On these pages you will find links and information on a variety of announcements and events happening in the community - for consumers, patients and health-care professionals. For media events, inquiries and announcements, please see our press release section.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has asked registered nurses (RNs) in Ontario to work collaboratively with family physicians and other health-care professionals in the family practice setting. The goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of care delivery.
At Women’s College, we take this seriously. Not only do we have one of the largest family practice health teams in the province, but our team – nurses and physicians alike – along with colleagues from other Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TASHN) hospitals, have completed research on its progress.
The study, which was conducted through the University of Toronto, was recently published in the Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership. Two of the authors are from the Women’s College Hospital family practice team – Jennifer Akeroyd, family practice RN, and Dr. Cynthia Whitehead, family physician.
The research identified two key themes when looking at the perception of the role of the RN in an urban interprofessional academic family practice setting: role ambiguity and trustworthiness. It found that:
“We need policies and strategies to optimize the RN role in family practice to increase interprofessional collaboration, reduce patient wait times and improve access to care,” says Akeroyd, who will soon begin a PhD in nursing. “Collaborative leadership is needed to clarify the nurse’s role and identify why and how trust among interprofessional team members is cultivated and nurtured.”
The study was funded through Health Canada's Interprofessional Education for Collaborative Patient-Centred Practice Strategy. It was conducted through interviews and observations with RNs, family physicians and allied health-care professionals in three urban interprofessional academic family practice units.
“It is good to see our nurses becoming more involved in research,” said Dr. Jim Ruderman, chief of staff at Women’s College, who was interviewed for the study. “I believe there is a gold mine that is waiting to be tapped out there.”
Two-thirds of all deaths in patients with end-stage renal (kidney) disease are due to heart disease. This is partly because of accelerated calcium buildup in their blood stream, often caused by calcium supplements that are commonly prescribed. The medications are used to bind phosphate, a mineral that is usually excreted by the kidney but accumulates in the blood of patients with kidney failure.
Previous studies have demonstrated that calcium supplements increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and risk of death in patients with renal disease. This prompted a group of Canadian researchers, led by Dr. Sophie Jamal from the Women’s College Research Institute, to conduct a systematic review of previously published studies and investigate if calcium supplements, for phosphate binding, increase the risk of heart disease and death in patients with kidney failure.
The study, which was published in the journal Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation, noted a trend towards a decrease in mortality and heart disease in patients who took non-calcium based medications. However, no statistically significant differences were found in mortality among those who received calcium-based, versus non-calcium based medications.
“Further research in this area is required to definitively determine the effects of calcium and non-calcium drugs on mortality in this high-risk population,” said Dr. Jamal, principal investigator and clinician-scientist at Women’s College Hospital. “We need to identify the best type of medication to provide to end-stage renal patients.”
Blood clots in leg veins can lead to serious health issues – pain, swelling, and if the clots travel to the heart and lungs, they can even cause death. Who’s most at risk? Pregnant women. But no one has studied what physicians should watch for when a pregnant patient reports painful leg swelling. Until now.
Canadian researchers, led by Women’s College Research Institute scientist Dr. Wee-Shian Chan, have identified three important predictors to help doctors recognize when pregnant women are suffering from blood clots in their leg veins. The predictors are:
The research, published in the July 21 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, found that 8.8 per cent of study participants had blood clots. All had at least one of these predicting factors, and all but one reported symptoms in the left leg.
“Although pregnancy increases the risk for blood clots, they are still uncommon, even in pregnant women reporting leg swelling,” said Dr. Chan, principal investigator who is also a physician in the department of medicine at Women’s College Hospital. “Pregnant women and their doctors need to be aware of the three findings that predict blood clots in order to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis and to treat affected patients quickly and effectively.”
The study was partly funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.
This summer, four new trainees have joined the WCRI as scientists-in-training. These one-year renewable appointments are intended to support individuals who have already completed doctoral training and are launching independent research careers.
“As a leader in women’s health research, the WCRI has the unique opportunity to train and mentor the next generation of scientists focusing on women’s issues,” said Dr. Paula Rochon, vice-president, research, WCH. “I am thrilled to be working with this talented group of young researchers who have exceptional careers ahead of them.”
The four new scientists-in-training are:
These four trainees will join a growing group of scientists-in-training at WCRI, which already includes Dr. Andrea Gruneir, Dr. Dallas Seitz and Dr. Cory Borkhoff.
“These appointments are creating a community of researchers who are all in the early stages of our careers,” said Dr. Becker. “We can use each other for support as we’re investigating the future of women’s health.”
|Dr. Jacquiline Hochman and Dr. Taryn Becker|
The halls at Women’s College Hospital are bustling with new faces this summer. They’re student volunteers. These volunteers are participating in the Summer Youth Volunteer Program, which provides high school and university students with the chance to observe, participate and learn about careers at Women’s College.
“I really wanted to volunteer in a hospital to get a taste of the environment,” said Nelly Su, summer youth volunteer. “And now I might consider a future in health care.”
Under the direction of Jasmine Lau, summer youth co-ordinator, students are placed in positions throughout the hospital to fill in for regular volunteers on vacation or to work on special projects. You might see some of these new faces in breast imaging, surgical services, at the information desk and in the gift shop.
With close to 30 volunteers this summer, this enthusiastic group will contribute more than 2,400 hours of service to the hospital. To thank them for their hard work and dedication, volunteers are invited to a special lunch, they’ll receive a certificate, as well as a letter of reference and appreciation gifts.
For more information about volunteer opportunities at Women’s College Hospital, please contact Beth Ryan Aitken at ext. 4014.
|Summer Youth Volunteers|
|Summer Volunteers: Carol Lee, Nelly Su, Brunelle Cama-Divana and Keziga Thurairajusingam|
Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, scientist at Women’s College Research Institute and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and her colleagues have published important new findings about antipsychotic medications and the risk to seniors with diabetes.
According to the study, published in the July 27 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, antipsychotic medication is associated with a higher risk of hospitalization for high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) in seniors with diabetes. And despite several recent warnings of higher risk of stroke and mortality, antipsychotic drugs, usually recommended for patients with schizophrenia, continue to be used to control behavioural symptoms of dementia.
“The research indicates that patients with diabetes are more vulnerable to sudden worsening of their glucose control during the initiation of antipsychotic drugs,” says principal investigator Dr. Lipscombe. “This is particularly significant for the elderly because they are the biggest group of patients with diabetes, and are already the most vulnerable to poor diabetes control.”
The study looked at 13,817 patients in Ontario, 66 years of age or older with diabetes who started antipsychotic treatment between April 1, 2002 and March 31, 2006.
“Our findings suggest that options other than antipsychotic drugs should be considered for seniors with diabetes who have behavioural symptoms of dementia,” says Dr. Lipscombe. “If antipsychotic drugs are to be used, patients and families should pay close attention to signs of deterioration in glucose control, and be more vigilant about glucose monitoring.”
The study was supported by funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Women’s College has joined the 2009 Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge as an official charity in the 2009 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Charity Challenge!
You can support Women’s College on Sunday September 27 as part of the full or half marathon or the 5-kilometre (5k) walk. Register to join us as a runner, walker or wheeler and create your own fundraising page to collect pledges online; select Women’s College as your charity/team; or make a gift to sponsor Team Women’s College or an individual team member.
However you choose to participate, you will be helping to shape the future of health care for women and their families:
Great reasons to join Team Women’s College!
To register and start fundraising:
For the last ten years, there has been a distinct gap in education in the treatment of musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders – conditions that affect muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Primary care clinicians are having an increasingly hard time treating patients with MSK disorders because they’re not always provided with the necessary skills during medical rotations. At the same time, the World Health Organization is calling for better care to reduce disabilities and impairment caused by MSK conditions.
The University of Toronto is taking action. It has created the Primary Care MSK Medicine Fellowship, a program to train family doctors in exercise and nutrition counselling, injection therapy and orthopedic surgical assistance to help those suffering from MSK disorders.
Dr. Trevor Poole, the first to participate in the Primary Care MSK Medicine Fellowship, started the 12 month program in July at WCH, under the guidance of fellowship director Dr. Julia Alleyne, medical director of Sport C.A.R.E. at WCH.
“As an ambulatory teaching hospital, we have identified the need to improve care in MSK medicine,” said Dr. Alleyne. “And with this fellowship, the goal is to train primary care physicians to accurately diagnose and manage patients who would otherwise be delayed while waiting for specialist consultations – something most primary care physicians have not been trained to do.”
Along with the Primary Care MSK Medicine Fellowship, the University of Toronto established a Primary Sport Care Medicine Fellowship in 1996 focusing on the care of an athlete in a team, recreational or competitive setting.
“By completing the Primary Care MSK Medicine Fellowship at WCH, I’m exposed to some of the best physicians in the field for MSK disorders,” said Dr. Poole. “The experience is very hands-on and I’ll be able to incorporate the skills I’ve learned here in my ongoing care of patients.”
|Dr. Trevor Poole and Dr. Julia Alleyne|
Improving services to meet the needs of abused women and their children is a priority for the Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues.
That’s why in the fall of 2007, the province appointed 15 experts to the Domestic Violence Advisory Council (DVAC). Their task: to develop recommendations on how to improve existing supports and services for this vulnerable population. The Council, chaired by Clare Freeman of Interval House in Hamilton, Ont., included our own Dr. Robin Mason, research scientist in the Violence and Health Research Program at the Women’s College Research Institute.
Eighteen months later the Council submitted its report entitled Transforming our Communities. It provides 48 recommendations that will be used by the province to achieve its vision of ending violence against women and their children.
“Along with specific recommendations for individual sectors, we found that greater collaboration is needed across key sectors to help those who are affected by violence,” said Dr. Mason. “Community services, government policy, health-care workers and the general public are all responsible for addressing the issue of violence – each plays a role in the transformation that can lead to healthy, non-violent relationships.”
The recommendations focus on five domains: access and equity, education and training, child welfare, legal response, threat assessment and risk management.
“Women’s College Hospital has been at the forefront of recognizing domestic violence as an issue with serious repercussions for women’s health,” said Dr. Mason. “We have developed policies about how to treat victims of violence and education programs for staff to raise their awareness of the issue and we started doing this long before this report was published.”
To view the Transforming our Communities report, click here.
Breast cancer survivors have many hurdles to overcome – coping with the disease and treatments, added stress, new diet and exercise regimes, and often body image and self-esteem issues. And those who have had a breast removed due to cancer or who are contemplating a preventive mastectomy because they are a genetic carrier, also face life-altering decisions about having breast reconstruction surgery. That’s why the Henrietta Banting Breast Centre at Women’s College Hospital has created a learning workshop specially designed to educate this group about reconstruction options available.
The Women’s Pre-Breast Reconstruction Surgery Workshop is the only program of its type in the GTA. It brings together a small group of breast cancer survivors who are candidates for breast reconstruction as well as BCRA 1 and 2 genetic carriers who are considering preventive mastectomies. The workshop gives participants the opportunity to learn about different surgical and non-surgical methods to feel comfortable in their new bodies.
“These women are survivors and this is a time of celebration for them,” said Lina Jobanputra, social worker at WCH and one of the co-ordinators of the workshop. “They share their experiences, meet others in the same situation and move forward with their lives.”
The workshop begins with Dr. Brett Beber, Department of Surgery at WCH. He explains the different available surgeries and reconstruction procedures, such as implants and living tissue reconstruction (where tissue is taken from other parts of the body and used to rebuild the breast). Participants can see and feel samples of prosthetics and tissue. A Melmira Bra Boutique representative shows non-surgical options as well.
Throughout the day, a multi-disciplinary team including a surgeon, nurse, social worker, dietitian, physiotherapist, and an occupational therapist discuss the procedures along with stress management, body image and self-esteem concerns. A past breast reconstruction patient shares her experience and answers questions from the group.
“We’re helping women make informed decisions about their future,” says Helen Mark, RN at WCH, and a co-ordinator of the workshop. “They find support from each other which helps eliminate feelings of guilt for wanting to normalize their bodies through reconstruction surgery.”
The next workshop will be held in the fall. For more information, please contact: Lina Jobanputra at 416-323-6371 or Helen Mark at 416-323-4173.
|Left to right: Niki Travers, physiotherapist; Jenna Egan, OT; Kinga Balogh, RD; Helen Mark, RN; Lina Jobanputra, social worker|
Staff, physicians, volunteers and students came out in droves on June 24 for the WCH Annual Staff Barbecue. While enjoying hamburgers, watermelon and cake during the hottest day of the year so far, they socialized, met new people and enjoyed the beginning of summer.
“I am thrilled that so many people came out to the barbecue,” said Marilyn Emery, President and CEO, WCH. “It was the perfect opportunity to thank everyone for everything they do for our hospital.”
