CHSLD Herron: The owner blames the CIUSSS for disaster

CHSLD Herron: La propriétaire blâme le CIUSSS pour la catastrophe

The owner of the CHSLD Herron Dorval, where 31 seniors have died in the last few weeks, blame the CIUSSS of the West-Island of Montreal for the disaster that occurred in his or her institution in connection with the coronavirus.

Katherine Chowieri, manager and owner of the private CHSLD, has written twice to the government Legault last week to complain about a lack of cooperation from the CIUSSS, who had taken control of the premises for ten days.

Letters and e-mail exchanges obtained by our Bureau of investigation, shed new light on what could be produced at the residence of Herron, where the situation has been called a”dreadful” by the prime minister François Legault Saturday.

According to our information, as of march 29, the president and ceo of the CIUSSS of the West island of Montreal, Lynne McVey, announced to the owner of the NURSING homes that the facility was placed in trusteeship due to gaps in patient care.

Several employees had deserted the area after having learned that at least one resident was suffering from the COVID-19.

“A war”

The documents that we have consulted show that collaboration has been difficult between the CIUSSS and the direction of the CHSLD Herron. The tone was at times tense. Some trading was done via letters from lawyers.

On 9 April, the owner Katherine Chowieri has written to the minister of Health Danielle McCann to complain about it.


It says in his letter that the situation has become “catastrophic,” since the CIUSSS has taken control of the institution, and calls for “the direct intervention and immediate” of the minister.

She alleged, inter alia, that:

  • The ministerial recommendations on the wearing of protective equipment for the staff and residents would not have been met by the team of CIUSSS.
  • The CIUSSS would not have wanted to tell him what residents had been infected.
  • Care would have been administered to patients without their medical file has been opened.

“Since the beginning of the process, we feel a great lack of cooperation from the CIUSSS. […] One feels that they are trying to create a war with us as the owners and managers of the NURSING homes instead of attending set against the struggle of the COVID-19”, alleged Ms. Chowieri.



“We are now in a state of crisis and it is impossible for us to have a discussion with any of the CIUSSS”, she says.







The CIUSSS said the opposite

The day before, Ms. Chowieri had also conveyed to the director of the office of Marguerite Blais, minister responsible for Seniors, a letter detailing its grievances.



“I brought some items that appear to me to be serious in the team of the CIUSSS, in particular that of the residents who have been tested positive COVID-19 circulate freely in the building since the beginning of the week, but I don’t know if an intervention meets took place”, one can read in this other missive.

The vision of the leadership of the CIUSSS is any other. Saturday, in press conference, the director-general of the CIUSSS had thrown the blame on the leadership of the CHSLD.


“We had a little collaboration on the part of the owners, and we have issued two formal warnings, as well as an order of the public health Directorate of Montreal”, was detailed to McVey.



According to it, the CIUSSS struggled to get to the part of the management of NURSING information such as the list of patients, contact information to reach out to their loved ones and the list of employees.

Who is telling the truth? A police investigation was initiated to shed light on what really happened, said Saturday the prime minister Legault.

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