Members’ successes and honors

Two RQSPAL’s regular members, Johanne Hébert, Ph.D. and Émilie Allard, Ph.D., received a research grant of $15 000 (7500$/network) in the context of the “Concours inter-réseaux RRISIQ-RQSPAL” for their project : Élaboration d’un protocole de recherche visant à évaluer les retombées d’un programme de mentorat en soins palliatifs et de fin de vie sur les pratiques cliniques d’infirmières à domicile. The co-principal investigators are : Nicole Ouellet (UQAR), Karine Bilodeau (UdeM) and Alain Legault (UdeM).

Dr. Caroline Sirois (regular member) and her co-researchers Richard Khoury, Audrey Durand and Valérie Émond received $1.2M grant through the “Collaborative Health Research Projects” for their project : Déterminer la qualité de la polypharmacie chez les aînés : une approche basée sur l’intelligence artificielle.

Josée Savard, Ph.D., (regular member), will receive a grant from Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC) for her scientific programming entitled Approches innovantes pour améliorer la prise en charge des troubles de santé mentale : Efficacité, efficience et implantation de différents modèles de soins. Also, she has been named principal investigator (PI) of this team grant.

Mélanie Vachon, Ph.D. (regular member), received a grant of $100 000 from Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ), for the contest Engagement, to proceed to the co-creation of a theatrical work of education and awareness to palliative cares.

Dr. Bruno Gagnon’s article (regular member), in collaboration with Dr. Sandy Buchman, Dr. James Downar and Dr. Amit Arya, entitled Pandemic palliative care : beyond ventilators and saving lives, has been published in the « Canadian Medical Association Journal » (CAMJ). In this article, authors discuss about advices, sharing suggestions and tools for the triage process and management of COVID-19 symptoms.

The RQSPAL write an article in the bulletin de l’Association Québécoise de Soins Palliatifs (AQSP) of winter 2020 about the Journée Scientifique RQSPAL 2019. Also, Deborah Ummel, Ph.D. (regular member) published an article on the positive and negative impacts of working in palliative care and François Rainville, M.S.S., T.S. (regular member) published an article on the consistency between values, actions and energy. Click here to view the bulletin.

Josée Savard, a RQSPAL member, and Marie-Christine Ouellet are the winners of the “PROSE award” in the category “Textbook – Medicine and Clinical Science” for their manual Handbook of Sleep Disorders in Medical Conditions.This award is given by the “Association of American Publishers”. Annually, the “PROSE awards” recognize the best in professional and scholarly publishing.

Jude Emmanuel Cleopath (student member), Michel Dorval (regular member), Hermann Nabi, Jocelyne Chiquette, Bruno Gagnon (regular member) and Pierre Gagnon (RQSPAL director) published their recent research results about addressing cancer family history and performing testing in palliative care with cancer patients’ relatives. Click here to see the complete article.

Congratulations to Martin Roberge, student member of the RQSPAL and of the students commitee. He is the winner of Personnalité AVENIR 2e-3e cycle, Forces Avenir. He will represent Laval University at provincial contest. Forces AVENIR aims to recognize, honour and promote the commitment of students in projects that contribute to the development of socially conscious, active and responsible citizens who are both dedicated to their community and open to the world. Congratulations for this honor !

Émilie Allard, student member, successfully defended her thesis on March 27. Émilie is a PhD student in nursing sciences at Université de Montréal under the supervision of Alain Legault.

See this article in La Presse in which Josée Savard, regular member of the RQSPAL, contributed. She talks about hard times associated with cancer and their impacts on mental health. She also emphasizes on the fear of recurrence, which affects many patients, by saying that hospitals will soon be better prepared to deal with this concern through a training program. Finally, she mentions the necessity for patients to recommit themselves in life and to have projects.

Philippe Laperle, student member, and Deborah Ummel, regular member of the RQSPAL, recently published an article on supporting integration, commitment and long-term involvement of volunteers in palliative care. They identified and described factors that could support this integration. For more information, click here to see the article.

Lynn Gauthier, junior searcher in oncology and regular member of the RQSPAL, is the winner of an Award of Excellence presented by the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. She received this prize on March 28 for her work on chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy a side effect poorly understood.

Congratulations to Valérie Bourgeois-Guérin, regular member of the RQSPAL, who is a new assistant for the Chaire de recherche UQAM sur le vieillissement et la diversité citoyenne. This will enable her to contribute to the development of research niches related to mental health, grief and end-of-life among elderly.

Diane Tapp, regular member of the RQSPAL, and Christiane Martel, associate member, participated in a Radio-Canada program: « Faut pas croire tout ce qu’on dit ». They talk about palliative care doctors, medical assistance in dying and acess to palliative care. Please do not hesitate to listen to this interview, which revives the discussion on end-of-life medical care.