Emery, along with other members of the senior administration, were on hand donning aprons and flipping burgers for the WCH team.
“It was such a lovely day to be outside for good food and good fun,” said Lorraine DesRochers, Administrative Assistant, WCH. “I’m already looking forward to next year!”
Thanks to Marek Hospitality, who provided food and refreshments and will be managing Emily Stowe’s Café when it opens July 7.
Nearly 75 per cent of men experience an enlarged prostrate by the age of 70. There can be painful side-effects, like low back pain, abdominal pain, fever, or urinary problems. Many of those affected are treated with the drug tamsulosin, which relaxes the bladder and allows improved urine flow. But for the four per cent of those on the drug who undergo unrelated cataract surgery, tamsulosin may cause significant but potentially avoidable complications.
A new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that tamsulosin not only affects the bladder, but also relaxes the muscles in the iris. This can increase the risk of post-operative events such as infections in the eye or detached retina, which can result in distorted, wavy or indistinct vision or even total blindness of the eye.
“It is critical for both patients and physicians to be aware of the unexpected effects certain drugs can have when combined with other, unrelated, procedures,” said Dr. Andrea Gruneir, co-author of the study and post-doctoral fellow at the Women’s College Research Institute. “We suggest patients speak with their specialists about their overall health, so appropriate and effective treatment decisions can be made.”
The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and used health-care data made available from the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), a private, non-profit organization that collects health information throughout Ontario.
Women’s College Hospital staff, physicians, volunteers and students gathered in the Cummings Auditorium on Friday, June 19, for a panel discussion about how the hospital can become greener.
The ninth floor has already implemented steps to become more environmentally friendly - from reducing the use of water bottles to composting, turning off lights and printing double-sided.
Experts who participated in the panel included:
“We are facing a huge environmental challenge,” said Rachel Rosenbluth, environmental and development student, from McGill University, who has been working with the WCH Green Initiative team to help educate staff, physicians and volunteers about the importance of environmental sustainability. “While the challenges are great, the opportunities are greater. Women's College has taken the initiative to begin a transformation that will act as a role model for many others. We have a responsibility to our country, to developing nations, to our friends, to our families, and to future generations.”
|Left to right: Ken Traynor, Toronto Renewable Energy Co-op; Dr. Anthony Levitt, Department of Psychiatry, WCH; Rachel Rosenbluth; Ken Traynor, Turtle Island Recycling; Howard Cheeseman, Manager of Environmental Sciences, WCH|
Women’s College Hospital welcomed Dr. Virginia Miller, renowned scientist and expert in cardiovascular disease along with Rose Reisman, author, broadcaster, and health expert to a WCH breakfast event, titled, Why Sex Matters (in Medicine).
More than 100 women gathered for the public lecture that focused on critical sex and gender differences in medicine.
“Every cell has a sex, either a Y or X chromosome, and this matters in both diagnosis and treatment,” said Dr. Miller, President-elect of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD). WCH was presenting partner of the OSSD Third Annual Meeting held in Toronto at the beginning of June.
“Why would you treat men and women the same when they have different levels of testosterone and estrogen?” added Dr. Miller. “We need to continue to investigate these differences for the improved health of women.”
Dr. Miller stressed the importance of diagnosing each individual according to their personal body makeup. Through diagrams, she demonstrated the differences between men and women, as well as the differences that are caused by age and body weight of a woman. She concluded by prompting women to be proactive in their health and encouraging them to participate in clinical trials.
“Recognizing sex and gender differences is essential for diagnosing women and providing them with the right care and treatment,” said Marilyn Emery, President and CEO, WCH, addressing the audience at the public forum. “It is important for WCH to promote dialogue about these issues in events like this one - and to be connected with organizations like OSSD that continue to research women’s health.”
|Dr. Virginia Miller, Rose Reisman and Mary Susanne Lamont with WCH President and CEO, Marilyn Emery|
At Women’s College Hospital, we’re not only focused on providing quality care for our patients and their families. We’re also committed to research, education - and scholarship. Our goal is to show others – outside the walls of WCH – what knowledge we have generated so we can influence the health-care system locally, nationally and internationally.
That’s why Jackie Schleifer Taylor, Vice-President, Quality, Equity & Performance/Chief of Health Disciplines, Heather McPherson, Vice-President, Patient Care & Ambulatory Innovation, and Dr. Jim Ruderman, Chief of Staff, have recently presented at several scientific peer-reviewed conferences. Those presentations were about the development and implementation of our Equity Vision and how we’re advancing performance and accountability in an ambulatory academic hospital setting.
“It’s important for our staff, physicians, volunteers, students and the entire WCH family to understand that the work we do, day-in and day-out is innovative and novel. It’s a new way of thinking,” said Schleifer Taylor. “By presenting our work, Women’s College is positioning itself as a leader, and we’re impacting the health-care system.”
The conferences provide an opportunity to present and discuss papers amongst a group of leading health-care educators, clinicians, leaders and executives.
“Discussion confirmed that WCH is ahead of the pack when it comes to incorporating an Equity Vision into our hospital,” adds Schleifer Taylor, referring to comments made at the Society for Public Health Education 2009 Midyear Scientific Conference. The theme of the summit was Harmonizing Health Education and Research to Advance Health Equity.
To view the presentation from the 2009 National Healthcare Leadership Conference (CCHSE), titled, A “New Thinking” Panel: An interprofessional executive leadership team advancing a performance and accountability agenda in an ambulatory academic hospital, that was presented by Schleifer Taylor, McPherson and Dr. Ruderman in St. John’s Newfoundland, click here.
To view the presentation from the Society For Public Health Education (SOPHE) 2009 Midyear Scientific Conference, titled, An Equity Vision: A core value and governance/management tool for organizational decision-making, that was presented by Schleifer Taylor and McPherson, click here.
|Heather McPherson, Vice-President, Patient Care & Ambulatory Innovation, Dr. Jim Ruderman, Chief of Staff and
Jackie Schleifer Taylor, Vice-President, Quality, Equity & Performance/Chief of Health Disciplines
On Tuesday, July 7, a new delectable dining option will be introduced at WCH with the opening of Emily Stowe’s Café in the main lobby.
All are invited to get a sneak peak of the new space at a grand opening celebration on Monday, July 6 at 3 p.m. You’ll be among the first to step inside the new Café and will be treated to cake and refreshments.
The cafeteria-style restaurant will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday and will serve made to order deli sandwiches, fresh hot pizza, homemade soup, fresh brewed Starbucks coffee and chef prepared entrées.
The new design will offer a relaxing setting for an enjoyable and delicious break in your busy day.
To prepare for the opening, the Hard Hat Café, will close its doors on Friday, June 26.
Stay tuned for more information about the grand opening celebration.
Six female students, working under the guidance of six distinguished women researchers, are heading to medical school this fall to prepare for a future in advancing women’s health. These students include:
“We are extremely proud that so many of our talented young students have chosen a path where they will continue to contribute to the health of women,” said Dr. Paula Rochon, Vice-President of Research, WCH.
These students are part of a group of 17 that are involved in the Women's Health Student Experience, a program that partners undergraduate students with women's health researchers, giving them a glimpse into this unique career.
Here is what the students had to say about their experience:
“I’m interested in continuing to work in women’s health, so I’m grateful for the opportunity WCH has given me to interact with patients, as well as assist in research.”
Marie Coroneos, accepted into McMaster Medical School
“I’ve always wanted to be a primary care physician. The chance to work on clinical research has helped to confirm that decision.”
Arielle Mendel, accepted into University of Western Ontario School of Medicine
“The collaboration of research and clinical practice has made the experience of working at WCH very unique. By working with patients we’ve been able to experience clinical work first hand.”
Brittany Rance, accepted into University of Ottawa for medical school
“The research being conducted here at the WCRI is going to positively impact the lives of women, their families and society at large. Being part of this amazing learning environment has inspired me to pursue studies in medicine.”
Mara Silver, accepted into McMaster Medical School
“Working at Women’s College Hospital has reaffirmed my decision to go to medical school. In the clinical research setting, we’ve been able attend medical rounds – we can be flies on the wall and see what happens.”
Victoria Swan, accepted into medical school at the University College Dublin, Ireland
“Even though we all work in different departments, the size of WCH allows us to bond with each other because we are all working with one vision - women’s health.”
Joanna Wong, accepted into medical school at the University of Limerick, in Ireland
|Marie Coroneos, Joanna Wong, Brittany Rance, Victoria Swan and Arielle Mendel|
Environmental sustainability is becoming more and more important at home, and at work. We are developing a deeper understanding about the importance of being green and reducing our carbon footprint – the impact we have on the environment. And at WCH, we’re taking this seriously.
Our Women's Mental Health Program is working with Environmental Services on a pilot project aimed at raising awareness for the environment. The idea is to promote the use of sustainable measures within our normal business practices and to uncover simple ways our hospital can become more environmentally friendly.
“We want to cause a shift in the way we conduct our work at WCH,” said Dr. Anthony Levitt, Psychiatrist-in-Chief. “By launching the initiative with the Women’s Mental Health Program as an example, we hope to spark a lifestyle change that will create awareness about how WCH can become more environmentally responsible.”
Environmental and development student at McGill University, Rachel Rosenbluth, is developing the program with members of the Green Initiative team, comprised of WCH staff and physicians from various areas who are committed to greening our hospital.
The pilot program will focus on the following items as part of its environmental strategy:
The Green Initiative team invites staff, physicians, students and volunteers to a panel discussion that will explain the test program and encourage everyone to partake in environmental sustainability. Panelists will discuss issues such as recycling and renewable energy.
The panel discussion will take place on June 19 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Cummings Auditorium. The first 25 people will receive a free Klean Kanteen and CFL bulbs.
If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Natasha.Large@wchospital.ca, ext. 6223.
|Members of the WCH Green Initiative Team|
Clerical and administrative staff at Women's College Hospital speak with each other on the phone every day, but they don’t recognize each other in the halls. That’s because they haven’t had the opportunity to meet, socialize and network. Until now.
On May 29 and June 5, clinical and administrative staff came together at the first Clerical Appreciation Luncheons, where they finally had the chance to match voices to faces.
“You are at the frontline of the hospital,” said Heather McPherson, Vice-President, Patient Care & Ambulatory Innovation, as she welcomed staff to the luncheon along with Marilyn Emery, President and CEO. “This is an opportunity for you to find support from each other - to share ideas and engage in discussion.”
Clerical and administrative staff work in every department of the hospital and are the communication link between patients and the organization.
“This is one of the few ways we can learn from each other’s experiences,” said Karen Forai, Medical Secretary at the Department of Medicine. “And it’s nice to receive the recognition for the work that we all do.”
After lunch, Mary Gavel, Chief Privacy/Patient Affairs Officer, gave a presentation on the importance of customer service and how it is a vital role in the care of patients at WCH.
“Patients come with expectations and when they are not met, it’s important that we proactively resolve the situation before the patient leaves the hospital,” said Gavel. “Being an ambulatory hospital, we have less time with patients, and less time to make an impression. So we have to do it right!”
Gavel highlighted the transformation of the patient affairs service at WCH. Now, we’re empowering staff to approach issues proactively and to initiate pre-emptive consultations. She outlined the support available to front line staff in responding to conflicts.
Thanks to Denise Svajlenko, Human Resources Manager, and the committee who planned these events for the clerical and administrative staff, including: Paula Fuller, Medical Secretary, Cardiology; Ann Freer, Administrative Assistant, Finance and Human Resources; Kim Gyde, Human Resources Assistant; Libby Groff, Manager, Cardio-Pulmonary Programs, TRIDEC and Medicine; Pat DiRaimo, Manager, Urgent Care Centre; Barb Persaud, Medical Imaging Supervisor; and Corwin Burton, Medical Imaging Manager.
WCH staff and physicians gathered eagerly in the Cummings Auditorium on May 22 to get their first glance of what our new hospital is going to look like. Marilyn Emery, President and CEO, unveiled the design of the building at a Town Hall meeting and discussed some of the unique features being added to the facility.
“We are very excited to move forward,” said Emery. “Tremendous thought has gone into the design of the building for both staff and patients.”
Construction will begin in spring 2010. The facility will feature natural light and a large atrium in the centre of the building. There will be state-of-the-art procedure rooms and the surgical suites will be equipped for minimally invasive surgery.
The Women’s College Research Institute (WCRI) will join hospital staff and physicians in our new facility promoting interaction between clinician scientists and direct-care providers with shared space and support.
“We are all in this together,” explained Emery at the Town Hall. “We have to work together to meet the goals of WCH to be Canada’s pre-eminent academic ambulatory hospital and a world leader in women’s health.”
For more information on Women's College Hospital’s new building, click here.
