Forest bathing in B.C. page 16
Hospital food you'll want to eat page 10
Allergy season What you need to know photo: dan toulgoet
also available online at issuu.com/glacierspecialtypublishing
contents on the cover Allergy specialist Dr. Joanne Yeung photo: dan toulgoet
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6 10 11 12 14 16 18 19
Helpful information for allergy sufferers Prepare for allergy season sandra thomas
Hospital food offers choice Multicultural menus for hospital patients sandra thomas
Do it yourself clean without the chemicals Five cleaning hacks sandra thomas
caregiver stories New social platform allows caregivers to share their stories sandra thomas
head lice New clinic bringing down the louse in New Westminster cornelia Naylor
back to nature Five places to practise ‘forest bathing’ in the Pacific Northwest sandra thomas
Hospice patients and virtual reality Donated VR headsets expand the range of comfort options at Crossroads Inlet Hospice diane strandberg
shorter wait times for surgery New provincial strategy will see five hip and knee replacement programs implemented across the province sandra thomas
volume 4, number 2, spring 2018 Published by glacier media. Copyright ©2018. All rights reserved. Reproduction of articles permitted with credit. Advertisements in this magazine are coordinated by Glacier Media. Glacier Media does not endorse products or services. Any errors, omissions or opinions found in this magazine should not be attributed to the publisher. The authors, the publisher and the collaborating organizations will not assume any responsibility for commercial loss due to business decisions made based on the information contained in this magazine. Speak with your doctor before acting on any health information contained in this magazine. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without crediting Glacier Media. Printed in Canada. Please recycle.
Medicare Protection Amendment Act SANDRA THOMAS Editor, Healthier You photo: Chung Chow
where can you find healthier you? In doctors’ offices, walk-in clinics, pharmacies and other community settings, we will be waiting there, too – keeping you company, and sharing stories and insight into healthrelated issues that matter to you.
April showers bring May flowers — and the allergies that go with them Spring is in the air and — unfortunately for many — so is allergy-causing pollen from trees, grass and flowers. To help you prepare for allergy season, which for some can last as long as six months, Healthier You spoke with specialist Dr. Joanne Yeung who offered some great information to help sufferers survive spring and summer. We also look at the popular trend of “forest bathing,” which, according to many, offers numerous health benefits. And the fact we’re lucky enough to live in beautiful British Columbia surrounded by forests makes this thoughtful activity a natural one. Healthier You is also happy to report there’s good news for anyone waiting for knee and hip surgeries. The provincial government announced in March it’s implementing a four-part surgical strategy aimed at reducing surgery wait times. An interesting story out of Port Moody is the use of virtual reality goggles for palliative care patients, which allows them to run with the lions, live on Mars and experience New York and Paris — all from the comfort of a chair, couch or bed. Clients using the goggles describe them as a great distraction.
And if you’ve ever been hospitalized, you’ll be happy to hear Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care have devised a plan to save money on food waste, by creating meals patients will actually want to eat. (What a novel idea.) Meanwhile, unpaid caregivers will want to read about a new initiative that allows them to share stories with others in the same situation. Think of it as a kind of Facebook for caregivers, minus election tampering and spying by the Russians.
Sandra Thomas | editor
Doctors across Canada are applauding the B.C. government’s announcement to finally enforce the Medicare Protection Amendment Act. The act was passed in 2003, to enable governments to enforce the rules around the unlawful billing of healthcare services, but it was never fully implemented or enforced — until now. The new provisions will ensure individuals are refunded for the costs of unlawful billing and improve the way collections are enforced. For example, if doctors or clinics have unlawfully billed for medically necessary care, those patients can apply to the government for a refund. Beginning Oct. 1, the B.C. government will also be able to collect directly from those doctors and clinics to cover the costs of the refunds and fine those found in violation of the law.
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Helpful information for allergy sufferers Runny nose — check. Itchy eyes — check. Sneezing — check. To help suffers better prepare for what’s to come, Healthier You spoke with Dr. Joanne Yeung, a Vancouver-based allergist and clinical immunologist and clinical instructor in the department of pediatrics at the University of B.C.
