About Us

AWISH is an independent, not-for-profit corporation founded in 1987 and unique in the West Island of Montreal. We’re funded by provincial and community support and guided by a Board of Directors, all committed volunteers.

We provide reliable information, education and support programs for arthritis sufferers and their caregivers. We are the only grassroots, adult arthritis resource centre in the West Island of Montreal and surrounding areas. 

View our latest AGM Report

We provide specialized services designed for sufferers of arthritis and chronic pain:

Working with community partners, we augment local health services and professional practitioners. Many of us have been through the physical and emotional toll of living with arthritic conditions and are motivated to provide ideas and solutions responding to important concerns about managing one’s personal well-being with those diseases.



Arthritis Self Management Program (ASMP) Launched

For the first time in Québec, AWISH launched the Arthritis Self Management Program (ASMP) which was developed by Stanford University. At the time, the only other province to offer this course was British Columbia. Today, we offer our own pain and lifestyle management course: Life with Arthritis – Taking Charge of my Pain and Living Well.

Our organization was instrumental in developing an arthritis aquatic program at the Pointe Claire Aquatic Centre, which follows the main points of the program developed by The Arthritis Foundation.



Exercise Program Created

With the help of the physiotherapy department of the Lachine General Hospital, an arthritis exercise program was begun and given at the Sarto Desnoyers Community Centre in Dorval. We are very proud of this program which remains extremely popular and which is now also given at the Dollard des Ormeaux Civic Centre and the East Community Centre in Pierrefonds.



Adapted Playground

AWISH lobbied for an adapted playground to benefit special needs children, including those with Juvenile Arthritis, in the Borough of Pierrefonds / Roxboro. Financing was approved in 2008 and the playground was completed in 2010.



Recent Impact

Since 2019: Mentored a sister arthritis self-help organization in Brossard, QC. ARS: Arthrite Rive-Sud/Arthritis South Shore Ongoing: Arthritis Rendez-Vous conferences with speakers, resource and community booths.

Free public information sessions with key speakers in arthritis-related management and research.

Continuous involvement with West Island regional councils and other community organization Boards and committees.



A community where everyone suffering from any form of arthritis is aware and can access information about our services aimed at improving their quality of life.   


We are a dedicated community-oriented organization who inform and help individuals better manage effects of arthritis. 


An organizational structure providing maximum support to our volunteers, members and community.

An environment of respect, confidentiality and professional standards.

The importance of being entrenched in the Community.

Striving to understand individual members, their suffering and ways to achieve better quality of life.

Working together in a creative, innovative and productive manner, with members’ needs uppermost.

An environment where honesty and ethical behavior are paramount.



Paulette Zielinski

Retiree from the Research Dept, of a national labour organization (Pulp, Paper, Gas, Oil, Chemicals, Communications, Auto Workers etc.).  
Was Assistant to the Director of Research, responsible for statistical analysis reports of all labour agreements for every sector represented + Secretary at National conferences & conventions, responsible for Minutes, reporting directly to the President.. Her professional experience has served her well in advocating for our vulnerable population suffering from arthritis and chronic pain, especially our seniors. She joined AWISH Board in 1996, then from 99+. Is current President of AWISH since June 2006 and West Island Community group Liaison and Advocate on behalf of AWISH. Board member of Kiwanis Lakeshore Foundation, and Regional Council for North WI. Represents AWISH on numerous committees including Regional Councils North & South + Steering Committee and Intercultural, Urban Security, Seniors Table, Health and Social Services Committees.

Sam Toka

Assurance Senior Manager at PSB BOISJOLI.

– Current Treasurer of AWISH.
– Member of the AWISH Finance, Communications and
Strategic Planning Committees.

Joined AWISH 2016.

André Laperrière
Board Member

Retired Executive Director of Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN). He has led/managed numerous projects on behalf of private corporations and within the United Nations and the World Bank.
He has played a senior role in the design and the implementation of major reforms within a number of agencies such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.
Extensive work experience in the Americas, Caribbean, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, in particular in developing countries and in conflict/post conflict environments.

Before joining GODAN:
– Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Washington DC
– First Executive Director of the Trust Fund for Victims at the International Criminal Court (ICC)
– Director of the Administration and Finance Division in the World Health Organization (WHO)
– Coordinator for reconstruction and rehabilitation activities under the responsibility of UNICEF in Iraq
– Director in the International Services of Price Waterhouse

Joined AWISH in 2022.

Jeannine Blain
Board Member

Jeannine’s career has taken her through multiple positions at several banks across Quebec. Additionally, she’s shaped young minds and orchestrated promotions as an educational instructor at the specialized daycare Les Trésors de Marie-Claire nursery in Kirkland.

Joined AWISH 2024.

Roger Trottier
Board Member

– Director Power Emergency Distribution at Dataglobe Canada
– District Counsellor at Pierrefonds-Roxboro
– Research Specialist at Bell-Northern Research
– National Technical Sales Representative at ASCO Power Technologies

Longtime AWISH member. 

Returning Board Member 2023

Erlinda Duperron
Board Member

Retired Executive Director of Retire At Home West Island.

Joined AWISH 2013.


AWISH is looking for other individuals to join the Board of Directors.

Please contact us to find out more.