To view the Town Hall meeting, click here.
|A rendering of the Women’s College Hospital new building.|
Women's College Hospital welcomed Jane Mosley as the new Chief Nursing Executive in April 2009. In this newly created position Jane is enhancing the role of nurses in research and education, and nursing best practices throughout the hospital.
“We are pleased to welcome Jane, who brings a wealth of experience to WCH,” said Marilyn Emery, President and CEO. “She will ensure that professional development and continuous learning are fundamental to our nursing practice.”
Prior to joining the WCH senior leadership team, Jane was the Chief Nursing Executive at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto before taking on the position of Director of Quality and Risk Management at Credit Valley Hospital where she provided strategic advice, direction and evaluation on patient safety and family-centred care. Jane has spoken extensively on quality of care and nursing leadership.
“The vision of pre-eminence in ambulatory care, combined with a focus on women’s health, is what drew me to WCH. It’s an exciting opportunity for innovation,” explains Jane. “I want to support nursing’s critical contribution to achieving the hospital’s overall vision – and make nursing a key factor in achieving that goal.”
Along with her role at WCH, Jane is also a sessional faculty member at Ryerson University where she teaches Organizational Effectiveness and Nursing Leadership at the Dorothy Cockwell School of Nursing. She is responsible for course direction and content for the leadership component of the program.
“We need to strive for excellence in the care for women and their families at WCH. Nursing is a critical discipline for achieving excellence,” adds Jane.
During Nursing Week, May 11 – 17, Jane had the opportunity to address WCH nurses for the first time, and present the Nursing Awards of Excellence. The week celebrated the many contributions and achievements nurses have made at Women’s College, and across the country. Our Nursing Week Luncheon acknowledged the following nurses:
Family physicians confront a whole host of challenges when assessing patients with dementia like complexity of the illness, time constraints and involvement of the patient’s family. And they don’t always know how best to care for them.
So Dr. Nick Pimlott, Research Director of the Family Practice Health Centre at Women's College Hospital, and Clinician Researcher at the Women’s College Research Institute, has been investigating how aware Canadian family physicians are about guidelines that can help them care for dementia patients, and if they are putting those guidelines into action. He completed a two-part study, which was recently published in Canadian Family Physician.
The first part of the study looked at awareness levels and attitudes of physicians when it comes to clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), which apply to all aspects of dementia care including referrals, management of specific diseases and preventive care. His research found that although CPGs were available, few family physicians were aware that the guidelines existed, and weren’t using them in regular practice.
During the second part of the study, Dr. Pimlott and his colleagues conducted in-depth interviews with family physicians to understand the spectrum of challenges they face when providing care to patients with dementia.
“We believe we are the first in Canada to complete comprehensive interviews with family physicians on this topic,” says Dr. Pimlott. “Others have looked at physicians’ knowledge of the condition or conducted surveys to get a general sense of the challenges, but have not taken the extensive, in-depth investigation that we have.”
Five themes and challenges about providing dementia care were identified in the study, including:
“We understand that in many cases, patients with dementia have multiple medical conditions and that creates difficulties when trying to develop a single care plan,” adds Dr. Pimlott. “We want to understand where the gaps are in caring for these patients so we can create improved CPGs to guide the practice of family physicians.”
Further research by Dr. Pimlott and his team will investigate what should be included in the guidelines to encourage physicians to use them to improve patient care.
Five to 10 per cent of Canadians are affected by diabetes. About half are women.
One of those women is Claudette Banks, Unit Coordinator of the High Risk Obstetrics Department, at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. She was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes a year and a half ago, at age 55. Now she needs to be vigilant about blood sugar levels, diet, and exercise. Basically, she had to change her life.
Many patients, like Banks, find out they have diabetes after the age of 40 and find it difficult to incorporate diabetes into their lives. Banks attended the Midlife Women and Type 2 Diabetes Program at Women's College Hospital (WCH) run by the Tri-Hospital Diabetes Education Centre (TRIDEC).
While attending the sessions, Banks had regular interaction with a nurse, a dietitian, a physiotherapist and a social worker who listened to her needs and provided information and guidance on diabetes management.
“I’ve been to other diabetes sessions before, but this one was different,” said Banks. “We were able to discuss me, personally. I made goals that related to me and my lifestyle.”
There are many diabetes education centres and programs throughout the country. But TRIDEC at WCH is unique because it focuses on women. It is also recognized as one of the leading programs in Canada.
“We want to help patients with diabetes live longer, healthier lives,” said Jacqueline Follis, Advanced Practice Nurse at TRIDEC, WCH. “We offer the patient the power to manage their own diabetes. We educate them - then they can decide the best way to incorporate diabetes into their life.”
There are three types of diabetes that can affect women – Type 1, Type 2 and gestational (during pregnancy). Each can occur at a different life stage, and each requires different levels of care and attention, so it’s important for patients to have specialized programs to meet their specific needs.
Programs that are available through TRIDEC include: Choices, Finding Balance, Living Well with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Support the Supporters, ADP—Insulin Pump Program, All About Insulin, Transition Program for Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes, Active Living with Diabetes, Diabetes and Pregnancy Clinic and the Midlife Women and Type 2 Diabetes Program.
For more information, please visit http://www.womenscollegehospital.ca/programs/program107.html
|Members of the TRIDEC Team (left to right): Gwen Morgan, Social worker; Nicole Hambleton, RD; Nicola Donovan, RN, Advanced Practice Nurse Specialist; Carolyn Christo, RD; Jacqueline Follis, RN, Advanced Practice Nurse; Libby Groff, Manager; Liz DeMelo, Medical Secretary; Shelley Sharma, Physiotherapist; Leah Drazek, RN, Advanced Practice Nurse.|
Family, friends and colleagues celebrating the life of Nancy Malcolm on May 12 at a very fitting location – Hart House, at the University of Toronto. The crowd honoured her life, the way she lived it – brightly and with love.
Nancy, former President and CEO at Women’s College Hospital was an inspiration to all who had the opportunity to know her. As stated at her family celebration “Nancy was a truly remarkable woman, a friend, wife, lover, mother, daughter, aunt and niece; colleague and boss. All who were touched by her presence will have lasting memories of her selflessness and non judgmental, low key self-assuredness.”
Reflections of Nancy and the difference she made in the lives of others were included as part of the celebration to honour her memory.
At WCH, we know that when it comes to health, women and men are not the same.
We know that women typically show symptoms of heart disease up to ten years later in life than men, and when they do, their symptoms can be strikingly different than those presented by men. We know that almost one-quarter of female stroke patients report altered mental status. And that women are twice as likely as men to experience depression.
Based on a recent survey, we also know that three-quarters of Canadian women don’t know how certain diseases and conditions affect them differently from men.
So we’re doing research to better recognize and respond to sex and gender differences. And we’re teaching the community. Because knowing about symptoms, medications and prevention strategies can make all the difference to the health of women – and their daughters.
On June 8, WCH is hosting a breakfast seminar with Dr. Virginia Miller from the Mayo Clinic who will discuss Why Sex Matters (in medicine).
Dr. Miller is a renowned scientist and expert in the area of sex-based differences in cardiovascular disease, and has a clear message: One-size does not fit all when it comes to the development of certain diseases – like heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke and Alzheimer’s.
Please join WCH, Mary Susanne Lamont, President, M.S. Lamont & Associate and Rose Reisman, author, broadcaster and health expert for breakfast at Sutton Place with Dr. Miller.
Breakfast Seminar: Why Sex Matters (in medicine)
Women’s College Hospital
Sutton Place 955 Bay Street
|When:||June 8, 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.|
Tickets are $48 through UofTtix, 416.978.8849 or www.uofttix.ca or $45 (cash only) at Women’s College Hospital, Strategic Communications, Room E150
Don’t miss this essential event.
In support of our capital redevelopment project, WCH is undertaking a new research initiative to help us understand what women want and need from an ambulatory hospital dedicated to women’s health.
We are asking 1,000 women in Ontario, from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, about their needs, priorities, perceptions and desires when it comes to hospitals, health-care programs and the care they receive.
“We want to be responsive to the needs of women,” says Marilyn Emery, President and CEO, WCH. “We’ll use their input to help us design our new building in a way that reflects the values and priorities of the women we serve.”
The knowledge generated will inspire new thinking and will guide the design of our new facility, our programs and our health-care practices.
Students, researchers and academics gathered on May 7 to share and discuss research in women’s health at the 8th annual Graduate Student Research Day presented by the Women’s College Research Institute. The event promotes dialogue among a variety of disciplines with a particular interest in the area of women’s health.
The day began with a keynote address from Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, Endocrinologist at WCH. Her lecture focused on the small, but significant association between diabetes and breast cancer and the implications for women. Dr. Lipscombe discussed some of the challenges patients face including weight gain, menopause, fertility issues, and genetics and how they are interrelated.
“It is crucial for all women to have breast cancer screening,” said Dr. Lipscombe. “But it is even more important for women with diabetes to have regular breast exams since they have a 20 per cent increased risk of developing breast cancer.”
Young researchers filled the rest of the day presenting their projects to University of Toronto staff, researchers and other students from multiple disciplines, generating valuable feedback from a variety of perspectives.
PhD candidate Sarah West, for example, presented her research on the risk factors for fractured bones for patients with chronic kidney disease.
“Events like Graduate Student Research Day are important for students because they allow us to share our knowledge and learn from each other,” said West, who has been working closely with Dr. Sophie Jamal, Director of the Osteoporosis Research and Clinical Program at WCH, since April 2008. “It gave me the opportunity to show colleagues the work I’ve been doing, and it enhances the wonderful close-knit community that’s so unique to WCH.”
Women who carry mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have more than an 80 per cent chance of being diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer in their lifetime. Since the early 1990s when he helped discover these genes, Dr. Steven Narod of the Women’s College Research Institute has worked to identify preventative approaches that can help these women reduce their risk. In 1996, he and his team began an extensive study of the risk factors for breast, ovarian, and peritoneal (abdominal cavity) cancer - more than 6,000 women with these genes are now part of his studies.
Over the past 10 years, the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance (CBCRA) has helped support this crucial research. During that time, Dr. Narod has documented the risks faced by these women and the ways to reduce those risks including surgery, dietary changes and hormonal therapies like the strategic use of oral contraceptives. These studies have been published in prestigious journals like the New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet.
Now, the CBCRA has granted Dr. Narod an operating grant of nearly $1.5 million to advance his work.
“I am thrilled to receive this much-needed funding and would like to thank the CBCRA for giving us the opportunity to continue our work,” said Dr. Narod, Director of the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit at WCRI. “Our clinic regularly sees at-risk women who have already had people they care about die of these cancers. We want to be able to offer them solutions to protect their health and the health of their families.”
By obtaining this grant, researchers will be able to add 2,150 more women to the study over the next five years. Records will be taken of all new cancer incidents along with the estimated risk associated with each type of cancer. Researchers will evaluate whether oral contraceptives reduce the risk of peritoneal cancer after the ovaries are removed, and the study will investigate whether hormone replacement therapy reduces the risk of breast cancer for this sub-group of women.
“CBCRA grant applications are evaluated on the basis of their scientific excellence, innovation and impact on the life of individuals affected by breast cancer,” says Dr. Pascale Macgregor, Research Program Director, Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance. “Dr. Narod’s application was considered by the panel to be of exceptionally high quality, and of major international significance. His project addresses an important and urgent question directly relevant to women genetically at risk for breast cancer.”
The CBCRA was established in 1993 and is the primary granting agency for breast cancer research in Canada. It is a unique collaboration of organizations from the public, private and non-profit sectors combining resources to more effectively support and promote breast cancer research of the highest quality in Canada.
Under the guidance of Dr. Gary Sibbald, Professor, Public Health Science and Director, Wound Healing Clinic, WCH, four leaders from the Diabetic Foot Centre at Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, Guyana, South America, recently completed the last part of their nine month International Interprofessional Wound Care Course (IIWCC) at Women’s College Hospital.
The wound care clinicians, including Dr. Carlos Martin, Melinda Thomas (RN), Debita Harripersaud (PT), and Jacqueline Williams (diabetic educator), observed Dr. Sibbald and his team in the WCH Wound Care Centre for one week to complete their final practicum project.
“IIWCC allows clinicians to experience interprofessional practice abroad and bring best practices back to their own communities,” said Dr. Sibbald. “By implementing skills learned at WCH, such as optimal care of diabetic neuropathic foot ulcers and limb threatening infections, they will be able to reduce the number of foot amputations at their hospital in Guyana.”
The clinicians will return to their practice in South America and educate others on how to use the skills learned at WCH, influencing and changing practices in their local community.
“We will imitate the practice of the Wound Care Centre at WCH,” said Harripersaud. “In Guyana, we have to consider cost and availability of supplies, but thanks to Dr. Sibbald and his team, we understand how to incorporate many wound care techniques within our own environment.”
