More than 100 guests came together at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Glen Site on Wednesday, May 15th for a symposium on the state of maternal health here at home and abroad. The event was a unique collaboration between the MUHC Foundation and the Anglican Diocese of Montreal and its charity of choice, The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF). The PWRDF is the Anglican Church of Canada’s agency for sustainable development and relief. Through the support of Anglican parishes across Canada, the PWRDF makes financial and human resources available to partners around the world working to improve health, food security and livelihoods for vulnerable people.
Symposium attendees learned about the challenges and successes at the MUHC’s Birthing Centre from nurse manager Marie-Josée Bourassa, who spoke about her work caring for women with high-risk pregnancies. Guests also heard a moving account from Zaida Bastos, director of the Development Partnership Program at the PWRDF, who shared her experiences working with numerous humanitarian teams in East Africa to reduce illness and death among expectant mothers and their newborns. The evening came to a heartwarming close as former MUHC patient Julie Liebman and her daughter Léona made an appearance, taking the time to thank the team at the Birthing Centre who saved both of their lives after Julie went into labour seven weeks early.
More than $20,000 was raised at the maternal health symposium; funds will be evenly shared between the MUHC Foundation and the PWRDF and will go towards improving maternal health care.