The Fall Foundation Report

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Fall 2021




Spotlight on excellence: KHSC Sleep Lab Helps You Rest Easy Improving the quality of your sleep is arguably the single most effective thing that you can do to reset your brain and recharge your body. Sleep can help you physically heal, recover from illness, deal with stress, solve problems, consolidate memories and improve motor skills. Yet many people just aren’t getting enough good-quality sleep. Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s (KHSC) Sleep Disorders Laboratory performs sleep studies on more than 1,200 patients a year, with many more seen by the Sleep Disorders Education Centre’s other clinics. Many patients require medical interventions for sleep-related respiratory disorders, while others just need help with their sleep-related habits, daily routines and addressing any daytime symptoms. “Good sleep health starts with good sleep hygiene, which is defined as the behaviours that one can do to help promote good sleep,” says

Dr. Sophie Crinion, Medical Director of KHSC’s Sleep Lab. “Even people who don’t suffer from any respiratory issues can benefit from being mindful of these, as it relates to their overall health.” Two major behaviours to consider when seeking regular and good-quality sleep include making sure you have a consistent sleep routine in the evening, which includes going to bed at a fixed time, and turning off your electronic device at least an hour before bed. “A regular bedtime routine is more important than waking up at a regular time in the morning,” says Dr. Crinion. “The ‘blue light’ from device screens also suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone which makes you sleepy.” Continued on page 2...

Spotlight on excellence: KHSC Sleep Lab Helps You Rest Easy Continued from page 1. Dr. Crinion continues, “If using your device delays bedtime by just thirty minutes per day, across a year that’s a huge amount of sleep deprivation. Most devices now have very good processes for setting up reminders to put your phone down. This is great for establishing healthy routines and habits.” Exercise, caffeine, alcohol and large meals should also be

avoided late in the evening. They should be replaced by a routine for winding down before bedtime which might include warm baths or showers, meditation or quiet time. “We need to make sure people have enough physical exertion during the day to make sure they’re healthy and physically tired at bedtime but intense late night exercise may delay your ability to feel sleepy, shortening overall sleep time,” says Dr. Crinion. “Busy people also often

get into the habit of eating and exercising late in the day before bed which should be avoided if possible.” If you are having sleep-related issues, consider speaking with your doctor. They can advise you regarding any medications that might be inhibiting your ability to sleep, review your daily habits and offer practical advice to improve your sleep quality. If needed, your doctor may refer you to a Sleep Physician at KHSC.

Message from UHKF Board Chair, Wayne Owens the significant challenges that our community has endured. Thanks to UHKF’s donor family, it has also been a period filled with incredible generosity, hope and inspiration.

Wayne Owens Board Chair UHKF

My first year as the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation’s (UHKF) Board Chair is complete. It has been a year dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and

As I look to my second year, I feel a renewed sense of optimism as life begins to open back up. In particular, I am looking forward to welcoming you, our phenomenal donors, back to one of UHKF’s in-person events in the near future. Your generosity and loyalty throughout the pandemic has helped the people we serve accomplish

outstanding work. I cannot thank you enough and I greatly look forward to showing my appreciation face-to-face. As we start to imagine life beyond COVID-19, we must remember that the important work of Kingston Health Sciences Centre and Providence Care continues. I am comforted by the knowledge both organizations have such passionate and generous donors supporting them, who will continue to make our community proud.

Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Mark your calendars! Tim Hortons Smile Cookies will be available from September 13-19! 100 per cent of every Smile Cookie sold at numerous Kingston Tim Hortons locations will support Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

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A New Centre for Innovative Transitional Care The target average length of stay will be 30 to 90 days, helping people avoid visits to the emergency department and hospital stays altogether. Once in PTCC, the model of care will be uniquely tailored to each patient’s needs.