Along with clinicians from Guyana, Hiske Smart (RN) joined Dr. Sibbald’s team to learn about setting up a wound care course in collaboration with Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa.
The renowned WCH Wound Care Centre has developed the treatment model and the standard of care for wound healing, wound-related education, and innovative patient care. The Centre takes an interprofessional approach, involving health professionals from a variety of fields.
|Left to Right: Mariam Botros, Chiropodist, WCH; Dr. Kevin Woo, Clinical Researcher and a Nurse Practitioner in Wound Care Clinic, WCH; Sunita Coelho, Charge Nurse, WCH; Melinda Thomas, RN, Diabetic Foot Centre, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation; Dr. Gary Sibbald, Professor, Public Health Science and Director, Wound Healing Clinic, WCH; Debita Harripersaud, PT, Diabetic Foot Centre, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation; Dr. Carlos Martin, Diabetic Foot Centre, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation; Hiske Smart, Clinical Nurse Specialist, working with Stellenbosch University, Cape Town.|
Elizabeth Rooney, Library Technician and Mary Anne Howse, Library Manager hosted an open house on May 6 inviting staff, physicians, patients, visitors and guests to visit the Marion Powell Women’s Health Information Centre at WCH.
The event marked the fifth anniversary of the library’s move from 790 Bay St. to 76 Grenville Street.
“The move was a major milestone for our library,” said Rooney, who has worked in the library at WCH for over ten years. “Since then, we have expanded our collection enabling us to better serve staff and clients from all WCH programs.”
Materials in the collection include medical and psychosocial aspects of health as well as other issues that affect women’s lives.
To celebrate, Heather Sobolewski, WCH Archivist, created a display to honour Dr. Marion Powell, whom the library was named for.
Dr. Powell was a physician, activist and leader in the field of women’s health and was influential in creating the Regional Women’s Health Centre in 1998. The Centre included both the WCH Bay Centre for Birth Control, of which Dr. Powell was Director for ten years, as well as the Women’s Health Resource Centre, which later transitioned into the Marion Powell Women’s Health Information Centre.
Nursing is at the centre of everything we do at Women’s College Hospital. In every unit of the hospital, dedicated nurses balance the highest standards of professionalism with the utmost in compassionate care. They provide support and service in complicated circumstances.
From May 11 to 17 we applaud these nurses as part of Nursing Week, a national celebration highlighting the vital role that nurses play in the lives of Canadians. We take the time to recognize their hard work and we celebrate their many accomplishments.
“As the first ambulatory hospital in the province, WCH nurses play a very special role,” says Anne-Marie Murphy, WCH nurse practitioner. “We have faced and we have overcome unique challenges during our evolution. We are proud of the value that we bring to nursing and to be leading the way in ambulatory care. “
As Chair of the Nursing Week Committee, Murphy has been hard at work scheduling events and festivities to honour WCH nurses as well as those from Sunnybrook who work at the 76 Grenville St. site.
During the week, nurses will have the opportunity to learn about innovations like new insulin pumps and breast pumps that are becoming more common in our clinics. Students from Centennial College will offer holistic treatments to nurses, and a Lunch ‘N Learn session will showcase nursing presentations about leadership, human milk banking, and working with community care access centres.
The main event is the Nursing Luncheon on May 13 in the Cafeteria where awards will be presented for excellence in ambulatory practice, education, leadership, research and women’s health. It will also be an opportunity for all nurses to meet Jane Mosely, Chief Nursing Executive, who joined the WCH team in April.
“I want to thank all of our nurses,” says Marilyn Emery, President and CEO at WCH. “From my experience in nursing I know how hard you work. Your support and involvement at WCH will ensure that we continue to lead, to innovate and to care for women and their families.”
Special thanks to Murphy and the rest of the Nursing Week Committee including: Laura Borges, RN, NICU; Ingrid Coort, Clinical Educator, Ambulatory Services; Sue Hermann, Lactation Consultant, Perinatal Program; Cathy Isman, Clinical Educator, Surgical Services; Stacey Cook, RN, NICU; Carol Marrs, Educator, Delivery Suite; Petra Norris, Outreach Consultant, SA/DVCC; Terri Stuart-McEwan, Administrative Director, Surgical Program; Cristina Barrett, Administrative Leader, Ambulatory Care; Georgeta Savu, RN, Surgical Day Care/Bay Centre for Birth Control; Norma Husbands, RN, Stabilization and Transfer Unit; and Kristen Martens, RN, Bay Centre for Birth Control.
For a complete list of events, please visit http://mywch.ca/
|Nursing Week Committee members Carol Marrs, Anne-Marie Murphy
and Kristen Martens.
The statistics are startling: more than half of all deaths from chronic diseases like diabetes could be avoided by making the right lifestyle choices. But what are the right choices? Sometimes the information we get is confusing and even contradictory.
In the first of a four part speaker series on women’s health, presented by Women’s College Hospital Foundation and sponsored by Homemakers Magazine, respected experts deliver the straight goods on healthy living. It’s an opportunity to learn more about what you can do to stay healthy and reduce your risk of chronic diseases, and ask questions of the expert panel.
The keynote speaker for the first event is Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, a research scientist and staff physician at Women’s College Hospital. Dr. Lipscombe is an expert on women with Type 2 diabetes and is also exploring issues around disease screening and preventative care. Also speaking are Carolyn Cristo, a dietician with the Tri-Hospital Diabetes Education Centre, Dr. Catherine Kelly, an endocrinologist at Women’s College Hospital, and Rosie Schwartz, a registered dietician and bestselling author of The Enlightened Eater’s Whole Foods Guide.
|Date:||Wednesday May 27, 2009|
7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (doors open at 7.15 p.m.)
Toronto Lawn Tennis Club, 44 Price Street, Philpott Room – 2nd Floor
Tickets are $25 and include light refreshments. For tickets please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proceeds will benefit the F. M. Hill Chair in Academic Women’s Medicine at Women’s College Hospital.
About F.M. Hill
The F.M. Hill Chair in Academic Women's Medicine is a celebration of the long and varied career of Dr. F. Marguerite Hill, former Physician-in-Chief at Women's College Hospital. The F.M. Hill Chair takes a broad approach to creating academic opportunities for women in medicine at Women's College Hospital. The Chair promotes academic and educational activities in women's health, and offers support and mentorship to health care staff (particularly women) in developing and managing their careers.
Dr. Gillian Hawker holds the F.M. Hill Chair. She is currently the Physician-in-Chief of the Department of Medicine at Women's College Hospital.
Researchers from around the world are coming together to discuss and debate one of the most important health-care issues to emerge in the last decade – sex and gender differences.
“Recognizing, researching and responding to sex and gender differences is what we do at WCH,” says Marilyn Emery, President and CEO. “That’s why we’ve become the presenting partner of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD) Annual Meeting, being held in Toronto June 4-6.”
With a history in differentiating women and acknowledging their unique health-care needs, Women’s College Hospital is leading the way with research and treatments specifically for women. For example:
Emery will open the conference taking place in Toronto and WCH will host a lecture featuring Dr. Virginia Miller from the Mayo Clinic on June 8.
In addition, several WCH researchers and staff will present their work during a poster session at the event on June 5 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Marriott Toronto Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel, 525 Bay Street. Presenters include:
OSSD works to enhance the knowledge of sex and gender differences by facilitating interdisciplinary communication and collaboration among scientists and clinicians. The Annual Meeting offers researchers from across all biomedical areas the opportunity to present and discuss sex differences research.
For more information about OSSD and the Annual Meeting, please visit www.ossdweb.org.
Fifty-one per cent of Canadian women have experienced sexual or physical violence. Sixty-two per cent of them are under 18 years old. Every minute of every day, a Canadian woman or child is sexually abused.
In May each year, women’s organizations and communities across Ontario recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It’s an opportunity to talk about important issues like reporting to the police, where to go for help, and to underscore that victims are not to blame.
“No one asks to be degraded or hurt,” says Petra Norris, outreach consultant at the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Care Centre (SA/DVCC) at WCH. “Sexual assault survivors are often asked why they act in a certain way or put themselves in a certain situation. It is one of the few crimes where the victim is seen to be responsible, and that is simply not acceptable.”
The SA/DVCC at WCH is here to help. We provide emergency care, support, counselling, medication to prevent sexually transmitted infections, collection of forensic evidence and follow-up to victims. It was the first hospital-based program in Ontario, established 25 years ago, and is the go-to source for police and emergency workers who regularly bring victims in.
“A lot of people don’t know where to go for help, and only six per cent report to the police,” adds Norris. “We’re here to discuss medical and legal options with victims and help them cope with what they have experienced.”
To mark Sexual Assault Awareness Month at WCH staff are invited to bring their lunch to a Lunch ‘N Learn on May 28 from noon – 1 p.m. in the Boardroom. Sheila Macdonald, coordinator of the Network of Sexual Assault/DV Treatment Centres in Ontario will present research findings from a study that looked at factors associated with drug-facilitated sexual assault.
There will also be a display and resources available in the lobby from May 25 – 29.
For more information, please click here or call 416.323.6040.
|Petra Norris and Sheila Macdonald from the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Centre at WCH.|
Times are tough, and every penny counts. WCH wants to help. The Human Resources department is launching a new initiative – the Value-Added Benefits program - which offers discounts, coupons and cost-savings to keep more of your hard-earned money in your pockets.
“We know the economy is tight and we want to offer our staff some special benefits to help them out,” says Denise Svajlenko, Human Resources Manager at WCH. “Our HR team has been working diligently to find partners who can provide unique cost-savings opportunities for us.”
Some of the discounts offered include:
Please visit the HR Intranet site regularly for more information and new benefits as they are available, or click here.
Volunteers are often the first point of contact for patients and visitors at the information desk. They run our gift shop and monthly book sale. They assist patients and families who are waiting for tests or procedures, give directions, provide information and assist staff in waiting rooms and clinics throughout the hospital.
April 20 - 24 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week – the perfect opportunity to thank all the hard-working Women’s College Hospital volunteers who devote their time to our hospital.
“The kind and friendly presence of our volunteers enhances patient care,” said Beth Ryan Aitken, Manager of Volunteer Resources at WCH. “The little things they do make a big difference for our patients.”
Volunteers have been committed to WCH since 1915 and today there are more than 120 of them who spend an average of 3.5 hours volunteering each week.
Here’s what a few volunteers had to say:
“Volunteering at WCH appeals to the feminist in me. I like the contact with people and helping people.”
Judy Wells, 15-year WCH volunteer
“Everyone is so friendly here and it’s a great way to keep active after retiring.”
Lilian Strutt, WCH volunteer since 1992
“I was coming to WCH as a patient for a long time and the doctors and everyone were fabulous. I love being at the information desk because I feel like I’m directly helping people.”
Linda Lewis, information desk volunteer for nearly three years
Every department benefits from the contribution of volunteers, so please take the time to thank a volunteer this week.
For more information about becoming involved with the WCH volunteers, please contact Beth Ryan Aitken at ext. 4014 or visit http://www.womenscollegehospital.ca/about/volunteer.html.
|Volunteers Lilian Strutt and Linda Lewis at the Information Desk in the WCH lobby.||Judy Wells, 15-year volunteer, in the Breast Imaging Waiting Room.|
Coffee lovers rejoice – our very own Tim Hortons coffee stop will be opening on April 28 in the Main Lobby at 76 Grenville St.
In addition to the familiar coffee, the menu will include fresh baked muffins, Timbits, pastries, iced cappuccinos, a variety of teas and toasted bagels. Tim Hortons will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
For those of you seeking a full meal, the Hard Hat Café is being transformed into Emily Stowe’s, a bistro that will offer a variety of great-tasting, healthy meals. Emily Stowe’s is scheduled to open in June 2009.
WCH takes domestic violence seriously. That’s why the hospital is committed to training all staff and physicians about physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect and exposure to violence.
At the fore are the 300 employees who have completed the required online curriculum developed to help health-care workers understand issues of domestic violence.
“I am very pleased and proud that all of our staff in the Stabilization and Transfer unit have successfully completed the e-learning scenarios,” says Nancy Groff, Clinical Manager.
The Stabilization and Transfer unit is the most recent area to see 100 per cent participation from staff who are required to complete at least three of 12 online scenarios. Other units with high levels of participation include the Pharmacy, WCH Foundation, PACU, PAC, Endocrinology and nurses from the Bay Centre.
Since many victims of domestic violence depend on the medical system for help, WCH developed REACH – an initiative to train and educate staff about intimate partner violence so that health-care workers in all areas of the hospital can recognize the signs of abuse and offer appropriate, effective and immediate care.
“Hospitals, and those who work in them, have a critical role to play in helping victimized women which is why WCH is dedicated to educating 100 per cent of our staff about the issue,” says REACH creator Dr. Robin Mason. “We hope the high level of participation in several units will inspire the rest of the hospital to complete the training.”
