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2011 2013


INSIDE: Improving your care with MY CARE Bringing heart care closer to home Teaching & research at RVH Keeping you safe

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Message from Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre


By the numbers


Message from the RVH Foundation




Putting patients first – always

10 Safety...It’s RVH’s promise 12 Hockey celebrity breaks his silence 14 Trapped in a nightmare 16 Brining heart care close to home 18 Innovative breast cancer surgery 20 The next step in women’s cancer care 21 RVH’s Family Medicine Teaching Unit 23 Operating Room Smarts 24 There is no place like home 26 Lifelike robot helps trains staff for the unexpected 27 Volunteering at RVH 29 Back from the brink of hell 30 Healing power of art 32 Friends of RVH 34 RVH brings its history to life

Message from Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre For 116 years, Barrie’s Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) has been the heart of our community, providing high quality, compassionate care. It is where lives are touched. Lives are saved. Lives are forever changed. Last year RVH doubled in size, added $70 million in state-of-the-art technology, developed specialty services not found anywhere else in our region and welcomed 600 new, highly-skilled staff. The $450-million expansion means distance is no longer a factor in residents receiving lifesaving cancer treatment, thanks to the opening of RVH’s Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre. Critically-ill heart patients can now recover in RVH’s Cardiac Care Unit, closer to their families and friends. Patients suffering from lung ailments such as emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are cared for in the region’s only Respiratory Unit. As RVH continues along its exciting path of growth, innovation and change, it is critical that we not only celebrate our accomplishments, but look toward what’s next. RVH will soon develop highly-specialized gynecology cancer services for women from throughout Central and Northern Ontario. The health centre is also working with the provincial government to develop an advanced cardiac program, which will provide heart diagnostics and interventions, such as coronary angioplasty, to thousands of residents who otherwise have to travel outside our region for care. We also know young people in our region who face mental health issues are struggling. With no inpatient services for kids anywhere in North Simcoe Muskoka, families have nowhere to turn. It’s a tremendous burden that RVH wants to alleviate by developing a child and youth mental health inpatient unit. Those are all priorities identified in RVH’s bold, new MY CARE Strategic Plan; a plan which says every patient has a right to expect the best possible experience in our health centre. Always. Every day. And without exception. And that laser-like focus on our patients and their families will ensure we, not just meet your needs, but exceed your expectations. That’s our commitment to you.

Rick Horst Chair RVH Board of Directors

Janice M. Skot, MHSc,CHE President and CEO RVH

These are exciting times at RVH and we’re pleased to share some of our stories, innovations and highlights with you in Vitalsigns, our annual report to the region. Thank you for your ongoing support as RVH strives to Make each life better. Together.

RVH Board of Directors Rick Horst, Chair; Rob Hall, First Vice Chair; Kirsten Parker, Second Vice Chair; Janice Skot, RVH President and CEO (Secretary); Ed Archer; Jack Arnold; Brian Bentz; Dr. Geoffrey Bond, President, Medical Staff Association; Dr. Don DuVall, Vice President, Medical Staff Association; Shari Elliott; Doug Frost; Michael Gleason; Harry Hughes; Jeff Scott; Michael Smith; Wayne Hubbard, President, RVH Auxiliary; Sharon Partridge, Chief Nursing Officer and Dr. Jim Shaver, Chief of Staff.



RVH By the numbers



New hires



Diagnostic imaging tests

74,894 Clinic visits to the cancer centre



Babies born

290,000,000 Annual budget

Laboratory tests





76,342 ER visits

394,919 Patient visits


Surgical procedures

112,435 Patients

RVH’s Vision Make each life better. Together. 2012-2013 6 NOVEMBER 2013



RVH Foundation Donors

Message from RVH Foundation As chair of the RVH Foundation Board I have the opportunity to continue a proud tradition of rallying community donations in support of patient care at RVH. Since RVH’s earliest beginnings, community donations have been essential to its operation and growth. And the impact of philanthropy has never been more evident than now, with the recent opening of the spectacular Phase 1 Expansion. More than 33,500 individuals reached out to contribute more than $35.6 million to help make that project possible. But the challenging reality is that in our growing community, there are always new health issues to address, new services needed closer to home and more people requiring our support. In fact, did you know that the purchase of ALL new medical equipment relies entirely on community giving? You are the key to putting great tools in great hands.

Arlette Utton Chair RVH Foundation Board of Directors

I am continually inspired by the gifts we receive: from children running lemonade stands; to fundraising through service clubs; to family memorial donations; to the ultimate gift of a legacy left in an estate. As you turn these pages, I hope you will feel a great sense of pride in what our community has achieved together. The lives of thousands of people in our region have been changed thanks to your help. We hope you will always be there for us as RVH provides Inspiring care...thanks to your support.

RVH Foundation Board of Directors Arlette Utton, Chair; David McCullough, Vice Chair; Janice Skot, RVH President and CEO (Secretary); Hilary Rodrigues, RVH VP and Chief Financial OfďŹ cer (Treasurer); Rick Horst, Chair, RVH Board; David Blenkarn; John Byles; Eric Dean, RVH Foundation CEO; Scott Elliott; Barry Green; Cesia Green; Lloyd Lawrence; Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman; Dr. George Lougheed; Peter Moore; Simcoe County Warden Cal Patterson; Dale Pickard; Dan Revell and Margaret Tervit, Past President, RVH Auxiliary.




Patients and their families are at the centre of Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s Strategic Plan. It is a plan rooted in the belief that every patient will have the best possible experience in our health centre. It is a philosophy we call “MY CARE ” and it’s this focus on patients and their families which drives our entire plan.

What is MY CARE? Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre will ensure your CARE is the best, safest and centred on you. Our MY CARE philosophy means we will THINK BIG and exceed your expectations. We will treat you and your loved ones with courtesy, dignity and RESPECT, while being responsive to your unique circumstances and cultural needs. We want you to be a partner in your care. We will listen carefully to you and keep you informed about your condition and treatment so, together, we can make the best decisions. We will WORK TOGETHER to coordinate your care – inside and outside our facility – and we will OWN our decisions and behaviours. Our unwavering focus on you will enable us to Make each life better. Together.



Every patient will have

the best possible experience while in the health centre


patients first - always

Long-time Barrie resident Carl Thomas has always been a supporter of Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, but after recent surgery he can’t say enough good things about RVH and especially the people who provide care. He needed a complicated surgery that required he travel to a Toronto hospital for care. Due to some family circumstances, out of town travel and recovery just wasn’t possible. That’s where Dr. Colin Ward, a surgeon at RVH, stepped in. Knowing the specific challenges Carl faced, Dr. Ward set out to find a way to ensure Carl could get the surgery he needed without having to travel. And that’s exactly what putting patients first is all about. “Thank goodness for Dr. Colin Ward – an inspiring and dedicated surgeon at RVH. He understood my dilemma and was determined to find a solution,” says Carl. “We travelled to Toronto and

Dr. Colin Ward chats with patient Carl Thomas. consulted with a colleague who performed the type of operation I needed. Together these two doctors discussed the possibility of joining forces and performing my surgery at RVH.” For Dr. Ward, being able to treat a patient as an individual is an important guiding compass not just for him, but for everyone who works at RVH. Patients and their families are at the centre of everything we do at RVH and our new strategic plan is rooted in the belief that every patient will have the best possible experience while in the health centre. It is a philosophy called “MY CARE”. For Carl Thomas, his life certainly was made better thanks to the collaboration, determination and cooperation of his entire care team and their laser-like focus on putting the needs of the patient first. Always. Every day. And without exception.

