A WORD FROM THE PRESIDENT
The MMS Foundation aims to reduce maternal mortality in Africa. For every 100,000 African women in labour, 500 presently die during childbirth. That rate is 30 times higher than that occurring in Canada. During difficult, prolonged delivery further complicated by lack of access to proper healthcare, a fistula (hole) may form between the vagina and the bladder and/or rectum.
This results in urinary or fecal incontinence. It has been estimated that there are over 2,000,000 cases of obstetric fistula worldwide. Every year, more than 50,000 new cases are diagnosed in Africa alone.
Our Foundation organizes medical missions to help such women. We can reduce the occurrence of fistula among African women by improving the conditions for childbirth, and existing cases of fistula can be successfully treated through surgery.
Our objectives are carried out thanks to the generosity of our donors.
By donating to the MMS Foundation, you will be contributing to the worldwide effort to improve maternal health.
The MMS team and the women who benefit from our assistance would like to thank you for your generous support.
THE FOUNDATION IS MANAGED BY A BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
DR. DENIS MUKWEGE,
Dr. Denis Mukwege is a gynecologist who has dedicated his life to fighting rape as a weapon of war. Since 1999, he has helped more than 54,000 women and girls victims of sexual violence at the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Also known as “the man who repairs women”, he has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2014 Sakharov Prize and the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. We are very honored and touched by the support of Dr. Mukwege, which motivates us to go further in our humanitarian actions to improve maternal health.
Dr. JACQUES CORCOS,
Dr. Jacques Corcos is a professor of surgery (urology) at McGill University and surgeon at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. Former Head of Surgery of Bambari Hospital (RCA), he has always been involved in voluntary assistance in Africa and elsewhere in the world. From 2008 to 2011, he was Secretary-General of the International Continence Society and is currently a member of its Executive committee. In addition to leading the MMS Foundation, he is in charge of setting up the surgical missions to treat women with obstetric fistula.
STÉPHANIE BRETON, STRATEGIC ADVISOR
Stéphanie holds an MBA from HEC Montreal and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the Université de Montréal. Her participation in a medical mission in 2012 convinced her to intensify her involvement with the MMS Foundation, and she has been a key element since.
Andrea began her teaching career at the elementary and secondary level. Currently, she is the director of a learning center where she has the opportunity to intervene with students presenting different profiles. Women’s and children’s issues are very dear to her, and she joined the Board in 2015.
Renée holds a BA in Finance Economics from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales. For 22 years she worked for the Jewish General Hospital and is now director of operations for the Children’s Foundation of Tower of Light (Migdal Ohr Canada). Being an excellent volunteer, she joined the Board as treasurer in 2015.
Julie Gagné, Development director
Julie holds a BA in business administration from HEC Montréal and a Master’s in health services administration from the University of Montreal. Until recently she worked as the development director at la Fondation pour la langue française. She has also worked at RDÉE Canada, la Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec, YMCA de Montréal, as well as in the health care sector, and was a board member for several organizations, including le Centre hospitalier Pierre-Janet. She joined MMS in September 2019.
Thomas holds an MBA from Kedge Business School and a Bachelor of Business Administration. He has worked in management and business development in the mass distribution sector, and is currently Director of Marketing and Business Development for a management and human resources consulting firm in Montreal. Thomas volunteers with several organizations, and is committed to promoting the MMS Foundation and its mission.
Claudette Dionne, Communications Committee
Claudette holds a Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy/Literature, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Montreal. She has worked as Director of Communications for the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and the Museum of Contemporary Art. President and founder of Dionne Communications, Claudette manages marketing, advertising (visual design, placement) and media relations. She is also involved in the organization of special events and joined the Board in 2018.
Maria is a professor at the Department of Communication at the University of Ottawa. With other members of the communications committee, she takes care of the Foundation’s website, newsletter, social media, and well as media relations and the production of promotional material. She joined MMS in 2011 and has participated in three surgical missions in Burkina Faso and Rwanda.
Valérie Corcos, General Manager
Valérie has been a member of the board of directors of the MMS Foundation since 2016 and has accepted the General Manager position in 2020. She actively participates in all aspects of the organization. She holds a trilingual bachelor’s degree in business administration from H.E.C Montreal and a degree in finance from the University of San Andrés in Argentina. She has helped international clients manage their commodity and currency risk at ScotiaMcleod and RJ O’brien before joining the ranks of Langelier Assurances as a broker in commercial damage insurance.
A pharmacist by training, Anne is the founder of Styl’Afrique Coop, a cooperative of women from diverse cultural backgrounds, mainly from African countries. She also works with La Rue des Femmes, a community center that welcomes women in need. She joined the Foundation to share her experience in the humanitarian community and offer her expertise in fundraising.
Dr. Alfred Homsy,
Dr. Homsy, Chief of Anesthesia at the Lasalle Hospital, has been involved in medical humanitarian aid since 2004 (in Haiti). He joined the MMS team in 2013 and has participated in almost all of the MMS surgical missions in Burkina Faso and in Rwanda. Dr. Homsy places much importance on conducting anesthesia in situations lacking proper resources and he aims to share his expertise with medical and nursing colleagues in his specific field. He also contributes to education and research by helping to recruit people who could potentially support the Foundation.
Erica is a documentary filmmaker, researcher and translator. She has made several films in West Africa, including some that address maternal health. Dabla ! Excision (2003) and Caravan (2009) document the strong movement for the eradication of female genital mutilation ; Operation Survival (2010) reveals the efforts to treat women suffering from obstetric fistula in Mali. A founding member of the Montreal International Documentary Festival, she is also a board member of the Association of Filmmakers of Quebec and Montreal Arts Council.
Elkis Sanabria, board Member
Elkis has been living in Canada for over 25 years. She studied tourism at LaSalle College and has worked in the field of travel insurance for 18 years. Elkis has participated in many fundraisers for various health-related causes (juvenile diabetes, breast cancer) and has always volunteered her time. After attending and participating in some of the Foundation’s activities and seeing the results, she joined the Board of Directors to help organize the medical missions.
In 1977 Ikram founded Concept IS International, a visual communications agency based in Montreal. Under his leadership Concept IS International is now recognized as one of the few truly versatile Canadian agencies in the visual communications industry. He joined the Board of Directors in 2013.
Dominique studied education at the University of Montreal and began her career as a teacher at the elementary level. After obtaining a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University, she worked in the securities field, and then pursued a Master’s degree in career counseling (McGill University and the University of Quebec in Montreal) and worked as a career transition consultant. She joined the Board of Directors in 2018.
Réseau des professionnels rwandais du Canada
Alain Maurice Fikirini,
Mister Afrique Montréal 2018
ADVISORY COMMITTEE – RWANDA