Partnerships with several health-related organizations were also announced. Agreements to disseminate information on primary healthcare to Canadians were formalized with the following groups: the Dietitians of Canada, Goodlife Fitness Clubs, Katz Group of Pharmacies, Loblaws Pharmacy, London Drugs and the Victorian Order of Nurses.
The campaign is the result of a collaboration under the Primary Healthcare Transition Fund (PHCTF). Health Canada contributed $9.5 million over two years to Saskatchewan Health for the development and implementation of the National Primary Healthcare Awareness Strategy. The PHCTF has funded over 66 initiatives across the country that are working to improve the organization and delivery of primary healthcare to Canadians.
The primary healthcare television and newspaper ads can also be viewed online at the National Primary Healthcare Awareness Strategy website at www.primaryhealthcare.ca.
Communities throughout British Columbia will benefit from over $4.2 million in ActNow BC funding aimed at providing them with information, resources and support for healthy lifestyles. ActNow BC is government's cross-ministry, partnership-based, community-focused healthy promotion platform that helps British Columbians make healthy lifestyle choices to reduce tobacco use, improve nutrition, increase physical activity and promote healthy choices during pregnancy.
Risk factors such as tobacco use, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity, and unhealthy choices during pregnancy are the major causes of common chronic diseases such as type2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and many types of cancer. A B.C. Ministry of Health study published in 2001 found that nearly 49% of the total burden of disease (premature death, and life years spent in disability) was based on four chronic diseases: heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes. A Health Canada study published in 2002 found that these diseases directly cost the B.C. budget about $1.7 billion. Losses to the provincial economy of $3.5 billion were due to indirect costs such as lost wages and reduced productivity. For more information see: www.gov.bc.ca.
In British Columbia, patients with rheumatoid arthritis, glaucoma, migraines and high blood pressure are among those who will benefit from improved health and quality of life through access to eight new drugs under PharmaCare.
In the last month, PharmaCare listed the following prescription
medications for coverage:
- Humira, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
- Combigan, for glaucoma and ocular hypertension.
- Axert, for migraine.
- Teveten Plus, for high blood pressure.
- Avodart, for enlarged prostate (prostatic
- VFEND, for invasive fungal infections in immune-compromised
- Keppra, for epilepsy.
- Xalacom, for glaucoma and ocular hypertension.
PharmaCare estimates that more than 10,000 patients will receive coverage for these drugs in 2006.
A $189 million investment by the Alberta government and Canada Health Infoway will digitize X-rays and CT and MRI scans across the province to improve quality of care for Albertans by providing doctors and patients faster access to reports and images. Alberta Health and Wellness and Canada Health Infoway will contribute a total of $143 million and $46 million respectively to the project. The project will invest in sophisticated new diagnostic imaging systems that will allow hospitals and clinics throughout Alberta to electronically share patient X-rays and CT and MRI scans through Alberta's Electronic Health Record (EHR).
Manitoba's new command and control centre for rural emergency medical services will be located at the Brandon Regional Health Centre. The Medical Transportation Co-ordination Centre (MTCC) will become the dedicated centre for the dispatch of all rural and northern medical services including northern medivacs, management and co-ordination of all inter-facility transfers across the province and will help to ensure faster response times and more efficient co-ordination and deployment of emergency medical resources.
A new survey by the Health Quality Council of Alberta has found that 37% of Albertans have experienced a preventable medical error at some point in their lives while receiving a service within Alberta's health system. The Council's independent survey looked at Albertans' perceptions of and actual experiences with medical errors, including specific details about the circumstances surrounding experienced errors.
Key areas identified in the survey include:
- 95% of those surveyed felt physicians should be required to
tell the patient or the patient's family if a preventable medical
error resulting in serious harm is made in the patient's
- 26% of surveyed Albertans responded "very often" or "often"
when asked how often health professionals made preventable medical
errors that result in serious harm to the patient; 50% said "not
very often" and 13% said "not often at all."
