THUNDER BAY – HEALTH – Healthy Together. That is the Vision of Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), and it captures our desired state for the people of Northwestern Ontario. It also reflects the way we progress as an organization. In all areas, at every level, we work closely with a variety of partners to provide the best care possible. Patients and families are principal among our partners.
Recently, we celebrated TBRHSC’s dedication to PFCC at the 5th annual Caring & Sharing Exhibition. This event showcases some of the many initiatives that improve experiences for patients and families. I am very proud of the commitment demonstrated by staff, physicians, volunteers and donors to deliver care that is respectful of, and responsive to the needs of patients and families.
Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) is also an important partner in care. CCO is embarking on its own PFCC journey, and President & CEO Michael Sherar is conducting a province-wide tour of regional cancer centres to strengthen partnerships with patients and families, as well as with providers, foundations and volunteers. While at TBRHSC, Mr. Sherar noted that efforts to improve care are absolutely dependent on these partnerships. I couldn’t agree more, and am pleased that our partners are as committed to patient outcomes as we are.
Another partner critical to our success is the Health Sciences Foundation. Last October, the Foundation launched its Exceptional Cancer Care Campaign. Already, thanks to the generosity of donors, they have raised $5.2-million, which is just over 88% of the $5.9-million goal. These funds help purchase cutting-edge equipment to provide exceptional diagnoses, treatments and research. I am grateful and very thankful to the Foundation for its outstanding support.
Our research arm, the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute, continues to engage in ground-breaking initiatives. Recently, Dr. Naana Jumah participated in High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) procedure training in Seoul, Korea, in anticipation of the HIFU clinical trial Dr. Jumah and Dr. Laura Curiel will be offering, pending Research Ethics Board, in which MRI guidance will allow the clinician to identify the exact location of a uterine fibroid and remove it with HIFU – a much less invasive procedure for the patient with faster recovery times.
Another milestone celebrated in the past month was the launch of bariatric surgery at TBRHSC.
Now, patients from Northwestern Ontario in need of bariatric surgery can receive the service here instead of travelling. With the introduction of a surgical program and two bariatric surgeons – Dr. Andrew Smith and Dr. Scott Cassie – ours is evolving from a Regional Assessment and Treatment Centre to a Bariatric Centre of Excellence, one of six in Ontario.
I thank the many people who make our successes possible, and look forward to reporting more of them in the months to come.
Finally, October is Women’s Health Awareness Month. I take this opportunity to remind all women of the importance of healthy living, including regular cancer screening. For information on where you can get screened for cancer, call the Cancer Screening Hotline at (807) 684-7787. Or, to book your cancer screening appointment on the Screen for Life mobile coach, call: 1-800-461-7031.