Your Health Matters fall 2016

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HealthMatters royal columbian hospital foundation magazine • fall/winter 2016 edition

wedding angels Royal Columbian Hospital hosts a wedding in an act of compassion for a patient and her family

lasting impression Heart patient credits caregivers as the inspiration for a business launch

breathing life into research Doctor pursues passion in support of patients who can’t breathe on their own

For some stroke patients in the health region, Royal Columbian Hospital is the only option

Critical Block

this magazine brought to you with generous support from

Donor dollars drive innovation


ur attention often gravitates towards the future, as we raise money in support of the next lifesaving piece of equipment or the next upgrade to our patient care areas. This has never been more the case than now, when anticipation is building for the massive hospital redevelopment getting underway. While we work together on our next great success, it’s important to reflect on our past and celebrate our accomplishments. One of these achievements relates to the cover of this issue of Your Health Matters and the role that Royal Columbian Hospital plays in stroke care for the region. We’re proud our donors have helped to bring technology that is saving lives throughout the region. A few years ago, donors to the Foundation contributed close to $3 million to help open the Multipurpose Interventional Suite (MPIS), an impressive facility that allows our medical team to treat strokes, aneurysms and abnormal heart rhythms – all without the need for invasive surgery. The MPIS is a great example of the power of donors to drive innovation and bring health care to a new level. Since the suite’s opening in 2012, the hospital has been at the forefront of a change in the way some stroke patients are saved from severe disability or death. Each of you who contributed to that fundraising campaign should feel pride in helping open one of only two facilities of its kind in the province. Please take a moment to read our cover story to learn more about the remarkable work of our stroke team. It’s enough to get you excited about the future!

-Doug Eveneshen

Chair, Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation



-Jeff Norris

President & CEO, Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation


Health Matters



Health Matters



EDITOR Jason Howe




PUBLISHED BY New Westminster Record


We welcome your comments on Your Health Matters magazine. Please email or write to us c/o Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, 330 East Columbia Street, New Westminster, BC V3L 3W7.

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Established in 1978, Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation

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fund innovative programs, and support training and research. To donate, please visit or call 604-520-4438.

Inspired giving


Wedding angels

Royal Columbian Hospital hosts a wedding in an act of compassion for a patient and her family

Life and limb

Lacrosse player rejoins team following traumatic workplace injury 11

Lasting impression

Heart patient credits caregivers as inspiration for business launch

Behind-the-scenes briefs

raises millions of dollars annually to purchase medical equipment,


Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation Chair Doug Eveneshen and Foundation President and CEO Jeff Norris



Critical block

For some stroke patients in the health region, Royal Columbian Hospital is the only option

14 Leadership leaves a legacy Planning now for a future charitable gift A colorectal surgeon with a growing international reputation leaves an impression on a family beset by a 15 Breathing life into research medical nightmare Doctor pursues passion in support of patients 8 Report to donors who can’t breathe on their own With the help of donors like you, we are able to purchase lifesaving equipment each year 6

Persistent care




More than 150 golfers and sponsors took part in the 4th annual Making the Cut Charity Golf Classic on June 11th. The golf fundraiser is organized by front-line hospital staff. Special thanks to dinner sponsors Cassady & Company Lawyers, Jarislowsky Fraser Global Investment Management and Medray MRI, tee gift sponsor Creative Embroidery, media sponsor Business in Vancouver and other generous sponsors. Visit for more information. Families whose newborns received care throughout the years at Royal Columbian Hospital’s Variety Neonatal Intensive Care Unit came together to say thanks on June 25th in Sapperton Park.

Jack Gin (centre), with Drs. Ken Atkinson and Justin Cheung, views new ScopeGuide technology, purchased for the gastroenterology department with a $20,000 donation from the Jack and Sylvia Gin Foundation and $10,000 from the Drive for the Cure Foundation. McQuarrie Hunter LLP has pledged $75,000 to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation for the new 75-bed Mental Health and Substance Use Wellness Centre.