- 66% felt overwork, stress or fatigue of health professionals
was a very important cause of preventable medical errors that
results in serious harm to the patient.
- 74% of those surveyed felt requiring hospitals to report all
serious medical errors to a provincial agency would be very
effective in reducing medical errors.
- Albertans surveyed who had experienced a medical error feel
they are not listened to or heard and that their opinions are not
valued, which they feel may contribute to medical
- Those Albertans surveyed who had experienced a medical error feel that improving communication and striving for a more team-oriented approach to healthcare and improving communication between healthcare practitioners and patients were possible solutions for preventing medical errors.
The Health Quality Council of Alberta is an arm's-length organization funded by the Government of Alberta through the Minister of Health and Wellness to report directly to Albertans on the quality, safety and performance of health services. Copies of the technical reports and survey highlights are available on the HQCA's Web site at www.hqca.ca.
A new Saskatchewan Health initiative will help make using prescription drugs safer. The Pharmaceutical Information Program (PIP) will give authorized healthcare professionals - like doctors, nurses and pharmacists - confidential access to the medication records of their patients.
The program will help healthcare professionals select the best medication to avoid drug interactions and duplications of therapy, including prescription drug abuse. PIP will also help health professionals sort through the numerous medications a person may be taking when treating medical conditions, or where several professionals and prescriptions are involved in a patient's care.
Prior to the introduction of PIP, there was no centralized, complete source of prescription records for healthcare providers to refer to when making decisions about a patient's drug therapy.
In mid-October, PIP will be introduced to emergency rooms in Regina and Saskatoon and a limited number of pharmacies, physicians' offices, home-care sites and long-term care facilities throughout the province. Eventually, PIP will be available to all doctors' offices, emergency rooms, pharmacies, home- care sites and long-term care facilities in Saskatchewan. It will be extended in future phases to include information entered directly by physicians and other healthcare providers, such as allergy information, and prescriptions entered electronically by the prescribers.
For more information, go to Saskatchewan Health's website, at www.health.gov.sk.ca.
The provincial government is strengthening public health services in Saskatchewan with the allocation of $740,000 in funding to regional health authorities. The funding for increased public health capacity, which was announced in the 2005-06 Provincial Budget, includes $220,000 in one-time funding for 2005-06, and an additional $520,000 in annual base funding beginning this year. This new money will enable regional health authorities to hire new public health inspectors and/or other staff in order to support existing services and improve inspection rates, particularly in the food, water and public swimming pool program areas. It will also provide support for enforcement of The Tobacco Control Act, and for public health program and protocol development, as well as enhanced surveillance.
Also in Saskatchewan, a new initiative will allow more internationally trained doctors to work in the province. Saskatchewan Health will fund four new residency seats at the University of Saskatchewan's College of Medicine for internationally educated doctors who need more training before they qualify to practice medicine in the province.
The seats will be available to international medical graduates who live in Saskatchewan and who choose to specialize in anesthesia, general surgery, internal medicine, radiology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and obstetrics and gynecology. International medical graduates who qualify for the new seats must sign a return-of-service agreement with a commitment to practice in Saskatchewan one year for every year of funding provided.
Ontario's recently announced plans for improving health services for babies, women and people waiting for hip and knee surgery with a three-point plan for Toronto's Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre. The three-point plan includes:
- Transferring the perinatal and gynacological program currently
at Women's College to Sunnybrook's Bayview site in order to ensure
the best possible care for newborns and their mothers. Also,
providing the go-ahead and funding to Sunnybrook to expand its
M-wing to accommodate the program, renovate and expand its
emergency department, and undertake other infrastructure
- Making Sunnybrook's Orthopaedic and Arthritic Institute a
Centre of Excellence for hip and knee joint replacements and
increasing the number of surgeries performed at the Wellesley site,
leading to reduced wait times and improved patient care.
- Restoring independent governance for Women's College. Women's College would assume a new role as an ambulatory care centre, and become a provincial leader in women's healthcare, education and research.