The scenarios involve interacting with a virtual patient and responding to what the patient says by choosing from a list of appropriate and inappropriate replies. The situations become increasingly complex as the trainee moves on.
Dr. Mason and her team will be developing additional scenarios thanks to new funding from the Province of Ontario. The new situations will focus on perpetrator risk factors and presentations related to choking and strangulation. They are also working with the Perinatal Partnership Program of Eastern and Southeastern Ontario to create two scenarios to educate obstetricians about abuse during pregnancy and post-partum.
To access training, please visit www.DVeducation.ca.
|Virtual patients help health-care workers learn to recognize signs of domestic violence.|
More than 2.5-million Canadians are estimated to suffer from asthma. While boys tend to be affected more than girls, the prevalence in the sexes becomes equal by the end of adolescence, if not slightly greater among females.
“We have only recently acknowledged gender differences in the area of lung health,” says Dr. Anna Day, Director, Gender and Airways Program at WCH. “We’re beginning to investigate why males are more susceptible to asthma at a younger age, and what happens in the adolescent years that results in a switch in gender prevalence.”
To hone in on the issues Dr. Day will participate in the 2009 Canadian Respiratory Conference looking at gender differences in airway diseases.
“I hope that by discussing gender differences, we will open the door to further research, care and treatment for women with asthma,” adds Dr. Day. “We want to discover whether differences in disease risk, presentation, diagnosis, prevalence, natural history, response to therapy and disease outcome are due to biologic or psychosocial factors, or a combination of the two.”
Asthma is a chronic disorder characterized by coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and wheezing. When symptoms flair, it is usually due to exposure to allergens, viral respiratory infections, irritant fumes or gases which cause an inflammation of the airway wall and an abnormal narrowing of the airways. Effective treatment can prevent the onset of symptoms in response to these triggers and can control symptoms once they occur.
The Canadian Respiratory Conference offers a broad scientific program developed to promote discussion of the most significant developments in clinical practice, research and education.
For more information about the conference, please visit http://www.lung.ca/crc/home-accueil_e.php.
The votes are in, and it’s official. The new name for our WCH cafeteria will be Emily Stowe’s, in celebration of our founder.
The full-service restaurant at 76 Grenville St. has been under construction for the past several months, and is scheduled to open in June. A contest was held to create a new name for the café that reflects WCH’s vision, heritage and renewal.
We received nearly 100 submissions with fantastic names. A non-partisan short-list committee comprised of staff and physicians from across the hospital selected the five names they believed best represented WCH – past, present and future. Then, more than 300 staff, physicians and volunteers voted for their favourite from the five contenders, including runners up Café 76, Bistro 1883, Evolutions and Vitality Café.
Four individuals suggested variations of the Emily Stowe’s moniker, and they will each be recognized for their submission. Here’s what the winner’s had to say:
“This is a very special way that we will be honouring and keeping the memory of Dr. Emily Stowe alive. She is such a significant part of the history of Women's College Hospital - it is because of her initiative so many years ago that we are who we are today.”
Ina R., Clinical Nurse Specialist, Osteoporosis & Osteoarthritis Programs
“I am delighted that the new Café will be named Emily Stowe’s! It is the first place that staff and patients will encounter as they walk through our doors, reminding us of a proud history, with a warm and neighborly invitation to come in and have a cup of coffee or enjoy a nourishing meal.“
Dr. Jenny Blake, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology
“I’m pretty excited about it. I hope the name will help patients, visitors and families understand the history of WCH.”
Anna Rauth, Administrative Assistant, Board of Directors
“The name is great because it makes us think of one of the pioneers who paved the way for me to work here.”
Joyce Curry, Psychotherapist, Brief Psychotherapy Centre for Women
All four winners will receive a $100 gift card for the new café or WCH Tim Horton’s coffee stop opening on April 28. They will also have the opportunity to participate in a ribbon-cutting celebration launching Emily Stowe’s.
Corrie Rogers, from the Phototherapy Education and Research Centre (PERC), submitted the second most popular name, Café 76, and will receive a gift basket.
Thank you to all who submitted names, participated in the short-list selection, and voted for your favourite.
Some mental health issues are more common among women than among men. Take depression, for instance. Women account for two thirds of the three-million Canadians who suffer depressive episodes in any twelve-month period. Women experience depression twice as often as men and 15 – 20 per cent of women develop postpartum depression. What’s more, depression occurs most frequently in women in their working years, between the ages of 25 and 44.
Women’s College Hospital believes that by acknowledging the factors and forces that contribute to this growing epidemic, and by understanding how conditions like addiction, trauma and reproductive mental health manifest themselves in the workplace, women have a better chance of leading productive and satisfying careers.
That’s why WCH created the Xeffects Conference.
On April 1, more than 100 clinicians, professionals and corporate executives came together to engage in dialogue, discussion and debate around this urgent and largely under-researched issue.
“Our hope is to expand our knowledge and get direction for clinical research,” said Dr. Anthony Levitt, Conference Chair and Chief of Psychiatry at WCH in his opening address. “The conference is meant to be interactive, creative and engaging so we can work on this problem together.”
Dr. Donna Lero, Associate Professor at the University of Guelph gave a keynote address to set the tone and provide a context for the day.
“We need to go beyond accommodating individuals as though they have an illness and instead invest in creating an environment that is supportive,” said Dr. Lero. “The best organizations allow flexibility and individual solutions in the workplace.”
The day continued with a panel of medical experts who discussed the many signs, symptoms and triggers their patients with mental illness often face. Stories about programs that are making a difference for women with mental health issues in the workplace were also presented.
Participants interacted with each other, reflected on discussions and explored opportunities for new ideas and strategies to address some of the challenges.
“We hope that as a community we collectively deepened our understanding and inspired action,” added Dr. Levitt.
Sixty-eight thousand Canadians are infected with HIV. Twenty per cent of them are women. And the numbers are only going up.
Even more worrisome, 80 per cent of women infected with HIV are in their childbearing years.
But according to Dr. Mona Loutfy, Research Scientist at the Women’s College Research Institute, “being infected with HIV shouldn’t stop women from planning to get pregnant and having families. With our support and proper planning, these women can lead healthy, productive lives and have healthy families.”
Dr. Loutfy and her team at WCH, along with a multi-disciplinary group of fertility experts, HIV specialists, psychologists, social workers, councillors, nurses, community members affected by HIV/AIDS and other interested parties from across Canada, are creating national guidelines to make it easier for individuals with HIV to get the support they need to have safe and healthy pregnancies.
For the first time, members will be meeting face-to-face to officially review the national guidelines and make decisions collaboratively. The meeting is affiliated with the 18th Annual Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS Research (CAHR) being held at the end of April in Vancouver.
“We hope this meeting will lead to the completion of our guidelines,” added Dr. Loutfy who is on the organizing committee for the conference. “But even more importantly, we hope that by getting our stakeholders in-person, we will start an ongoing collaborative approach with a diverse and insightful group of Canadians committed to furthering research, care and treatment in the area of HIV/AIDS.”
The CAHR Conference aims to share new research outcomes, acknowledge achievements and discuss the wider issues related to HIV/AIDS including new drugs, aging, mental health and HIV, and the impacts of government policy.
“It provides a unique and intimate opportunity for those of us working in the field of HIV/AIDS to make important inroads both in Canada and internationally,” said Dr. Mark Tyndall, Conference Chair.
Half a dozen WCH and WCRI employees will be attending the conference to help finalize the national HIV pregnancy guidelines and learn about advances in HIV prevention, care and treatment.
For more information about the CAHR conference, please visit http://www.seatoskymeetings.com/cahr2009/index.html.
When patients enter the Phototherapy Education and Research Centre (PERC) at WCH, they know exactly where to go, what to do and how to do it. That’s because patients manage their own care.
The nurse-driven Centre sees between 100 and 200 patients a day who are treated for psoriasis, a skin disease characterized by the rapid reproduction of skin cells or cutaneous t-cell lymphoma (CTCL), a rare skin condition.
Patients visit PERC without appointments, at times that are most convenient for them.
“Since our patients are dealing with chronic diseases, it’s important that they take responsibility for their own self-care,” says Cathy Fairlie, Dermatology Nurse with PERC at WCH.
On their first visit, each patient receives one-on-one education about their illness, the treatment and how the Centre operates. On subsequent visits patients sign-up for a light room on a big whiteboard when they arrive, and then spend up to 20 minutes in one of nine stand-up light units. The ultraviolet light helps alleviate symptoms, though the conditions are chronic and there are no cures.
About half the patients bathe in special medication before receiving light therapy, depending on their condition. All patients are assessed by expert nurses and dermatologists are available to discuss any challenges.
“Patients visit the Centre two or three times a week for a few months and we really get to know them,” says Judith Pitman, a graduate of Women’s College who has been an RN with PERC since 2001. “We’re like a family.”
CTCL is characterized by malignant t-cells in the skin and symptoms can include anything from patches or tumours on the skin to discoloration or itchiness to thick palms and soles. There are only about 3,000 reported cases in Canada, and many go misdiagnosed because it is so rare and often resembles other more common skin diseases.
“Though a lot of people think about dermatology as pimples, we’re actually providing a life altering treatment and making a big difference for people,” adds Fairlie who has worked at PERC for more than 20 years. “They feel better about themselves and appreciate the work we do.”
For more information about PERC, please visit http://www.womenscollegehospital.ca/programs/program50.html.
It was a celebration full of hugs and tearful goodbyes as hospital staff gathered to wish an inspiring leader and friend a happy retirement.
Kathy Lennox, former Vice President of Community and Ambulatory Care, played an important role at WCH for thirty years. Her career at the hospital began in the ICU following graduation from the WCH School of Nursing in 1969.
“Many things have changed since then, but many things remain the same,” Kathy told a crowd of colleagues, friends and family at her retirement party as a slideshow of memories flashed by. “WCH was a small teaching hospital that provided patient-centred care before it was a catch phrase.”
She left WCH for about 10 years and returned to work in the NICU where she started the first Parent Group, co-wrote a book and became a Director.
“I am proud of being a part of the NICU and of the nurses, health professionals and physicians who work so hard to demonstrate excellence in neonatal care,” added Kathy. “I am very attached to the NICU. It is part of who I am.”
Kathy went on to thank WCH for providing her with the opportunity to thrive in a long and meaningful career and encouraged the next generation of leaders.
“WCH is in good hands,” said Kathy. “Our strong, innovative leadership will guide us into the future.”
She expressed gratitude and appreciation for the many current and former coworkers, managers and friends she has had the opportunity to work with and learn from at Women’s.
“Kathy is the living embodiment of WCH,” said Marilyn Emery, President and CEO. “And she gives the best hugs!”
“I am flying on,” Kathy concluded. “I do so with love, gratitude and a little fear.”
A tribute fund has been established at the WCH Foundation in Kathy’s honour to raise funds for the hospital’s capital campaign. As details of the new Women’s College Hospital building unfold, a space will be chosen as a tribute to Kathy and all that she has meant to Women’s College over her long career.
To make a donation please visit the Contribution Information page at www.womenscollegehospitalfoundation.ca and select the Kathy Lennox Tribute Fund under Fund Allocation, or call Kathy Yolevski at ext. 2341.
A crowd of supporters, volunteers and staff attended an intimate opening celebration of Wellspring @ Women’s College Hospital located in the lobby at 76 Grenville St. It is the first Wellspring support centre in a hospital setting.
“I am so proud that two wonderful organizations have come together to deliver a model of care that is based on unprecedented collaboration and innovation,” said Marilyn Emery, President and CEO, WCH. “This venture is an excellent fit for both Women’s and Wellspring. Both organizations have a focus on women and cancer, both recognize that research is an integral component to all its programs, and both are working to meet the needs of diverse populations in the Greater Toronto Area.”
Patients who have just been diagnosed with cancer at WCH and the surrounding hospitals can visit Wellspring to help cope with stress, fear and isolation.
“Wellspring was there for me when I was diagnosed with cancer,” Kathy Lennox, former Vice President of Community and Ambulatory Care at WCH and a Wellspring Board Member, told the audience. “When I went back to work it became my mission to bring these support services to a hospital. It is with great pride and joy that I welcome Wellspring to WCH.”
As the seventh Wellspring satellite program in Canada, Wellspring professionals provide cancer support services including peer support, financial counselling, discussion groups, cancer exercise programs, yoga, meditation and referrals to other support programs.
“We congratulate WCH for its progressive thinking and thank them for inviting us to this cozy space,” said Holly Bradley, Managing Director of Wellspring. “Together, we provide a link between patients’ medical and psychosocial needs within the hospital, where the cancer journey often begins.”