For the latest Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation news, follow us:



Facebook: Twitter: subscribing to our 3 On 1 Bymonthly 2 @RoyalColumbian e-newsletter at



hen Nikkie Nolet became engaged, she set her wedding date far enough into the future to give her infant son time to learn to walk and perform ring bearer duties. But plans suddenly changed when her mother-in-law’s health took a serious turn for the worse. As Mary Nolet lay bedridden and on a ventilator at Royal Columbian Hospital, Nikkie and fiancé Marc made a decision – if they wanted Mary at the wedding, they would need to get married right away, in the hospital. “My mother-in-law was very much a part of the wedding planning,” says Nikkie. “She really wanted to see her son get married. We were all very Royal Columbian Hospital hosts wedding in act of compassion close.” Mary had been coping with manager for both the hospital’s High Acuity Unit and lung problems for a while, but now the effects of chronic Respiratory Therapy. As he learned about the family’s obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were threatening plight, Terry wondered whether he might be able to her life. So the family approached the hospital to see if offer them an even better option than the bedside. Nikkie and Marc could get married at her bedside. “My idea was to have a witness for each of us and a Donor-funded space justice of the peace, ask if we can have extra visitors in Located on the second floor of the hospital’s Columbia the room for half an hour, and then sign the papers,” Tower, the Delesalle Sacred Space is open 24/7 to help says Nikkie. fulfill the spiritual needs of all patients and staff. The The request made its way to Terry Welykholowa, the beautiful space was created with generous support to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation from the Delesalle family. But in order to have the wedding there, patient safety had to be carefully considered. “We needed to make sure we could support her ventilation, intravenous medications and other care that she required,” notes Terry. “But this was a very special day for the mom as well as the family, so there was no reason, in this case, that it couldn’t be done with some careful planning.” Nikkie says it was all incredible. “I never, ever thought it would turn out so well, and just be one of my best memories.” Remarkably, Mary’s health improved enough after the wedding that she was able to return home for several months before she passed away. As she grieves the loss of her loved one, Nikkie is grateful her motherand-law had the opportunity to witness their wedding. “They showed great compassion and caring,” Nikkie says of the staff at Royal Columbian Hospital. “They are all angels.”


TOP: Mary Nolet during the wedding at Royal Columbian Hospital. LEFT: Nikkie and Marc get married inside Royal Columbian Hospital’s Delesalle Sacred Space. ROYAL COLUMBIAN HOSPITAL FOUNDATION I YOUR HEALTH MATTERS


Persistent Care

A colorectal surgeon with a growing international reputation leaves an impression on a family beset by a medical nightmare


ohn Brugman had been managing symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease for two decades when doctors discovered a mass in part of his colon. Surgery was scheduled at Royal Columbian Hospital, but the mass proved only

Dr. Elena Vikis is developing an international reputation for the volume of cases of TaTME she has performed.

to be the beginning of a monthslong health nightmare that included blood clots, an emergency operation, cardiac arrest and cancer. “I had ulcerative colitis for a long time,” says John today, more than two years after he was first encouraged by his family doctor to see a specialist. “You learn to live with it. But that time, it got worse, a lot of 6


pain.” Plans for surgery came up against a first hurdle when hospital tests uncovered blood clots in his lungs and leg. John spent the next six weeks on blood thinners. His operation was scheduled for the day after the anticoagulation treatment completed. But on the eve of surgery, with John in the hospital as an admitted patient, a sudden emergency caused the medical team to throw the surgical plan out the window.

But then, a new emergency – John’s heart stopped. Carla and one of her daughters had been with John in hospital when the two visitors decided to get breakfast nearby. On their way back, the phone rang with the frightening news. “We didn’t believe it,” remembers Carla. “We ran to the floor again. We were not allowed in the room, because everybody was there already.” The family credits the actions of a nurse who started CPR after John was discovered without a pulse. It’s unclear how long his heart stopped, and John remained unconscious for weeks in the Intensive Care Unit, delaying his surgery yet again. The immediate concern, however,