Health Minister George Smitherman announced the appointment of former Ontario Health Minister Elinor Caplan to be the lead on the governance, program and financial aspects of the plan, and Carleton University law professor Diana Majury, who will help define a new vision, role and objectives for the new Women's College. The Health Minister also thanked Dr. Jack Kitts, CEO of the Ottawa Hospital, for his recent report on Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre. The Perinatology and Gynaecology Program Review recommended that the maternal/newborn and gynacological program be transferred to the Bayview site.
A new website launched for Ontario patients undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery is addressing a frequent information gap for patients awaiting surgery. myJointReplacement.ca contains easy-to-understand information, pictures and video demonstrations to help patients and families through the entire process of surgery and rehabilitation.
An initiative of the GTA Rehab Network, in partnership with The Arthritis Society and the Total Joint Network, myJointReplacement.ca was developed with the input of GTA surgeons, physiatrists, allied health professionals and patients. Based on the latest research and practice, the site provides patients with information throughout the whole continuum of care-from the first visit with the surgeon through the pre-admission process, surgery, rehabilitation and the process of getting back to normal activities.
Located at www.myJointReplacement.ca, the new website also features online discussion forums to allow patients to share and learn from other joint replacement patients.
The Ontario Government has launched the Ontario Health Quality Council, an independent body formed to monitor the healthcare system and report to the public on how well it is performing. This new monitoring council will deliver an annual report on how the health system is performing, with the first report expected by spring 2006. Included in these reports will be the progress the government is making on health priorities like wait times, the creation of family health teams, and promotion of health and wellness.
Ray Hession, retiring chair of the board of governors at The Ottawa Hospital, will be the chair of the council with Victoria Grant, a former co-ordinator with the Noojimawin Health Authority in Toronto, serving as vice-chair. Other council members include: Dr. Raymond Lafleur, former president and chief executive officer at Notre-Dame Hospital in Hearst; Dr. Janice Owen, co-facilitator of the research program for community physicians and staff physician at the Children's Hospital of Western Ontario, and a physician/partner at Women's Health of London; Laura Talbot-Allan, vice-president of external relations at the University of Waterloo; Shaun Devine, assistant vice-president and senior counsel at Sun Life Assurance Company, Canada; Dr. Arlene Bierman, chair in women's health with the Ontario Women's Health Council, University of Toronto, senior scientist at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael's Hospital, associate professor of medicine, nursing and health policy evaluation and management, adjunct scientist at the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences, deputy editor of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and consultant, Health Sciences Advisory Group; Zulfikarali Kassamali, president and consultant of Zul's Consultancy Services, a multicultural agency that provides personalized cross-cultural consultation, support, training and conflict-resolution programs, projects and performance evaluation; Paul Genest, assistant vice-president of healthcare with Bell Canada; Abbyann Day Lynch of Toronto, currently self-employed as the founding and continuing director of Ethics in Healthcare Associates (private consulting group; and provincial representative Lyn McLeod, who has served in elected political office, locally and provincially, for 33 years.
Jonathan Lomas, CEO of the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, recently received an honorary doctorate from the University of Montreal in recognition of his impressive contributions to health services research and policy making. The degree was conferred as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the department of health administration at the university. Head of the foundation since 1998, Mr. Lomas's career has garnered national as well as international recognition. His innovative work in creating linkage and exchange opportunities between researchers and decision makers has been referenced throughout the world to promote better evidence-based decision-making. For more information see www.chsrf.ca
New guidelines that define the appropriate scope of practice for nurse practitioners have been approved for the Northwest Territories. The Nursing Act allows nurse practitioners to:
- Diagnose diseases, disorders or conditions and communicate that
diagnosis to the patient,
- Order and interpret screening and diagnostic tests,
- Select, recommend, supply, prescribe and monitor the
effectiveness of drugs, and
- Perform any other procedures allowed in the guidelines.
