Message from Kyle Shaen

Chair, Board of Directors, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation


February 16, 2019

I continue to be amazed by the advances we’re seeing in cardiovascular care. Launching a cardiovascular surgical program is a complicated process as you can imagine. There is the so-called open heart surgery aspect, which requires quite a bit of preparation including getting equipment, recruiting surgeons, training staff, and ensuring the proper follow-up procedures are in place.

But cardiovascular care involves so much more than that. Recently, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre launched the Rapid Access Vascular Examination (RAVE) clinic to improve vascular health and increase access to timely care for those with vascular disease.

Although you may not have heard about vascular disease in particular, you have probably heard about its results: foot ulcers, wounds that don’t heal (persistent wounds), and amputations. These are often related to diabetes, but they can be caused by other conditions as well. Northwestern Ontario has the highest amputation rate in Ontario. We also have the highest rates of conditions that lead to poor vascular health including diabetes.

Amputations, as bad as they are already, also have another grim side effect: they lead to a lower quality of life and in many cases a shorter lifespan. It’s no wonder that the Hospital is doing everything it can to build quality cardiovascular services like the RAVE clinic to literally save lives and limbs. By bringing vascular health professionals to Northwestern Ontario, we are able to give patients the treatment they need now to avoid amputations and other health complications.

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation is a strong supporter of programs like the RAVE clinic and the growing cardiovascular services here. But we can’t do it without your help. I strongly encourage you to support the upcoming Hops for Hearts event at the Sleeping Giant Brewing Co. on February 21 or make a donation to the Health Sciences Foundation’s Northern Cardiac Fund to celebrate Heart Month. All of the proceeds stay here in Northwestern Ontario to support programs like the RAVE clinic that make such a difference in the lives of our residents.

Let’s make reducing amputation rates another success story in Northwestern Ontario.

Read more about the RAVE clinic here:

Kyle Shaen

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