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Important Public Health Information - pg 2 Ready, Set, Endo! - pg 3 CKHA Diagnostic Imaging Equipment Renewal Campaign - pg 4 Awards In Review / Making The Rounds / Message from Board Chair and CEO – pg 5 Healthy Happenings - pg 6 For more information, visit:

FALL 2014

Time is Everything Gord Adams, a resident of Ridgetown, credits quick action, a CT scan and a clot-busting drug with saving him, after suffering a stroke in September 2013. “I was on the computer and all of a sudden for no reason at all, no pain, no lead up to it or anything else…I collapsed off my chair and was down on the floor. I had absolutely no use of my left side, left arm or left leg,” said Gord.

Joan noticed that staff were attentive and compassionate during her time spent at CKHA with Gord. “They took note of every single little thing that was going on with him in that room and you’re aware of that as you’re looking at the staff that are coming in. Now a patient might not be, but that visitor or that family member is aware. When they came in to check on him, they were saying the reason why they were doing it too - which is important.” Joan added, “I think the staff at the hospital are very good, not just friendly, but they stop and listen to you. If you had any concerns they would ask, ‘Are you worried about anything?’”

“I was a very fortunate individual to have the ambulance, the Emergency Department, the CT scan and the clot-busting drug, or it would have been a very different scenario.”

Gord couldn’t quite comprehend what was happening as he tried to pick himself up. He called his wife Joan who quickly came to his aid. “His speech was slurred and his arm was lying funnily behind him. When I picked up his arm, I don’t think he felt me picking it up,” recalled Joan. Joan immediately dialed 911 and the ambulance arrived, bringing Gord to CKHA’s Emergency Department (ED). During the trip to the hospital, his symptoms began to resolve, some feeling in the left side of his body returned as well as his speech. “I got to the hospital and I was attended to right away in the ED by medical staff. I was taken down for a CT scan within a reasonable length of time,” said Gord. While Gord awaited his results, he recalls Joan entering the room to see him. After speaking with his wife, it was noticed that his speech began to slur again. “During the course of talking to her, all of a sudden the feeling that I got back in my leg and arm started to go on me again,” said Gord. Dr. Entisar Ben Issa attended to Gord and confirmed that he was having an ischemic stroke on the right side of his brain caused by lack of blood flow. “She was looking at my reports that came back from the CT scan and she identified the fact that the type of stroke I was having, was conducive to receiving the clot-busting drug,” said Gord. Shortly after, Gord received tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), a clot-busting drug that can reduce the severity of a stroke. When tPA is administered promptly, the patient can resolve their stroke symptoms or have a major improvement in their symptoms. “Within a few minutes I was starting to get the feeling back in my left side. I could wiggle my fingers and I could raise my leg,” recalled Gord. Diagnostic tests, such as the CT scan, can identify what type of stroke a patient is having, which is important to diagnose the patient and determine treatment. When treatment is administered promptly, a patient will have a more positive outcome. “It was the CT scan that indicated to the doctor that I was having a blockage as opposed to a bleeding-type (hemorrhagic) stroke,” said Gord.

Gord reflected on his experience at CKHA, “I was a very fortunate individual to have the ambulance, the Emergency Room, the CT scan and the clot-busting drug, or it would have been a very different scenario.” CKHA patients benefit from having access to a team of highly skilled professionals that are supported by critically important technology, like the CT Scan that helped diagnose Gord’s stroke. See page 4 to learn how CKHA’s Foundation is supporting high quality patient care within our “Diagnostic Imaging Equipment Renewal campaign.”

“Yes, the doctor did say the only reason you were a candidate was because she could see what type of blockage it was. In other words, she wouldn’t have been able to do that (administer tPA) unless she could see what type of stroke it was,” added Joan. The presence of Dr. Ben Issa during Gord’s time in the ED was reassuring to him, “She was a calming influence and just made me feel that much more comfortable.” Receiving the clot-busting drug improved Gord’s condition drastically in such a short amount of time that he required minimum rehabilitation afterwards. Follow-up tests of an MRI and ultrasound were performed before he was discharged from the hospital. “I was fortunate enough to be able to walk out on my own and go home without too many after-effects,” said Gord.







Important Information about

Public Health

CKHA is proud to partner with CK Public Health on health promotion and illness prevention.

CK Public Health is one of 36 health units in Ontario. Our work is guided by the Health Promotion and Protection Act (HPPA, 1990). The main goal of health units is to provide the three Ps, which are:


Lowering the risk of illness to the public by inspecting restaurants, day cares, spas, pools and other public places. Another job is to check for risks/dangers from environmental sources such as animal bites (rabies), mosquitos (West Nile Virus) and ticks (Lyme disease). For those who drink well water, we provide water testing.


Sharing information with schools, workplaces and the community on how to stay healthy (e.g. health fairs, workshops and presentations). We create and support public policies to keep our community healthy (e.g. smoking bylaw, tanning bed legislation, bike lanes).


Reducing the spread of illness by monitoring, treating and immunizing against infectious diseases (e.g. flu and school immunization clinics, Sexually Transmitted Infection testing/treatment). We also work to decrease the number of preventable injuries (e.g. road and bike safety, falls prevention in the elderly).

Stay Active This Winter! Physical activity plays an important role in your health, well-being and quality of life. Improve your health by being active as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Be active at least 2.5 hours a week to achieve health benefits.

Focus on moderate to vigorous aerobic activity throughout each week, broken into sessions of 10 minutes or more.

Get stronger by adding activities that target your muscles and bones at least two days per week

Tips to help you get active Choose a variety of physical activities you enjoy. Try different activities until you find the ones that feel right for you. Get outside — spend time outdoors with family and friends and participate in winter activities like skating, snowshoeing, skiing or walking.

Limit the time you spend watching TV or sitting in front of a computer during leisure time. Move yourself – use active transportation to get places. Whenever you can, walk, bike, or run instead of taking the car.

Spread your sessions of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity throughout the week. Do at least 10 minutes of physical activity at a time. Gear up for the weather — enjoy your winter outdoor activities longer by dressing in layers and covering exposed skin with toques, mittens and scarves.

Radon – Protect your health – Test your home What is radon? Radon is a natural radioactive gas formed by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Radon gas is colourless, odourless and tasteless, and slowly releases upwards from the ground and water. Radon gas released outside in open areas is not a health concern since it dilutes quickly. High radon levels in enclosed spaces like your home can be a risk to health.

What is the health risk? Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The risk of developing cancer depends on the level of radon gas and how long you are exposed to it. Radon plus smoking increases the risk of developing lung cancer.

How does radon get into my house? Radon can enter a house any place it finds an opening where the house contacts the soil – cracks in foundation walls and in floor slabs, construction joints, gaps around service pipes and support posts, floor drains and sumps, cavities inside walls, and the water supply. Radon that enters your home can accumulate to high concentrations and become a health risk. About 7% of homes in Canada have a radon problem. TESTING is the ONLY way to know if you have a radon problem.

How do I test my home for radon? You can purchase a do-it-yourself radon test kit or you can hire a certified radon professional to test your home. The best time to test your home for radon is between October and March. Radon concentrations are higher in the winter because buildings are closed up to conserve heat. Radon test kits may be purchased at home improvement retailers, on-line, or at the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit. CK Public Health offers kits at cost for only $20.


Ready, Set, Endo!

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s New Endoscopy Unit is Ready for Patients At Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA), the endoscopy team is ready, the space and equipment is all set up and procedures have already begun in the brand new Endoscopy Unit, located at the Chatham Campus. This state-of-the-art unit is purpose built to support safe, quality care and designed to accommodate CKHA’s current and future volumes of endoscopy procedures. The opening of the new unit is part of a long-term plan to create a leading endoscopy service among community hospitals. The stand–alone unit (inclusive of registration, waiting area, two endoscopy suites and recovery room), was designed with the support, advice and engagement of clinicians and patient and family advisors. Together, their insights created a unit that meets the needs of patients and providers alike. As a high volume and critically important service, CKHA maintained full endoscopy operations throughout the unit’s development. On October 6th, the program officially transitioned into the new Endoscopy Unit, located in A3 area (west wing of Public General) of the Chatham Campus. The new unit design will also accommodate an increase in volume of procedures. CKHA currently performs over 30 endoscopy procedures, five days a week or approximately 7,000 annually. The new location and its self-contained registration process will help ease patient navigation. By routing endoscopy patients to the Ambulatory Care entrance, it is now just a short walk to the first set of elevators, which take them directly to the unit where they can register. Patients coming to CKHA for endoscopy procedures no longer need to go to the front entrance for registration, it will occur on the unit. They can be dropped off at the Ambulatory Care ramp which offers less travel distance for patients.

“The new space is a modern healthcare environment that meets patients’ expectations of accessibility and privacy. We are extremely proud of the new unit and what it represents for the future of endoscopy services within and for the community of Chatham-Kent” - Colin Patey, Chief Executive Officer “This unit represents a great opportunity for CKHA. It was designed and built with the collaboration of the entire care team and patient advisors. As such, it reflects the needs of providers and patients alike, which is something which we can all be proud. Best of all, it truly is a state-of-the-art unit, fully equipped with the latest technology and equipment to support high quality, safe care. At the end of the day, that’s what we all strive for – to deliver the best care possible and create an exceptional patient experience. This is an exciting day in our quest to create a leading endoscopy program for our community hospital” - Dr. Elizabeth Haddad, Chief of Surgery, Senior Medical Director “Chatham-Kent Health Alliance has been a great partner in the delivery of cancer services in our LHIN providing colon cancer screening “ColonCancerCheck”, Diagnostic Assessment Programs and cancer surgery. We are delighted to support the opening of the new Endoscopy suite, which will continue to help facilitate the timely screening of cancer in the ChathamKent Community.” - Claudia den Boer Grima, Vice President, Erie St. Clair Regional Cancer Program Endoscopy is a critically important screening and prevention procedure that reduces the risk of colon cancer by up to 90 per cent while also supporting investigations related to gastrointestinal illnesses. As well, colonoscopy, a test that allows the physician to look at the inner lining of the large intestine (rectum and colon) can improve survival by 80%.


What changes will patients experience? Patients coming to CKHA for endoscopy services will now use the Ambulatory Care entrance, which along with the in-unit registration, greatly reduces the total travel distance for patients. Once registered, patients will enter the new unit where they will experience large, natural light-filled waiting and recovery areas as well as barrierfree washrooms and change rooms.

What is endoscopy and why is it an important service for CKHA to provide? Endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows specialists to see the tissue of the rectum, colon, esophagus and stomach, and is an important part of the prevention and screening of colorectal cancer. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care states colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death in Ontario and the third most common cancer diagnosed. However, there is a 90% chance that if caught early, one can be cured and often with less invasive surgical procedures. How many endoscopy procedures are done annually at CKHA? The Endoscopy Program operates five days weekly and does over 30 scheduled procedures a day. Emergency procedures are also done for a total of nearly 7,000 in 2013. As a designated ColonCancerCheck cancer screening site, we are part of The ColonCancerCheck program, a province-wide screening program designed to raise screening rates and reduce deaths from colorectal cancer. What are the features of the new unit? • The unit is an innovative facility, with state-of-the-art technology and equipment to provide efficient delivery of quality, safe care. It’s also ideal for medical teaching and learning opportunities within CKHA, and offers the potential for research with the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. • It’s a purpose built unit, meaning it is designed around the endoscopy pathway and optimal patient flow. • The space can meet current and future volumes and was built to be able to support up to 50 procedures daily. Should funded volumes increase, this level of capacity translates into better access to services, close to home.

Why did CKHA build a new unit? Endoscopy is a critically important service for both cancer and gastrointestinal investigations; it is a service the organization anticipates will grow in response to the aging population in Chatham-Kent. The service was consolidated to a new, purpose built unit that can support current and future volumes. How long did it take to build the new unit? CKHA initiated its business case in spring 2013 as part of the organization’s overall annual operating plan process. Once approved in November 2013, it took approximately 10 months to create the state-of-the-art space and fully transition the Endoscopy Program into the new unit.

Coming Soon! Another Exciting Transformation When it comes to women’s and children’s health care services, the third floor at CKHA is about to unveil its state-of-the-art version of what today’s model should be. Building on exceptional quality care over the years, CKHA is about to take a progressive leap forward. Right now, the hospital is finalizing its new Women and Children’s space, transforming the other half of the third floor into an integrated program designed to meet the needs of both patients and providers across the region. This newly designed space offers an exciting opportunity to reintroduce a highly committed and qualified staff to the community in a completely renovated space. Existing services that include birthing, paediatrics, neo-natal intensive care and women’s health, will be the foundation for growth and the catalyst for advancements moving forward. We’re really excited to share the new features of this amazing space and program in 2015!








$6.9 million capital campaign to purchase a new CT Scan, a new Fluoroscopy System, new Ultrasound Equipment and a new Bone Densitometer for CKHA’s Diagnostic Imaging Department. New equipment is needed today! As part of the Foundation of Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s (CKHA) directive to raise funds to support CKHA’s Highest Priority Needs, a $6.9 million capital campaign to purchase new diagnostic imaging equipment for CKHA’s Diagnostic Imaging Department was launched in October.

Almost every program at CKHA relies on diagnostic imaging to provide the information needed to diagnose and formulate an action plan for treatment. That is why replacing this equipment is so important.

The need to replace the diagnostic imaging equipment has become an urgent priority for CKHA as each piece is quickly reaching “end of life.” As with any piece of aging equipment, just like your car or home computer, regular maintenance is required and as time passes, parts become less available and technology improves by leaps and bounds every year. By replacing this equipment now, CKHA will not only be able to provide better, more efficient care, but will also be able to retain and attract the high calibre of physicians and healthcare professionals needed at our local hospitals. With more than 101,000 diagnostic imaging exams performed at CKHA each year, and with most of this equipment available for use seven days a week and 24 hours a day, the wear and tear is significant.

the need...

Benefitting all Chatham-Kent residents To continue to provide the best care possible for the residents of Chatham-Kent, CKHA’s physicians and healthcare professionals need the best, most advanced, state-of-the-art diagnostic tools available to provide faster diagnoses and ultimately better care for you and your loved ones.

how you HOW YOU CAN HELP can help

Bringing state-of-the-art equipment to our community

We all want quality healthcare close to home and your help is needed. Please consider a donation to the CKHA Diagnostic Imaging Equipment Renewal Campaign and help us bring this state-of-the-art equipment to our community hospitals.

The total cost to bring this equipment to Chatham-Kent is $6.9 million.

519.436.2538 •

The four pieces of equipment needed in PHASE 1 of the CKHA Diagnostic Imaging Equipment Renewal Campaign have been identified by CKHA as urgently needed for care in various departments throughout CKHA, but as with any capital equipment, the purchase is not supported through government funding.


PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY! Did you know? 100% of all donations to the Foundation of CKHA remain in Chatham-Kent to support healthcare at our local hospitals.

Quantity Needed: 1

Age: 11 years old Use: • Provides detailed imaging, which allows physicians to gain valuable information in cases involving strokes, brain tumors, head injuries and bleeding • Commonly used to diagnose appendicitis, cancers, heart disease, kidney stones and is used for some interventional procedures/therapies and in trauma cases

Fluoroscopy System

Quantity Needed: 1

Age: More than 20 years old Use: • Provides an instantaneous 2D moving image display on the monitor and is often used with a Barium or IV contrast to show the structure of interest • At CKHA, it is used… - In partnership with Speech Language Pathology to evaluate swallowing mechanics - To assist with the placement of PICC lines which are used for drug therapy by inpatients and outpatients - In partnership with Orthopaedics to inject joints for therapy and to evaluate structures

Ultrasound Equipment

Quantity Needed: 8* *Six for CKHA’s Chatham Campus *Two for CKHA’s Sydenham Campus

Age: Just under 10 years old Use: • Allows radiologists and physicians to see structures and their movement in real-time and is often the first imaging technique used during initial assessments

• Used extensively to monitor pregnancy; diagnose appendicitis, gallstones, kidney stones and blood clots in extremities, and perform biopsies

Bone Densitometer

Quantity Needed: 1

Age: 10 years old Use: • Used primarily to detect osteopenia or osteoporosis, diseases in which the bone’s mineral and density are low and the risk of fractures is high Source:








AWARDS in Review The past year saw several recognitions for Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) in the areas of healthcare leadership, medical teaching, medical recruitment, clinical best practices, environmental stewardship and overall workplace. Sarah Padfield, CKHA’s Chief Operating Officer, received the Robert Zed Young Health Leader Award from the Canadian College of Health Leaders. The award recognizes a leader under the age of 40 who has demonstrated leadership in creating an effective and sustainable health system in Canada. This leader must also have an outstanding vision that creates measureable results for the organization or health system. Through various initiatives and achievements, Sarah’s leadership and vision have put patients at the centre of the health delivery system.

contributions to teaching in the Family Medicine Residency program by the medical school. Dr. Tran has been instrumental in the success of the regional Family Medicine program, going above and beyond in contributing his time and expertise to facilitate medical learners. CKHA’s Fannie Vavoulis, Medical Recruiter and Education Coordinator, was the national recipient of the Canadian Association of Staff Physician Recruiters (CASPR) 2014/15 “Recruiter Recognition Award.” The award recognizes a medical recruiter that is innovative and a role model in the areas of physician attraction, recruitment and retention activities, in addition to someone who demonstrates commitment and passion for the profession. Since joining CKHA, Fannie has welcomed 41 physicians (20 Family Physicians and 21 Specialists) to the Chatham-Kent community.

Colin Patey, President & CEO and Brenda Richardson, Chair of the Alliance Executive Committee

Chatham-Kent Internist, Dr. Quoc Tran, was honoured with the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry “Best Specialist Teacher” Award from Western University. The award recognizes a physician who makes outstanding

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

Courageous leadership is not a new concept at CKHA but it appears to be taking on a new following. Since our last issue of The Alliance, the organization and its team have gathered new accolades, spearheaded new innovations and led the way for community hospitals in Ontario, if not Canada. It seems that with a bit of courage and encouragement from the organization, CKHA’s team continues to try to set standards; to reach new heights of performance, quality and patient experiences. It is both impressive and fulfilling to bear witness to the exceptional work being done across the organization. We are proud to boast about CKHA’s many ‘firsts’ in Ontario, which range from mental health research to medication reconciliation to being an accredited recycling agency. We’re thrilled to once again talk of our award winning team from our COO, Sarah Padfield, to Medical Recruiter, Fannie Vavoulis, to our Teaching Physician, Dr. Tran. As an organization, we also maintained our gold status Quality Healthcare Workplace Award and our Best Practice Spotlight Organization designation from the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. Without question, CKHA is a community of talented, dedicated and high performing people committed to delivering compassionate quality care to our community. If our list of achievements wasn’t quite long enough, we also completed our 2013/14 Operating Plans, including the opening of our new state-of-the-art Endoscopy Unit, and we are currently planning the grand opening of our new Women & Children’s program. We are also working on a new student learning centre, to open in 2015, that will also help us promote knowledge sharing across Chatham-Kent. All of this, and we’re again projecting a balanced budget. With courage, conviction and compassion, CKHA is quietly proving that it truly is an exceptional community hospital. In 2015, we aim to move beyond quiet accomplishment to leading with a roar.

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All the best of a healthy, happy and safe holiday season in 2014!


Staying the Financial Course

CKHA’s Emergency Department Scores in Lower Wait Times at 9.8 hours On average, wait times for admitted patients from the ED at both campuses are shorter compared to the provincial average of 21.6 hours.


Yes, We Make House Calls! CKHA and the Thamesview Family Health Team (FHT) are working together on the innovative Post-Discharge Medication Reconciliation Project. CKHA’s Med Rec Team members are visiting patients in their homes after they leave the hospital to ensure appropriate follow-up with respect to medications and reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions. This medication safety collaboration is the first of its kind in Ontario. 20% of patients discharged from an acute care facility will experience an adverse event and of those, 66% will be drug-related. This project is about extending pharmacy services in order to reduce these types of events, including readmission to hospital.

24/7 Patient’s Choice

CKHA has long-welcomed families on a 24-hour basis. Patients can choose their own visiting hours and who can visit based on their preferences and needs. Unlimited visiting hours improves patient and family satisfaction as it improves patients’ emotional health. As well, family members who visit are able to understand their loved one’s care more fully and can help plan for care when the patient comes home to heal.



At CKHA, we are very proud of the work we do and we believe that programs should be recognized when they have a positive effect in our community. These are just a few examples that show how working together can make our community a healthier one for all of us.



It’s Important to Know When Not to Visit the Hospital

Fever Chills New or worse cough Shortness of breath Vomiting Diarrhea

Please do not visit patients if you have: fever, chills, new or worse cough, shortness of breath, vomiting and/or diarrhea. First in Canada – 3RCertified



Get the influenza vaccine.

Clean your hands upon entering the buildi ng and before and after visting loved ones.

Help Prevent the Spread of Germs

Please notify a staff member if you are ill and have travelled in the last 21 days to: AFRICA: Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone MIDDLE EAST: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar ASIA: China, Malaysia

Get the Influenza vaccine. Clean your hands upon entering the hospital, and before and after visiting loved ones.

IDEAS Become Real


increase in average weekly referrals to the CCAC Team from 3 to 6 COPD referrals

IDEAS become real. CKHA is taking steps to improve the quality of care for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) through the provincially supported IDEAS program, which focuses on the successful transition from the hospital to the community for patients with COPD. In fact, the number of hospitalized COPD patients with discharge instructions has increased by 75%.

Three Time Recipient of the Quality Healthcare Workplace Award – Gold

Since 2009

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The Alliance - Fall 2014  

CKHA's Fall Newsletter

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