The Montreal Heart Institute Honours its Builders

2014, March 25, 2014

L'ICM honore ses bâtisseurs

Montréal, March 25, 2014 – On March 25, as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations, the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) honoured three of its builders: internationally renowned cardiologists Dr. Paul David, founder of the MHI, and Dr. Martial Bourassa, first director of the Research Centre, as well as Mr. J.-Louis Lévesque, philanthropist. The event was held at Maison Birks, a partner of the MHI's 60th anniversary celebrations.

In the presence of Marie Grégoire and Louis Tanguay, co-chairs of the 60th Anniversary, along with relatives, friends, doctors and Institute employees, these pioneers and their family members were given a special pin in the MHI's colours that was specially designed by Maison Birks.  

“This event was a unique opportunity to pay homage to the builders of the Montreal Heart Institute and to these dedicated individuals who have put their hearts into making it one of the greatest cardiology institutions in the world,” stated Dr. Denis Roy, Executive Director of the Montreal Heart Institute.

Three men with their hearts set on greatness

Dr. Paul David is considered the father of cardiology in Quebec. After receiving his medical degree from Université de Montréal in 1944, Dr. David specialized in cardiology while working under great masters in the United States and Europe. At the beginning of the 1950s, he developed a very cutting-edge project for the time: to create an institute in Montréal entirely dedicated to the field of cardiology. Dr. David was the heart and soul of the MHI until he retired in 1985. The site of the first heart transplant and the first coronary angioplasty in Canada, the MHI was also the location of Quebec's first open heart surgery using heart-lung bypass. All of these achievements were because of Dr. Paul David's tenacity and determination.

A cardiologist and researcher at the MHI for nearly 50 years and a full professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Université de Montréal for over 35 years, Dr. Martial Bourassa is considered one the pioneers of cardiology in Quebec. We owe him a number of discoveries that have been key to the international practice of cardiology. He was the first director of the MHI Research Centre, which over the years has become the largest research centre in cardiovascular health in Canada. Today, the Research Centre has more than 615 scientists who are dedicated to making discoveries that will change people's lives. It is a world-class organization that coordinates international research projects.

Mr. J.-Louis Lévesque was a prominent Quebec businessman and philanthropist. In 1961, he created the J.-Louis Lévesque Foundation, which allowed him to make an extraordinary contribution to many teaching and research centres. The MHI is certainly the institution that benefited the most from financial assistance from the J.-Louis Lévesque Foundation. Impressed by the accomplishments of Dr. Paul David, Mr. Lévesque made a donation of $1 million to the MHI in 1969 to encourage research in cardiology. By the time he died in 1995, he had donated $10 million to the institution and had served as an enthusiastic and dynamic adviser for all projects of the Montreal Heart Institute Research Fund.

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About the Montreal Heart Institute:

Photo :

From left to right, top row : Mrs. Mélanie La Couture, Executive Director of the MHI Foundation, Mr. André Desmarais, philanthropist of the MHI Foundation, Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, director of the MHI Research Centre, Mrs. Anne-Marie David, daughter of Dr. David, Dr. Denis Roy, Executive Director of the MHI.

Bottom row : Mr. Henri-Paul Rousseau, Chairman of the Board of the MHI Foundation, Dr. Martial Bourassa, first director of the MHI Research Centre, Mrs.Suzanne Lévesque, J.-Louis Lévesque Foundation, Dr. Yvette Lemire, spouse of Dr. Paul David, Sister Louise Brosseau, Grey Nuns Congregation, Mr. Marco Pasteris, Maison Birks.


Julie Chevrette
Communications Officer
Montreal Heart Institute
Phone: 514-376-3330, extension 2641 |