Health scare “I came to the hospital as always,” says John’s wife Carla. “I usually do a nice hot wash for him, but he said no, he’s freezing. I bundled him up with two or three hot blankets. Then, boom, it changed. He said he is not cold anymore and wants me to take those blankets away.” Unbeknownst to Carla, John’s colon had perforated, a life-threatening complication of ulcerative colitis. Royal Columbian Hospital colorectal surgeons Dr. Elena Vikis and Dr. George Melich had been scheduled the next morning to perform a total proctocolectomy on John – basically removing the whole colon and rectum. Instead, John was brought to the OR for an emergency procedure to save his life. The operation went well, and John made a strong recovery. Dr. Vikis intended to schedule a further surgery to comDr. Elena Vikis in the operating room. plete the original plan.

was John’s current condition. “We were really worried about him,” says Dr. Vikis. “We didn’t know what his neurologic function would be.” Carla spent her days by John’s side and vividly remembers the moment her husband emerged from his coma. “It took a couple of days, but little bit by little bit, his eyes opened,” she recalls. “Then one day, my daughter said, ‘He’s following you, mom.’ That was the biggest moment for us.” While the cardiac arrest left John with speech difficulties, he slowly regained his strength. Following months of recuperation, John was ready for surgery with Dr. Vikis. Leading voice The colorectal surgeon, who has been at Royal Columbian since August 2012, is gaining a reputa-

tion internationally for a procedure known as transanal total mesorectal excision – TaTME. Dr. Vikis has treated more rectal lesions and cancers using her approach than any other surgeon in the country. While cancer had not yet been confirmed in John, Dr. Vikis felt TaTME was a good preventative measure for removal of his rectum given the high risk of cancer in the remaining bowel. Her suspicions were confirmed when pathology tests after the procedure identified two cancers in his rectum. This meant John needed one more surgery followed by chemotherapy. Six months after his treatment, and John says he feels good. The family is grateful to the medical team at Royal Columbian Hospital and in particular Dr. Vikis, whose persistence the Brugman’s daughter Pacha

John and Carla Brugman are grateful to Royal Columbian Hospital, and Dr. Elena Vikis in particular, following a series of health scares.

credits for helping her father get back to good health. “Anytime we were uncertain of any situation, she always took the time with our family to make us understand and feel at ease,” Pacha says. “She was much more than a doctor to our family, and we feel very fortunate in every way to have her on our side.” “She’s very good with patients,” says John about Dr. Vikis. “She takes time and explains. It is her attitude. She always smiles and laughs. She is great.” “She has a beautiful soul,” adds Carla. “She is very knowledgeable.” ROYAL COLUMBIAN HOSPITAL FOUNDATION I YOUR HEALTH MATTERS


Report to donors: your gift is critical to the care we provide With the help of donors like you in 2015-16, Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation has been able to purchase equipment for a number of hospital departments, including the following. Trauma upgrade As one of two major adult trauma centres in the province, Royal Columbian Hospital cares for people from all over the region who have been involved in serious car crashes, workplace accidents, household falls and a number of other traumatic injuries. With help from donors to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, the trauma team is now assessing patients inside a trauma room that has twice the space as before. The larger size is just one of the many features

The hospital’s new trauma room offers three patient bays with twice the space as before and equipped with critical care systems, x-ray equipment, digital imaging technology and exam lighting.

of the room, which contains three bays complete with critical care systems, exam lighting and x-ray equipment. The room also features digital imaging technology for faster access to images, and the space allows for additional equipment that may be needed to support critically ill or injured patients. Easier breath Used for patients with impending respiratory failure, the Bipap V60 ventilator enables us to provide breathing support with a face mask, rather than through intubation. This life-saving equipment is especially helpful for elderly patients, since they don’t need to be sedated. This type of ventilator can greatly increase the chance of recovery, since the patient is more mobile and can still eat on their own. Alternatively, the Bipap V60 is used to provide comfort to our patients receiving palliative care, helping to ensure their final breaths are easier and less painful. These ventilators are extremely versatile and portable, so they can go where they are needed most, including the Intensive Care Unit, the High Acuity Unit, Emergency and in the Pediatrics Unit. Funding for this equipment was provided by the TB Vets Charitable Foundation.