The project « Communautés bienveillantes – un modèle de soutien et de soins » has been assigned to a team led by Dr Antoine Boivin, regular member of the RQSPAL. This project will create community-based programs that set supportive environments and linkages for citizens suffering of an advanced disease or at an advanced life stage. The research team will assess the impact of these community activities on the quality of life. See the press release HERE.

Serge Dumont, regular member of the RQSPAL, is the subject of an article published this week on the website of the Faculty of Social Sciences of Université Laval. It informs the university community of Mr. Dumont’s induction to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. This is one of the greatest honour in the Canadian university community.

Congratulations to some of our members who received a grant from SSHRC for the project « La souffrance psychologique des hommes âgés atteints d’un cancer incurable ». The team of researchers who benefits from this contribution, thanks to the Insight Development Grants, comprises the members Valérie Bourgeois-Guérin (main searcher), Christopher MacKinnon (collaborator) et Andréanne Côté (collaborator).

An article from Le Fil of May 3rd reports the 15.2M$ financing for a project led by Dr Jacques Simard. This financing will allow the continuation of a project whose goal is to develop and individualised breast cancer risk assessment for prevention and early screening purposes. Some RQSPAL researchers are involved in this important project, including Michel Dorval.


We wish to congratulate Joanie Mercier, supervised by Dre Josée Savard, for her thesis defence that took place April 13th of this year. Her thesis “L’exercice physique pour améliorer le sommeil chez les patients atteints de cancer: État de la littérature et comparaison avec la thérapie cognitive comportementale” is now available online via this link.

Dre Josée Savard received a grant from the Fonds de soutien à l’innovation sociale, a grant offered by the VRRCI for her project “Dissémination d’un groupe de psychothérapie visant à réduire la peur de récidive du cancer.” This announcement is in the Journal Le Fil.

Antonin Marquis received a doctoral scholarship from the FRQSC for his thesis on the suffering of people asking for medically-assisted death. He is a doctoral student in psychology, under the supervision of Dre Valérie Bourgeois-Guérin.

See in the Journal Le fil a discussion with Dr Jean-François Desbiens. Specialised in oncology treatments at the Nursing Sciences Faculty of Laval University, Mr Desbiens talks about the care of patients suffering from cancer after their treatment.

Last Thursday, May 17th, the RQSPAL won the Diamant prize from the CHU de Québec – Université Laval within the innovation category. The 5th edition of the evening of gratitude of the Diamant prizes took place at the Palais Montcalm. This prize is a gesture of gratitude for the commitment, the strength of work and the solid relationships which made it possible to build a renewed and adapted range of services. Congratulations to the whole team!

Dre Lynn Gauthier (researcher and grant holder) obtained her Junior 1 with her project “La neuropathie périphérique chimioinduite chez les femmes de différents âges recevant une chimiothérapie à base de taxane pour un cancer du sein”.

 Catherine Banville (master’s degree, FRQS) and Véronique Massicotte (master’s degree, FRQS) both from Dre Josée Savard’s lab, received training scholarships.

The IRSC (Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada) awarded a grant to Sophie Lauzier, Denis Talbot, Hermann Nabi, Marc-Karim Bendiane, Anne-Déborah Bouhnik and Laetitia Huiart for the project “Inégalités sociales dans les trajectoires d’usage des traitements oraux pour le cancer du sein: Une comparaison France – Québec”.

The Alzheimer Society of Canada awarded a grant to Gina Bravo, main researcher, Marcel Arcand, Jocelyn Downie and Sharon Kaasaleinene, co-researchers, and three international collaborators. The project “A nationwide study of the attitude of informal caregivers of persons with dementia toward extending medical assistance in dying to incompetent patients” obtained this grant for two years.

The IRSC (Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada) awarded a grant for the development of a step by step cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia in routine care for cancer. The grant will benefit the main researcher Josée Savard and the co-researchers Lynda Bélanger, Aude Caplette-Gingras, Marie-Pierre Gagnon and Charles M. Morin, and will last from 2018 to 2023.

 A Catalyst Grant provided by the IRSC (Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada) has been given to the researchers Lynn R. Gauthier and Chitra Lalloo for the project “Une solution de cybersanté axée sur le patient pour habiliter les personnes âgées et améliorer l’évaluation et la prise en charge de la douleur.”

Marie-Solange Bernatchez is recipient of the Guy-Bégin award presented by the Société Québécoise pour la Recherche en Psychologie for the best article written by a student in the clinical axis.


Le RQSPAL est soutenu financièrement par le Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé.