NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019
Lest we forget
VOL. 19 | ISSUE 5
NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2019
Editor: Allison Hansen and Dahlia Reich Imprint is produced every other month for the staff of St. Joseph’s. Send your comments, suggestions and submissions to Communication and Public Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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A three-peat! Top marks from Accreditation Canada… again Excelling Globally A prestigious award for Dr. Bruce Nichols One warrior to another The gift of humanity 2018-2021 Strategic Plan Year one accomplishment highlights (2018/2019)
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Lucky every day
An online approach to care
“It has been cold here again today.”
Stories lost and found This way out – one person’s solution to parking woes at St. Joseph’s Hospital
Revealing the culprit behind Parkinson’s disease
Normandy students express thanks to veterans
Vimy Oak finds a home Home is where you make it
20 Running for your someone 21 A remarkable 45 year career
22 New Year, new direction 2 2 Unravelling the best treatment for early rheumatoid arthritis
2 3 Unspoken compassion: A volunteer’s story
24 Latest Updates
Dr. Gillian Kernaghan
A message from President and CEO Dr. Gillian Kernaghan
The essence of being human Across St. Joseph’s, volunteers give the gift of time, expertise and compassion to support our organization and those we serve, at the bedside and in the boardroom. Our own staff and physicians give of themselves as volunteers locally and in far-distant communities. We have a giving community that, through philanthropy and St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation, allows our organization to lead the way in discovery, care and equipment, and the more gentle touches of comfort to our patients, residents and their families. Just recently, the largest gift ever made to St. Joseph’s was announced at Tribute Dinner. Bill and Lynne Gray have made a historic $7.5 million investment that will fuel discovery in rehabilitative care and promote people’s capacity to remain mobile and healthy through The Gray Centre for Mobility and Activity at Parkwood Institute. The season of giving and of giving thanks is upon us. Tribute Dinner was a captivating night of recognition and a poignant reminder of how ordinary people can do extraordinary things. St. Joseph’s Service Recognition Program honoured the dedication of those marking career milestones and giving their all to our organization. Many of us celebrated Thanksgiving with people we love. Our employee giving campaign Share the Spirit is in full swing. And Remembrance Day, the Christmas holidays and the foundation’s Season of Celebration are all around the corner. It is indeed a time of great reflection and understanding of our obligations to the broader community. In the last few years, the Triple Aim in health care, which focuses on improving the lives of our patients, has become the Quadruple Aim, which adds a critical focus of looking after one another. The Triple Aim – enhancing the patient experience, improving population health, and reducing costs – is
widely accepted as a compass to optimize health system performance. Recognizing that society expects more and more of health care teams, the fourth aim focuses on improving the work life of clinicians and staff. I am most proud to be part of an organization and a community that values caring and giving in all its forms. I am moved and inspired by our culture of compassion – for those we serve and for one another. I am encouraged and energized in seeing our mission in action every day at every turn in every corner of our organization. Desmond Tutu, a renowned South African Anglican cleric and Nobel Peace Prize winner, champions the humanist philosophy of ‘Ubuntu’. In his words, Ubuntu “speaks of the very essence of being human. … It is to say my humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours. We belong in a bundle of life. We say a person is a person through other persons. It is not I think therefore I am. It says rather: I am human because I belong, I participate, and I share.” Thank you for belonging to the St. Joseph’s family. Thank you for sharing your time, skill, expertise and passion. Thank you earning complete confidence and for serving with excellence, respect and compassion.
Exemplary Care Matters Here
A three-peat! Top marks from Accreditation Canada… again St. Joseph’s has received the highest designation possible from Accreditation Canada – Exemplary Standing. “We’ve already held exemplary standing for eight years,” says President and CEO Dr. Gillian Kernaghan. “This will extend us now to 12 years. Receiving this for a third time is testament to the tremendous dedication of our staff and physicians to quality and safety. It also shows that St. Joseph’s not only works to achieve our goals – but also to sustain them.” St. Joseph’s performance was evaluated against a total of 1,980 standards and met 1,973 - a 99.6 per cent grade. In addition, every single Required Organizational Practice (ROP) was met. An ROP is an essential practice organizations must have in place to enhance patient/client safety and minimize risk. Accreditation Canada took special note of St. Joseph’s engaged volunteers and physicians, highly respected reputation in the community, and commitment to patients. Surveyors praised St. Joseph’s responsiveness to feedback from patients and their families, strong academic and research focus, favorable financial position, St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation support, and dedication to psychological health and safety. “We are an organization that doesn’t stop after crossing the finish pg 4 | NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019
line – we press on for continued improvement, asking ourselves how we can do better, says Gillian. “This is the truest test of excellence.” St. Joseph’s has a long history of raising the bar, instilled by our founding Sisters of St. Joseph 150 years ago. A perfect example of raising the bar was the addition of an extra surveyor to asses St. Joseph’s focus on patient-centred care, which went
beyond Accreditation Canada survey requirements. “I believe the surveyors had it right when they said we have a culture others should be envious of, where teams work elbow-to-elbow to provide the best care possible while instilling confidence in patients,” says Gillian. “This great achievement belongs to everyone – in every department, program and service.”
It was a full house at St. Joseph’s Hospital as the Accreditation Canada team announced St. Joseph’s remarkable results.