RVH’s Mission Exceptional care is our passion. People are our inspiration. Safety is our promise.



Christine Durand, RN, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) RVH.

Safety... It’s not just a word. It’s RVH’s promise.

76,342 1,998 11,944 394,919

visits to the Emergency department babies born surgical procedures patient visits last year

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s statistics are impressive, but our patients are never just numbers. And if you ask anyone who works at RVH what their priority is, they will answer with a familiar phrase – “safety is our top priority.”

at the end of each shift, caregivers gather at the bedside to verbally share important information about the patient’s treatment, medication and condition. Patients and family members are encouraged to be involved in the conversation.

Safety isn’t just a word at RVH. It guides every decision; every action. In fact, RVH’s mission states, “Safety is our promise”.

Large white boards are posted in every patient room, ensuring patients, family members and all caregivers can see, ata-glance, important care information and dates, including the estimated date of discharge. Patients also receive a call at home once they’re discharged from hospital, to ensure they are recovering well and to answer any questions they have.

RVH has introduced many initiatives to keep its patients safe, such as the Surgical Safety Check List, conducted on every surgical patient. It includes a pre-surgery briefing, a pause before surgery and a team debrief following the procedure. When the care of inpatients is transferred

10 NOVEMBER 2013


RVH’s tiniest patients are kept secure by an electronic infant protection system. Each

baby wears a special bracelet equipped with a tracking monitor and if a baby is moved from the secure area, or even too close to the exit door, the entire obstetric and paediatric units will ‘lock down’. For those patients requiring medication, RVH has a locked unit dose system on each inpatient floor. This means each dose of medication is individually prepared, packaged and labelled for each patient, greatly reducing the risk of missed or incorrect doses. And in a Canadian-first innovation, RVH’s cancer program uses robotic technology to prepare chemotherapy doses. The Robotic Intravenous Automation System (RIVA) ensures a high standard of safety and



is always more

fu n!

“At RVH, patients are our first priority - always and without exception.”

g rin

It’s a piece of cake... as easy as 1 2 3 make a gift in your will to help others...

- Janice Skot, RVH president & CEO

accuracy, while significantly reducing the risk of exposure to the drugs and repetitive stress injuries for our pharmacy technicians. Safety also includes ensuring infectious germs are controlled through rigorous Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) measures including strict attention to hand hygiene. RVH takes this so seriously that staff and physician hand hygiene compliance rates are now visibly posted in every unit. All RVH leaders – including the executive team – regularly visit patients and families throughout the health centre to ensure safety and service improvement tactics are being implemented. “At RVH, patients are our first priority -always and without exception. In fact, I’m so committed to RVH providing the safest, most positive patient experience that I’ve established a patient hotline directly into my office,” says Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO. “If a patient or family member has concerns they haven’t been able to resolve, I want to know about it and they can call me directly. Their experience is that important to me.”

To learn more about what RVH is doing to keep patients safe, as well as the publicly-reported safety indicators, visit the RVH website

Not for profit charitable Long-Term Care Facility Where you can make a difference Now and For the Future Remember Us For information on how you can make a donation or leave a bequest in your will Call Lorraine Maher 705-792-7404 705 726-1003 • fax 705-726-1076

Find the emotional and social support you need to learn how to live with cancer. Connect with Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka. We’re a free cancer support community for everyone who is living with the impact of cancer. Connect. Volunteer. Donate.


Congratulations to the

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre for providing world class health care to our community

Property Damage SOLUTION




Providing local businesses and homeowners emergency services and support in cases of fire and water damage | 705-458-8001 vitalsigns

NOVEMBER 2013 11


12 NOVEMBER 2013

vitalsigns signs

One of the most recognizable names in hockey is a big supporter of Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre. Shayne Corson, born and raised in Barrie, played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for 19 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Dallas Stars. Throughout his impressive career he captained three teams, won a Stanley Cup, played in three NHL All-Star games, and played for Team Canada at the Canada Cup, the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships and at the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Corson had his share of hockey glory and injuries: bumps, bruises, cuts and stitches, as well as a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis when he was 15. But there was another health battle quietly brewing. During the later stages of his career, Corson began suffering panic attacks – some so severe that at times he was completely immobilized.

“It’s very difficult for anyone who hasn’t dealt with panic attacks to understand the significant impact they have on your mind and body,” says Corson. And for many people there remains a pervasive stigma around mental health. Talking about it is often very difficult, especially in the arena of professional sports. But Corson understood how important it could be for someone of his celebrity to come forward and talk openly about his very human situation. “I started to talk publicly about it a number of years ago,” says Corson, “because I wanted to share my story and let other people know help is available.” For the six years it has been running,

Corson has participated in Hockey Night in Barrie (HNIB). Coordinated by Barrie MP Patrick Brown, the star-studded annual event has now raised more than $1 million for RVH.

“My family and I – mom June, sisters Patti and Shannon and brother-in-law (and fellow hockey legend) Darcy Tucker – have been long-time supporters of RVH,” says Corson.

Corson was especially delighted to learn the proceeds from the 2013 event will be divided between the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre, and a proposed child and youth mental health inpatient unit at the health centre. There are currently no inpatient mental health services available to youth in North Simcoe Muskoka and as a result, children must be referred to facilities outside the region.

“We began fundraising in memory of my dad, Paul, who passed away from throat cancer when he was just 45. In fact, a room at RVH has just been dedicated in my dad’s memory. We are going to continue to support the health centre and it feels really good to know that this year’s HNIB game will not just benefit the cancer program, but also the mental health program as well.”

Both cancer care and mental health support are issues that touch Corson deeply.

Puck drop at sixth annual Hockey Night In Barrie (HNIB) From left: Steve Stamkos; MP Patrick Brown; Marissa Browning; Walter Gretzky; Arlette Utton, Chair RVH Foundation; and Corey Perry.


NOVEMBER 2013 13


When the rage hit she would do and say unspeakable things. It ended when she passed out from exhaustion. She was only two years old. For the next 13 years this little girl’s parents would live their own version of a horror movie as mental illness gripped their daughter, often turning her into what seemed like a stranger bent on destruction and self-hate. “She would get this look on her face and we knew it was coming. She would

14 NOVEMBER 2013


hit, scream, bite, claw and punch herself, bang her head, throw and destroy things. We couldn’t identify a trigger - other than that look in her face,” says Isabel, the girl’s mother (last name withheld to protect the girl’s privacy). Yet, Isabel says, the true nightmare began when the family went looking for help and found themselves lost in a system that was unable to help them. That is why Isabel is so grateful Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre has made

it a priority to close that gap in service, and bring care closer to home for children and youth dealing with mental health issues. RVH is working with the government to develop a mental health inpatient unit with outpatient and crisis support for children and youth. “The service would work in close partnership with community child and youth mental health and addictions programs, family doctors, paediatricians, and other community health and social services,” says Chris Nichols, manager of Mental Health and Addiction Services at RVH.