The generosity of donors helps Providence Care and Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) transform healthcare facilities that serve patients across southeastern Ontario. Each facility is constructed or modernized to deliver 21st-century health care and helps make the community healthier. The upcoming launch of Providence Transitional Care Centre (PTCC) will be no exception. Since October of last year, Providence Care has been working hard to completely renovate the Gibson Wing at the former St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital site, where PTCC will be located. Donors from the community will make a difference by helping to fund educational opportunities for staff, enhancements to equipment and patient care items. Available to people across the region, the centre will offer specialized inpatient services designed to promote and preserve wellness and functionality in older adults, addressing gaps in restorative and specialized services. “It’s important to understand transitional care is about transitioning patients who are in the system back to the community,” says Laurie French, Providence Care Regional Care Director. “With nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, behavioural therapy, recreational therapy, spiritual therapy and social work, the centre will solve many of the problems that make it difficult for a frail or elderly person, and their caregivers, to manage at home.”

“Daily routines in hospital are typically quite fixed for patients,” explains Laurie. “At Providence Transitional Care Centre, our inter-professional care team will collaborate and strategize to tailor programs and routines to mirror each individual patient’s home life as much as possible, keeping them physically and socially engaged. The last thing we want is patients sitting passively in a chair. We want to actively engage our patients and help them achieve a routine that will transition them back to the community where they or their caregivers were previously struggling to manage. The opportunity to be a part of building this unique program is one of the most exciting projects in my thirty-year career.” PTCC’s model of care will keep patients focused on regaining their activities of daily living. It includes a kitchen, on-unit activation spaces, and an independent living suite that can be used by caregivers, who will be able to stay in the centre and practice some of the routines to build their confidence as well. “It’s about empowering families to cope and putting strategies in place to set them up for success,” says Marie-Jo Cleghorn, PTCC Program Manager. “We have a real opportunity to help families in a way we haven’t been able to address in the region before, while complementing services already available at KHSC and Providence Care. The centre will be a phenomenal addition to care in the region and we’re so thankful to all of our partners and donors who have helped to make it possible.”

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Donors Support Stroke Care Education and Save Lives For patients suffering a stroke, every minute counts. Thanks to the help of donors, Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s (KHSC) Interventional Radiology team has become the health care equivalent of a Formula One pit crew. In 2016 and 2018, donors helped send KHSC staff to a conference in Calgary, Alberta, to learn best practices for the Endovascular Thrombectomy (EVT) procedure. Out of the 800 stroke patients that the KHSC receives each year, 50 to 60 qualify for EVT. During the procedure, the team accesses the brain’s blood vessels with a small tube and physically removes a clot, saving the remaining brain tissue. It is a safe, highlyeffective treatment that has shown a significant decrease in patient disability, and a 50 per cent reduction in overall mortality compared to clotdissolving drugs.

“EVT is one of the most timecritical procedures in all of health care,” says Dr. Alexandre Menard, Interventional Radiologist, KHSC. “In Ontario, every stroke EVT patient has their time metrics measured, from arrival at the hospital to getting their CT scan to the completion of the procedure. The EVT procedure should be completed within 90 minutes of arriving through the doors of the hospital. Our average time at KHSC is less than 60 minutes—best in the province. The conference helped our team get to where we are today, giving staff critical knowledge and skills needed to implement EVT.” This high level of efficiency has taken countless hours of practice and mock runs to ensure that no time is wasted once a patient arrives. The results speak for themselves, as shown in a letter Dr. Menard received from the family of

a stroke patient following a successful EVT, towards the end of 2020: “We would like to thank you for the life-saving procedure you so efficiently performed,” reads the letter. “Your execution of the highly-skilled procedure removed the majority of the large clot that would otherwise have been fatal. You are definitely unsung heroes in our estimation and we truly thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” “We’re so grateful for the valuable donations that allowed our team to attend the conference,” says Karen Pearson, Director of Diagnostic Imaging, KHSC. “Without donors to support us, we wouldn’t be able to do many of the important things that we do, including EVT. We are so grateful for having such a generous local community.” 4 | FALL 2021