Excelling Globally With only three Canadians nominated, St. Joseph’s own Shrikant Chinchalkar has taken home a prestigious award recognizing his many contributions in the field of hand therapy. The International Federation of Societies for Hand Therapy Lifetime Achievement Award is granted to a person who excels globally, beyond what is normally expected in the field of hand therapy, recognizing the recipient’s “enormous contribution” and benefit to “countless patients”. It’s no surprise this award was bestowed upon Shrikant, one of the founders of the hand therapy program at St. Joseph’s. A hand therapist at the Roth|McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Centre for 26 years, Shrikant has more than 47 years of clinical experience treating upper extremity conditions and nearly 40 years of teaching up-and-coming hand therapists. In addition to designing St. Joseph’s hand therapy program, Shrikant has collaborated with three other major
Hand therapist Shrikant Chinchalkar explains the controlled movement program to a patient in the Roth|McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Centre.
teaching centres in Canada on the development of their programs. With numerous milestones throughout his career, including creation of the hand fellowship program at St. Joseph’s, Shrikant’s achievements and awards are too many to note. Proud of all his accomplishments, this particular award is humbling. “It’s a great honour,” says Shrikant. “It’s a pleasure to be recognized.” Recently back from Germany where he chaired a session on nerve transfers, Shrikant continues to enjoy a busy “retirement” working a few hours at St. Joseph’s and bringing his knowledge around the world to countries needing his insight and expertise. This past summer he spent time in India and Sri Lanka, challenging old practices on hand fractures and sharing new knowledge on wound healing that could change the face of hand therapy in those two countries. It’s a well-deserved tribute for an individual who has made a remarkable difference in his field, and for patients around the globe.
A prestigious award for Dr. Bruce Nichols The Ivey Eye Institute is worldrenowned for being a leader in eye care with a very distinguished history of service. Over the years the American Academy of Ophthalmology has recognized the outstanding contributions of Ivey Eye Institute and its surgeons, and now Dr. Bruce Nichols has added a new accolade to the team’s repertoire. The Senior Achievement Award honours an ophthalmologist for his or her years of dedication and service to the academy, its scientific and educational programs and to the specialty of ophthalmology as a whole. Dr. Nichols has been named a recipient of this prestigious award for
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his contributions in laser refractive eye surgery, astigmatism surgery, and cataract surgical techniques. Dr. Nichols is the first eye surgeon from St. Joseph’s Ivey Eye Institute to receive the Senior Achievement Award, and one of only two Canadians honoured this year. Previous awards from the academy bestowed upon Ivey Eye Institute physicians include the Academy Achievement Award, Life Time Fellow Award and a Distinguished Service Award to the entire Department of Ophthalmology. Congratulations to Dr. Nichols for this outstanding achievement - and for continuing the long tradition of excellence in eye care.
One warrior Earlier this year, John Doucette gently pressed his thumbprint into a soft bead of clay, offering a prayer and making a wish. He knew this bead – after it was painted and kiln fired – might bring strength to a child fighting an illness or injury at London Health Sciences Centre’s Children’s Hospital. A former member of the Canadian Army, John has witnessed and experienced his own share of battles as a soldier, competitive boxer and stroke survivor. He now resides in the Veterans Care Program at Parkwood Institute. Part of John’s regular routine is heading to the Veterans Arts studios at Parkwood Institute, where he and other veterans have created “warrior” beads for patients at Children’s Hospital. These will be part of that hospital’s
In recognition of Remembrance Day, patients at Children’s Hospital will receive a red poppy bead created by veterans at Parkwood Institute.
to another Bravery Bead Program to help children and families note their personal journey through a long-term illness or injury. Coloured beads are added to the child’s bravery string to represent a different type of care or treatment. “I put my fingerprint on each bead so the children can see it’s a gift from an older warrior to a younger warrior,” says John. “These children are in a tough place, and fighting to get well. I want to be helpful and make them happy, and maybe give them the possibility of a miracle. I’m sure they can all use a miracle.” With the help of staff, John and a team of veterans have molded, painted and glazed the clay beads. Painted bright blue, each warrior bead is the diameter of a dime and the thickness of notepad. There are also red poppy beads, which will be distributed
This spring, John Doucette delivered “warrior” beads to grateful patients at Children’s Hospital.
to children who are in hospital on Remembrance Day. This spring, John was among four veterans who went to Children’s Hospital to personally deliver the beads to children. “This symbolism of the beads is amazing,” says Kim Smith, an art
instructor at Parkwood Institute. “When a child is in hospital and feels frightened or scared, he or she can hold a handmade bead made by a veteran who knows what it’s like to fight. Our veterans have put their heart and soul into these small pieces of art, and they were so thrilled to deliver them to the children.”
For 12-year-old Keanna Shrubsall, her “warrior” bead makes her feel strong and brave. “It’s neat to share a veteran’s experience with my own experience,” says Keanna.
The gift of humanity Occupational therapist and preceptor to more than 100 students, Clark Heard shares what is at the centre of the occupational therapy practice model and how it can be applied across all care areas. ‘You are capable. You have a unique and interesting potential as a human, and so do I.’ This is the philosophy that Clark Heard brings to his practice as an occupational therapist (OT) and role of preceptor at Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care. “When you approach care through this lens, a collective humanity is shared,” explains Clark. Many of us are familiar with the function of an OT as someone who helps to solve the problems that, due to illness or injury, interfere with a person’s ability to do the things that are important to them. What you may not know, says Clark, is that spirituality is the overarching focus of the profession and is, in fact, embedded within the very centre of the OT practice model, says Clark, While spirituality is complex and difficult to define because it means something different to everyone, Clark describes it within the OT discipline as “a collective humanity that connects us to one another and to our patients.” While the OT profession is outcomedriven and science-based, “we’re also essentially talking about each individual’s goals to find what compels them and brings them meaning,” says Clark. Even helping patients with simple self-care tasks, such as cooking and sharing a meal together, can be a meaningful experience. “It’s in the interactions that take place and the connections to memories pg 8 | NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019
or life experiences – spirituality is the sum of all of that,” says Clark. “How and where it hits with each person, however, is self-defined.” For 20 years, spirituality and a sense of humanity have been among the core principles Clark has worked to instill within his patients, as well as the more than 100 OT students who have fallen under his instruction. “The gift in teaching is in sharing the human experience,” says Clark. “Students viewing patients as human beings means caring for each individual with respect and compassion. Excellence comes out of that. This is one of my main goals as a preceptor and hopefully they take that with them into their practice.” Jared Scott, OT with the Forensic Outreach Program, is one Clark’s many former students who did just that. Jared believes spirituality is at the centre of who each patient is and attributes much of his core values about what it means to be a person-centred OT in the mental health care program from his time with Clark. “By spirituality being at the centre of our model, it essentially means focusing on the wholeness of the person, not just the illness or injury,” says Jared. While some individuals want to engage with a specific religion, he explains, others are looking to explore where they fit into the world, how they connect with others or are searching for answers to some of life’s tough questions such as ‘who am I?’, ‘what brings meaning to me?’ or ‘do I matter?’.