The Practice Guidelines for Primary Healthcare Nurse Practitioners were developed by the Registered Nurses Association of the NWT and Nunavut (RNANT/NU). Nurse practitioners and the Department of Health and Social Services were involved as well. NU nurse practitioners have identical guidelines in place, since the RNANT/NU serves as the regulatory body for nurses in both Nunavut and the NWT. The guidelines will be printed in booklet form for distribution to nurses. They will also be posted on the RNANT/NU web site (www.rnantnu.ca.)
Health Canada recently announced a federal contribution of $1,249,714 to Memorial University of Newfoundland for a project that will promote a team approach to healthcare. The project is designed to expand interprofessional education and training activities in both education and practice settings in Newfoundland and Labrador. The overall purpose is to re-orient aspects of the education and training systems of health and social work students and practitioners in order to promote interprofessional collaboration and teamwork in providing healthcare to Canadians. The project will result in an increased number of students and practitioners in Newfoundland and Labrador prepared to provide collaborative interprofessional healthcare.
SickKids, one of the world's most respected providers of children's healthcare and research, is celebrating 130 years of keeping kids healthy in Canada and improving the health of children around the world. In conjunction with this milestone, SickKids Foundation is launching the single biggest fundraising campaign to benefit a hospital in Canadian history: the goal is to raise $500 million over the next six years.
Ontario physicians will be able to provide better care to those individuals living with cardiovascular disease with the creation of a registry that tracks the treatment and health of patients who have experienced a heart attack or bypass surgery. The Ontario Cardiac Rehabilitation Registry (OCRR), which has received $125,000 in start-up funding from Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. and the Lawson Health Research Institute, will optimize care for patients enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation programs and will be integrated into the delivery strategy of cardiac rehabilitation in Ontario.
The Montreal Children's Hospital announced that it has been accepted as Quebec's first institutional member of the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI). The Children's becomes one of 192 members and supporters of the non-profit association and Quebec's first voting member. NACHRI is an organization of children's hospitals with members in the United States, Australia, Canada, Italy, Mexico and Puerto Rico. NACHRI is a collective voice for health systems devoted to the well-being of children and their families.
The Government of Nunavut has partnered with several Inuit organizations to train 12 workers in health centres as basic radiography workers, also known as X-ray technicians. The program is intended to capitalize on the potential of experienced but under-utilized workers in health centres, who are familiar with the patients and fluent in Inuktitut. The program, which was broken into three phases over two years, cost $248,000. The new workers graduated in Iqaluit this month, along with two assistant instructors who can help teach the course in the future. Including this year's graduates, 42 people have received their Basic Radiography Workers Certificate through this program. They are qualified to take X-rays of the limbs and the chest or abdomen.
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has appointed Dr. Joshua Tepper as the Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Human Resources Strategy, effective September 6, 2005. Dr. Tepper will head up the Health Human Resources Branch, which is in the midst of preparing a HHR development of the HR Strategy for Ontario hospitals.
The Board of Trustees of Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children announced the appointment of Bruce Richmond as the chair of the board, effective July 1, 2005. Mr. Richmond has served on the Sick Kids Board of Trustees for four years. He is also a director of the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation in Canada and is the past chair of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.
Markham Stouffville Hospital has announced the appointment of Ms. Janet M. Beed as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of Markham Stouffville Hospital, effective September 12, 2005. Ms. Beed has held senior level positions in hospitals including Vice President of Nursing at The Hospital for Sick Children, Vice President at the Ontario Cancer Institute, Princess Margaret Hospital and most recently, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the University Health Network, Toronto General Hospital. In addition, Ms. Beed has been a partner and senior manager with Deloitte Consulting, focusing on Organizational Development and Change Management. She also brings strong academic credentials with a master of science in nursing from the University of Toronto.
At Ontario's London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) President and CEO Tony Dagnone has announced his plans to retire effective December 31, 2005. Dagnone first went to London 13 years ago as President and CEO of the former University Hospital. When University and Victoria hospitals merged in 1995, Dagnone became the President and CEO of the newly created London Health Sciences Centre.
