visual identity (name, logo and motto) to better reflect the organization’s raison d’être and prospects for future growth.
Transplant Québec Organizational Strategy 2016-2021
Transplant Québec finished its 2010–2014 Organizational Strategy, which focused on three areas of intervention: consolidating the organization and its operations, uniting and mobilizing stakeholders, and forecasting the means most likely to improve the overall performance of the donation and transplant system.
By providing leadership, Transplant Québec will be able to rally the system’s driving forces to achieve better outcomes for people awaiting a transplant. For more information