“Spirituality houses those big questions – the ones that touch on the humanity of us all. And, if you’re lucky, as you develop relationships with patients, you’ll get to a place where they feel comfortable asking you some of those questions and discussing their personal, unique meanings.” Focusing on these areas, Jared adds, “can nourish the relationship between patient and caregiver and help them to define what they want to do or overcome, who they want to be and how, together, we can help them get there.”
Clark Heard, left, with former student Jared Scott both work as occupational therapists at Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care.
2018-2021 Strategic Plan Year one accomplishment highlights (2018/2019) Reaching Out, Connecting Care, Innovating Together, Leveraging Technology and Empowering People are the priorities outlined in St. Joseph’s Corporate Strategic Plan. The plan maps out where the organization is going, how it will get there and what it means to patients, families, staff and community. Woven throughout is St. Joseph’s steadfast focus on uncompromising quality and safety, partnerships with patients, residents and family caregivers, as well as advocacy and collaboration. This past fiscal year, 2018-2019, saw St. Joseph’s complete the first year of this three-year road-map. The following is a glimpse of the progress achieved across the organization. A few highlights from year one of St. Joseph’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan accomplishments include:
CONNECTING CARE TO SUPPORT BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT •
REACHING OUT TO THE PEOPLE WHO NEED US MOST •
Collaboratively, as the lead organization in the South West Frail Senior Strategy – St. Joseph’s developed a regional strategy for the care of frail seniors. The purpose is to improve outcomes of and experiences with the health care system for older adults with frailty and their caregivers. More than 500 older adults, caregivers and health care providers from across the South West LHIN provided feedback into a three-year vision and a work plan for 2019-2020, which has now been finalized. Read more about the South West Frail Senior Strategy’s approach and future direction
St. Joseph’s has made exciting progress in strengthening family caregiver partnerships through the Improving CARE Together project. A care resource binder was co-created for, and with, family caregivers and patients that engages them as partners in care. It helps them to track names of their health care providers and personalizes information about nutrition, exercise, discharge planning and more. More than 200 patients/family caregivers have received the care binder at Parkwood Institute with tangible results. Within Specialized Geriatric Services, family caregiver ratings have increased by five per cent with regards to feeling meaningfully involved in care planning. Watch videos about Improving Care Together St. Joseph’s has also launched an organization-wide Family Presence Policy, which recognizes the essential role of family caregivers in patient and resident care. With this policy, current visiting hours have been removed and family caregivers are welcome at any time, with consideration to the safety and wellbeing of all. Learn more about welcoming caregivers- family presence at St. Joseph’s
2018-2021 Strategic Plan Year one accomplishment highlights (2018/2019)
LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY TO TRANSFORM CARE AND KNOWLEDGE •
INNOVATING AND BUILDING NEW KNOWLEDGE TOGETHER •
Lawson Health Research Institute cyclotron and radiochemistry scientists successfully produced a novel biomarker to non-invasively diagnose prostate cancer using PET/MRI. They have become the first in Canada to use a prostate-specific membrane antigen probe to capture highly-specific PET/MRI and PET/CT images from a prostate cancer patient. For mental health care patients, St. Joseph’s is leading the way in Canada in implementing the Zero Suicide initiative, now in place across the mental health programs at Parkwood Institute and Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care, as well as at the Operational Stress Injury Clinic. The goal is bold – to reduce suicides and attempted suicides by wrapping care around the individual so that fewer people fall through gaps in their care journey. Learn how the Zero Suicide initiative at St. Joseph’s is helping to close systemic gaps in care
This snapshot of achievements from 2018-2019 speak to innovation and excellence, to earning complete confidence in care, and making a difference in the quest to live fully. To view the full list of Strategic Plan accomplishments from year one (2018-2019), well as current initiatives for year two (2019-2020), visit the intranet. Visit the Strategic Plan website to review the full three-year plan. pg 10 | NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019
Implementation of clinical electronic documentation – an initiative called OneChart – will significantly advance the electronic health record capabilities across St. Joseph’s, London Health Sciences Centre and the regional hospitals. Care teams and the hospitals will have the ability to capture and share key elements of the patient’s history, tests, exams, investigations as well as notes used to develop diagnoses and treatment plans. Phase 1 of OneChart launched on Oct. 7. Through a patient portal called MyChart, about 30 patients of St. Joseph’s Breast Care Program were given access to their health records as part of an early adopter group testing this safe and secure website. They are being empowered to manage their health by putting vital personal health information in their hands. Registration opened in June to all breast care patients. Read about the MyChart Patient Portal in the Breast Care Program
EMPOWERING PEOPLE •
New tools are now in place to promote civility and support everyone’s ability to ‘speak up’ and address any behaviours inconsistent with St. Joseph’s values. This includes a new intranet site, which was created as a hub for Psychological Health and Safety resources for staff and physicians. Most telling when it comes to empowering people are St. Joseph’s employee engagement scores. Results from the 2019 Employee/Physician Pulse Survey show St. Joseph’s is sustaining high employee and physician engagement scores that are consistently above comparator hospitals. Eighty-four per cent of employees and 86 per cent of physicians say they are proud to tell others they are part of the organization. Eighty-seven per cent of employees and 88 per cent of physicians positively rate St. Joseph’s as a good place to work. These are outstanding results that speak to positive and supportive relationships with colleagues and an enriching work environment.