“Developing a child and youth inpatient unit is one of RVH’s highest clinical priorities.”

The burden for families is enormous and heartbreaking.”

It is a priority that is fully aligned with the provincial government’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy to provide fast access to high-quality services, early identification and support for vulnerable children with unique needs.

The development of an inpatient unit for children and youth at RVH is good news for the future. However, for Isabel and her daughter, getting the help they needed meant heading down the highway.

Isabel is all too familiar with just how tough it is to find resources for these troubled children.

By seven, the young girl started hearing voices, hallucinating grim figures following her, reading words that floated in smoke in the air telling her to ‘kill them’ and suffering from terrible night terrors. She attacked her mom with a knife and threatened to kill her baby sister.

“We were always looking for help and found it very hard to navigate the system. Most of the help we received was from

“She would get this look on her face and we knew it was coming. She would hit, scream, bite, claw and punch herself, bang her head, throw and destroy things. We couldn’t identify a trigger - other than that look in her face,” says Isabel, the girl’s mother.

other parents in a similar situation,” says Isabel. “This life was unbearable for my daughter. She hated herself. She wanted to die.” And this young girl is not alone. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in North Simcoe Muskoka among children and youth.

Chris Nichols, manager of Mental Health and Addiction Services at RVH.

“In fact, since 2006 the total patient days for children and youth with mental health issues has doubled in the region’s hospitals. Yet, currently there are no inpatient mental health services available to youth in North Simcoe Muskoka,” says Nichols. “As a result, children are referred to facilities in the Toronto area, and if there are no beds available there, they are often admitted inappropriately - to a paediatric unit or to inpatient adult psychiatry. Most alarming, children from our region are sometimes just sent home from emergency departments because there are no services available.

At eight, the little girl was put on the first of many different drugs to bring some normalcy to her chaotic world, but she did not have a local doctor who was able to provide long-term medication monitoring. After a four-year wait, the family did get to see a psychiatrist who specializes in adolescent mood disorders in a Toronto hospital. “I was happy to get the appointment and yet, sad at the same time that I, once again, had to leave my own community to get the help. We could have bypassed so many years of pain, not to mention the financial burden and emotional strain of having to travel to the city especially in inclement weather, if this service was available here,” says Isabel. The RVH Foundation has committed to raising funds in support of a child and youth mental health inpatient unit. The recent Hockey Night in Barrie event, hosted by MP Patrick Brown, was the first of many fundraisers to bring this much-needed regional service to RVH. “This service was needed yesterday,” says Isabel. “This is fantastic news. The goal is never for the patient just to survive; the goal is for them to thrive.”


NOVEMBER 2013 15

Heart attack victim


about cardiac care close to home Bob Kennedy got a wake-up call and he didn’t even know he needed one. Always on top of his game, this active 60-year-old got pushed to the sidelines when a heart attack came running at him from left field. “All of a sudden I felt shortness of breath and weakness in my legs,” recalls Kennedy, who at the urging of a colleague headed to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre where it was confirmed he had suffered a heart attack. “Comprehensive cardiac care close to home is not a want it is a need.” - Bob Kennedy.

Because Kennedy lives in Simcoe Muskoka where no hospital currently provides advanced cardiac services, he, like 3,500 other local heart patients every year, had to travel outside the region to get the care he desperately needed.

When it comes to a heart attack, time is muscle. The longer a person waits to get medical care, the more damage to the heart. The gold standard of treatment is 90 minutes between having a heart attack and receiving advanced cardiac care. The reality is 60 per cent of Simcoe Muskoka residents live outside this safe zone. RVH wants to change that. A proposed advanced cardiac program at RVH will ensure people throughout the region have access to lifesaving care within that critical window of opportunity. The service – which would include advanced cardiac diagnostics and interventions, such as coronary angiogram and angioplasty – will give patients access to faster treatment, a shorter hospital stay and less travel time. Most importantly, it will keep patients closer to their most important caregivers – their loved ones. An advanced cardiac program is the next step in RVH’s

16 NOVEMBER 2013


plan to ensure residents have access to the most advanced heart care. In 2012, the health centre opened a dedicated Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) as part of its Phase 1 Expansion project, thanks to the generosity of the RVH Auxiliary, which pledged $1.5 million to the CCU. The RVH Foundation, which recently wrapped up the highly-successful “I Believe” campaign, has committed to raising money to support the advanced cardiac program, as the cost of equipment must all be funded locally. “Expanding our heart services and developing an advanced cardiac program has been a high priority at RVH for

many years. It is the right thing to do for our patients,” says Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO. “We have the space for these services in our expansion, skilled cardiologists who can provide this specialized care and a Foundation committed to raising funds for this important program.” RVH does have a solution to bring advanced cardiac care to our region, but it relies on community support. “First we created a specialized Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) as part of the expansion, so we could begin to attract trained cardiac specialists,” says Eric Dean, RVH Foundation CEO. “Next we need to develop

and equip two Interventional Cardiac Lab spaces, and create post-recovery spaces. Finally we will complete training programs for physicians and staff. Our plan is achievable, but we need the community’s help to make it happen. The equipment required is entirely dependent on donations – as is all new medical technology at RVH. With the community’s continued support, we will be able to bring advanced cardiac care closer to home.” And you don’t have to ask Bob Kennedy if he thinks RVH is on the right path. “Comprehensive cardiac care, close to home, is not a want – it is a need if lives are to be saved,” says Kennedy.

The first step to bringing advanced cardiac care to the region was to create a specialized Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) as part of RVH’s Phase 1 Expansion.


NOVEMBER 2013 17

RVH offers innovative

breast cancer surgery For Marie Plummer the words cancer and death were synonymous. She’d already lost her sister to the disease, so when she found a lump in her own breast she was terrified. “I thought, ‘It’s cancer – I’m dead’,” says Plummer. The following week was a blur as Plummer underwent a series of tests each leading her closer to a diagnosis she feared would be the worst. When Plummer’s physician met her in his office the tears in his eyes confirmed her suspicion – it was cancer. “That’s when I finally allowed myself to have a breakdown and immediately I wanted both my breasts off,” says Plummer. However, the lump, a 2.4 cm aggressive stage-two cancer, would first be treated with chemotherapy – a treatment which is available at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre where she works as a lab assistant in microbiology. “When I found out I could have my treatment here at RVH, I felt like I had won the lottery – isn’t that crazy?” says Plummer. “I went through it fairly well. I lost my hair and forty pounds and I was always exhausted – it’s no picnic. I had pretty good spirits, but there were a few pity party days for sure.” Yet, there was more bad news to come – chemotherapy was not enough. The next step would be radiation. Plummer opted out and went back to her first thought – double mastectomy. “A double mastectomy gave me peace of mind so that I could calm down about getting breast cancer a second time. I am a huge worry wart and still to this day I stress about cancer rearing its ugly head somewhere else in my body,” says Plummer.

18 NOVEMBER 2013


Marie Plummer, RVH lab assistant, was thrilled and relieved that she could receive her mastectomy and reconstruction surgery at the same time.

