Familial and Emergency Medecine Professor
Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal
General Medecine Department at CHUM
Intéressé·e à participer à une rencontre virtuelle VIP avec Julie Bruneau et Mélanie Thivierge, PDG du Y des femmes de Montréal?
Julie Bruneau is a professor and researcher at the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) who is experimenting with novel approaches to caring for people dealing with addiction. She noted the limitations of clinical intervention when she set out to change the system, prompting her to move into research. In the course of her work, she founded CHUM’s Addiction Medicine Unit, one of the largest centres of its kind in Canada. Her in-depth studies and dedication have helped document the devastating effects of HIV and hepatitis C and introduce effective responses. In addition, Julie Bruneau is the Canada Research Chair in Addiction Medicine and has presented her work at various forums around the world and published over 200 articles in renowned scientific journals.
Her publication of a national guideline for the management of opioid use disorders has provided the reference for Canadian health care professionals since 2018. Her work thus supports health care professionals across the country, a definite indication of the impact of her work on the ground.
Julie Bruneau offers one of the most innovative approaches in her field, being one of the first physicians to treat hepatitis C in drug users.
Moreover, she is one of the three individuals behind a major multidisciplinary project aimed at making Montreal the first North American city to eradicate the hepatitis C virus.
Since 2015, Julie Bruneau has been the director of the Quebec-Maritimes node of the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse. Her vision and her exceptional leadership have helped her build one of the world’s largest teams in this field, attracting numerous international researchers and students to the CHUM Research Centre.
Julie Bruneau also established the only addiction medicine department in Canada, which provides an integrated family medicine approach and a cutting-edge service for drug addicts, improving their acceptance of treatment, preventing and treating the effects of their addiction and reducing early mortality.
Julie Bruneau began her career as a physician when she decided to look after the health of people who use drugs by adopting a harm-reduction approach, before the term even existed. Her commitment has never faltered since.
Her foremost achievements include:
- The first needle exchange program in Quebec, established in 1990 through the organization CACTUS
- Ancienne membre du conseil d’administration de « Heads and Hands – À deux mains » dans le quartier de Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
- Former member of the board of the Association des intervenants en dépendance du Québec
Julie Bruneau’s actions are deeply rooted in the community, where she has built close ties with partners, including the Association Québécoise pour la promotion de la santé des personnes utilisatrices de drogues, to name just one. Central to her role is someone who advocates for the dignity of those who struggle with addiction and who fights stigmatization of and discrimination against people who use drugs by promoting access to care and inclusion in decision making.
Julie Bruneau is without a doubt one of the pioneers in the development of addiction medicine in Quebec. Involved in training a new generation of family physicians and psychiatrists who provide integrated care to drug users, she is an indispensable reference in her field.
In addition to contributing to the introduction of needle exchange and opioid addiction treatment programs in Montreal, she has worked with international teams to forge new approaches to helping people with hepatitis C.
Her new studies are testing innovative care models to increase the efficacy of treatments for hepatitis C and opioid addiction disorders and prevent HIV among the most destitute. These studies have the potential to change practices locally and to earn recognition for Montreal as a leading knowledge generator in the area of health for those who use drugs.
Raising awareness among interdisciplinary teams and front-line physicians is also one of her weapons in reducing the injustices faced by drug users, so that individuals with dependency issues receive the same treatment opportunities with no judgment.
A mentor for interns, staff and health care recipients alike, Julie Bruneau is respected and admired by all who associate with her