During his tenure, London Health Sciences Centre has consistently rated high in efficiency and patient satisfaction. The hospital has been a leader in advancing technological innovations, including the development of the world-class CSTAR facility, the acquisition of state of the art diagnostic and imaging systems, and has served as a model for the rest of Canada in digital imaging and electronic patient record.
In Nova Scotia, George McLellan will become president and chief executive officer of Emergency Medical Care (EMC) in October 2005. EMC manages ambulance operations, including paramedic and medical communications, and supports medical first-response services in Nova Scotia on behalf of the provincial Department of Health.
Mr. McLellan has been the chief administrative officer of the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) since 2002 and has been employed in senior management positions there since 1993. His experience overseeing the development and practice of HRM's emergency response plan and the operations of numerous emergency services makes him an ideal candidate for this position.
In Newfoundland, Anita Ludlow has been named as the province's first chief nurse, honouring the government's Blueprint commitment to establish the position.
Ms. Ludlow holds a bachelor of nursing and master's of nursing from Memorial University of Newfoundland and an acute care nurse practitioner certificate. As a practicing nurse for over 30 years, Ms. Ludlow's professional career has spanned all domains of nursing including education, administration, practice and research. Ms. Ludlow has served as an administrator with Nunavut Arctic College in Iqaluit, Nunavut, gaining valuable experience working with aboriginal populations. Her knowledge in other jurisdictions, particularly in the delivery of services in rural and remote areas will be an asset in her new position.
Ms. Ludlow will be responsible for providing leadership, strategic advice and nursing expertise on a wide range of provincial health policies and programs and specific nursing issues including recruitment and retention, the development of clinical practice guidelines.
St. Michael's Hospital Announcements
New Program Director, Trauma/Neurosurgery and Mobility Programs Appointed at St. Michael's Hospital
St. Michael's Hospital is pleased to announce the appointment of Lorraine Sunstrum-Mann to the position of Director, Trauma/Neurosurgery and Mobility Programs effective August 15, 2005. The appointment is an important element in the ongoing commitment of SMH to continue to deliver and enhance clinical excellence in these areas. Most recently, Lorraine held the position of Director of Maternal Child and Child Youth and Family Mental Health Programs at Lakeridge Health. Lorraine's prior experience has included Director of General Medicine and a varied number of clinical positions, including neurosurgery, general medicine and emergency. Lorraine is a post RN graduate of York University, where she obtained a BA in Health Studies, and more recently an MBA from the University of Edinburgh, Heriiot-Watt Business School. Currently Lorraine is Chair of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology,- Ontario's newest university, Board of Governors and Chair of The Durham College Board of Governors. Lorraine holds a cross-appointment as Assistant Professor in the faculty of Health Sciences at UOIT.
New Director, Professional Practice Appointed at St. Michael's Hospital
St. Michael's Hospital is pleased to announce the appointment of Jackie Schleifer Taylor to the position of Director, Professional Practice, effective August 2, 2005. The appointment is an important element in the ongoing commitment of SMH to ensuring effective infrastructure to support excellence in patient care. Most recently, Ms. Schleifer Taylor held the position of Director, Quality & Professional Practice at St. Joseph's Health Centre (Toronto). Prior to joining St. Joseph's Health Centre in 2001, Ms. Schleifer Taylor was a Lecturer in the Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Ms. Schleifer Taylor is also President of the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.
New Director, Clinical Informatics
St. Michael's Hospital is pleased to announce the appointment of Sally Remus to the position of Director, Clinical Informatics, effective August 15, 2005. The appointment is an important element in the ongoing commitment of SMH to ensuring effective infrastructure to support excellence in clinical informatics and patient care. Most recently, Sally held the position of Manager, Patient Care Informatics at London Health Sciences Centre. Prior to joining London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) in 2001, Sally held a variety of leadership roles. Prior to her joining LHSC she had experience as a consultant/director in health management and health informatics and also has had an extensive career in management positions in other health service organizations, government and private business. Sally is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and University of Toronto, where she obtained a BScN and MScN respectively. Currently, Sally holds appointments on Canada Health Infoway's EPR Standards Advisory Committee and Smart Systems for Health Agency-Ontario Health Informatics Standards Council.