That decision led Plummer to RVH surgeon Dr. Renee Hanrahan, where she got the first piece of good news in a long time. Dr. Hanrahan can perform both cancer and reconstructive surgery during the same procedure. RVH has made it a priority to drive clinical excellence and offering this service to the women of Simcoe Muskoka is one way to take advantage of RVH’s expertise and technology to provide the best care close to home It meant Dr. Hanrahan could perform Marie Plummer’s double mastectomy and then immediately reconstruct her breasts, a procedure that requires the expertise of a cancer surgeon and then a plastic surgeon. Dr. Hanrahan is trained in both disciplines. In fact, it was a friend’s illness that gave her the motivation to pursue this unique specialty.

“Watching my best friend go through her cancer journey taught me more than any text book. I love what I do and I’m fully supported by RVH,” says Dr. Hanrahan. “My training allows me to remove tumors, perform lumpectomies and mastectomies and reconstruct the breasts, all while following strict cancer standards.”

are waiting for it to be done.”

And if Dr. Hanrahan does need the help of a plastic surgeon for reconstruction that requires the use of tissue from the woman’s back or stomach, she calls on the expertise of Dr. Agnes Hassa, RVH plastic surgeon.

“To have this procedure available at RVH is phenomenal,” she says. “Not only does having the double mastectomy and reconstruction at the same time cut down on subsequent surgeries, but it also allows women the opportunity to have their bodies repaired -- to be as normal as they can be -- after fighting breast cancer. It is not only the physical, but the mental aspect as well. Having the two procedures done at the same time is very critical to a woman’s recovery and well-being.”

“Eighty-seven per cent of women will survive this disease but they don’t need to be reminded of it every time they look in the mirror,” says Dr. Hanrahan. “This surgery is one of the keys for survivorship. It gives women immediate reconstruction and gets them past that phase where they

Dr. Hanrahan says most women are eligible for some form of reconstructive surgery, but warns, in some cases it is not suitable or safe. Fortunately for Marie Plummer, it was the right solution.

Dr. Renee Hanrahan, RVH cancer surgeon, and Dr. Agnes Hassa, RVH plastic surgeon.


NOVEMBER 2013 19

Women’s cancer care The next step

Gynecology Cancer Services

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre is bringing highly-specialized gynecology cancer services closer to home for women throughout Central and Northern Ontario. RVH will develop a gynecology cancer centre of excellence, a priority indentified in the health centre’s strategic plan. Currently, there are only seven such programs in Ontario which means women must travel significant distances for specialized treatment of cancers such as cervical, endometrial and ovarian. Soon, women from across a huge swath of Ontario – from Sudbury to Aurora; from Peterborough to Owen Sound – can receive this treatment at RVH in Barrie. Ovarian cancer survivor, Sandy, understands how important it is to receive cancer care close to home. Although the Tottenham woman was able to receive her chemotherapy at RVH’s Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre (SMRCC), much of her early cancer journey was spent on the highway as she travelled to Toronto for surgery and subsequent treatment.

20 NOVEMBER 2013


“To have comprehensive gynecology cancer services available at RVH will mean the world of difference for women. It immediately takes so much stress out of the situation. I can only imagine the relief they will experience knowing most won’t have to travel to Toronto or another large city far away for treatment,” says Sandy, 68 (last name withheld for privacy). “Being able to get my chemotherapy at RVH enables me to live a normal life; having to drive to Toronto for treatment would not. In fact, I try to keep everything as it was before my diagnosis. I haven’t told anyone but my family that I have cancer. Cancer is not the end all and be all. I’m not going to let it absorb my whole life.” RVH opened its regional cancer centre in 2012 and developing gynecology cancer services is the next evolution of the program, according to Lindsey Crawford, RVH vice president, Patient Programs and regional vice president, Cancer Care Ontario. “We know there is a growing need for this service. Since 2008, the volume of

gynecologic cancer patients receiving chemotherapy at RVH has increased considerably from just under 250 visits per year to over 450 visits annually,” she explains. Once the service is developed in early 2014, the team of RVH experts will support all aspects of care for women with gynecologic cancers, including diagnostics, consultations, surgery, chemotherapy, supportive care, inpatient care and radiation treatment. “The development of gynecology cancer services here at RVH will help alleviate pressures on the provincial cancer system by treating local patients as close to home as possible,” says Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO. “Bringing this kind of highly-specialized cancer care to Barrie will have a very tangible impact on women from a large geographical area of Ontario. We are working closely with our partners at the Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto and at Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) to ensure women from this part of the province have the access to the care they need and deserve.”

RVH’s Family Medicine Teaching Unit is one of the most

sought-after residencies in the province

Dr. Joe Moran has come home. That’s how the Collingwood native feels about his position as one of the new Family Medicine Teaching Unit (FMTU) residents at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre. Couple that with the fact the FMTU is one of the most sought after residencies in the province, well-known for its award-winning teachers and state-of-the-art facility, Dr. Moran saw this opportunity as golden. “I had hundreds of possibilities for a family medicine residency and I ranked Barrie as my number one choice,” says Dr. Joe Moran. “I visited RVH last summer and when I walked into this facility, I was immediately impressed. Everything seemed in perfect order and a great place to get a good fresh start. Then I met some of the residents and I was so thrilled they were able to perform primary care medicine.”

such a state-of-the-art teaching facility where residents are able to assume the responsibility of an independent family physician while in an environment supervised by practicing family physicians,” says Dr. Turner. The FMTU directly aligns with one of RVH’s new strategic directions to accelerate teaching and research, and one of the ways to do that is to pursue purposeful partnerships, such as this one with the U of T. This year a research paper written by FMTU residents, Dr. Jessie Weaver and Dr. Christa Kozanczyn, along with Dr. Anwar Parbtani, was selected as one of the top four oral presentations at the annual

Family Medicine Forum, the premier family medicine conference in Canada, which will be held in Vancouver in November. “Research papers are submitted from all over the country for this annual Canadian College of Family Physicians conference and the competition for acceptance is very steep,” says Dr. Stuart Murdoch, program director, FMTU. “Being accepted for presentation alone is a tremendous accomplishment, but to be selected as one of the top four submissions by peerreview is an enormous achievement and a historical moment for our FMTU residents’ research program. Research submissions by residents Dr. Ben Burt and Dr. Devon Turner were also selected for presentation COUNTINUED ON PG 22

As an avid skier and snowboarder, the fact RVH is nestled among some of the best ski hills in the region might have had some influence on his choice as well! Not only could he come back to the area where he grew up and continue pursuing the sports he loves, but he would be able to take on his own patient caseload. “The fact that I see my own patients is wicked,” says Dr. Moran, 28. Since it began in 2009, RVH’s Family Medicine Teaching Unit, a partnership between the University of Toronto (U of T) and RVH, has graduated 18 family medicine residents, with 13 of them staying in the area to set up their own practices. One of those recent graduates is Dr. Devon Turner. “I doubt there is a hospital site with Dr. Joe Moran, a family medicine resident with RVH’s Family Medicine Teaching Unit (FMTU) spends the morning with Dr. Vincent Ho, neonatologist in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).