Lucky every day When breast cancer treatment finally came to an end for Bonnie Winne, another struggle was just beginning – one she wants all women to know about. Bonnie shared her powerful story at Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day on Oct. 16 at St. Joseph’s Hospital. In a first for BRA Day, Bonnie highlighted an issue many women face but few discuss. Just over a year ago, when Bonnie Winne stepped out of the shower and noticed an odd crease in her left breast, she figured it had something to do with a ligament in her chest. It looked like a dent. Breast cancer was not on her radar. Her family doctor sent her for a mammogram and ultrasound at her local hospital where Bonnie, 39, remembers the “dead quiet” in the ultrasound room as the images came on the screen. She was sent home but called back less than two hours later for a biopsy. “At that point, I figured they had found a lump,” recalls Bonnie. “They actually found three. That was on a Monday. On Thursday I was told I had cancer.” And so would begin Bonnie’s journey, one that would take her to a very dark place before slowly reclaiming her life. The physical toll was only one hurdle for this Delhi mom of three teenage boys. What she wasn’t prepared for, and didn’t recognize for a long time, was the deep depression that left her feeling utterly lost. “When the kids went to school and my husband would go to work, I would lie on the couch all day and cry. I had completed my treatment and everyone thought I should be getting back to how things were before, but I couldn’t.” After her diagnosis in May 2018, Bonnie underwent five months of chemotherapy followed by surgery - a mastectomy of her left breast, immediate reconstruction using her own tissue, and a reduction of her right breast for symmetry. Then came 25 rounds of radiation, which she completed in February 2019. At the end of radiation, when everybody rings the gong signaling the end of treatment and the beginning of hope and healing, Bonnie said she rang the gong and felt lost. While feeling better physically, she found she was still climbing the mountain. Depression had taken hold. “I was scared, dazed, confused. I couldn’t concentrate. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I wasn’t sleeping. I was going to bed tired and just lying there. I couldn’t’ settle my head. I felt very lonely.”
Bonnie Winne knew her treatment for breast cancer would take a physical toll. What she wasn’t prepared for was the mental toll, which was a whole other struggle. She shared her story at Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day to help other women know they are not alone.
A pro at masking her struggle, Bonnie suffered for the next two months before finally getting the help she needed at the urging of her mother. “Women need to know that depression after breast cancer treatment is not unusual and that it’s okay to ask for help,” said Bonnie. “We go through so much – we shouldn’t be lying on a couch and crying. Help is there for you. Ask. There is light at the end of the tunnel.” Today, Bonnie is through the other side and happy with her new breasts, yet not the same person she was. Now, however, that’s a good thing, she says. “I look at the world differently. Every day to me is important and precious. I’ve slowed down, there’s more calm. I’m lucky every day.” It was at the urging of her mom, Janet Comeau, left, that Bonnie Winne sought help for depression following treatment for breast cancer, which left her feeling “utterly lost.”
Stories lost and found In the large and eclectic collection of artifacts from St. Joseph’s Hospital, every object has a story to tell. Sometimes the story emerges by following clues, other times it is clearly there to see. The story doesn’t always have a beginning, middle and end, but even the fragmented stories are fascinating, offering a rare glimpse into an illustrious legacy of care,” says Noelle Tangredi, a caretaker, along with Ruth Teevin, of the St. Joseph’s Hospital and Nursing School Artifact Collection and the heritage exhibit space at St. Joseph’s Hospital. In the newest exhibit are some uncovered stories of intriguing objects in the collection. Some are about the previous owner or the inventor of the tool. Others are lost stories of an outdated instrument’s original purpose. There are also stories of artifacts that were lost and then returned—found in closets, rummage sales and even Comicon! One such lost-and-found item is a bassinet from the St. Joseph’s nursery. It wasn’t actually lost, but it did travel quite a journey before finding its way back to St. Joseph’s. The bassinet would have gone into storage when the more modern plastic and Plexiglas bassinets came into use. When the perinatal program transferred out of St. Joseph’s in 2011, the bassinet was sold to a salvage/ vintage dealer. It was then sold again to local prop maker and artist Leigh Maulson. Leigh used it in various stagings, including the 2015 Comicon. The bassinet appeared in the haunted walk and was filled with zombie babies and creepy dolls. More recently, its purpose was as the perfect outdoor plant stand.
Be sure to visit the “Stories Lost and Found” exhibit in the heritage corner at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Zone A, Level 1, near the Richmond Street entrance.
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In 2019, a social media post highlighing the birthing exhibit at St. Joseph’s Hospital prompted Leigh to contact the hospital and generously donate the bassinet to the artifact collection. And so the bassinet is back where it began—with some interesting stories to tell. “As caretakers of these items,” says Noelle, “we make it our mission not only to preserve and protect them, but to find out what their stories are and make them available to everyone.”
This bassinet circa 1951 from the nursery at St. Joseph’s Hospital recently found its way back to St. Joseph’s after a winding journey with some interesting twists and turns. This style of bassinet was used from at least the 1930s into the 1950s at St. Joseph’s.
Susan Fahner Integrated Medical Affairs Specialist
This way out – one person’s solution to parking woes at St. Joseph’s Hospital
Wanting to do her part to ease the daily parking struggle in the Grosvenor Street parking garage, Susan Fahner in Medical Affairs decided to exit permanently. She recently traded in monthly parking for a bus pass. While it isn’t for everyone, Susan shares what motivated her and how she makes it work. We can all see that St. Joseph’s Hospital’s parking capacity is beyond a simple or immediate resolution. However, what I enjoy most about St. Joseph’s is that we share in the responsibility to seek new solutions together. Often, when one door closes, the opportunities begin brewing - if we choose to see them. I’d like to share mine, as I’m enjoying it! As a citywide integrated staff member, I often have to run out to different sites – with my home site at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Each time I run to and from my car I encounter panicked patients, frustrated staff and chronically overwhelmed parking staff. The environment, we can all agree, is struggling, and not what any of us want to see. While I began to start arriving earlier and earlier to secure my spot, the patients experiencing these barriers drew me away from that plan. Why was I racing in early to secure a spot that a patient could have?
