THUNDER BAY – HEALTH – From celebrating 10 years of building a healthy future at our present site to being recognized for our commitment to reducing provincial wait times and improving emergency care, there has been much to be proud of at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) in 2014. Many of the remarkable achievements and advances in Patient and Family Centred Care were made possible thanks to generous donations to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation. We invite you to take a look back at some of the most meaningful moments of 2014 at TBRHSC, as we wish you the best ahead in 2015.
- Local Farmers Bring Harvest to Hospital
This summer we teamed up with local farmers to bring healthy, local produce and products to the third annual TBRHSC Fresh Market. Eating healthy and locally goes hand-in-hand when it comes to health education and healthy behaviour change.
Brule Creek Farms owner, Jeff Burke, said, “Local farmers can help educate customers on making healthy choices and preparing food that they may not be familiar with. Farmers can also help direct customers to locations in the city that may carry local food year round.” The TBRHSC Fresh Market ran from July to October, offering fresh produce and products like strawberries, whole wheat flour, and garlic to mixed green salads, corn, and squash.
- TBRHSC Launches New Program to Improve Care for Elderly Patients
In October TBRHSC announced the launch of the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) to improve care for elderly patients.
HELP is a registered, comprehensive program of care for hospitalized older patients, designed to prevent delirium and functional decline during hospitalization. Using a team of well-trained volunteers, it supports patients to be more functional and independent when discharged from hospital. Volunteers provide daily interventions to in-patients, assisting patients with exercise, cognitive and stimulation activities, and feeding. They may take the patient for a walk, encourage eating at meal times, and provide some mental and/or social interaction.
- Outstanding Emergency Department Performance recognized by MOHLTC
Earlier this year the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care recognized the Emergency Department (ED) at TBRHSC for “its commitment to reducing provincial wait times and improving emergency care for the people of Ontario”. “On behalf of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, we are pleased to recognize the outstanding Emergency Department performance that has been achieved at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Your hospital has maintained the lowest 90th percentile for ED Length of Stay (LOS) within the Teaching Hospital-Community Hospital Group in 2013,” wrote Nancy Naylor, Assistant Deputy Minister.
- Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy Launches “The Path to a Good Life” Cancer Screening Video
In March Chief Beardy helped to launch a cancer screening awareness video titled ‘Early Detection: The Path to a Good Life,’ inspired by Chief Beardy’s own experience with cancer screening and detection.
“I was surprised when I first heard the word ‘cancer,’” he said. “I thought to myself – where I come from, people don’t survive a diagnosis of cancer.” Chief Beardy’s commitment to cancer screening saved his life because his cancer was caught early, when it was more easily treated.
You can watch the video at: www.tbrhsc.net/GoodLife
- One of Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals
After debuting on the list of Top Research Hospitals in Canada four years ago, TBRHSC is still a member of the exclusive group. This year, the Health Sciences Centre has reached its highest-ever ranking at #37.
The research activity that has catapulted TBRHSC into Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals is attributed to the ongoing success of its research arm, Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute (TBRRI).
Research also advances economic development. Since its inception nearly seven years ago, the TBRRI has recruited 14 research scientists, generated over 100 jobs directly related to research, and garnered about $100 million in economic development for Northwestern Ontario.
- Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute Brings Talent Back Home
In March the TBRRI officially welcomed Dr. Naana Jumah. Originally from Thunder Bay, Dr. Jumah joined TBRRI as a Clinician Researcher, with a focus on Aboriginal and women’s health. She also joined TBRHSC as an OB/GYN.
“It goes to show that Northwestern Ontario is solidifying itself as a premier destination for world-class scientific talent,” said Dr. Roxanne Deslauriers, Scientific Director, TBRRI. “TBRRI is creating career opportunities in our community, so that someone like Dr. Jumah, with her high credentials, can return home and use her research to enhance patient care in our region.”
- Online Video Allows Regional Paediatric Patients to Prepare for Surgery
November saw the official launch of an online video designed to improve paediatric care in Northwestern Ontario. The video stars a young puppet named Rej who is going in for his first surgery.
OR staff at TBRHSC have been offering Perioperative Paediatric Tours for the past 5 years to ensure that the operating room is no longer a scary or intimidating place for paediatric patients when they arrive for their surgery. Now that a video version of this paediatric tour is available online, young patients across the region will have the same type of preview prior to their surgery. Patients and their families can view the video by visiting www.tbrhsc.net/PaediatricORtour
- Closer to Home Care for Patients Who Need Bariatric Surgery
In September TBRHSC celebrated the launch of its Bariatric Surgery Program. Until recently, patients from Northwestern Ontario in need of bariatric surgery travelled to Southern Ontario or out of country.
This is excellent news for patients and families in Northwestern Ontario, where nearly one in four struggles with obesity, the second-highest obesity rate in Ontario.
“As healthcare providers, it is very satisfying to be able to offer life-changing and, for some patients, life-saving, surgery close to home,” said Dr. Asiru Abu-Bakare, Medical Director at the Regional Bariatric Care Centre.
- TBRHSC One of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures
In November TBRHSC was named one of Canada’s ten most admired corporate cultures of 2014.
“This is a significant honour, and a testament to the many dedicated people who work and volunteer at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre,” said Andrée Robichaud, President and CEO of TBRHSC and Acting CEO of TBRRI. “I really believe that what makes us a leader in corporate culture is our focus on patients and families, not only by members of the healthcare team, but everyone from housekeeping and switchboard to human resources and senior management.”
- TBRHSC Celebrates 10 Years of Building a Healthy Future
In March members of the community and government officials, including the Honourable Deb Matthews, Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, helped us celebrate TBRHSC’s 10th anniversary.
“I want to congratulate the entire Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre community on their remarkable achievements over the past 10 years to advance health research and care for the residents of Northwestern Ontario,” said Minister Matthews. “Our government is pleased to support this regional hospital so that it can continue to provide innovative health care for patients and families as close to home as possible.”