For Nan and Bill Lassner and their family, giving is a privilege and a way of life that spans three generations. Son Andrew Lassner, daughter-in-law Karyn, and their children, Max and Ava, and daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Brian Rosenblum and their children Sadie, Lila and Emme all share this philosophy. Whether it's co-chairing a Ball, sitting on a fundraising committee, becoming Founders at the Montreal Children's Hospital or giving to many charitable organizations, the Lassner family's support for the community runs deep and their commitment and generosity have made a difference in the lives of many. Even 7-year-old Max has organized a penny drive to raise funds for the Children's Hospital, collected soft drink can tabs to buy wheelchairs for Mount Sinai Hospital, and, with his sister Ava, set up lemonade stands to raise funds. Sadie, Lila and Emme are sure to follow in the footsteps of their older cousins.
The Lassners have a strong connection with the JGH. Nan was co-president of the JGH Auxiliary in the late 1990s and co-chaired, with Heleena Wiltzer, the JGH Foundation's 1st Doctors' Gala in 2008. Bill has contributed for over ten years, as a member of the hospital's Information Technology (IT) Committee. Both Nan and Bill have been patients at the JGH, benefiting from the expert care of Dr. Martin J. Black, senior head & neck surgeon, and became very attached to the Department of Otolaryngology and its physicians. This led them to donate equipment to the department and to make a generous gift to the Martin J. Black Endowment Fund for Fellowship Training in Head and Neck Oncology when it was established in 2009 in honour of Dr. Black's many accomplishments. Both are also Trustees of the hospital Foundation. All of their grand-children were born at the JGH.
The Lassners broke ground by becoming the first donors to make a lead gift in support of the ever increasingly necessary use of IT at the hospital. This enabled the JGH to be among the first university-affiliated hospitals in Montreal to implement the ChartMaxx system – a fully computerized and digitized patient record system used to track patient test results and chart all patient encounters, thus allowing for better communication and coordination between all departments. “We chose to support IT, because that's what the hospital needed," recalls Bill. “Unsolicited donations are almost always designated for things you can touch and see – a program, a piece of equipment and the like." Adds Nan, “The IT infrastructure may not be as visible but is absolutely vital to the hospital's ability to ensure the timely delivery of safe, high quality patient care. It was a perfect match between the needs of the hospital and Bill's interest and expertise, with Bill having spent his entire working life in the IT sector."
“ChartMaxx has improved efficiency and workflow at the JGH by providing quick, 24/7 access to critical patient information to physicians and staff, resulting in shorter waiting times and enhanced patient care," says JGH Foundation Chief Operating Officer Larry Sidel. “The JGH family is truly grateful to the Lassner Family for making a gift with such wide-ranging benefits." “In the final analysis, it is in your own interest to have a good hospital," says Jennifer. “It goes beyond that," emphasizes Karyn. “It is important for every community to support the JGH, because it ultimately helps all Quebecers."