From my perspective, parking on site at St. Joseph’s Hospital was a closing door, so where were the opportunities? With five kids at home, and lots of commitments before and after work, the best solution for me took some exploring. Parking on the side roads provided great exercise and a quick break – time in the fresh air to move my car – however I couldn’t align my offsite meetings with my random trips to move my car. It was just too much. My director mentioned that London Transit Commission (LTC) buses move easily between our core hospital sites – and I began to explore.
I was able to find what worked for me, my position and my family with similar costs, increased efficiency and a solution that benefited the larger scope problem.
With some adjustments, a whole lot of new learning and some savvy thinking, I traded in my parking pass for my LTC Smart Card. I can now celebrate… • •
• • • • •
more walking and fresh air quick access into all hospital sites from the bus drop offs (No more circling parking towers!) express bus between Victoria Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital is quicker than parking ability to email and work while travelling a whole new world of people to meet and chat with the elimination of driving frustrations an excited 17-year-old that has a family car more often five teens and pre-teens that now have LTC Smart Cards and are following mom’s example
An online approach to care With an aging population, neurological conditions like stroke, brain injury and multiple sclerosis are on the rise in Canada. Those living with neurological conditions face many long-term challenges that can affect both their physical and cognitive functioning. They are also at an increased risk for mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety. Lawson Health Research Institute is the research institute of St. Joseph’s and London Health Sciences Centre. As one of Canada’s top ten health research institutes, Lawson is committed to furthering scientific knowledge to advance health care around the world.
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“While mental health challenges are common for those with neurological conditions, they often go untreated for a number of reasons,” says Swati Mehta (PhD), scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute. “For example, those living in remote areas often do not have access to specialized services and many patients are concerned about stigma.” Yet seeking mental health care is critical, adds Swati. “Research suggests that depression among these patients can impair recovery, leading to decreased quality of life and increased health care costs.” To improve patient outcomes, Swati and a collaborative research team are developing an internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy (ICBT) program. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a specialized type of therapy that involves patients learning strategies and skills to self-manage mental health symptoms. A panel of researchers, persons with lived experience of neurological conditions and community organizations are working collaboratively to develop an accessible ICBT program that meets the needs of individuals with neurological conditions and mild cognitive impairment who are also experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety. The program, called The Neuro
Course, will be piloted with a small group of research participants, including patients from Parkwood Institute. The free online course consists of six, easy-to-understand CBT lessons and will take approximately 10 weeks to complete. Participants will also receive regular online support from a designated health educator. By reaching those in need, the research team hopes to improve patient outcomes and overall wellbeing, says Swati. “The long term goal would be to implement the ICBT program into clinical practice to provide increased access to mental health services among this population.”
Swati Mehta, scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute, is leading the development of an internetdelivered cognitive behavioural therapy program for individuals with neurological conditions.
Revealing the culprit behind
Parkinson’s disease Justin Hicks (PhD), imaging scientist at Lawson Health Sciences Centre, is developing an imaging tracer to study a protein that may cause Parkinson’s disease.
An estimated 55,000 Canadians are living with Parkinson’s disease. While researchers are advancing therapies to treat symptoms, there is currently no method to stop progression. To address this problem, a team of scientists at Lawson Health Research Institute is developing an imaging tracer to shed light on a protein in the brain called alpha-synuclein (α-syn) that scientists believe is a culprit in causing Parkinson’s disease, explains Justin Hicks (PhD), imaging scientist. The protein forms in ‘clumps’ called Lewy bodies that kill brain cells and potentially lead to disease. Currently, there is no way to study the protein in human brains, which has limited the ability to test therapies against it. Efforts have been made to study the elusive protein through modern imaging techniques like positron-
emitting tomography (PET). Scientists have attempted to develop a PET probe – a radioactive molecule that targets the specific protein in order to produce highly specific images or scans. But the Lewy bodies caused by α-syn are hard to distinguish from protein clumps found in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, says Justin. It’s difficult to know whether a PET probe has found clumps associated with Parkinson’s disease. Through a new study, Justin and his team will examine a different but related protein. “There’s another protein called fatty acid binding protein 3 (FABP3) and one of its roles is to ‘chaperone’ the α-syn protein in human cells,” explains Justin. “Past studies have shown that FABP3 levels are higher in patients with Parkinson’s disease when compared to healthy controls. This suggests that high concentrations of FABP3 can be used as an alternate measure of α-syn.”
The researchers are working to produce a PET probe that targets FABP3, which would allow them to measure levels of the FABP3 protein in place of the α-syn protein and gain a better understanding of the role both proteins play in the development and progression of Parkinson’s disease. To do this, they are searching for a chemical that targets FABP3. Once found, they will attach a radioactive isotope to the chemical and produce a finished tracer. The tracer will then be tested in preclinical models. “The ultimate goal is to develop a PET probe that can be used to distinguish Parkinson’s disease from other neurodegenerative diseases,” says Justin. “The probe could also be used to assess new therapies that reduce levels of the α-syn protein. We hope this research will lead to a better understanding of the progression of Parkinson’s disease and ways to prevent it.”
“It has been cold here again today.” A veteran’s diary recounts the large and small moments of the Second World War When Stan Lee boarded a ship in January 1944, he knew two things for certain. He was bound for France to contribute to Canada’s Second World War efforts. And he had already said his goodbyes to his wife and infant daughter. Beyond that, he did not know where his wartime service would take him. On the ship, Stan was among hundreds of other enlisted men who slept below deck in hammocks suspended one above the other. Row upon row of Canadians headed to war. Some grew up in towns, cities and villages across the country. Others came from farms, fishing ports and lumber camps. Stan trained and served as an air frame mechanic. He was stationed wherever shot-down planes needed to be repaired. That included stints in France, Netherlands, Belgium and England. Once he and his squadron arrived in France, they traded their hammocks pg 16 | NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019
for dirt floors. He slept in bombedout churches, and would sometimes wake up in the morning with snow covering his blanket. The cold and damp conditions brought on bouts of pneumonia, and he ended up in hospital many times to recover. During his time of service, Stan wrote in his diary almost every day. Sometimes, his entries talked of towns entered, weather encountered, or events experienced. Other times, his diary marked monumental passages of the war. On pages dated in the spring of 1945, he wrote these words in his diary: “At ten thirty pm on Tuesday May 1st it was announced on the radio that Hitler was dead.” Perhaps that appears to be an understated, matter-of-fact statement. More likely, it reflects the quiet valor of many Canadian soldiers, like Stan, who selflessly served, fought and sacrificed for the freedom of millions of people they did not know.
His squadron shot down 57 German planes during his time in Europe. Near the end of the war, he met Dutch royalty. On May 3, 1945, he penned in his diary: “Saw Queen Wilhelmina and Princess Juliana’s arrival [at] home by plane.” Stan’s daughter says he still talks of and treasures that encounter, even though nearly 75 years has passed. But it’s a meeting, a reunion, a longsought-after embrace he treasures the most. On Feb. 21, 1946, Stan returned home and held his two-year-old daughter in his arms for the first time since he left for war. He also hugged his wife, the love of his life, the author of many letters. During his time of service, he received 467 letters from his beloved bride. Sadly, these handwritten notes are long gone. But his diary has survived. It stands as a testament to the history experienced and lived by a young Canadian soldier. In December, Mr. Lee turns 102 years old.
Through the course of the Second World War, Stan Lee wrote in his diary almost every day. A resident of the Veterans Care Program at Parkwood Institute, he and his family still possess all of his diaries.
Stan Lee (shown bellow) and other veterans from Parkwood Institute are featured in a newly-produced calendar. Aptly named â€œ2020 Vision of Veterans,â€? the calendar highlights stories, photos and memories of veterans from the Second World War and the Korean War
Normandy students express thanks to veterans Earlier this year, 30 students and young people from Normandy came to Canada, stopping in several cities to publicly recite the 47,000 names of every Canadian soldier who died in the Second World War. Their visit to London included meeting veterans at Parkwood Institute Bob Hansen, who served with the Royal Canadian Navy, shared his stories with students of his experiences as a gunner aboard HMCS Restigouche during the Battle of the Atlantic. The French visitors were part of Westlake Brothers Souvenir, a 150-strong group based in Caen. “We know a lot of veterans can’t travel to France for us to honour them for their service, so we’ve come here to thank them,” says high school teacher and group founder Christophe Collet. “They mean so much to our country because they dared to cross the ocean to liberate our region first, then France and finally the whole of Europe.”
Vimy Oak finds a home To mark the 30th anniversary of the Western Counties Wing, veterans at Parkwood Institute received a Vimy Oak sapling from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. This tree is a true descendant from acorns pocketed by Canadian Lt. Leslie Miller who fought at Vimy Ridge in 1917. As the soldier stood on the ravaged battlefield, he saw none of the original oak trees standing at Vimy, so he grabbed acorns for souvenirs and planted them on his farm when he returned to Canada. Nearly a century later, through ingenuity and persistence, the Vimy Oaks Legacy group has helped cultivate saplings from acorns, which are being planted across Canada and in France. pg 18 | NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019
Home is where you make it As an adventurous young woman who moved to the other side of the world, Anne Downs has an easy-going attitude about where she makes her home. Born and raised in Toronto, Anne began her career as a nurse. Curious about her distant relatives in Australia she decided to try living down under. While working as a pediatric nurse in Melbourne, Anne met Philip, a young widower raising two small children. Philip was a professor who had family in Canada. He decided to move to London, Ontario to teach at Western University – but couldn’t stop thinking about Anne. He wrote to her asking her to return and marry him. She happily accepted his proposal. The two married and soon after added to their family by welcoming a third child. This year, Anne, now 79, chose Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care as her new home, which provides her with the kind of care and support she needs nowadays. When Anne first arrived at Mount Hope she was welcomed into the various special programs and activities, such as musical entertainment and gardening. Being a part of the vibrant daily life at Mount Hope helps new residents like Anne get to know each other and feel comfortable in their surroundings. Many of these resources are made possible through gifts to St. Joseph’s annual fundraising campaign Season of Celebration. Now in its 29th year, donations to Season of Celebration will help refresh recreational space at Mount Hope that residents like Anne can enjoy every day. These social spaces will be outfitted with brand new furniture and activities. Whether it’s an early morning coffee with a puzzle, or a lively game of shuffleboard with family in the evening, residents can take part in their favourite activity whenever they want. Anne may have retired from bustling Christmas activities like cooking a big family meal, but she’s very much looking forward to this holiday season and seeing what new traditions living at Mount Hope will bring.
During the warmer months, Anne Downs enjoys gardening activities at Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care and expanding on her knowledge as a gardener.
As a new resident at Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care, Anne has an opportunity to uncover new interests and participate in social activities that help her get to know other residents and staff.
