After completing a master’s degree in epidemiology, a doctorate in medicine and a fellowship in transplant surgery at Stanford University in California, Dr. Poirier had front-row seats to the debut of the lung transplant program at the CHUM in 1997, in what was a relatively new specialty at the time.
The program first began in Hôpital Notre-Dame as the new CHUM had not yet been built. Dr. Poirier and his colleagues had to build the program from the ground up, from designing the workspace and recruiting a multidisciplinary team to raising awareness about organ donations and establishing research projects to advance knowledge.
This close-knit team of incredibly dedicated colleagues grew to be like a family to him, and together they were able to launch the only lung transplant program in Quebec. From the very beginning, the involvement of the Foundation and its donors made a world of difference for the program. Their donations became the driving force behind the breakthroughs that let Dr. Poirier and his team perform more and more transplants with a higher success rate.
Over the years, new technology and research have made it possible for patients to live longer and organs to be better preserved. The CHUM’s teams have been able to develop expertise available nowhere else in Canada, making the CHUM a true leader in lung transplants.
Beyond the incredible development of the lung transplant program, what Dr. Poirier cherishes most from the past 25 years are the new beginnings that he and his team were able to offer almost a thousand patients for whom a lung transplant was the only hope of survival.
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