THUNDER BAY – HEALTH – The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is always there for Thunder Bay and the region – Here is a list of ‘Top Ten’ achievements for 2016.
- Over $5M in Grants Funded
Donors continue to make a tremendous impact at the Health Sciences Centre and across Northwestern Ontario. From gifts made to celebrate special occasions, to memorial gifts, to gifts made through a Will, donors have shared their enthusiasm for health care that is second-to-none, here at home. In total, $5,155,873 was granted in the past year to ensure our families have access to state-of-the-art healthcare close to home. Some examples of new equipment funded include anesthesia care machines in the Operating Room, new PCR Testing equipment in our Clinical Laboratory, along with smaller, but essential items like Vital Signs Monitors both in Thunder Bay and at Hospitals across Northwestern Ontario.
- Genetics Program Moves to Hospital
On April 1st, 2016, the long-standing regional genetics program joined Prevention and Screening Services at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Formerly located at the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, and known as the Northwestern Ontario Regional Genetics Program, the program moved to our Hospital because the program aligns well within an acute care setting.
- Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute Unveils New Strategic Plan and New Name; We Remain a Top 40 Research Hospital
To reflect an ongoing focus on patient-centred research, the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute added Health to its name to become the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute. After debuting on the list of Top 40 Research Hospitals in Canada in 2010, we continue to rank among the leading health research institutions in the country. In June 2016, the Health Research Institute launched its 2020 Strategic Plan, which also serves as the research plan for the Health Sciences Centre. It highlights three major directions: Healthier, by leading research to improve the health outcomes of the people of Northwestern Ontario and beyond; Wealthier, by advancing philanthropic support and generate revenue through science and partnerships; and Smarter, by enhancing the academic environment.
- Employees Proud to Give
Employees at the Health Sciences Centre, Health Research Institute and Health Sciences Foundation play a vital role in saving lives and making people healthy. Many are proud to extend their role by being an employee donor and supporting the area of care or research that means the most to them. This past year, employees funded eight new Vital Signs Monitors for the Health Sciences Centre, in partnership with Tbaytel, who committed to matching employee gifts up to $10,000 a year for the next several years. Recently, employees had even more fun with their donations – just before Christmas, any employee could ‘Elf’ a fellow co-worker for a $5 donation. Elves were flying through the building, spreading good cheer and supporting the Employee Giving Fund.
- Free Wifi
Staying connected to family and friends while at our Health Sciences Centre has become a lot easier. Thanks to a partnership with Tbaytel, free WiFi is now accessible to patients, families and visitors throughout the hospital. Free WiFi isn’t just about convenience and technology – it’s another opportunity for us to enhance patient experiences. Partnerships and collaboration, like this one with Tbaytel, is what enables us to advance and be healthy together.
- Bearskin Airlines Hope Classic Celebrates 20 years
The Bearskin Airlines Hope Classic celebrated 20 years last February; cementing its place in Northwestern Ontario as one of the most successful fundraising events with over $2.8M raised to-date. The curling bonspiel gives women a chance to come together for one weekend to share laughs and inspiration, but most of all, to have a great time. On its 20th anniversary, the event raised $180,000 for the Linda Buchan Centre at the Health Sciences Centre, that provides world-class breast imaging. Thanks to this bonspiel, more sophisticated equipment continues to be purchased.
- New Vascular Services Making a Difference
People in Northwestern Ontario lose their limbs to amputation at a rate 2.7 times greater than the provincial average. However, many of these amputations would not have been necessary if the patient had received appropriate care sooner. The introduction of Cardiovascular Services and the recent recruitment of two new vascular specialists at our Health Sciences Centre, endorsed by the provincial government last June, will have a dramatic impact on reversing this inequity and saving limbs for people in Northwestern Ontario. The arrivals of the new vascular specialists were part of our Hospital’s first steps towards the development of a full cardiovascular surgery program.
- Combined Heat and Power Plant Unveiled
The Health Sciences Centre’s new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant simultaneously produces two different forms of energy, heat and electricity from a single input energy. Heat recovered from the plant’s internal combustion engine is not released into the air as waste, but instead used to produce hot water thereby eliminating the additional use of boilers and fuel.
In addition to reducing our carbon footprint and supporting the Green Energy Act, the CHP plant will benefit patients and families in Northwestern Ontario by providing major energy and financial savings (over a half million dollars) that can be diverted to support the treatment of patients and improve care.
- Cyclotron Delivers Its First Isotopes
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016 marked the first time that a batch of locally produced Fluorine-18 isotopes was delivered to the hospital to be used for calibration of the PET-CT scanner. Locally produced isotopes cost only 25% of what it would cost to order them from another facility. The production and use of isotopes at our Health Research Institute and our Health Sciences Centre illustrate the benefit it will have on direct patient care.
A significant portion of the critical funding for the cyclotron was provided through the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation’s Exceptional Cancer Care campaign.
- New Leadership for Health Sciences Centre and Health Research Institute
Jean Bartkowiak formally began his role as President and CEO of our Health Sciences Centre, and CEO of our Health Research Institute on January 25th, 2016. Bartkowiak comes with considerable experience, having worked in the health sector for more than 30 years, including more than 20 years as a hospital CEO.
He is committed to moving forward the Visions and Directions set out in our Strategic Plan 2020 while addressing our Hospital’s chronic surge capacity challenge. He also carries admiration of our Patient and Family Centred Care philosophy, and appreciates how it mirrors what has been the driving force of his career in health care and leadership.