For more information about Wellspring, visit http://www.wellspring.ca/ or call Wellspring @ WCH at ext. 4240.
|Marilyn Emery, WCH President & CEO, Kathy Lennox former Vice President of Community and Ambulatory Care at WCH and a Wellspring Board Member and Holly Bradley, Managing Director of Wellspring|
A new study from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) found that more people in Ontario are being tested for diabetes than ever before. But they’re not necessarily getting the right test.
Diabetes has been on the rise over the last 20 years, with a 70 per cent increase in Ontario during the last decade alone. Researchers and endocrinologists believe this is due in part to a rise in obesity as well as to increased awareness and screening.
“We saw a 30 per cent increase in the number of people being tested in Ontario which shows that doctors are taking diabetes seriously. This is a good thing,” said Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, co-author of the study and endocrinologist at Women’s College Hospital. “Unfortunately, we also found that physicians are increasingly using the hemoglobin A1c test to diagnose new cases, which is not recommended by the Canadian Diabetes Association.”
The hemoglobin A1c test may be preferred by patients because they do not need to fast prior to the test and it is a good way to monitor those who are already diagnosed. However, the recommended test for screening is a fasting blood glucose test or an oral glucose tolerance test which provides more accurate results.
“This research tells us that we need to better educate physicians about the recommended tests for diagnosing new cases,” adds Dr. Lipscombe. “Patients should talk to their doctors about the type of diabetes screening they receive, and why.”
The study, published online at BMC Health Services Research, looked at the number of people in Ontario being tested for diabetes, 20 years of age and older from 1995 to 2005 without a current diagnosis.
The WCH Association of Volunteers recently donated $10,000 to the Women’s College Research Institute, supporting programs for students.
“We understand that today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, and we have always supported research initiatives at the hospital,” said Darleen Bogart, Treasurer of the Association of Volunteers and incoming President. “We’re thrilled to be able to give these funds to the next generation of researchers in women’s health.”
The funds raised will be used to support trainee initiatives at the WCRI including:
“Creating research that will improve women’s lives starts by offering support and mentorship to students with an interest in women’s health,” said Dr. Paula Rochon, Vice President Research, WCH. “I would like to thank the members of the Association of Volunteers for their generous donation that will help the WCRI shape the leaders of tomorrow.”
In the last three years, the Association of Volunteers has donated $50,000 to WCRI student programs and they have provided nearly $400,000 to research initiatives since 1996.
“We are motivated by women’s health issues and will do whatever we can do to ensure WCH thrives and provides the best in women’s health care,” added Caroline Grose, incoming Vice President of the Association of Volunteers.
The Association was created in 1915 with the goal of providing service to staff and patients and raising funds for WCH programs. Today, there are more than 175 active members, many of whom have been volunteers for several decades, as well as new young people dedicated to WCH.
For more information about becoming involved with the WCH Association of Volunteers, please contact Beth Ryan Aitken at ext. 4014 or visit
|Association of Volunteers incoming President, Darleen Bogart and incoming Vice President, Caroline Grose|
|Dr. John Semple, Chief of Surgery, Women’s College Hospital, demonstrates a plume evacuation technique to protect health-care workers from toxic smoke generated in some medical procedures.|
Smoke filled the education room in the newly opened Surgical Clinic at WCH last week as Dr. John Semple, Chief of Surgery, cauterized a turkey breast.
The demonstration was part of a media event announcing new guidelines by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) to protect health-care practitioners and patients from toxic vapours, called plume.
“At WCH we are committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all our staff and patients,” said Dr. Semple to the crowd of media. “Protecting health-care workers from the effects of plume is critically important, and we are pleased that the CSA is taking this issue seriously.”
Plume, which is created when human tissue is cut, ablated or coagulated is often generated from medical instruments such as surgical lasers. It can contain a variety of contaminants harmful to the health of those exposed including irritation to the eyes, nose and respiratory tract, liver and kidney damage, carcinogenic cell changes, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, stomach pains, vomiting and nausea and rapid breathing.
“CSA’s Plume standard, the first of its kind in North America and one of the first in the world, provides solutions to help ensure the safety of dedicated professionals who work to keep us healthy,” said Suzanne Kiraly, President, Standards, CSA. “Organizations that choose to implement this standard will be on the forefront of occupational health and safety management in terms of providing a safer work environment and reducing exposure to potentially damaging effects of plume.”
The CSA Plume Scavenging Standard provides guidance on the purchasing, installation, testing, use, servicing, and regular maintenance of systems that collect and filter contaminants that might otherwise enter the atmosphere. The goal is to enhance the safety of individuals in surgical, diagnostic, therapeutic, and aesthetic settings.
For more information about CSA and the variety of standards they create, please visit www.csa.ca.
Take a few moments to adjust your computer workstation. It might just improve your comfort and health as you work.
“The key is to have a relaxed, neutral posture by arranging your workstation to suit your needs,” said Angela Wrobel, Occupational Health Nurse, Women’s College Hospital. “Not only will you feel better, but it will also help prevent injury.”
To minimize stress on your shoulders and arms, put the keyboard and mouse at a height that allows you to keep your shoulders relaxed, elbows close to your sides, and wrists in straight alignment with your forearms (the idea is not to bend at the wrist). If your keyboard and mouse are not at the right height, adjust the height of the tray or your chair until you are in the proper position.
Your neck will be more comfortable if the computer monitor is directly in front of you and the top of the screen is parallel to, or just below, your eyes.
You can also make yourself more comfortable by ensuring that your lower back is supported. If support is lacking, add a cushion to the hollow of your back or adjust the backrest until you feel support at waist level. Make sure your feet are fully supported on the floor or on a footrest.
For more information about office ergonomics please visit
Surgical Clinic physicians, staff, students, volunteers and patients are celebrating the opening of a refreshed, larger space on the second floor at 76 Grenville St. The new Surgical Clinic brings together physician offices and exam rooms in one bright, central location.
The new space, which opened in February, includes eight exam rooms, two procedure rooms, offices for seven physicians and will house computers for students, visiting staff and patients. The goal is to be able to see more patients in a larger, more comfortable environment.
“After two years of planning and construction, we’re thrilled to see the Surgical Clinic open,” said Dr. John Semple, Chief of Surgery, WCH. “It was designed to represent what we think the future of surgery will look like as WCH moves towards specialty ambulatory programs.”
Prior to its opening last month, surgical physicians and their clinics were spread throughout the building and at Burton Hall. By bringing them together and having offices right next to exam rooms, the new Clinic allows physicians and staff to collaborate on a regular basis and provide patient care in a more efficient way.
The space is also better for teaching with room for students to congregate, discuss and gather around computers to view images.
“The design provides a more flexible space, including room to grow and the opportunity to run multiple clinics simultaneously,” adds Lori Fredericks, Clinical Manager, Operating Room, Surgical Clinics & Minor Procedure Room at WCH. “We believe it’s the way of the future.”
Stay tuned for information about an open house being planned for the spring.
More than 350 people joined Women’s College Hospital to honour International Women’s Day with Eve Ensler, world-renowned playwright, performer, author, activist and creator of the “Vagina Monologues.”
Held at the MaRS Discovery District on March 5, there were few dry eyes in the sold-out crowd as Ensler addressed the horrors of mass rape, femicide and sexual terrorism in the Congo and around the globe.
“Women are being attacked and destroyed in a malicious and strategic way in the Congo, and the effects are devastating,” said Ensler. “But women across the planet are taking action and turning pain into power. They are breaking the silence through art and community and building spaces where women can be safe, like Women’s College Hospital.”
The room filled with a feeling of poignancy and determination to make change for women experiencing violence both in the Congo and right here at home.
“At Women’s we are deeply committed to helping end violence against women,” said Marilyn Emery, President and CEO, WCH, in her address to the audience. “In fact, for a quarter of a century we have been dedicated to providing cutting-edge treatment programs that help women cope, heal and rebuild their lives. We also conduct pioneering research to deepen our understanding of the issues and the challenges.“
The event highlighted the unique mental health, research and education programs at WCH that address violence including the Trauma Therapy Program, Women Recovering from Abuse Program (WRAP), Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Care Centre and the Research, Education and Action to Create Health and Hope for Survivors of Violence (REACH).
“There is a desire and will in the world to empower women so that we can end the violence,” concluded Ensler to a standing ovation.
|WCH and WCRI staff, physicians and researchers with Eve Ensler|
|Eve Ensler, Michele Landsberg, WCH Board Chair, and Evan Solomon, CBC News Co-host|
A colleague has developed a pattern of absenteeism. Is it your place to intervene? Is it a personal problem or a problem for the organization? Can you help?
It might be that your colleague is suffering from clinical depression. Her family pressures feel impossible to manage. Her elderly parents need more of her support, and her child is having difficulty at school. Her partner was recently laid off and is not able to find work.
Then, after an extended leave of absence, she returns to a changed work environment with a new boss and unfamiliar performance requirements. She brings it up with her manager but feels intimidated and misunderstood. She feels she cannot cope. Where can she turn for help?
Women’s College Hospital.
Physicians, staff and other health professionals in the WCH Mental Health Program treat, support and care for women and men who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses every day. That’s why they’re hosting the Xeffects Conference: Women and mental health in the workplace.
The event is the first of its kind on this topic and brings together professionals from all sectors to address and improve the workplace experience for women with mental health issues. Leading experts from across Ontario will help participants better understand the mental health issues facing women in the workplace and, together, will work to generate new solutions.
|What:||Xeffects Conference: Women and mental health in the workplace|
|Where:||MaRS Discovery District, 101 College St. West|
April 1, 2009 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Designed for clinicians, HR professionals, corporate executives, policy makers, researchers, educators, health-care workers and the interested public
To register or for more information, please visit www.womenshealthmatters.ca/conf/.
Women’s College Hospital staff, physicians, volunteers and patients gathered to hear Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, David Caplan announce a new way to find health care in your community.
By typing in a postal code at www.ontario.ca/healthcareoptions, you can find information about the nearest walk-in and after-hours clinics, urgent care centres, family health teams, general practitioners and emergency rooms.
“This tool will help Ontarians make the right health-care choices,” said Premier McGuinty at the announcement on February 12. “To all of you here, thank you for the work you do everyday. Thank you on behalf of all Ontarians for your devotion and compassion,” he added addressing the crowd of WCH staff and physicians.
As part of the McGuinty government’s commitment to strengthening the province by increasing access to family care, the government also introduced Health Care Connect, a new program to help people find a family health-care provider.
“As Ontario’s first ambulatory care hospital with an abiding commitment to women’s health, Women’s College Hospital plays an important role,” said Marilyn Emery, President and CEO, WCH at the announcement. “We will continue to work with the Provincial Government to bring Ontario groundbreaking advances, leading-edge research, state-of-the-art services and quality care for our patients.”
Following the formal announcement, Emery and Dr. Doug Beattie, Director of Urgent Care led Minister Caplan on a tour of the WCH Urgent Care Centre. As one of many services that can help alleviate the strain on emergency rooms, Minister Caplan was eager to promote the quality care received in the UCC.
“Today’s important announcement underscores how the government of Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care are committed to improving health care in the province by making access to care a priority,” added Emery.
|Marilyn Emery addresses the crowd||Premier Dalton McGuinty and Marilyn Emery, WCH President and CEO|
|Minister Caplan visits the WCH Urgent Care Centre||Minister Caplan and a patient in the UCC|
More than 3,000 women are newly diagnosed with gynecologic cancer each year. Many face psychosexual problems involving their intimate relationships, self and body image and sexual functioning – topics that can be embarrassing and overwhelming to discuss.
Investigators at the Women’s College Research Institute, Princess Margaret Hospital and Sunnybrook are hoping to address this. They are developing and are about to pilot a web-based support group that will create a forum for discussing these highly personal issues. The model has never been tried before and will keep participants anonymous, and hopefully open to talking.
“The study we’re working on will bring together a community of gynecologic cancer patients to exchange information, provide support and share their experiences in a safe and professionally-moderated online environment,” said Principal Investigator, Dr. Catherine Classen, Director of the Women’s Mental Health Research Program at the WCRI. “These women should not have to suffer alone.”
Funded by the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute the website is being created as a partnership between Women’s Health Matters and Caring Voices at Princess Margaret Hospital. As the site is being built, the recruitment process is beginning.
“We hope to find that patients are willing and eager to participate in an online group and that they benefit from the support of two psychologists running the program,” adds Dr. Classen, who will moderate the forum along with Dr. Meredith Chivers, Sex Therapy Psychologist at Queen’s University. “If all goes well, the ultimate aim is to make this type of intervention available across Canada.”
Five fabulous names have made the short-list for the new WCH Café. The finalists are:
The names were selected from nearly 100 submissions made by WCH staff, physicians and volunteers.