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Postgraduate Achievement Award. Additionally, Dr. Murdoch was honoured with the Award of Excellence from the Ontario College of Family Physicians and the RVH Board of Directors Award of Excellence. Just this year, RVH Chief of Staff Dr. Jim Shaver was honoured with the Regional Family Physician of the Year Award from College of Family Physicians of Canada. While the FMTU residents are well-aware they are being instructed by award-winning faculty members, physician teachers are also cognizant they are surrounded by the sharpest young medical minds in the province. “Their energy and enthusiasm have rekindled my love for learning and encouraged me to improve my clinical skills,” says Dr. Brent Elsey. “Working with the young, bright doctors of today, I must stay on my ‘A’ game.”

Dr. Devon Turner and Dr. Heidi DeBoer are recent FMTU graduates who have decided to stay and set up family practices in the area.

The program is also having an impact on the area’s family physician shortage. Because each resident has their own patient roster, more than 2,400 people now have access to a family physician because of the program. And, with new residents entering the program each year, there will always be a ‘new’ doc to take over when others graduate. “In the Barrie area alone, it is estimated that 50,000 people don’t have a local family doctor,” says Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO. “For RVH to become a teaching hospital means a merging of education and healthcare excellence that has a significant, positive impact on our community.” And that’s exactly what Dr. Joe Moran is here to do.

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Cris Tibbollo, RPN, Dr. Elaine Debono and Dr. Peter Dauphinee perform gall bladder surgery in the new ‘Smart’ operating room which features special lighting for better visibility.

Operating Room Smarts! Dr. Peter Dauphinee is standing at the scrub sink gazing into Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s newest operating room. At first glance, it appears he is looking at a scene from the future. And in a way, he is – the future of healthcare at RVH. The health centre is now in its final stages of the Phase 1 Expansion project – a massive $450-million redevelopment that doubled the size of the health centre and added programs and services not found elsewhere in the region. The most recent milestone was the addition of two new high-tech operating rooms (‘Smart’ ORs), bringing the total number of ORs at RVH from eight to 10 and introducing the latest in surgical technology to the region. At the same time, a third existing operating room was also converted to a ‘Smart’ OR and eight new inpatient beds opened for surgical patients to help meet the increased surgical capacity. “These revolutionary operating suites are fully-integrated, high-definition, voicecontrolled and feature touch-screen technology. They are best described as operating rooms of the future,” says Dr. Dauphinee, clinical director of RVH’s surgery program. “The new ‘Smart’ operating rooms are designed for the most

minimally invasive surgery. They are the only ones of their kind in Simcoe Muskoka and further enhance our strategic priorities to drive clinical excellence and accelerate teaching and research.” The new ORs now place RVH as a leader in surgical practices in this region. The ORs have the technology to access patient images during surgery or transmit images from the operating room to other specialists or another physician working in another ‘Smart’ OR, for real-time consultation. ‘Smart’ ORs also permit 3D image-guided surgery, which helps surgeons plan every point of the procedure and verify the success of the surgery. “I came to RVH 15 years ago as a resident and now it is incredible that I have the opportunity to share what I have learned with our medical residents through new communication technology installed in these ‘Smart’ ORs,” says Dr. Dauphinee.

surgeries in our main operating rooms”, says RVH president and CEO, Janice Skot. “With our new capabilities, we expect that number to increase by approximately 20 per cent. The improved technology and expanded space means surgical patients from across Simcoe Muskoka should have great peace of mind coming to RVH, knowing they are in the hands of highlyskilled healthcare professionals who have the best technology available to perform high quality, safe procedures.” Dr. Dauphinee has been anxiously watching the construction all summer and now as he finishes scrubbing up before heading into the new OR, he knows the future of healthcare is in his hands and – and at his fingertips.

Dr. Peter Dauphinee, clinical director of RVH’s surgery program.

Medical residents are now able to watch a surgical procedure being performed in one of the new ORs from a conference room elsewhere in the health centre. Once the procedure is complete, students are able to engage the physician in a question and answer session. The renovation and addition of the new ORs will also better enable RVH to meet increasing patient volumes. “Last year we performed almost 12,000


NOVEMBER 2013 23

There is no place like

home Personal support worker Wahida Ahmadzai, from Saint Elizabeth, chats with Connie and Paul Wabick during her weekly visit to their home in Barrie

“In sickness and in health.” That’s the promise Paul Wabick made to his wife Connie more than 28 years ago and he wasn’t about to break that promise now. Yet, at 87, caring for his wife after discharge from hospital was taking its toll on the doting husband. “I tried to take care of Connie on my own, but to tell you the truth, it is a 24-7 job and it was so tough on me,” says Paul, as he kisses his wife’s cheek. “It was hard because I know how important it is for her to be at home.” So, the second time Connie was admitted to hospital Paul knew he needed help in place when she came home. He got the help he needed through Home First. Home First is a patient-centred philosophy embraced by Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and the North

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Simcoe Muskoka Community Care Access Centre (NSM CCAC), in partnership with physicians, nurse practitioners and community health agencies. The Home First philosophy is based on the principle that once a patient’s acute health needs have been met in hospital, home is the best place for them to recover. That is exactly what Connie and Paul wanted. “I had to stay a week in hospital and it was the longest week of my life,” says Connie, 86. “The care was great, but I just wanted to be at home. I knew I would get better faster if I was at home in familiar surroundings and comforts, and of course, with my husband.” RVH’s Dr. Chris Tebbutt couldn’t agree with Connie more. “When you are ill or injured RVH is here to provide excellent care for you. However, when you no longer need our specialized acute services, your ongoing healthcare

Wahida Ahmadzai, personal support worker from Saint Elizabeth, helps Connie Wabick with her morning coffee

Paul a much needed break so he can run errands and grocery shop knowing his wife is being well taken care of. “We rely on these services – very much so – and we really appreciate the help,” says Paul. “Now we have someone come in every day and that gives me a chance to take a nap, start supper or run errands without worrying. If we didn’t have the help everything would just fall apart and then what would we do? The system really works well.” needs and recovery are best met at home where you are more comfortable - you’re close to family and friends and you will recover more quickly,” says Dr. Tebbutt, vice-president of Academic and Medical Affairs. “In fact, from the moment a patient enters our health centre, the entire care team is asking ‘What can we do to help this person go home safely?’ ” As a patient is ending their treatment in hospital, members of the care team from RVH, the CCAC and community health agencies, will meet with the patient and their family to discuss what services are needed in the community to enable a patient to return home. The CCAC Care Coordinators, based at RVH, coordinate services and referrals to community health agencies. Once at home, patients and their families can discuss long-term options with the Care Coordinators and make decisions about any ongoing care needs. Paul says he doesn’t know what he would do without community service. It not only means that Connie can get the care she needs, but the service also gives

Not only is home the best place for patients once they no longer need acute care, but keeping people longer than necessary in hospital often means hospitals are full and unable to meet the healthcare needs of their community. One key reason why emergency departments get backed up is that hospital beds are often occupied by patients whose acute health episode is over, but they are waiting to be transferred to a different care setting – often a long-term care home. When hospital beds are full a domino effect kicks in. Patients wait longer to get into the emergency department; patients must be cared for on stretchers in hospital hallways; wait lists grow. “If RVH is going to meet the health needs of this region, we must make Home First a priority and work with our partners to ensure our patients are being cared for safely, in the most appropriate setting, while doing everything possible to provide the supports that make home an option.” says Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO. And for couples like the Wabicks there truly is no place like home.