Respiratory therapist Kuljit Minhas demonstrates the Bipap V60 ventilator on a simulation doll.



The heart in 3D Good imagery is allowing our medical team to do some incredible lifesaving work.

3D transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) with colour Doppler is among the technology offering better views than ever before. When a heart failure patient needed treatment, the donor-funded ultrasound helped doctors fix a hole that had formed next to an artificial heart valve. Repairs were done without the need for open surgery. The equipment provided the exact location of the hole and its size and helped guide the delicate repair work. Interventional cardiologist Dr. Albert Chan says the technology helps him see whether the wire he uses during the procedure has been positioned accurately, something that is hard to judge with only two dimensional images.

A colonoscope is a specialized, flexible telescope that enables the physician to diagnose colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

Cancer fighter In Canada, colon cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in men and women combined. With a high definition colonoscope, our physicians can detect polyps in the colon before they become cancerous. The polyps can then be removed right then and there, thereby eliminating the risk of colon cancer. Colonoscopes are among several items purchased this past year for Royal Columbian Hospital’s GI Clinic, which is a major referral centre for the diagnosis and treatment of serious gastrointestinal (GI) disorders in the Fraser Health region.

Managing discomfort An intravenous line (IV) is a common tool to deliver fluids and medications Detailed images of body structures are taken quickly to a patient. Beby Royal Columbian Hospital’s MRIs to help diagnose cause it involves a needle, numerous medical conditions. A donor-funded torso coil is helping prevent delays when repairs are needed. it can be uncomfortable. A vein viewer is a device that Wait list assistance can help avoid unnecessary pain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and stress during IV insertion. is a powerful machine used to help By illuminating the veins underneath diagnose many different conditions. the skin, the vein viewer helps preThe torso coil is an essential comvent the need for multiple attempts ponent of the technology helping to to insert an IV. The device allows obtain detailed images covering the the caregiver to locate the right vein area of the body from the shoulders in patients ranging from newborns to the pelvis. to seniors. Foundation donors this Donor funding has helped the Medical Imaging department secure an additional torso coil to ensure patients would not face delays should one of the coils need repairs. This helps ongoing efforts to reduce the wait list for MRIs.

A hole is visible on the lower right side of the heart in this image obtained by donor-funded 3D transesophageal echocardiography technology.

past year have helped purchase vein viewers for the Neonatal Intensive Care, Cardiac Inpatient and the Acute Care for the Elderly units.

The Lucas 2 is a mechanical chest compression system used on patients who have suffered life-threatening cardiac arrest.

Mechanical CPR Immediate CPR can help save the life of someone whose heart has stopped. Performing manual compressions to provide oxygenated blood to the brain and heart is exhausting work. The Lucas 2 system performs chest compressions mechanically and frees the caregivers to focus on other life-saving tasks. The machine delivers CPR consistently and regularly for as long as needed. Money raised through the annual Making the Cut Charity Golf Classic fundraiser has been designated to purchase a Lucas 2 system for the surgical department. It is the third one of its kind obtained for the hospital with donor funding. The vein viewer helps avoid the need for multiple attempts at IV insertion. ROYAL COLUMBIAN HOSPITAL FOUNDATION I YOUR HEALTH MATTERS


LIFE AND LIMB Maple Ridge lacrosse player rejoins team following traumatic workplace injury


