February 2024Milestones

In memoriam: Stanley K. Plotnick

Former JGH President praised as epitome of dynamic leadership

The staff and administration of the JGH are saddened by the passing of Stanley K. Plotnick, whose dynamic leadership as President of the Board of Directors from 2003 to 2005 was instrumental in setting the stage for the hospital’s vibrant growth and development in the 21st century.

Mr. Plotnick, who died on February 19 at the age of 82, infused his role with the discipline and sensibility of a business executive, along with an eye for detail and tireless determination to motivate others to perform at their best.

Stanley K. Plotnick in the Segal Cancer Centre. (Click on this or any photo to enlarge it.)

Stanley K. Plotnick in the Segal Cancer Centre. (Click on this or any photo to enlarge it.)

At the same time, his compassion and warmth were evident whenever he walked the hospital’s halls, never losing an opportunity to chat with patients about their experiences or with staff about the rewards and challenges of their work.

This unflagging energy was essential to many of the successes that came to fruition during Mr. Plotnick’s term, including construction of the Segal Cancer Centre, the acquisition of a PET/CT scanner (one of only two in Montreal at that time), and the purchase of the property that became the sites for Pavilions H and K.

“Stan was a wonderful person—a leader among leaders,” says former Executive Director Henri Elbaz, who worked closely with Mr. Plotnick throughout his presidency. “He took his responsibilities to heart, because he was a man of duty and values, and a perfectionist who left no detail untouched.

“After he stepped down as President, we stayed in touch, which is why losing him has touched me so personally. It was a blessing for the hospital to have had such a wonderful person looking out for its interests.”

“Stan was meticulous, strategic and driven,” recalls Jonathan Wener, who preceded Mr. Plotnick as President. “If he committed himself to a project, he followed through from beginning to end with incredible energy. This is a great loss to the community, as well as to the family and friends he hugged throughout his life.”

“He was an A1 individual and a credit to the hospital,” agrees Bernard Stotland, JGH President from 2009 to 2011. “Dynamic, precise, energetic—those are the three words that immediately come to mind.”

Mr. Plotnick was a graduate of McGill University and of the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was semi‑retired during his term as JGH President, having sold his Montreal company, AVS Technologies Inc., which designed, developed, imported and distributed consumer electronic products.

At a meeting at the JGH in 2004, Stanley K. Plotnick (centre) and Executive Director Henri Elbaz (right) met with Health and Social Services Minister Philippe Couillard, who pledged that the Government of Quebec would contribute to the construction of what would later be known as the Segal Cancer Centre.

At a meeting at the JGH in 2004, Stanley K. Plotnick (centre) and Executive Director Henri Elbaz (right) met with Health and Social Services Minister Philippe Couillard, who pledged that the Government of Quebec would contribute to the construction of what would later be known as the Segal Cancer Centre.

According to information on the website of the Paperman & Sons funeral home, Mr. Plotnick also served as President of Solomon Schechter Academy, the Bronfman Education Centre, Federation CJA and the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA.

In addition, he chaired many organizations, including the Montreal and national chapters of the March of the Living (which arranges visits to Holocaust sites in Europe), and he served on the executive of numerous international organizations, including Keren Hayesod, which represents most of the world’s Jewish communities.

Among the honours Mr. Plotnick received were the Distinguished Service Award from the JGH, the Distinguished Leadership Award and the Samuel Bronfman Medal from Federation CJA, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jewish National Fund, the Outstanding Montrealer Award from Israel Bonds, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

In 2005, as Mr. Plotnick looked back on his term as President, he told JGH News a powerful image had come to mind: He remembered arriving at the hospital for a 7:00 a.m. meeting and seeing doctors getting out of their cars. Later that evening, he returned to the JGH for another meeting and noticed those same cars still in the parking lot.

“When you see something like that—proof that a doctor has been working from sunup to sundown—it emphasizes how many sacrifices are made every day for our patients by the medical staff, the nurses, the related professionals and the administration.”

His only regret, he said, was the limit on his time in the top spot. “You can get the ball rolling, but you can’t finish it all in two years,” he explained. “Many decisions are complex and must be studied from various perspectives. In business, two years is a long time; in health care, it’s short.”

Mr. Plotnick later said he was especially grateful to receive the hospital’s Distinguished Service Award in 2007. “In some other organizations, when you’ve run your course, you’re put out to pasture. But you don’t disappear from the Jewish General Hospital. Here the connection stays strong. I’m enormously proud to be part of this wonderful continuity and tradition.”

The JGH extends its deepest condolences to Mr. Plotnick’s wife, Barbara, and to their children, grandchildren and their entire family.

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