Running for your someone ONERUN galvanizes community support for better cancer screening equipment
When Theresa Carriere laced up for the first ONERUN in 2010, she was taking the first step of a movement that has impacted thousands of people in our region touched by cancer. A breast cancer survivor herself, Theresa was inspired to make a difference by running 100km from London to Sarnia in a single day. She did it all over again in 2011, 2014, 2015 and then again in 2019. Today, ONERUN has grown into an annual week of events that includes high schools across London hosting their own runs. Over nine years, Theresa and her team have raised more than $1 million for breast cancer education, care and research initiatives. This year, ONERUN proceeds are supporting the
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upgrade to a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine at St. Joseph’s that will enable earlier detection of many types of cancer, including breast and prostate. Thanks to this generous support, St. Joseph’s is now one step closer to replacing its current MRI with an upgraded model that offers enhanced image quality, improved accuracy and ensures the best long-term outcomes for patients. The 3T MRI will help clinicians “… diagnose things that currently we just haven’t been able to see as well as we really need to,” says Dr. Justin Amann, radiologist and Site Chief, Medical Imaging.
The 3T MRI is also more comfortable and roomier for patients and provides assessments more quickly so that more people can be scanned each day. For those affected by cancer, waiting is often the most difficult part of the entire experience. Having lived through the journey of cancer care herself, Theresa knows just how much this project will matter to patients and their loved ones. St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation is grateful for Theresa, the ONERUN organization and their generous support over the last nine years. Katelyn Carriere, left, Paulette Soscia, Danielle Carriere, Theresa Carriere, Dr. Justin Amann, Kayla Sibbald and Sean Cornelius hold up a cheque from ONERUN in support of the 3T MRI machine that will enable physicians at St. Joseph’s Hospital to detect many types of cancer at an earlier stage.
A remarkable 45-year career To say that Dr. Merrill Edmonds has come a long way since his birth in the mountainous jungles of the Philippine Islands might be a bit of understatement. Raised by his missionary parents, Dr. Edmonds, an endocrinologist at St. Joseph’s Hospital, was born in southern Philippine Islands where his parents were hiding from the invading Japanese during World War II. After his father arranged a surrender, Dr. Edmonds would spend the first 2 ½ years of his life in Santo Tomas prison camp in Manila. “With my imminent birth and concerns that I wouldn’t keep quiet, my father left us and tried to surrender,” says Dr. Edmonds. “The Japanese soldiers wouldn’t believe him and initially refused to let him go back to pick us up. In the meantime I was born in a bamboo hut. Eventually the Japanese soldiers believed my father and let him leave to get his family. The possibility that we would never make it to Canada was significant, but we survived and eventually ended up in London, Ontario.” St. Joseph’s is fortunate he did. Dr. Edmonds was recently recognized for 45 years of service at the Evening of Celebration reception where more than 700 staff, physicians and volunteers were honoured for reaching career milestones at St. Joseph’s during Service Recognition Week in October. Dr. Edmonds began his career in London at University Hospital in 1974 and moved to Victoria Hospital in 1977. In 2000, as part of hospital restructuring, he moved to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he would spend the next 19 years of his career at St. Joseph’s Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology
and Metabolism. He also served as Postgraduate Program Director for Endocrinology and Metabolism at Western University from 1999 to 2007. Dr. Edmonds continues to hold honorary appointments at Western University. Specializing in endocrinology and metabolism, Dr. Edmonds has seen many medical advances in his field over his 45-year career, including the evolution of diabetes monitoring. “When I graduated from medical school patients with diabetes could not measure their own blood sugar and had to indirectly monitor their blood sugar level by estimating the amount of sugar in their urine. A small amount of urine was placed into a test tube with a reagent that would turn different colors depending on how much sugar was present,” recalls Dr. Edwards. “Insulin was given using glass syringes and metal needles that were used repeatedly, boiling them for 15 minutes before each use to ensure sterility. Needles were reused until they could no longer penetrate the skin. Nowadays blood sugars are easily measured intermittently or continuously, and pens and pumps with disposable needles make it much easier to administer insulin and obtain good blood sugar control.” Now dabbling in retirement, Dr. Edwards enjoys spending time with family, friends and even playing his tuba with the New Horizon’s band - never forgetting his humble beginnings. “My father wanted to study medicine but never got the
opportunity,” says Dr. Edwards. “I always knew I wanted to become a doctor and suspect my parents had something to do with this desire. I feel very fortunate to have had a 45-year long career. St. Joseph’s has been an incredibly rewarding experience, especially because of the people I have had the opportunity to work with. I have been very lucky indeed. It was the ideal setting to end my career.” St. Joseph’s congratulates all those marking milestones this year – from five to 50 years. The hard work of all those who provide service contributes to St. Joseph’s reaching new heights as an organization. To view all those celebrating a career milestone, view the intranet.