A short-list committee, made up of staff from across the hospital, based their selection on what they believed represents WCH – past, present and future.
Staff, physicians and volunteers are now invited to vote for their preferred choice. Visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/ or pick up a ballot at the bookshelf by the information desk in the lobby at 76 Grenville St. to cast your vote. Voting will be open until noon on Thursday, March 5.
The person who submitted the winning entry will receive a gift card for the new bistro or WCH Tim Horton’s coffee stop, the opportunity to participate in a ribbon-cutting celebration launching the new café, and a feature story in an upcoming issue of Connect. Runners up will receive gift baskets.
Thank you to all who submitted names and participated in the short-list selection.
Learning you have cancer can be traumatic and overwhelming. Knowing where to go for medical support is one thing, but knowing how to find answers to the emotional, psychological and practical questions can add stress and anxiety.
That’s where we come in.
“I’m thrilled to announce that WCH will house our very own Wellspring Centre,” said Kathy Lennox, former Vice President of Community and Ambulatory Care at WCH and a Wellspring Board Member. “Wellspring is about helping people live with cancer. Its services – such as peer support, much-needed information and supportive programming – are available to women and men with cancer and those who care for them.”
As the seventh Wellspring satellite program in Canada, Wellspring at WCH will help cancer patients and caregivers deal with stress, fear and isolation and provide education and other resources.
“Wellspring’s program at WCH will be supported by volunteers who have gone through many of the challenges of cancer, and will welcome and assist those who seek services,” explains Holly Bradley, Managing Director of Wellspring. “We commend WCH for its foresight in directly linking community-based support services within an institutional setting. Not only does this collaborative approach broaden the services available to patients, but it provides them with more seamless access.”
Professionally led programs available at no charge and without referral offered at WCH will include:
The Centre is scheduled to open in March 2009. It is located off the main lobby of WCH at 76 Grenville St.
For more information about Wellspring, visit http://www.wellspring.ca/ or call Wellspring at WCH at ext. 4240.
WCH is working diligently with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term care to move forward our capital redevelopment project. During the past year we have hit many key milestones and the timing and scope of the project are taking shape as well as the architectural plans and interior design.
“WCH’s new building will allow us to move forward with our vision of becoming a world leader in women’s health and a preeminent academic ambulatory care hospital,” said Joanne Cole, WCH Foundation President & CEO. “The Foundation is hard at work ensuring that we raise all the funds needed for the new building. We are excited to be at the stage where we have put into place our Campaign Cabinet, a group of dedicated volunteers who will work alongside our Foundation team to help fundraise.”
The WCH Foundation is striving to raise $70-million by 2015. The campaign will officially launch in 2010 when construction of the new WCH is underway.
“We recognize that leadership is key to our success and are confident that we can achieve our goal with this Campaign Cabinet,” adds Cole.
Campaign Chair: Sylvia Chrominska, Executive Vice-President, Group Head, Global Human Resources and Communications, Scotiabank
Campaign Vice-Chair: Zabeen Hirji, Executive Vice-President, Chief Human Resources Officer at RBC
Campaign Vice-Chair: Colleen Moorehead, Co-founder E(*)TRADE Canada and was most recently, President and CEO of Nexient Learning Inc.
Chair, Leadership Gifts Committee: Senator Art Eggleton
Chair, Major Gifts Committee: Jodi Macpherson, Worldwide Partner with Mercer
Chair, Special Initiatives Committee: Carol Cowan, Child and Family Therapist
If you’re interested in more information about the fundraising campaign or to contribute, please contact the Women’s College Hospital Foundation at 416.323.6323.
A rising research star has returned to Ontario to continue her multiple sclerosis (MS) research at the Women’s College Research Institute and Toronto General Research Institute.
“I’m thrilled to be able to return home to conduct my research,” said Dr. Shannon Dunn, who has been completing her post-doc at Stanford University in California since 2002. “The research community in Toronto provides excellent resources and networking opportunities.”
Dr. Dunn is investigating the question of why MS affects women three times more often then men. She wants to understand the underlying biological reasons for sex-based differences in autoimmunity with the hopes that her investigations will also lead to the development of new therapies for treating MS.
“I started studying MS because my mother lived with it for more than 30 years,” adds Dr. Dunn. “For me to be able to conduct research at Women’s College, where issues of women’s health are paramount, is very exciting.”
Dr. Paula Rochon, Vice President Research at WCH is pleased to welcome Dr. Dunn. “With Shannon on board, we are extending the spectrum of woman-centred research conducted at the WCRI in an important and novel direction that may ultimately improve our understanding of women’s immune systems.”
Dr. Dunn, originally from Sudbury, studied kinesiology and biology at Laurentian University and completed her PhD at the University of Western Ontario before becoming a post-doctoral fellow in neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford University.
Physicians, nurses, educators, administrative and logistical staff in WCH’s Urgent Care Centre/Clinical Decision Unit (UCC/CDU) have been actively involved in the design of new electronic Whiteboards that will provide a “birds-eye view” of unit activities.
The Whiteboards are intended to streamline communication channels, facilitate patient flow and provide a visual display of patient location, status, and alerts in order to improve transparency within the unit and between departments.
“Through the promotion of interactive participation with staff, the e-Health team has facilitated well organized and informative working-group meetings,” said Pat DiRaimo, Manager, UCC/CDU at WCH. “They have taken an approach that has resulted in understanding our department needs which is evident in the Whiteboard design so far.”
Similarly, Surgical and Medical clinics at WCH have been working to improve activities. “Value Stream Mapping” events, for instance, involve nurses, physicians, clerical, and support staff and use visual tools to analyze workflow and processes to pinpoint possible areas of improvement from both staff and patient perspectives.
“WCH is working with SIMS to focus on the process and identify areas where improvements can be made,” says Heather McPherson, VP Community and Ambulatory Care. “They have introduced the team to a set of tools that systematically looks at each aspect of the process and addresses them in a way that creates value for patients.”
Other initiatives underway include the implementation of Self-Service Patient Kiosks to assist patients and families in finding their way around the hospital and enable patients to self check-in for appointments at Medical Imaging and the Family Practice Health Centre.
There are also projects dedicated to consolidating patient information on a secure website to allow physicians to view patient information obtained from multiple sources in one place.
Stay tuned to Connect for more information about e-Health projects at WCH.
Women’s College Hospital has a new research leader. Dr. Paula Rochon brings plenty of enthusiasm for the existing work of the Women’s College Research Institute (WCRI) – along with a new internationally recognized program of innovative aging research.
“I’m thrilled to add my research and expertise to the outstanding group at Women’s College,” says Dr. Rochon, who joined WCH this month as Vice President Research. “Right now I’m at the listening and learning stage. I want to understand how the WCRI works and how research interacts with the hospital’s clinical and education programs. I’m hoping to identify opportunities to strengthen the WCRI moving forward.”
In her own research, Dr. Rochon looks for unique ways to make research more applicable to real world problems. She evaluates how older women with multiple chronic diseases are treated, identifies issues and gaps, and provides solutions to improve the quality of care.
“I don’t feel that women have been well represented in clinical research, which can lead to complications down the road,” explains Dr. Rochon. “I’m excited to build research focused on women’s needs and to contribute my own work on how drug therapies can be better used in the treatment of mature women.”
Dr. Rochon brings unique experience as a researcher focusing on geriatrics and chronic illness. She is a Professor in the Department of Medicine and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. She is chair of the Faculty of Medicine’s Gender Issues Committee, which addresses concerns female physicians face and provides mentorship opportunities for young women in health care.
“For me Women’s College is a perfect fit,” adds Dr. Rochon. “Having gone through the academic process myself, and being a women in medicine, it’s exciting to focus my research on women and look at issues that are interesting both personally and professionally.”
For more information about Dr. Rochon, please click here.
For the past several months, WCH has been updating and renewing our food service options at 76 Grenville St. The full-service restaurant is now getting ready to open, and as the Hard Hat Café gets its makeover, it’s time to give the new bistro a new name.
So we’re having a contest. Staff, physicians and volunteers are invited to submit their entries to name the bistro. A selection committee will shortlist the top submissions that best reflect Women’s College Hospital vision, heritage and renewal. Then all staff, physicians and volunteers will be asked to vote for their top choice from the shortlist.
The winner will receive a $100 gift for the new bistro or WCH Tim Horton’s coffee stop, the opportunity to participate in a ribbon-cutting celebration launching the new café, and a feature story in an upcoming issue of Connect. Runners up will receive gift baskets.
A contest to name WCH’s new, refreshed bistro
Who can participate:
All staff, physicians & volunteers
Submit a name to Jodi.Salem@wchospital.ca that you feel represents the renewal of WCH and our refreshed café
Suggestions must be submitted by noon on Wednesday, February 11
Look in future issues of Connect for the shortlist of café names, and more information on how you can vote for your favourite!
Wear your best red to support the hearts of tomorrow at the 2009 Heart Beat Ball featuring world-class cardiologist Dr. Martha Gulati who will provide insights into women’s heart disease and prevention.
Supporting the WCH Women’s Cardiovascular Health Initiative, Canada’s first and only cardiac rehabilitation program solely for women, the evening of dining, dancing and silent auction will be held on Friday, February 6 at the Four Seasons Hotel.
“The inaugural Heart Beat Ball in 2007 was an overwhelming success and we are proud to return for a second year,” says Joanne Cole, WCH Foundation President & CEO. “Guests are invited to build on the heart theme by wearing red and will be treated to an evening of entertainment in support of an important cause.”
Dr. Gulati, a University of Toronto graduate completed her training at Women’s College Hospital before launching a distinguished career in the study of women and cardiac diseases. She has won several awards including Chicago’s Top 40 Under 40 and has appeared on Oprah and CBS National News. Dr. Gulati currently practices at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Dr. Gulati back home to Toronto!” adds Cole. “Her insight, experience and passion for the study of women and heart disease, along with her ongoing support of Women’s College Hospital will bring an exciting and fresh flair to the Heart Beat Ball.”
For more information or to purchase tickets click here.
Imagine worrying about getting sick every time you come to work. For roughly one-quarter to one-third of the population, that’s a reality. These people have sensitivities to fragrances like perfumes, colognes, scented antiperspirants, lotions or hair products. When colleagues wear them to work it can cause a co-worker a headache – literally.
Symptoms can also include congestion, dizziness and fatigue, and can impede a person’s ability to work or perform daily tasks. Perfume exposure may trigger attacks for those with asthma. For close to one million Canadians diagnosed with more severe and chronic environmental sensitivities, exposure to even small amounts of fragrance may cause acute symptoms (such as an anaphylactic event) or leave a person bedridden for days.
“With 60 - 80 per cent of sufferers being women, and a leading Environmental Health Clinic at WCH, we take environmental sensitivities seriously,” says Nancy Bradshaw, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Environmental Health Clinic at WCH, which is the only clinic of its kind in Ontario, serving patients from across the province. “Creating a safe and healthy environment for all our staff, patients and visitors is important, and we want to remind staff that WCH is a fragrance-free facility.”
Environmental concerns, greening of the health-care sector and accessibility are increasingly making headlines in the daily news. Recently, environmental sensitivities have become a disability protected by Canadian human rights legislation. Workplaces, especially those with vulnerable populations like hospitals, have a responsibility to accommodate all.
“I’ve seen too many people become ill from preventable environmental exposures, like fragrances in the workplace,” adds Bradshaw. “There’s a simple and easy solution that can help make our work environment healthier, safer, and more accessible for everyone – use fragrance-free antiperspirant, lotions, aftershave and hair care products, and please do not wear perfume or cologne to work.”
For more information about WCH fragrance-free policy, click here.
With the holiday season behind us, bills piling up and the added burden of economic instability in our community, you may be looking for ways to make sense of your finances. WCH is here to help.
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers resources and professional financial consultants who can help you manage your money and understand how you can plan for your future.
“We would like to remind staff and physicians that WCH provides resources you can depend on,” said Denise Svajlenko, Manager, Human Resources at WCH. “We understand that finances can cause stress and we encourage you to get professional advice through our EAP.”
For more information to help you address personal and family-related financial concerns, click here.
We polled 800 women across Canada over the age of 18. What did we discover? Three of four women believe they are aware of women’s health issues. But when we asked about specific diseases and how they relate to women, we found that most women don’t really understand their health needs, conditions and symptoms.
More specifically, the poll found that many women are unaware of how women’s health needs and symptoms differ from men’s. For example, we know that 43% of women report unusual fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting during a heart attack – not chest pain. We found that only one-third of Canadian women are aware they may not feel sudden pain in the chest, arm, neck, jaw or back when suffering a heart attack. We also found that nearly half of women didn’t know that more women suffer from arthritis than men. In fact two-thirds of Canadians living with arthritis are women, and women are twice as likely to be disabled by arthritis as men.