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As Memories Fade, New Clinic Offers Hope for the Future Providence Care Hospital, built with the generous support of donors, opened its doors a little over four years ago. This ultramodern facility offers a creative environment where cutting edge treatments and processes are developed to provide exceptional healthcare supports and services for people living in the southeastern Ontario region. The newly-created Integrated Memory Clinic is a shining example of the multi-team and multi-disciplinary approach to healthcare services. This clinic specializes in providing support and assistance to adults aged 55 to 70 with complex cognitive issues, including dementia. “It’s a very futuristic and ambitious project,” describes Dr. Pradeep Arya, Providence Care Staff Psychiatrist. “It’s a work in progress but it’s an opportunity for a multi-specialty clinic to meet the complex physical and neurological needs of our patients. You can almost delay a third of dementias by early interventions, to the extent that patients never need to go to a long-term care home. This is a great outcome of increased awareness and expertise, and something we hope our multi-specialty clinic helps with in the region.” The clinic currently brings together three specific specialties — Geriatric Medicine, Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology. This inter-professional team assesses patients, offering diagnoses and recommendations for ongoing management of their conditions.

“We believe our service is fairly unique,” says Dr. John Puxty, Providence Care Division of Geriatrics Chair and Director of Specialized Geriatric Services. “We’re able to cross-consult, discuss and collaborate on the care of patients who come to the clinic. We hope our model will mean patients are seen earlier and can avoid multiple referrals and extra appointments, and communication is more efficient and patientsensitive. There’s also an opportunity for greater educational opportunities for residents and students who will get to see a wider volume of patients and access expertise from other specialties.” The clinic is great news for patients and families in the Kingston region where an aging population is resulting in a growing number of older adults needing support for cognitive problems. “If we don’t work differently to the way we did in the past, where there were already wait lists and gaps in access to care, we’re going to be swamped,” explains Dr. Puxty. “But models like this mean we can potentially serve more patients and families quicker and with a better service.” Donor-powered investments in state-of-theart healthcare sites make a key difference in the types of services offered in the community. “Kingston is just the right place for a clinic like this,” says Dr. Arya. “There is a vital need for this within our region and the right amount of resources and generous donors to help us welcome this kind of approach to care, and expand it over the years to come.” 5 | FALL 2021




FALL 2021

Thankful for Life-Saving Heart Surgery at KHSC Despite having stents placed in his coronary arteries in 2018, Robert Coffin experienced a severe heart attack on May 25, 2019. He was admitted to Trenton Memorial Hospital before being transferred to Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC), the only healthcare centre between Ottawa and Toronto with a dedicated Cardiac Surgery team. Thanks to generous donors in our community, KHSC performs routine surgical interventions and they also offer many advanced and innovative procedures. “It felt like knives being pushed through my chest,” says Robert. “An investigation revealed numerous blockages in my heart that additional stents would not correct. The surgeon clearly stated that the only option for me to stay alive was bypass surgery.” In hindsight, Robert had actually been having a number of heart episodes for years which were diagnosed as vertigo. Nobody had diagnosed

the underlying heart disorder. “I must consider that I was quite ‘lucky’ to live well for many years, even though I had lost the use of some blood vessels in my heart and was running on ‘low power’,” says Robert. After four days of waiting for his blood thinner medication to wear off, Robert had the surgery and was discharged four days later. He had an excellent recovery, including a drop in blood pressure which had been relatively high for 40 years. “I can now participate non-stop for 30 minutes on a treadmill and maintain normal blood pressure readings. Before the bypass surgery, I would not have been able to exercise for more than one or two minutes,” says Robert. “I’d like to thank all the doctors, nurses, hospital staff and donors for their valuable help. I am one lucky guy and without access to the modern technology and skilled medical personnel at KHSC, I wouldn’t be here today.”

“Robert is one of approximately 450 patients who undergo bypass surgery each year, many transferred from peripheral hospitals,” says Dr. Darrin Payne, Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery, KHSC. “From patient admission to the diagnostic imaging to the operation itself, cardiac surgeries require a tremendous amount of resources, equipment and specialist staff that are not available at every hospital and are not possible without critically important community funding. Many donors may not fully appreciate the fingerprints they leave across patient journeys like Robert’s. By contributing to new equipment and staff education, they help revolutionize care for our patients, many of whom are alive today that otherwise wouldn’t be.” If you’re interested in leaving your fingerprint on health care, please visit and make your mark today! 55 Rideau Street, Suite 4 Kingston ON, K7K 2Z8 613.549.5452