Gilles Julien

Related TopicsChildren & Youth, Child care, Health & Fitness, Nutrition, Health care


This profile was prepared when Gilles Julien was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.
Dr. Gilles Julien has redesigned the profession of the pediatrician to fundamentally transform today’s “sickness and disease” system into a health system that is truly preventive and community driven. Social pediatricians provide tools to communities and families that create a support network for children to embrace their physical, cognitive, emotional and cultural needs, and to guarantee that each child is monitored and supported as she/he develops.
The New Idea
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person


Armed with nothing more than a stethoscope, otoscope and measuring tape, Dr Gilles Julien once spent day after day on his bicycle, riding around one of Montreal's poorest and most densely populated neighbourhoods. There, in Hochelaga's streets, residents would call out to the officeless pediatrician, needing his help. More than a decade later, his dream of a holistic, alternative approach to child health realized, the man called Canada's father of social pediatrics is the director of two social pediatrics centres, one in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and one in Côte-des-Neiges. With the Fondation du Dr Julien, he supports the development of community social pediatrics centres all over the province of Quebec, of which there are now 17. In 2015, he also collaborated with Université de Montréal and McGill University for the creation of two research chairs in community social pediatrics.

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