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NOVEMBER 2013 25

Lifelike robot helps prepare staff for the unexpected

in the health centre, it provides a safe, consequence-free environment for frontline staff to practice rare, high-risk medical scenarios.

sutures on an orange. Yet RVH’s clinical simulator is a high-tech training tool and it’s about as close as you can get to practicing on an actual patient.

To ensure healthcare professionals have access to the very latest educational tools, the health centre has introduced its first clinical simulator - a human-sized and remarkably life-like robot that accurately mimics the activity of a patient.

“The real benefit of using a clinical simulator is that we can train our staff in their own environment using their own equipment,” says Dr. Chris Martin, Emergency Medicine and Critical Care. “It’s a huge step forward for a community hospital to be able to do that.”

Called IN SITU Sim because of its ability to provide simulation training anywhere

Medical simulation training can be anything from role playing to practicing

“We’re able to control the device’s breathing, its vital signs, even monitor when the medication is administered,” says Dr. Martin. “By mimicking human-like scenarios, it allows users to practice things they don’t see very often. When they do come across it, they’ll be prepared and better able to handle the situation in a way that leads to the best possible outcome for the patient.”

He breathes, bleeds, blinks, and even talks. But this isn’t your average patient. He’s a robot and he’s taking training to a whole new level at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.

RVH is the only hospital in North Simcoe Muskoka with a clinical simulator and it’s not only used to practice lifesaving clinical skills, but to improve communication, crisis response and conflict resolution skills. Dr. Martin, who trains frontline staff using the simulator, says the most important beneficiaries of this advanced teaching tool are RVH’s patients. “If you have doctors, nurses and staff training and becoming comfortable with dangerous, seldom-encountered situations, when we do face it at RVH, our patients can be confident our team has the training they need to provide very safe, effective care.” “The real benefit of using a clinical simulator is that we can train our staff in their own environment using their own equipment,” says Dr. Chris Martin.

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A view to her new country

through the eyes of RVH patients When Olga Joukova slips on her cheery blue volunteer vest and walks the halls at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre she sees more than patients in rooms – she sees stories. A Russian immigrant, Joukova discovered volunteering at RVH was a wonderful way to connect to her new country. “I spent 14 years as a stay-at-home mom. With limited English and living in a new country it was very hard for me to connect and learn about this society,” says Joukova. “Volunteering at RVH has given me the opportunity to truly understand this country through the stories the patients share with me. Every time I’m here I learn something new about Canada and what living here is - and was - really like.” Even the concept of volunteering was strange and foreign to Joukova. “Volunteering is something new to me. In Russia it is not popular like here.” She learned about volunteering when her daughter, Alissa, entered high school and had to accumulate volunteer hours to graduate. “That’s when I thought, ‘Why am I here at home and not volunteering?’ I decided to go to RVH because it is a big place and there would be many opportunities for me.” And she was right. Last year RVH’s Blue Brigade, as they are affectionately known, contributed more than 120,000 hours in 75 different areas of the health centre. They escort patients to their destinations; assist in the beautiful, newly-opened Victoria’s

Olga Joukova, a Russian immigrant, discovered volunteering at RVH was a wonderful way to connect to her new country by listening to stories from patients like William Haire, 90, from Barrie.

Gift Shop; play bingo with patients in the Rehabilitation Inpatient Unit and do everything in between and beyond. “We are very fortunate to be able to boast about our 850 volunteers who touch lives every day in so many different ways,” says Valerie Bennett, director of Volunteer Resources. “Our volunteers are ambassadors who provide the human touch to our patients, their families and the staff at RVH. Volunteers commit at least one year of their time and are placed in areas that suit their interests and backgrounds.

They impact us all and RVH is a better place because of them.” Ninety-year-old William Haire will attest to that. He’s just come back from a lovely walk around the RVH campus with Joukova. It was the first time Haire has been out in a while and today’s walk was a sign his health is improving. In fact, Haire enjoyed himself so much he was almost late for lunch – almost. Equally impressed was his son Steve Haire.



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Laine Venner, RPN, with volunteer Olga Joukova, says “Volunteers are invaluable.”


“From a family point of view it is incredible that other members of our community step up to the plate to help and take care of patients with these acts of kindness,” says Haire. “Olga has lifted Dad’s spirits. She listens to his stories, which I have heard a hundred times, and that’s great too.” Haire’s nurse, Laine Venner, RPN, noticed the difference in her senior patient as well. “I can see he’s so bright right now,” says Venner. “Volunteers are invaluable. I have four other patients to care for and there is no way I could leave the floor to go for a walk with Mr. Haire, but I know it’s so helpful to his recovery.” Joukova cherishes the chance to interact with patients, while improving her English. In fact, her experience at RVH has got her thinking. “I was a flight attendant in Russia, and now I’m thinking I would like to become a nurse. They do such an important job helping people and I think I’d like to be a part of that.”

RVH Volunteer Olga Joukova chats with resource nurse Joanne Butorajac.

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In the meantime, it’s back to Mr. Haire’s room. He knows a few words of Russian so he and Joukova are going to have a chat in her mother tongue. “Talking to the patients has taught me to be kinder, more patient and calm. They have changed me – in a good way.” RVH volunteers are also members of the RVH Auxiliary which raises funds for patient care. Café Royale and Victoria’s Gift Shop are businesses owned and operated by the RVH Auxiliary. They are major fundraising sources for the Auxiliary and over the past 10 years they have earned more than $3 million. “The Auxiliary relies on these two businesses, and their staff and volunteers, to enable us to make such significant contributions to improve patient care at RVH,” says Wayne Hubbard, president of the RVH Auxiliary. RVH is always looking for volunteers, particularly for Café Royale and Victoria’s Gift Shop. If you are at least 16 years of age and have some spare time, we would love to hear from you. Please call 705-739-5650.

Back from the brink of hell Billy has been to hell and back. For five days every bone in his body ached, his mind raced, and his stomach churned, as he lay in a sweat-soaked bed ridding himself of the drugs that had held him captive for years. “Withdrawal is hell,” says Billy, 33, (whose last name has been withheld for privacy). “It’s like having a bad flu bug times a million.” But for Billy, whose life has been a downward spiral caused by addictions to both drugs and alcohol, it was worth it. “I’ve been clean now for 86 days,” says Billy. “I feel 100 per cent different. I used drugs everyday. It got to the point where I didn’t even want to shave or brush my hair because I couldn’t stand to look at myself in the mirror.” Now, Billy has no problem with his reflection. He finally likes what he sees and credits Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s Withdrawal Management Services and the new 21-day Residential Treatment Service for giving him back his life. RVH’s Withdrawal Management Services provides a safe environment for individuals to withdraw from substances. The average length of stay is three to five days, after which clients can head down the path to full recovery by participating in the 21-day treatment program. “We know overcoming an addiction is very difficult and that people will relapse – it’s just part of the illness and the recovery process. But when we get calls from former clients, like Billy, who tell us they