The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario has announced Mary Ferguson-Paré as its president elect. Ms. Ferguson-Paré is Vice-President, Professional Affairs and Chief Nurse Executive at University Health Network, which comprises Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret Hospitals. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Nursing and cross-appointed to the University of British Columbia, School of Nursing and the University of Victoria, School of Nursing.
The University of Toronto recently announced the appointment of Professor Sioban Nelson as Dean of the Faculty of Nursing, effective November 1, 2005 and ending June 30, 2011.
Professor Nelson is currently Head of the School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Science at the University of Melbourne. She has her PhD from the Faculty of Humanities, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, in which she historicized the relationship between care of the sick, subjectivity and ethical practice. The monograph from this work, "A genealogy of care of the sick," was published late 2000 by Nursing Praxis Press, Southsea Hants, UK. She is currently editor of the international journal Nursing Inquiry (published by Blackwells, Oxford, UK).
Brian Golden, a professor at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, has been elected Chair of the Board of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). ICES is an independent, non-profit organization whose core mission is to conduct research that contributes to the efficiency of health care, health services and pharmaceutical policy in Ontario.
Prof. Golden is the Sandra Rotman Chair in Health Sector Strategy at the University of Toronto and the University Health Network (UHN), and is founding Director of the Centre for Health Sector Strategy at the Rotman School. He is a Full Professor of Strategic Management at the Rotman School of Management, with a joint appointment in the Faculty of Medicine's Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation.
The Scarborough Hospital recently announced the appointment of Dr. Hugh Scott as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital. Dr. Scott has served successfully as Interim President and CEO for the past seven months.
University Health Network (UHN) Announces Senior Management Appointments
Dr. Robert Bell, President and CEO of UHN, has announced the appointment of Dr. Catherine Zahn as Executive Vice President, Clinical Programs and Practice. In this role, Dr. Catherine Zahn will be responsible for patient care programs and professional practice across UHN's three hospital sites. A highly respected neurologist, Dr. Zahn joined UHN in 1987. For the past five years, she served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Toronto Western Hospital. Head of the UHN Division of Neurology since 1996, Dr. Zahn served as Director of the Neuroscience Program from 1999 to 2001.
Mr. Kevin Empey has been appointed Executive Vice President, Clinical Support & Corporate Services. In this role, he will be responsible for leading UHN's Corporate Services, including finance, materials management, retail, clinical laboratory, nutrition services, facilities management, and leveraging the organization's strategic relationships with TML, Hospitals Logistics Inc. and Hospital Business Services. In 1998, Mr. Empey joined UHN's senior management team as Deputy Chief Financial Officer, with responsibility for managing the organization's $1 billion annual budget, and its purchasing partnership with other hospitals. He was later appointed as Vice President of Finance in the fall of 1998. Previously, Mr. Empey served as Vice President of Finance at Peel Memorial Hospital, as Controller at St. Michael's Hospital during the hospital's restructuring, and has held various management positions at Northern Telecom in supporting manufacturing, sales and R & D.
Health Services Research Advancement Awards
Two noted Canadian health services researchers were recently recognized with Health Services Research Advancement Awards at the Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research Conference in September.
Dr. Robyn Tamblyn, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at McGill University and a medical scientist at the department of medicine at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, was recognized for significant contributions to improving prescription drug management including: research that has resulted in changes in Quebec's drug policy; establishment of training-related determinants of prescribing practices; and development of innovative computer-based solutions to reduce the risk of prescription errors.
Dr. James Wright, professor of pharmacology and therapeutics at the University of British Columbia, was recognized for his leadership of BC's Therapeutics Initiative which has made a tremendous contribution to improving prescription drug practices in British Columbia by disseminating research-based evidence on commonly used therapies to the provinces physicians and pharmacists as well as to the public Pharmacare program and the BC Ministry of Health.
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