Philanthropy in Ottawa by Sam Laprade
The donor: Gilles Desjardins, president, Brigil Construction
The donation: $1 million
The recipient: Montfort Hospital Foundation, Orléans Health Hub
The inspiration: “I am very attached to Montfort Hospital. It is the place where I was born and where my wife and children were born as well. We are close to the Franco-Ontarian community because we grew up in a francophone neighbourhood in Ottawa,” says Gilles Desjardins, president of Brigil.
The Montfort Hospital Foundation team was all smiles as Gilles Desjardins and Brigil Construction donated $1 million to boost the Orléans Health Hub fundraising campaign, bringing the total amount raised to date to $11.4 million, just shy of the campaign target of $12 million.
The state-of-the-art health hub opened in October 2021, two years after the ground-breaking event.
Philanthropy has always been at the heart of our family values. The more we help each other, the more we reach out to those in need, the stronger our social fabric,” says Desjardins.
“That’s what my parents taught me and that’s what my wife, Celine, and I taught our children. It also inspires Brigil’s corporate philosophy: building with purpose.”
In 1985, Gilles Desjardins founded Brigil on the values of building strong communities and philanthropy.
The Orléans Health Hub brings together a range of specialized and community-based care. Located on Mer-Bleue Road, the hub will allow the Montfort Hospital and its partners to provide care and services to residents in East Ottawa in both official languages, from newborns to seniors. The programs and services offered include specialized clinics, medical imaging, mental health resources, as well as rehabilitation and services for seniors such as caregiver support and foot care.
“Mr. Desjardins’ generosity has an immediate and direct impact on Montfort’s patients, as well as indirectly on the continuum of care in Ottawa. We are immensely privileged that Mr. Desjardins chose Montfort,” says Marc Villeneuve, president and CEO of the Montfort Foundation. “We also want to thank Yves Tremblay, the campaign chair, for his leadership and creativity. He maintained focus with the initial campaign strategy.”
“Franco-Ontarian institutions are very important to us,” adds Desjardins. “Whether it be in the areas of health, education or culture, my family and I are proud to contribute to the growth and development of these institutions.”
The health hub project is a partnership between Bruyère, Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa, CHEO, Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre, Hôpital Montfort, ParaMed, Ottawa Public Health, Geronto-Psychiatry Community Services of Ottawa and Home and Community Care Support Services Champlain.