A Look Back at 2019

Published Monday, December 30, 2019

A Look Back at 2019

Our Hearts At Home Cardiovascular Campaign Launched

On October 16, Our Hearts At Home Cardiovascular Campaign Chair, Paul Fitzpatrick, announced the launch of a $14M capital campaign to bring a full cardiovascular surgery program to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Northwestern Ontario is a region where a large percentage of the population faces serious medical issues including high rates of cardiac disease, the highest rates of amputation in the province, along with high rates of diabetes and stroke. Having local access to cardiovascular surgery services is critical to save both lives and limbs. Funds raised will support the purchase of equipment, along with the local portion of the construction costs.


$1M Donation Announced by The Paterson Foundation

It was with great excitement that The Paterson Foundation announced a $1 million donation to the Our Hearts At Home Cardiovascular Campaign on October 18 at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Alexander Paterson, on behalf of The Paterson Foundation said, “When we became aware of the cardiovascular surgery program being developed here in Northwestern Ontario, in partnership with the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, we knew this program would be life-changing for patients needing surgery and their families who want to be by their sides.”


Hospital Aims to be a Healthy Eating Leader

Positive change is coming to the retail food environment at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. After nearly two years of research, development, and engagement with staff, patients and community members, a new initiative called Eating Healthy Together was unveiled that is designed to provide a supportive, informative, and healthy food environment for consumers at the Hospital. The primary focus of the Hospital’s Eating Healthy Together initiative is to remove all ultra-processed food and increase access to and availability of minimally processed and unprocessed items sold onsite at retail food outlets. Creating a healthy nutrition environment and following the Nutrition Standards, encourages and influences healthy lifestyles, which is key for the prevention of diseases. It supports people to make good eating choices, especially when their health is critical enough to be at a hospital.


Hospital Celebrates Improved Education with Grand Opening of New Ibn Sina Simulation Lab

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre now provides improved medical education. The Grand Opening of the new Ibn Sina Simulation Lab, located in the Hospital, highlighted the advantages of simulation and celebrated the donors who made it possible. As an academic health sciences centre, the Hospital is committed to teaching the next generation of health care professionals. Simulation education allows health care practitioners to safely acquire the skills and experience they need, in a variety of clinical settings. It is the best practice for training, and aligns the Hospital with other academic health science centres across Ontario and Canada. The Ibn Sina Simulation Lab is named after a Muslim Physician, Astronomist and Philosopher, who was a father of early modern medicine and was funded by a group of Muslim Physicians who generously donated $500,000 to project.


Doctors’ Passion + Knowledge Creates Vision for Urology

Drs. Shahrour and Elmansy share a vision to make Thunder Bay an internationally-known centre of excellence for urology so that people from across the North had local access to leading-edge care. Together they’ve been working diligently to publish multiple scholarly articles and present across the globe from the Caribbean to Asia and in between. Because of this international exposure, and subsequent recognition for the care provided here, physicians and fellows are lined up wanting to train in Thunder Bay. The Urologists are also providing minimally invasive procedures, including HoLEP, which is only performed in a few places in Canada. Dr. Elmansy said, “Thunder Bay is now a hot-spot for Urology and we don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.” Both Dr. Shahrour and Elmansy are grateful for the support they’ve received from the community and are excited for the future.


Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre among the Most Improved Renal Programs in Ontario

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has been recognized by the Ontario Renal Network for being among the most improved Regional Renal programs in Ontario. The Hospital achieved a high annual growth rate for the Vascular Access Wait Times, growing by 85.0% during the 2018/19 fiscal year – the second highest annual relative growth amongst all programs in the province. This means patients in Northwestern Ontario are getting access to life-saving vascular access surgery much sooner.


Enhanced Access to Stroke Care Benefits Patients in Northwestern Ontario

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is one of ten sites in Ontario, and 24 sites across Canada to offer enhanced access to a procedure that drastically improves outcomes for stroke patients. The Hospital is able to offer Endovascular Treatment (EVT) for multiple weeks per month, meaning more patients in Northwestern Ontario will have access to this treatment. Endovascular Treatment (EVT) is indicated for patients with acute ischemic strokes and large vessel occlusion (LVO) that removes large stroke-causing clots from the brain and substantially improves the chance for a better outcome. Time-is-brain in acute stroke treatment and prolonged times to accessing EVT may reduce benefits for eligible patients. As one of only 24 sites with EVT across the country, the Hospital is in elite company. While there is a definite need for this type of treatment in Northwestern Ontario, it also speaks volumes about the quality and dedication of our skilled health care providers working in stroke.


A Loving Man, Lovingly Remembered

Antonio Tassone passed away in 2018 after being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. His daughter Sabrina described him. “He was such a good person, full of love. He was a kind, hard-working, respectful, empathetic and a humble man, full of faith; he had a positive impact on so many people. After our Dad passed away, our family discussed how we could honour both him and the incredible care that he received at the Health Sciences Centre, especially during his final days,” said Sabrina. “We felt very strongly about providing others with the equipment that helped our father so much and we asked for people to donate in his memory to an Airvo™2 Humidification System.” Thanks to over $6,000 that was donated in memory of Antonio, two new Airvo™2 Humidification Systems are now on-site at the Health Sciences Centre and available to patients where they will provide much comfort to those with respiratory illness; providing high flow nasal oxygen while still allowing patients to eat and communicate in the midst of critical illness.


Family CARE Grants Fund Unique and Helpful Items at Hospital

For the 10th year in a row, staff at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre have been applying for grants for the ‘little things’ that can make a significant difference to patient care. Thanks to funding provided by donors to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, along with the Volunteer Association to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, this year $61,594 was provided to fund 43 Family CARE (Care Advancements Recommended by Employees) Grants. Examples of items funded include: bedside curtains for better privacy in Surgical Daycare, a vein finder for Unit 2B to make it easier to find veins and start IVs, inflatable bed shampoo basins for the Critical Care Unit to make hair washing more comfortable and a patient-controlled analgesic pump for palliative patients.


Harnessing the power of new technology to improve health and patient care in Northwestern Ontario

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, in partnership with St. Joseph’s Care Group, and the Northwest Health Alliance, unveiled their new, state-of-the-art regional data centre in February. The design, engineering, construction and equipment of the new shared facility was made possible thanks to a Government of Canada investment of $1 million. The FedNor investment was critical to creating the new data centre, which will now assist the Hospital and its partners to further implement regional electronic health records and applications, research systems and business applications, Regional Picture Archiving Communications Systems (PACS), as well as business intelligence and administrative systems. Furthermore, the new equipment and expanded capacity is expected to help foster collaborative research opportunities in data mining and analytics, strengthen data management and usage, and facilitate disaster recovery.


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