Why does all this matter? It’s simple. Women need to be able to identify their risk factors and symptoms, know their options for prevention, and get the diagnoses and treatment that are right for them.
Our experts at Women’s College know how important that is. For example, Dr. Gillian Einstein, a leading researcher in sex- and gender-based medicine, is an advocate for the increased integration of the basic sciences into our understanding of sex differences. And Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, an endocrinologist and diabetes researcher, has uncovered the reason diabetes is increasingly becoming a woman’s issue.
And there’s more. The poll also revealed that Canadian women don’t feel they are getting enough information about their health. Only half of women report having discussed health issues unique to women with their family doctor, and 54% don’t know the questions they should ask their physician about health issues specific to them.
Luckily, we’re providing some help. Our website, www.womenshealthmatters.ca, offers readers the latest information, news and research findings on women's health. But more specifically, we’ve designed a list of 10 important questions we think women should ask their doctors to start the conversation about women’s unique health needs. You can download the questions here.
As always, we’re committed to continuing the ground-breaking research and state-of-the-art services around women’s health that we are known for.
To read the X-Effects Health Index News Release, visit the Press Releases page.
Literally millions of people worldwide live with arthritis pain. Research by Dr. Gillian Hawker’s team has shown that people with osteoarthritis often report two types of pain: an achy fairly constant background pain, and a less frequent but more intense and often unpredictable pain which has a bigger impact on quality of life. Until Dr. Hawker’s work, there had been little focus on how these types of pain interact. Nor has there been a way to measure them for research, or to evaluate and treat the pain in a clinical setting.
With support from the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) and partners in three other countries, Dr. Hawker and her team developed and tested a simple 11-question scale that could be used in any doctor’s office to evaluate pain. The evaluation of this scale has proven so promising that the questionnaire has now undergone cross-cultural translation into more than 10 languages. The measurement scale is also now being disseminated to researchers around the world for use and testing in further studies, to prove its usefulness and accuracy.
Every year the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Centre sees over 300 women who have experienced violence. Many health care providers are still unsure how to ask or respond to disclosures of sexual or domestic assault. Women’s College Hospital has made a commitment to educate all staff using an on-line training tool. If you are a manager, please call Robin Mason at ext. 2764 to book a session for your staff. If you have missed a session, or would like to proceed on your own, visit www.dveducation.ca.
For more information on domestic violence and the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Centre, drop by the lobby display at 76 Grenville during the week of Dec 1st. Additional information can be found on the SA/DVCC page of the Women’s College Hospital website.
Women’s College Hospital Foundation launched its newchapter program this fall. Co-chaired by WCHF board members Gillian Riley and Ryan Wiley, the newchapter program gives women and men – professionals, entrepreneurs and those from all walks of life – an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in their community through networking and philanthropy. Some of the volunteer opportunities newchapter provides include leadership and participatory roles on our various committees and involvement in organizing one of many special events.
January 2009 will see a new addition to the Executive Team at Women’s College Hospital with the arrival of Dr. Paula Rochon.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Rochon,” said Marilyn Emery. “She will bring a wealth of experience to her position, including an in-depth understanding of aging populations and chronic diseases, particularly in women. Paula Rochon will be a perfect fit with Women’s College, and will help further our reputation as a centre of excellence in women’s health and a leader in sex- and gender-based research.”
Dr. Rochon comes to us from her most recent position as Senior Scientist and Interim Director at the Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied Research Unit at Baycrest Centre, where she is also a Staff Geriatrician. She is extensively published in leading scientific journals around the world, with areas of interest that include the effects of drug therapy on various population groups (including gender and age) and the treatment of individuals with multiple chronic illnesses.
“Through my experience in geriatrics, the population I have worked with and studied the most has been women,” says Dr. Rochon. “It has become very clear to me that we as researchers need to examine women separately from men because their health needs may be unique. That begins with the way we design our research, so we can analyze and understand women as a specialized group. Because of Women’s College Hospital’s new ambulatory care focus, we will conduct clinically relevant research, which will translate into improved treatment and disease management techniques for women. We will build on the great work Women’s College has already done in the arena of social sciences research and expand our focus across various disease categories, such as diabetes, arthritis, HIV, mental health and more.”
Dr. Paula Rochon also is currently a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Studies and a Professor in the Department of Medicine and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. She is the chair of the Faculty of Medicine’s Gender Issues Committee, which addresses issues facing female physicians and provides mentorship for young women health care professionals.
Dr. Rochon completed her undergraduate and medical training at McMaster University. After her internal medicine and geriatrics residency at the University of Toronto, she completed her Masters at the Harvard School of Public Health.
A group of Toronto researchers, including Women’s College Research Institute’s Sophie Jamal and Gillian Hawker, has spent the past two years studying the use of Vitamin K supplements to reduce bone loss in post-menopausal women with low bone density. The unexpected findings? While Vitamin K had no effect on the rate of bone loss, it did have an effect on the rate of fractures. Read more about this study and other WCRI research.
I recently had the pleasure of attending the Women’s College Hospital Long Service Awards, held each year to celebrate the dedication and loyalty of our employees. Among those in the room were staff with 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 … and even 35 years of service.
I had a chance to chat with many people, and I was struck by how proud WCH employees are of our hospital. Of course, this isn’t new to me. Since my arrival a little over a year ago, I’ve consistently heard from employees that they love working at Women’s because of our reputation for compassionate care, because of our long history of courage and innovation, and because they feel respected and valued as a member of our team.
Employee pride is contagious in any organization, and I want to say ‘thank you’ to our Long Service recipients for their enthusiasm and loyalty. Whether your job involves working directly along-side patients, or providing the critical support that allows us to give the high standard of care we are known for, your years of service demonstrate your commitment to everything Women’s stands for. Thank you.
Expanded 2008 campaign includes fun new ways for staff to get involved.
Throughout the holiday season, donors can celebrate women’s health and the Stars in their lives by making a donation to WCH Foundation in honour of someone special to them, their “Star”. The name of each Star honoured with a gift is printed on a paper star that will be displayed in the Hospital lobby for everyone to see.
This year’s campaign will be promoted throughout the hospital via posters, tent cards, window decals, donation cards and a donation drop-off box in the lobby.
New for 2008 are Celebrate a Star buttons, which most staff and volunteers will receive by November 7th…along with some tasty treats as an incentive to participate. The buttons promote our campaign web site, www.celebrateastar.ca.
“We hope all staff and volunteers will help to promote the Celebrate a Star campaign by wearing the buttons on their lanyards or uniforms,” says Foundation President & CEO Joanne Cole. “To encourage everyone participation, Foundation staff will be undertaking “random acts of chocolate”. If we spot you wearing your Celebrate a Star button, you will receive more chocolate or a similar tasty treat. It’s our way to say thanks for getting involved.”
Along with wearing the buttons, staff and volunteers can make a big difference by spreading the word about the campaign. When you visit www.celebrateastar.ca, you are welcome to make a gift and dedicate a star to someone important in your life. You also have the option of sending an email to your online contacts, inviting them to join you in celebrating women’s health by visiting the site and getting involved.
“The ‘Friends & Family’ element gives our staff and volunteers have the power to greatly increase the reach of the campaign,” says Laura Gatensby, VP Community Giving & Stewardship. “You might not think that sharing the campaign with your contacts will make a difference, but remember that women’s health is important to everyone. In 2007, we received donations from as far away as Norway. It really has amazing potential!”
Thanks in advance to everyone for your support of Celebrate a Star! If you have any questions about the campaign or how you might get more involved, please contact Fiona Bedlington at ex.2319 or Fiona.Bedlington@wchospital.ca.
And watch out for those random acts of chocolate…!
The nurses at Women’s College Hospital: dedicated, loyal, committed to patient care, top of their game. Now the Rising Stars initiative is raising the bar with its nursing mentorship program.
The Rising Stars program, a partnership between Toronto Public Health, St. Elizabeth Health Care and Women’s College Hospital, began in April 2008 with an invitation to nurses to submit an application. Between the three sites, a total of 30 successful STARS where chosen (10 from each site) and matched with mentors.
With education plans and goals identified for each individual, participants meet regularly with their mentor to make sure they’re on track. The program, funded by HealthForceOntario through the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, includes courses through the Schulich School of Business such as a one day coaching/mentoring session for mentors, and several courses such as Leadership Development and Project Management for the Rising Stars. It also involves Stretch Opportunities where participants attend standing committee meetings, plan and organize projects, and job shadow at partner sites.
Using Stretch Opportunities to expand her experience, program participant Lori Fredericks organized the upcoming ½ day Nursing Education session. The Rising Stars nursing leadership succession project is proving to be an excellent opportunity,” Lori comments. “I’ve been able to directly apply what I learned in the Schulich leadership course to my work experience as Clinical Manager at Women’s College Hospital.”
The 10 Rising Stars at Women’s College Hospital are:
Ingrid Coort (mentored by Patrizia DiRaimo and Jennifer Price)
Rebecca Cottrill (mentored by Kathy Lennox)
Eveline Dorfman (mentored by Joanne Bayes)
Lori Fredericks (mentored by Cris Barrett)
Lesley Hill (mentored by Valerie Lawler)
Norma Husbands (mentored by Cathy Isman)
Janet McLeod (mentored by Shirlee O’Connor and Michelle Somers)
Janet Probst (mentored by Shirlee O’Connor and Jennifer Price)
Kevin Woo (mentored by Jennifer Price)
Karley Wulf (mentored by Heather Mcpherson)
The project will continue until March 2009.
The need has been identified. The profile is being crafted. And advertising will soon begin in the search for a Chief Nursing Executive for Women’s College Hospital.
As a champion of nursing excellence, the Chief Nursing Executive will work closely with all stakeholders in the organization to ensure that professional development and continuous learning are fundamental to nursing at Women’s.
“We’re looking for someone who will be energized by the very unique environment at Women’s College Hospital,” says President and CEO Marilyn Emery. “The new CNE will have the distinct task of promoting research, education and best practices in Ontario’s only woman-focused academic ambulatory care facility.”
The position will be advertised in various media with nursing audiences, and an executive search firm with a national presence will soon begin to develop a list of suitable candidates. Interviews are expected to take place before Christmas, and the successful candidate should be in place early in the new year.
Watch the bulletin board outside the Human Resources department on the 5th floor of 76 Grenville for a more complete profile of the Chief Nursing Executive position.
Do you enter patient information in several different places? Or maintain multiple copies of the same file? Do you wish you had quicker access to patient files and reports? The e-Health project team is going to change that.
In September, we told you about the e-Health project, a new initiative to enhance patient care at Women’s College Hospital. One of the goals of the project is to eliminate administrative inefficiencies while improving patient care in our unique ambulatory care setting. As you can imagine, that’s a big project.
Using a methodology called LEAN, the e-Health team will identify areas that need to be streamlined, will define and standardize processes, and will focus on improvements that will result in the best possible patient care. Then they’ll put in place electronic tools and systems that will eliminate the activities that waste your time and energy. In other words, your job is about to get easier.
Of course it will take some time. In order to develop the best systems possible, it is important for those working on the projects to understand how we work clinically. Over the next few weeks, the e-Health team will visit various WCH clinics to shadow the primary care providers. They want to observe you in action so they can gain a better understanding of both patient flow and the clinical systems used for information access.
The Steering Committee has chosen WCH’s surgical area and medical clinics to pilot LEAN. Watch for the SIMS e-Health team in these areas in the coming weeks. And look forward to electronic systems that will transform ambulatory patient care.
Each year, more than three million Canadians suffer from migraines. Of those, 75% are women in their peak productive years. The toll taken on careers, marriages and families is immeasurable. As women struggle to work and raise children, they edge closer to disability when their headaches aren’t diagnosed or treated properly. Until now.
Women’s College Hospital has opened Ontario’s first Headache Centre in an Academic Setting with the appointment of Dr. Christine Lay. Dr. Lay, a Torontonian, is returning from New York City where she directed the Women’s Comprehensive Headache Center at Roosevelt Hospital’s Headache Institute. Dr. Lay has published numerous papers on headache and hormonal influences, speaks internationally on the topic of headache, and is involved in nation-wide migraine education initiatives. She is also Canada’s only Headache Subspecialty board-certified neurologist
“I’m excited to be here,” says Dr. Lay. “The WCH Centre for Headache is going to be a centre for excellence in patient care and in the education of physicians, and patients alike. We want patients to understand the philosophy of managing their headaches and as a result, improve their quality of life.”
The World Health Organization lists migraines as one of the leading causes of disability. More people suffer from migraines than diabetes and asthma combined. The establishment of the WCH Centre for Headache responds to an urgent need and demonstrates that, once again, Women’s College is at the forefront of women’s health, providing state-of-the-art services and pioneering clinical care.Jump to top page
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