It’s allergy season and that means thousands of men, women and children from across the province are preparing themselves for spring and summer and all of the allergens that go along with them.
Is there an allergy “season” in Vancouver? And if so, when is that? The main causes for seasonal allergies in Vancouver are tree pollens and grass pollen. Tree pollen counts start to rise typically in mid-February, but if there is snow fall in February, like Vancouver has seen in the last two years, tree pollens are delayed until March. This ends around July. Grass pollen starts to appear in April and can extend until the end of the summer. If you are unlucky and are allergic to both trees and grass, your allergy season could be as long as six months.
Photo: dan toulgoet
Sandra Thomas | editor
How can you tell the difference between an allergy and a cold? Sometimes this is difficult even for a physician. The history is informative. If the person has had the same symptoms at the same time in previous years, that is a good hint it’s allergies. Overlapping symptoms include nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing. However, allergies often also cause red, watery, itchy eyes
and an itchy nose, whereas a cold may cause a sore throat, cough and body aches and pains. Allergies will last as long as the allergy season, although there can be good days and bad days, whereas a cold typically lasts three to seven days. What’s a common treatment for allergies? The most readily available allergy treatments include over-thecounter antihistamines and saline nasal rinses. When choosing an antihistamine, ensure that it is non-sedating and lasts 24 hours. Older antihistamines that cause sedation are still widely available, but these are not recommended. Saline nasal rinses help remove pollen for the nasal passages and clears mucous build up, but not everyone likes the feeling, especially children. What do you think of nose sprays? Prescription nasal sprays are highly effective, when used under the direction of a physician and used correctly. In fact, they are more effective than antihistamines especially for the symptoms of nasal congestion and itchy eyes. However, it’s important to use it consistently at least for a period of several weeks
to see the maximum benefit. Beware of over-the-counter nasal sprays called decongestants. They are helpful in providing short term relief of nasal congestion. However, if they are used every day for more than several days, the nose can become dependent on it and there can be even worse congestion when the person tries to stop. Is there a natural way to treat allergies? It depends on what one means by "natural." There are several natural remedies available such as honey products, but none have been proven using randomized controlled trials. Immunotherapy (more commonly known as allergy shots) is a treatment that administers allergen extracts and one could view this as "natural" because it is not a pharmaceutical agent. However, this highly effective treatment must be prescribed and supervised by a licensed allergist to ensure it’s safe and appropriate for the person. There are similar treatments available for sublingual (under the tongue) administration in specially selected cases. Speak to your doctor to see if one of these treatments is the right fit for you. How do you test for allergies? An allergy skin test is the most accurate way to identify environmental allergies. This is done and interpreted by a boardcertified allergist.
Dr. Sophie Lertruchikun Patients who don’t want braces find an attractive alternative with Invisalign
I have a passion for changing lives with dentistry.
Dr. Sophie Lertruchikun, DMD can find no greater reward for the work she does than a smile on her patient’s face.
is not usually a problem since the aligners are comfortable and are very difficult for the people around you to see.
Dr. sophie lertruchikun, dmd general dentist
Many times, that patient arrives at Clover Hills Dental in Cloverdale or Willowbrook Dental Clinic in Langley’s Willowbrook Shopping Centre too shy or self-conscious to smile. They can also be anxious about treatments or worried about what people might think if they need braces. Especially for adults, the prospect of wearing metal braces for long periods of time can be very discouraging.
“I have a passion for changing lives with dentistry,” Dr. Lertruchikun says. “Straightening one’s teeth with Invisalign has been life changing for both myself and our patients.”
That’s when Dr. Lertruchikun tells them about Invisalign. Invisalign is an innovative orthodontic treatment option that allows patients to straighten their teeth with a series of removable, virtually invisible aligners.
Photos: dan toulgoet
Transparent, they are custom fitted for each patient’s mouth using an iTero Impression Scanner to create three-dimensional imaging that lets Dr. Lertruchikun foresee what the teeth will be like as they are straightened and gradually shifted. Invisalign works well to solve problems such as overcrowded teeth, large gaps between teeth, crossbites, overbites and certain underbites. For patients with more challenging or involved bites, she works closely with local orthodontists at Guildford Orthodontic Centre and Langley Orthodontics who provide additional options to achieve ideal outcomes.