are still clean and sober, that is reaffirming to us that treatment can have a positive impact on a person’s recovery,” says Angela McCuaig, manager of Addiction Services, RVH. Before RVH established this unique program there were no local residential treatment options in our region, meaning clients had to travel outside the area for this type of specialized care. The program is designed to help individuals who struggle with addictions and mental health issues, which often go hand in hand. During the 21 days, clients participate in group therapy focused on loss and recovery, relapse prevention, healthy relationships, life management and coping strategies. People can self-refer to the program and a thorough assessment will determine if the program is right for them. For Billy, this was the fix he needed. A drug user since his early 20s, his habit eventually cost him his house. It was a wake up call – he wasn’t going to lose his wife and three children as well. They were counting on him succeeding this time. “I’ve tried to deal with my addictions before, but I just wasn’t ready to talk about the underlying issues and I put up walls,” says Billy. “This time it was different. The program helped me realize my drug use

was the symptom of a greater problem and that’s what we worked on. My life is like night and day now. I can’t say enough about the RVH staff. They are really good people.” Today Billy is preparing to move into his new home. He’s clean, but he’s not taking that for granted. He attends Narcotics Anonymous as often as seven nights a week. “I took drugs every day so I need to attend the meetings as often as I can,” says Billy. “My goal now is to be a role model for my children. I want to lead by example. I’ve never done that before.” For more information or to schedule an intake interview for RVH’s 21-day Residential Treatment Service or Withdrawal Management Services, please call 705-728-9090, ext. 24323.

RVH addictions counselor Chris Miller leads a group session for clients of the 21-day program, a residential treatment program for people struggling with addictions. It is the only one of its kind in the region.

Clients enjoy a game of cribbage in between group sessions.


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Healing power of

ART Dr. Jim Delaney has healed many people with his skills as an orthopedic surgeon and now he is inspiring them by sharing his passion for art.

The focus of Art at RVH is to create an enhanced environment for the patients, staff, and public

Dr. Delaney, and colleague radiologist Dr. George Lougheed, recently loaned art from their private collections for Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s first exhibit ‘Doctors Collecting’, part of the new Art at RVH program. “I have always found that in my life art has lifted my spirits and brought great enjoyment, so what better place to find it than in a healthcare setting,” says Dr. Delaney. “To have a patient walk into an environment which is pleasant, cheerful and welcoming can be seen as another step in treatment and a contributing factor in the process of recovery.” The works were installed in the ‘Corridor Gallery’, the bright open link leading to RVH’s main lobby; a space perfect for exhibiting art. The second exhibit “The Accenture Collection” featured a selection of art from a recent gift of 100 artworks given to RVH by Accenture Inc. Artists in this exhibit included Katherine Knight, Otis

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The ‘Corridor Gallery’ is the bright open link leading to RVH’s main lobby and a space perfect for exhibiting art.

Tamasauskas, Rebecca Baird, Adriene Veninger and Liz Parkinson. The works from this collection will be gradually installed throughout RVH for the enjoyment of all patients, staff and

visitors. “The focus of Art at RVH is to create an enhanced environment for the patients, staff, and public through the careful selection and placement of contemporary art throughout the spaces and grounds of this health centre,” says Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO. “This is in direct response to a growing body of research that suggests a pleasing aesthetic environment can elevate the experience of coming to a health centre.” The health centre is beautifying its spaces with guidance from the RVH Art Committee and direction from Frances Thomas, an art professional with broad experience and affiliations in the contemporary art and museum worlds. “The Art at RVH vision includes a dedicated gallery space which creates the opportunity for a changing program of shows that will include solo and

group exhibitions by local and regional artists, arts organizations and RVH staffgenerated initiatives,” says Thomas, part-time coordinator of the Art at RVH program. “A number of local and regional artists are represented in the 68 works currently on display including sculptures on the grounds by Ted Fullerton and Derek Martin, and artwork in the health centre by, among others, Regina Williams, Gary Evans, Amy Switzer and Rod Prouse, along with artwork by students and alumni of Georgian College. We are hoping to expand the use of Art at RVH to include art tours for patients, staff and the public.” Purposeful placement of art in health care facilities is gaining in popularity as study after study has shown evidence that there are clear clinical benefits. A study in the United Kingdom by the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital found that the length of stay for patients on a trauma and orthopedic ward was shorter when patients experienced visual arts and live music, and their need for pain relief was significantly less. Art and music also reduced levels of depression in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Dr. Jim Delaney and Dr. George Lougheed pose in the new ‘Corridor Gallery’ during an exhibit of their own art collections.

Dr. George and Janet Lougheed and Dr. Jim and Sheila Delaney beside one of the pieces featured in ‘Doctors Collecting.’

“It is true that hospitals need advanced research, modern facilities, highly qualified and trained staff, and state-of– the-art equipment, but now research is showing a hospital also needs art,” says Thomas. According to Skot, “Through the thoughtful placement of artwork, visitors and patients will feel the building’s uniqueness and comfort and will have the benefit of being engaged and uplifted. It is directly aligned with RVH’s new MY CARE Strategic Plan, which strives for the most positive patient and family experience, always.” And for physicians like Dr. Lougheed, patients always come first – no exception – even if that means taking art off his living room wall and hanging it in a health centrel hall. “I just hope that when a patient or visitor sees this artwork in the hospital hall it brightens their day and reduces their anxiety so they can focus on their health, or the health of their loved one,” says Dr. Lougheed.

Frances Thomas, part-time coordinator of the Art at RVH program, poses with artist Gary Evans, whose work (seen in the background) has been installed in RVH’s Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre.


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RVH FOUNDATION Radio for Radiation rocks on In December 2008, KICX 106 and 104.1 The Dock launched the Radio for Radiation (R4R) campaign, and pledged to raise $500,000 for the purchase of an interventional radiology machine for the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre (SMRCC). Owned and operated by Larche Communications, the sister stations

RVH Foundation, 201 Georgian Drive, Barrie, Ontario L4M 6M2 705.739.5600

reached their goal by September 2011. The following November, they renewed the campaign, pledging another $500,000 to the SMRCC for the support of a new CT simulator suite which will allow people in Orillia, Midland, Barrie and all of Simcoe Muskoka to receive treatment close to home. To date, they have almost reached the $300,000 mark. To support the Radio for Radiation campaign, please visit r4r. Left to right: Paul Larche, Larche Communications president and Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO

Wild Wing 9/11 golf tournament The 9/11 golf tournament, organized for the seventh year by Wild Wing South Barrie owners Rudy Maset (second from left) and Dominic Bianchi (third from right), was created to honour those who lost their lives in the September 2001 Twin Towers attacks and to pay tribute to the firefighters, police and paramedics who heroically risk their lives every day

to save others. Representatives from the four honoured local organizations (Barrie Police Services, Barrie Fire, Emergency Medical Services and CFB Base Borden) came out for the event. Each organization chooses a charity to receive their portion of funds raised, and RVH is grateful to be the recipient chosen by Barrie Police Services.