pencer Evans had reason to be excited about the coming months as he went into work in early 2015. His son would be born later in the year, and he was gearing up for his second season with the Maple Ridge Burrards of the Western Lacrosse Association, the local team he had grown up watching. All of that suddenly took a back seat in Spencer’s mind when a workplace accident sent a heavy steel plate crashing onto the 22-year old’s left arm. “I could not see my arm from the bicep down,” Spencer recalls. “I was stuck there, and I thought I lost my arm.” After being freed by firefighters, Spencer was rushed to Royal Columbian Hospital, the region’s major trauma centre. Doctors and nurses moved around him as he arrived in the trauma room, diagnosing and prioritizing his injuries. The steel plate fractured one of the large bones in his forearm, dislocated the elbow and – most concerning - injured the major blood vessel in the upper arm. Motivated return “This is a case where time is of the essence,” explains orthopedic surgeon Dr. Trevor Stone. “With a team that sees, thinks and breathes trauma regularly, these injuries get picked up quickly and are dealt with.” I could not see A vascular surgeon took my arm from a vein from Spencer’s the bicep down, leg to restore blood flow I was stuck to the arm. From there, there, and I Dr. Stone used screws thought I lost to fix the fracture, put my arm. the elbow back in the joint and repaired ligament damage. He later -Spencer Evans performed a fasciotomy and skin graft to deal with swelling resulting from the return of blood to the arm. Spencer stayed in hospital for a week and a



half before returning home. Following several weeks of bed rest, he turned his attention to regaining function in his arm. “All I thought was I’ll do the best I can on rehab and push myself, so when time comes, at least I can say I gave it my best and tried to get my arm back to normal.” Spencer missed the 2015 lacrosse season but stayed close to the team. Slowly but surely, he regained use of his arm. In 2016, he resumed play for the Burrards. “We do know that patient motivation is a significant factor in outcome,” notes Dr. Stone. “It’s very impressive to say the least that he has recovered himself to the point where he is able to play high-level elite sports.” “I’m obviously thankful to Royal Columbian,” says Spencer. “I am absolutely amazed at what they did with my arm.”

Spencer Evans is playing once again with the Maple Ridge Burrards of the Western Lacrosse Association after a traumatic workplace injury in 2015.

LASTING IMPRESSION Heart patient credits caregivers as inspiration for business launch


al Shactman realized something was very wrong when the paramedics prepared to shock him. By this point, his heart was pounding at hundreds of beats a minute. The 37-year old was rushed to Royal Columbian Hospital for a heart arrhythmia that left him hospitalized for weeks. What he saw during his lengthy stay at Royal Columbian made a profound impact on his life. Val was at a high elevation in Whistler the first time he remembers noticing something unusual. Despite not being particularly active at that moment, he felt short of breath. In subsequent months, he occasionally would feel his heart inexplicably speed up before returning back to normal. “It just got more and more intense,” Val remembers. “It kept happening.” This time, however, was the most intense it had ever been. “I couldn’t take air in, and everything started going black,” he says. “My heart was coming out of my chest, to the point where I couldn’t even speak. With my hands, I signalled to my wife, 9-1-1.” Life-changer Nowadays, Royal Columbian Hospital is well-equipped and trained to treat this heart disorder. But back in 2008, patients had to go elsewhere for treatment. In Val’s case, he was transported to Vancouver Island. Prior to being airlifted there, Val spent five weeks under monitoring at Royal Columbian Hospital. The experience, he says, left a tremendous impression on him. “I had to stay in hospital in case I had another episode, but I felt fine,” Val says. “So I walked around and saw what the cardiac team does. The experience completely humbled me.” As he watched the health care professionals in action, Val spent a lot of time reflecting on his life. “It basically changed my perspective as to what is actually important,” he says. “Contrasting my own life, fears and worries, and what I considered hard work, was absolutely nothing in comparison to the dedication, devotion and commitment, day in and day out, which was obvious in everything the hospital staff did.” Val had worked in accounting and inventory prior to his hospitalization. But once he was discharged, he set his sights on creating a business. Six months later, eeko Couriers was established. “This whole experience made me realize I was really procrasti-

Val Shactman (front) and his brothers launched eeko Couriers after being inspired by the care at Royal Columbian Hospital.

nating,” he says. “There is no procrastinating in the hospital. You do it, and you do it right away.” Val feels much more fulfilled these days and says the business has also allowed him to give back to the hospital. The company has become a sponsor of the annual Making the Cut Charity Golf Classic organized by frontline hospital staff. “I try to project my experience to other people,” he says. “Part of the experience taught me that you never know. Do what you want to do. Don’t delay.” ROYAL COLUMBIAN HOSPITAL FOUNDATION I YOUR HEALTH MATTERS


