About the Lighthouse
A Mission Based on Caring Attention
Created in 1999, The Lighthouse, Children and Families is a non-profit organization that contributes to the well-being of children whose lives are threatened by illnesses that require complex treatment, and provides respite and support to their families.
To carry out its mission, the Lighthouse provides three types of services: care provided at Maison André-Gratton, in-home respite care and support services.
- Children and families are invited for variable length-stays or provided with end-of-life care at Maison André-Gratton, the only pediatric care facility in Quebec.
- In-home respite care provided three times a week by volunteers who are trained to care for children whose condition requires special attention.
- Support services for parents and siblings in order to help them experience every stage of a sick child’s life as serenely as possible.
A Two-Step Process
The first step for the Lighthouse was to develop an in-home respite care program, where volunteers were trained to work with families who required support. It was only the beginning however, because parents need more than a few hours of respite a week to restore their energy.
The second step began in 2003: the board of directors, staff and volunteers from the Lighthouse undertook a fundraiser to build a home where children could stay for several days in a safe environment. Construction work began in 2006 and Maison André-Gratton officially opened its doors 2007.
Expanding Care Services
Maison André-Gratton, the first pediatric care facility in Quebec, was named in memory of a young boy named André (the son of Mrs. Judith Dufour and Dr.Bernard Gratton) whose brother, Robert Gratton, is one of the Lighthouse, Children and Families’ major donors. André died of leukemia in 1954, at the age of three years and three months.
In the first year of its activities, the organization welcomed 56 children for periods of respite. Barely one year after it opened its doors, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux recognized the Lighthouse as an Accredited Palliative Care Center, thus certifying the quality of care and services provided.
Families caring for sick children quickly adopted this privileged respite care center. In 2008 and 2009, more than one hundred children were admitted. Maison André-Gratton, with a maximum capacity of 12 children on weekends, is almost always full.
The Lighthouse, Children and Families celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2009. On this special occasion, the organization restructured its Board of Directors. Nicole Marcil-Gratton, Chair of the Board since 2000 was replaced by Louiselle Paquin and Michèle Viau-Chagnon, Founder and Director General since 2003, was replaced by Lyse Lussier.
In 2009, the Lighthouse began collaborating more closely with different partners from the health care network, by formalizing its partnership with the Montreal Children’s Hospital and CHU Sainte-Justine. The organization also implemented service agreements and defined different arrangements for the transfer of patients, information and data.
The dedication of the Lighthouse’s staff is echoed by the community’s generosity. A growing number of businesses, foundations and individuals support its mission by becoming donors and partners, and thus contribute to new projects, purchasing high tech equipment and special activities for sick children and their families.
This year, the Lighthouse's leaders’ numerous efforts were highly honored. Mrs. Michèle Viau-Chagnon received a recognition award from the Réseau de soins palliatifs du Québec for her contributions throughout her career. She was also appointed, along with Mrs. Nicole Marcil-Gratton, President between 2000 and 2009 and Associate President afterwards, Knight of the Ordre national du Québec, for their remarkable work since Maison André-Gratton was opened.
Chief Executive Officer
FINANCES, ADMINISTRATION AND HUMAN RESOURCES
Human Ressources, Administration and Information Technology
Véronique De Vreeze
Administration Services Director
FINANCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATION
Assistant Director General
Advisor, Philanthropic Development
Advisor, Philanthropic Development
Assistant to the Philanthropic Development & Communications Team
Philanthropic Development Coordinator
Philanthropic Development Advisor
Dr Jacques Ramsay
Suzanne Racicot, nurse
Director, Health and Allied Health
Antoinette Petti, nurse
Nursing clinical practice and development advisor
Family Services Coordinator
Judith Vaillancourt, nurse
(physicians, nurses, registered nurses and orderlies)
- Licensed Practical Nurse
- Patient Attendant
Karine Morissette (intérim)
The support staff includes:
- Recreation Therapist
- Child life Educator
- Spiritual Counselor
- Music therapist
- Massage therapist
- Art therapist
- Therapeutic Clown
To contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Team of Volunteers and Interns
The organization and its operations depend on the contribution of volunteers and interns, which is why they are considered as full members of the Lighthouse’s team. Their precious support is fully appreciated by children (at Maison André-Gratton or at home), the administration and support staff.
For more information on services provided by volunteers, please visit How you can help us or click on this link.
Board of Directors
Executive Vice-President, TELUS and Partner Solutions and President, Business Solutions East and TELUS Quebec
President, Les Ensembliers
District Vice President, Quebec and Eastern Canada - AGF Investments Inc.
Counsel, Dentons Canada S.E.N.C.R.L.
Michèle Viau-Chagnon, C.Q.
President, Groupe Conseil StratXEC inc.
Dr Maria Buithieu
Pediatric diabetologist, Pediatrics Department - CHU Sainte-Justine
Vice President and Region Head, - TD Bank
Investigations Coordinator - Chambre de la Sécurité Financière
Dr Geoff Dougherty
Division head, division of general pediatrics - Montreal Children’s Hospital
Senior Advisor - Champlain Financial Corporation
Vice President, legal and corporate secretary, National Bank
Co-founder, Parents jusqu'au bout
Maison André-Gratton was built with thanks to these dedicated, committed and very convincing people!
The home officially opened in 2007 and after all these years, several of these people remain just as strongly attached to the Lighthouse, Children and Families.
Paul Desmarais Jr.