New Year, new direction My St. Joseph’s launches early 2020 St. Joseph’s is proud to announce the launch of a new external publication, My St. Joseph’s, with the first edition hitting stands early 2020. My St. Joseph’s will feature compelling patient and resident stories, the latest on our expertise and research, as well as information about St. Joseph’s programs that will help to inform those in our community and beyond. This exciting new venture will further St. Joseph’s brand awareness in the community and share stories that impact our patients, residents, their families, volunteers, health care partners and others connected to the work of St. Joseph’s. As part of this exciting change, a new internal newsletter entitled Our St. Joseph’s will be distributed to staff and physicians beginning in the New Year. This newsletter will continue to keep those working at St. Joseph’s informed of all internal events, initiatives, and success stories that highlight the tremendous work being done across the organization on a daily basis. The November/December edition of Imprint will be the last issue before publication of My St. Joseph’s. Designed to more effectively share our stories of expertise, recovery, innovation and care, this new and engaging magazine is part of our journey of earning complete confidence in those we serve. Stay tuned for more information, including content deadlines for those contributing stories to My St. Joseph’s, and the official launch date. Questions can be directed to Communication and Public Affairs at email@example.com
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Unravelling the best treatment for early rheumatoid arthritis A Canada-wide multi-centre study of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (ERA) has found an association between metabolic syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis, and that the prevalence is most common among men and postmenopausal women. With rheumatoid arthritis, the patient’s joints and organs are “attacked” by their own immune system. Individuals with the disease typically experience swollen joints, pain and stiffness, and chronic fatigue. In later stages of the disease, incessant inflammation breaks down the joint, causing permanent damage, and can impair nerves and blood vessels. It is important for patients to begin treatment as early as possible. Dr. Lillian Barra, associate scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute, and a rheumatologist at St. Joseph’s Hospital, was interested in learning about the association between ERA and other diseases and conditions that are commonly found among patients with ERA. Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of conditions that often occur together and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. These include high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, obesity and high blood sugar. Dr. Barra and her team conducted a cross-sectional examination of the Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort study data, which consists of information on more than 3,000 patients across Canada with ERA. She found that metabolic syndrome was present in 31 per cent of participants, and more common among men (42 per cent), than women (26 per cent). Metabolic syndrome was more prevalent in postmenopausal women (33 per cent) when compared to premenopausal women (15 per cent). They also found that women with ERA experienced menopause earlier in life. “It is interesting that we found these conditions of metabolic syndrome so early in the course of this disease,” says Dr. Barra. The information, she adds, can help inform clinicians managing patients with rheumatoid arthritis as fast-acting therapies for rheumatoid arthritis are known to increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. “In the future, we hope to develop more precise guidelines around when these comorbidities should be screened for and co-managed over the course of treatment.”
A Volunteer’s Story For the past three months, Patricia Mowry has been a calming presence for many women who walk nervously through the door of St. Joseph’s Breast Care Program. Patricia provides them with a gown, helps administer paper work – and more often than not, simply holds their hand. “Sometimes I don’t say anything,” says Patricia. “Sometimes it’s just a shared look of compassion and understanding.” Patricia is a St. Joseph’s volunteer. While she doesn’t always disclose, the 76-year-old knows all too well what many women are feeling when they arrive for their appointments. As a recent breast cancer survivor – she’s been there. A year ago, after an annual mammogram recommended by her doctor, Patricia was told she had a small tumour in her breast. With a history of early-onset breast cancer in her immediate family, she underwent a lumpectomy at St. Joseph’s followed by several weeks of radiation therapy at the London Regional Cancer Program. Now cancer free, she volunteers weekly to provide support for other women who are on their own breast care journey and pays gratitude for the care she has received. “I was fortunate to be at a facility with such state-of theart technology and an incredible team of professionals,” says Patricia. “The entire team showed a tremendous amount of expertise and a genuine sense of compassion that helped me, and many others, who are going through an incredibly difficult and devastating time. They knew what you were feeling and had a way of making you feel like there was a light at the end
of the tunnel. It’s an incredible team to be a part of.” St. Joseph’s Breast Care Program offers leading-edge breast imaging, diagnostic and surgery services. The program brings together a breast care team of surgeons, radiologists, medical radiation technologists, advanced practice nurses, spiritual care providers and others in a setting that nurtures and support seamless, innovative care for patients focused on individualized care needs. The unique, specially-designed Norton and Lucille Wolf Breast Care Centre is the main hub of the program. Patricia volunteers to let women know they are not alone. During one of her first visits to the Breast Care Program, she recalls meeting a volunteer who was a breast cancer survivor on her own recovery journey. “She helped me with my gown and I told her that once I was well enough, I was also going to start volunteering,” says Patricia. “A year later, I saw her again when I came back for follow-up. I received the news that I was cancer free. She remembered who I was and gave me the most incredible hug.” Now, with three-months of volunteering under her belt, Patricia says her volunteer commitment at St. Joseph’s has only just begun. “I walk through the door every week and I feel so grateful to be here,” says Patricia of the Breast Care Program. “As women, I truly believe that sometimes it’s the unspoken compassion and the shared experience we can offer one another that greatly contributes to our healing and recovery.”
Latest Updates In memoriam - Catherine Thompson
Retirement celebration for Jeff Farrugia
Catherine Thompson, a St. Joseph’s volunteer for more than 15 years, passed away on Oct. 14. Graciously giving her time as a library assistant at Parkwood Institute Main Building, Catherine was an outstanding and valued member of the Library Services team. Her welcoming smile and dedication to providing excellent service to patients and residents was a great asset to the organization. Catherine had a kind and gentle nature and was a highly-respected and appreciated volunteer. She will be greatly missed.
All are invited to a retirement celebration for Jeff Farrugia on Dec. 20, from 1 -4 pm in the Parkwood Institiute Main Building Auditorium. Jeff started his career at St. Joseph’s in 1981 in the laundry room. Over the next 30 years, he would work in various departments including Central Processing, receiving, and Healthcare Materials Management Services. Today, Jeff is a Food and Nutrition Services buyer for Parkwood Institute.
Fall BBQ a blast The Quality of Work Life Committee at Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care recently held their annual fall BBQ for staff and physicians. Grilling up hot dogs and hamburgers are, from left, Brent Taplay, Alison Lush, Alisha Ali, Bev Gurton, Sarah McCallum, Bonnie McNichol, and Kelly Kiteley.
Get Your Flu Shot Influenza is easily spread and can lead to complications such as pneumonia and even death. The elderly, young children and those with underlying health issues are more likely to develop these complications. Get your vaccination to help prevent the spread of the flu - patients and residents are counting on it. Receive your vaccination from the following: • Unit Peer Vaccinators • Prescription Shop at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care • Occupational Health and Safety Services, Monday to Friday – St. Joseph’s Hospital Room E2-118 – Parkwood Institute Main Building Room B1-120 If you receive the flu shot from your family doctor’s office or retail pharmacy, please submit proof of your vaccination to Occupational Health and Safety Services.
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Imprint - November/December 2019 edition - The internal magazine of St. Joseph's Health Care London