Critical block For some stroke patients in the health region, Royal Columbian Hospital is the only option


urcharan Singh Dhindsa remembers an intense toothache. He felt unsteady as he walked down the stairs at his local Gurdwara. The 81-year old Abbotsford man somehow drove home and lay down on his bed. When his wife and granddaughter checked on him, he could no longer speak. He fell over when they tried to get him up. Unbeknownst to the family, a large clot had blocked one of the major arteries providing blood flow to the brain, triggering a potentially devastating and deadly stroke. “The clot was the largest one I have ever seen in a patient in my career,” says Royal Columbian Hospital neuro-interventional radiologist Dr. William Siu. “The clot was lodged in the (carotid) artery in the base of the neck.” Time is critical during a stroke, as brain cells that are deprived of oxygen begin to die within minutes. As a result, patients should go to hospital right away. Mr. Dhindsa was rushed by ambulance to Abbotsford

Regional Hospital, the nearest of Fraser Health’s designated stroke centres with an ability to administer the clot-busting drug tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) intravenously. But the clot was so large, his only option was to have it physically removed (thrombectomy). In British Columbia, there are two hospitals with the proper skillset and facilities to attempt this. One of them is Royal Columbian. Endovascular treatment “I could see just a bit, and I couldn’t speak properly,” remembers Mr. Dhindsa about his symptoms as he was transferred from Abbotsford to Royal Columbian for an emergency thrombectomy. Essentially, the medical team at Royal Columbian would slide a thin catheter from the patient’s leg artery right up into the head to grab or suction the clot out. It’s a procedure that is increasingly gaining prominence as a life-saving option for some of the most severe

Gurcharan Singh Dhindsa with his wife Surjit Kaur Dhindsa at home in Abbotsford three months after his stroke.



strokes. A series of studies released in 2015 have shown that endovascular treatment, offered at specialized centres like Royal Columbian Hospital, can save some stroke patients from severe disability or death. “Because of the studies, worldwide stroke treatment has significantly changed recently,” says Dr. Siu. “Everybody now realizes that if somebody has these large clots, they need to get to a centre like ours as soon as possible for this treatment.” Royal Columbian Hospital has a team of neuro-interventionalists as well as specially-trained nurses and technologists. They rely on CT scan technology to locate the clot and then utilize advanced imaging equipment and tools to restore blood flow to the brain. The most impressive imaging equipment for this work at Royal Columbian is situated in the Multipurpose Interventional Suite (MPIS), a uniquely high-tech space that opened in 2012 with help from

Royal Columbian Hospital’s Multipurpose Interventional Suite opened with the help of donors to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation.

Dr. William Siu examines an image of the blood vessels of the brain in the Multipurpose Interventional Suite.

Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation donors who contributed close to $3 million towards the project. “It has the only biplane angiographic machine in Fraser Health,” says Dr. Siu about the suite. “It allows specialisttrained physicians to perform sophisticated interventional procedures with the upmost precision, efficiency and safety.”

Remarkable recovery Despite the highly-skilled team and the incredible technology at their disposal, there are two other factors that can affect a patient’s outcome – time and luck. The sooner a patient can receive care, the better. And the way blood flows to the brain offers some people, like Mr. Dhindsa, a greater chance.

“He is lucky because there are small arteries that are helping feed the brain, called collateral vessels,” explains Dr. Siu. “Some people have no collateral vessels, so that once there is a blockage of a major artery, the brain rapidly dies. But in some patients that have other arteries that can still give some blood to the brain, it keeps the brain alive long enough for us to do this treatment.” Mr. Dhindsa spent less than two weeks in hospital before returning home. Two months after his stroke, he describes himself as feeling okay. He has some weakness in his legs and his eyesight is sometimes impaired. But his family is grateful he remains mobile and can still speak. Dr. Siu as well is impressed. “To see him basically recover within a few days with very minimal deficit was absolutely remarkable.”