Honouring the gift of a last wish There was beautiful music, purple flowers to match the bride’s dress and an adorable flower girl, but the wedding was cloaked in a veil of sadness. The bride’s mother, Debbie Mills, was in the last stages of cancer and it had become achingly clear that she would not be able to attend the imminent wedding of her only daughter, Jessica. So, the wedding was moved to a quiet room at RVH.

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Under a beautifully decorated arbour and in front of her mom and dad, Debbie and Rick Mills, her brother Jake, and close family, Jessica and her fiancé, Vin Ison, said “I do.” When the couple kissed, Debbie nuzzled her head into her husband’s neck (pictured left), content she had been granted this wish. During the wedding reception the next day, as the bride and groom shared their first dance, Debbie Mills passed away at RVH. Debbie’s 13-year-old neighbour, Courtney McLean, honoured the Cancer and Palliative Inpatient unit at RVH for the kindness they showed the Mills family by donating $50, her birthday money, in Debbie’s memory.

Inspiring care... thanks to your support RVH Auxiliary’s $1.5 million gift to the heart Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s (RVH) Auxiliary members are known for giving from their heart. With their current pledge they are giving to the heart. The RVH volunteers are just a few months away from fulfilling their $1.5 million pledge to the new Cardiac Care Unit (CCU), part of the Phase 1 Expansion Project. The CCU is the only one of its kind in the region and provides specialized cardiac care for area heart patients. It is also the

first step in bringing more advanced heart services closer to home for the people of Simcoe Muskoka. Presenting their latest installment is, from left: Wayne Hubbard, RVH Auxiliary president; Scott Elliott, past chair RVH Foundation; Rick Horst, chair RVH Board of Directors; Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO; Dr. Chris Tebbutt, vice president Academic and Medical Affairs; and Margaret Tervit, RVH Auxiliary past president.

Young sisters sell bracelets to support RVH Women’s Imaging Department What do two young girls do to celebrate the fact their grandmother beat cancer – not once, but twice? Other than the customary hugs and kisses, Brieanna,11, and Natalie Betts, 9, made bracelets and sold them to raise money for RV H. The girls presented Dr. Paul Voorheis (above left) and Dr. Scott Good with $1,000 for RVH’s Womens’ Imaging department.

They did so to support mammography – the examination which caught their grandmother’s cancer. Their passion for this great cause was contagious as people who saw their stand at The Log Cabin Variety in Innisfil purchased more than 150 bracelets. This is not the first time these two young philanthropists have raised money for RV H, and you can bet it won’t be that last!


Remembering Roy McArthur Every year RVH is honoured to receive special legacy gifts in bequests and insurance policies. One such gift was received from Roy Alexander McArthur. Born in 1922, he lived all his life in Oro-Medonte. His family described him as a man who was grateful for all he had - his farm, neighbours, friends and family. Having never married, he made it his unspoken purpose to take care of others including his mother who lived to be 92 years old. His philosophy was to care for others and share what he had. He lived that belief to the end when he remembered eight charities in his will including RVH. We like to think he would be proud that his legacy of caring for others is now helping other families in our region. Roy McArthur’s simple life made a big statement. Others who recently supported RVH patient care through their estate legacy gifts include: Brian Banks; Eileen Marian Brosko; William K. Caldwell; Lillian Cross Campbell; Paul Edward Dickey; Orville David Croydon Dobson; John Orvil Elliott; Bessie Clara Geall; Phyllis Hutchinson; Violet Kimmel; Donald Herbert Madeleine; Primrose Christine McMillan; Dorothy Ann Moscarello; Doris Aileen Mossington; Anna Clementine Mueller and Jean-Mary Piesley.


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RVH brings its

history to life

History sat in a box on a shelf. It was hidden, but definitely not forgotten. Then a Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre team with a vision opened the lid of the box and brought history to life, creating the health centre’s first historical display. The idea was to highlight nursing history during Nursing Week, held each year in May. When the team went looking for nursing artifacts it uncovered an RVH nurse’s cape, a 1942 graduation pin, a proficiency pin, as well as a graduation certificate belonging to nurse Ferne Blair. The items had been donated to RVH by her cousins Don and Dennis Bell. Unfortunately, with nowhere to display such items, they sat in storage. “We knew we wanted to bring history to life at RVH but had no expertise in properly exhibiting these items,” says Joanna Dunlop from RVH’s History Committee. “So we partnered with the Simcoe County Museum which provided a free-standing display case and created an outstanding exhibit with the input of RVH and nurse Ferne Blair’s family.” The result is a beautiful historic display which stands in the main lobby, attracting

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Don (left) and Dennis Bell beside RVH’s historical display featuring family artifacts.

attention from health centre patients, visitors and staff alike. The RVH History Committee is now actively creating a database of stories, photographs and artifacts that reflect RVH’s rich 116-year history, with a goal to develop a permanent historic display at the health centre. Do you have a piece of RVH history sitting in your attic? Are there photos, uniforms, a journal, or newspaper clippings taking up space in your basement? Is there

a special RVH memory you’d like to share? Please contact the RVH History Committee at “So far all of the feedback we have received about the project has been very positive,” says Dunlop. “It has created a lot of conversation about our proud history and how much RVH has changed. We have found one constant over the years though RVH’s commitment to caring for the people of this region has never waivered.”

Supporting our local hospitals The County of Simcoe contributed more than $20M in funding to local hospitals between 1994-2002 I formally established the Simcoe County Hospital Funding Alliance in 2002 to anticipate and respond to our community needs and to ensure this health-care funding was distributed equitably across all of our local hospitals I contributed up to $3 Million annually to support the capital needs of our hospitals between 2002-2006 I injected a total of $32.2 Million in funding to local hospitals between 1994-2006 I renewed funding agreement in 2007 with a new term that provides $3 Million annually over the following decade, ending in 2016 I broadened the membership of this funding alliance in 2010 to include WayPoint Health Centre, and will include this hospital in considering future funding beyond 2016 Through this generous history of funding, the County has been an instrumental partner in many hospital projects, including: � Orillia Soldier’s Memorial Hospital expansion � Southlake Regional Health Centre Cancer Care Centre � Stevenson Memorial Emergency facilities renovation � Collingwood General and Marine Hospital redevelopment � Georgian Bay General Hospital expansion � Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre Cancer Care Centre


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Providing quality care patient at a time BARRIE LOCATIONS 190 Cundles Road East (Suite 205) ........ 705-722-8036 Offering Ultrasound, Bone Density and X-ray 480 Huronia Road (Suite 101)................ 705-739-1028 Offering Ultrasound and X-ray 121 Wellington Street West (Suite 115) .... 705-726-4531 Offering Ultrasound and X-ray

WASAGA BEACH LOCATION 14 Ramblewood Dr. (Suite 105)............. 705-422-2255 Offering Ultrasound, Bone Density and X-ray

COLLINGWOOD LOCATION 186 Erie Street (Suite 104) ..................... 705-444-9280 Offering X-ray

We now offer MSK & Vascular Ultrasound.

For ULTRASOUND or BONE DENSITY appointments call our booking department at 705-726-7442

Walk in basis for X-RAY

Proudly serving the people of Simcoe County Since 1972

36 NOVEMBER 2013


Vital signs 2013  

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre's Annual Regional Report