THUNDER BAY – Saving hearts and Valentines Day fit together well. This Valentine’s Day brings news that will touch many hearts in Northwestern Ontario. Today, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre President & CEO Andrée Robichaud officially opened the new Angioplasty short-stay area where patients recover from angioplasty procedures. “We’ve made tremendous strides in the provision of cardiac care in a short period of time,” she says. “Today’s celebration is another important milestone representing an advanced standard of care for the cardiac patients of Northwestern Ontario.”
The first patient, Patricia MacPherson, was welcomed to the new area by Robichaud and interventional cardiologist Dr. Mark Henderson. MacPherson previously received service in the cardiac catheterization lab at the Health Sciences Centre. She will not only be one of the first patients to stay in the new Angioplasty short-stay area, but will be the first to experience recovery in both areas. In the cardiac catheterization lab, the team is focused on patient preparation, therapy and recovery. In the new area, healthcare providers can focus solely on patient recovery.
“Patricia can anticipate a quieter, calmer recovery experience,” Henderson says. “This new area offers enhanced privacy for the patient and family. Equally as important, immediate support is available from the 2C inpatient team should any complications occur during recovery.”
Today’s opening of the Angioplasty short-stay area is part of an expansion of cardiology services, including a second cardiac catheterization lab at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. This project has long been on the wish list for Northwestern Ontario, where cardiac disease rates are the highest in the province.
The move from a vision to a reality is the result of a supportive community, according to Tony Bossio, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation board director. Almost $5 million has been donated in support of advanced cardiac care at the Health Sciences Centre. Less than $500,000 remains to be raised for the second cardiac catheterization lab. “The people of our community clearly understand the value of world-class cardiac services close to home,” he says. “Their investments are realizing great returns for many families.”
The expansion of cardiac services, including the Angioplasty short-stay area, has been a top priority of community leaders for years. The Ontario government provided over $8 million to make the full expansion possible.
“It is incredibly satisfying to see this expansion of cardiac care come to life for patients in Northwestern Ontario,” says Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay – Atikokan. “Our priority is always to meet the needs of the people of this community.” Mauro has been a steadfast proponent of expanded angioplast care in Thunder Bay.
Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay – Superior North, noted that health care for all Ontarians remains a government priority and is pleased to see expanded cardiac services and facilities to benefit Northerners. “I’m absolutely delighted to see this expansion of the Anglioplasty area,” Gravelle remarked. “Cardiology services at the Regional are world-class, with dynamic and efficient innovations, and are producing life-saving results for the people of Northwestern Ontario.”
Previously, there were six patient stretchers in the cardiac catheterization lab. Now, there are six short-stay stretchers in the Angioplasty short-stay area on 2C. Once completed, the expanded cardiac catheterization lab will house an additional ten, for a total of 16 stretchers dedicated to patients of the cardiac catheterization lab. “The increase in stretchers speaks to the increased services the second catheterization lab will enable,” notes Henderson.
“We celebrate today’s achievement as a confirmation of our standing as an academic health sciences centre with a focus on patient and family centred care,” says Robichaud.