Leadership Leaves a Legacy Planning now for a future charitable gift

of unique benefits. They are private, can’t be contested and are often simple to arrange. In most cases, all they require is a change to a beneficiary designation form. You can name Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation as the beneficiary of an existing policy, transfer ownership of an existing policy, donate a fully paid policy, or establish a new policy that designates Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation as the owner and beneficiary. In Colin’s case, his motivation for a legacy gift came after he and his wife Marion moved to the Royal City in 2009, hoping to find a community to which they could belong. As he developed roots in the area, he started looking for opportunities to volunteer his time. A chance phone call with Foundation Board Member and fellow lawyer It was Dwight Ross led to important to his involvement on me to leave a the Board. future gift “Since joining the Board, I’ve learned just how important -Colin Galinski Royal Columbian is to my neighbours and our region,” he notes. “It’s a bit of a well-kept secret in terms of breadth of services and geographical reach. It does so much more than a lot of people realize. There’s also an incredible culture here. People who work at the hospital are very proud. It’s inspiring.” In his time with the Foundation, Colin says he has seen the impact donors can make on the care of patients who are among the most seriously ill and injured in the province. “It has been an incredibly humbling experience,” he says. “It’s a reminder that it’s not about me. While I won’t meet the majority of people touched by the Foundation’s support of the hospital, I feel privileged that I can help in some way.”

“ ”


s a pension and benefits lawyer, Colin Galinski is used to thinking about people’s future needs. The New Westminster resident has also taken a forwardthinking approach with his philanthropy. As a result, he has named Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. “It was important to me to leave a future gift, and I wanted that gift to be larger than what I give on an annual basis,” says Colin, who joined

colin Galinski, with his wife and children, has found that a life insurance policy was the best approach for him to make a legacy gift to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation.

Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation as a volunteer Board Director in the spring of 2015. “I have a young family and of course they come first. When I did the planning, I saw that life insurance was the best way for me to make my legacy gift.” Gifts of life insurance have a number

To learn more about how you can support life-saving care at Royal Columbian Hospital with your legacy gift: Please contact - Catherine Cornish, Manager, Legacy and Community Giving Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation • Telephone: (604) 520-4902 • Email: 14



Breathing life into research As a critical care physician at Royal Columbian Hospital as well as being the regional medical director and Department Head of critical care in Fraser Health, Dr. Steve Reynolds is focused on helping patients who are seriously ill or injured recover and return home to their loved ones. He’s spent years researching how to get patients off mechanical ventilators sooner. With help from donors, Dr. Reynolds has been awarded the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation Professorship in Critical Care at Simon Fraser University, giving his research efforts increased support. Foundation: What is the importance for a hospital like ours to get involved in research? Dr. Reynolds: The most important thing for a patient is the quality of care that’s provided. Research drives adherence to, and knowledge of, the cutting edge. To have a hospital that’s directly engaged in research, the people doing it are driven to know all there is to know about their area and provide absolute excellence in care.

Foundation: What does the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation Professorship in Critical Care at Simon Fraser University allow you to do? Dr. Reynolds: It helps to grow the team and helps get the word out and attract others who are interested to learn about this and be involved. Hopefully, this will help get patients out of critical care faster and on the road to recovery faster.

Foundation: What is your research focus? Dr. Reynolds: My interest is around the diaphragm, which is the most important muscle for breathing. Many of my patients are on mechanical ventilation. Because they have been asleep in a coma, their muscles get weaker. Like any other muscle, if you don’t use it, your diaphragm gets weaker. If your diaphragm and breathing muscles get weaker, it’s tough to breathe independently of the machine. Foundation: You are co-inventor of a device called the Lungpacer to help patients maintain diaphragm strength. How does this apply to the research? Dr. Reynolds: What I am most interested in is how to strengthen the muscles that help you breathe and make sure you can get off the breathing machine faster. We already have tested the device in people and know that it is safe to put in. Now it’s testing if it works over the long term. The thing about research in general is that it requires you to be very careful and thorough in what you do, and the actual process of research takes an immensely long time.



Wesgroup is a proud supporter of the Royal Columbian Hospital and an advocate to advancing the health care facilities in BC’s fastest growing region.