Dr. Sophie Lertruchikun in her office. right: Dr. Lertruchikun caring for her patient.
The aligners are worn for a minimum of 20 hours a day. The only time they are taken out is when you are eating, brushing or flossing (and you must attempt to brush and floss after every meal and at the minimum rinse with water.) As the teeth begin to align, new aligners are worn to further the process every one to two weeks. Twenty to 40 sets are common. While this means that more discipline and commitment is required from the patient, it
Dr. Lertruchikun comes from a family of dentists. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League university, she won awards and specifically completed her rigorous clinical requirements first in her graduating class. This year marks her 10th anniversary of practicing general, cosmetic, and family dentistry in the Surrey and Langley areas. In 2017, Dr. Lertruchikun was excited to become the new owner of Clover Hills Dental. When the previous owners, Dr. Aman Bhullar and Dr. Misty Henne, decided to relocate to California, she was their first choice to continue with the clinic’s high standards because of her dedication to the profession and active community involvement. Both Clover Hills Dental and Willowbrook Dental Clinic are modern clinics designed to make a patient’s visit as welcoming and stress-free as possible. In a relaxed, comfortable environment, one of the six dentists and five hygienists will spend the first visit getting to know you, your needs and your aspirations. Throughout all your visits, everything will be done to make the experience a pleasant one. There are flat-screen televisions in each of the private treatment rooms and there is also a play area for children. The clinics also offer other general dentistry services such as routine cleanings, crowns, bridges or dental implants for missing teeth, wisdom teeth extractions, the management of periodontal disease, as well as cosmetic services, and dentures.
Clover hill dental suite 109-18408 64 Ave. Surrey, BC t 604.576.8466 W CloverHillsDental.com willowbrook dental clinic suite 223-19705 Fraser Hwy. Langley, BC t 604.533.0131 W willowbrookdentalclinic.com straight smile centres W straightsmilecentres.com spring 2018
Do-it-yourself clean without the chemicals
Hospital food offers choice Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care offer hospital patients menus with multicultural menus Sandra Thomas | editor
“Roll out the barrel, we’ll have a barrel of fun...” As a lederhosen-clad, Bavarian oompah band plays the popular German ditty “Beer Barrel Polka,” residents of Youville Residence in Vancouver nod their heads and tap their hands and feet in time to the music. While the music plays, residents are served a four-course, Germaninspired meal, including veal rissole, beef broth, Hamburg-style pan-seared salmon and Bavarian cream topped with fresh berries. Tiffany Chang, district manager for Sodexo, the company contracted to prepare food for Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care hospitals, says themed meals are just one way to encourage care home residents to get enthusiastic about their meals. “We really focus on seasonal, local produce and have partnered
with Ocean Wise [a sustainable seafood program] to serve locally caught fish such as salmon and haddock,” says Chiang. But the program isn’t just about care homes serving up more delicious food. Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence are transforming the way food for patients in hospitals is sourced, prepared and served. To that end, they’ve created a new bedside service in partnership with Sodexo, which means patients have dedicated service attendants who help them review menu items, answer questions, take orders and hand-deliver each of the day’s meals. Patients can choose their diet-appropriate meals from four core menus — Asian, western, summer and winter — incorporating culturally diverse, contemporary and healthy comfort menu items developed by Sodexo’s culinary team.
Five cleaning hacks using every day ingredients you probably already have in the house
Photo: dan toulgoet
Sandra Thomas | editor
A typical menu could include dishes such as tandoori chicken drumsticks, sesame ginger cod, jambalaya, sweet and sour pork and chicken tortilla soup, as well as traditional offerings such as beef pot roast and pulled pork. Meals are also cooked as close to serving time as possible and there is no extra cost. Chiang says the thought behind the improvements was to not only make hospital food more tempting, but also to lessen food waste, a huge cost to health authorities. In 2012, Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health created a goal to reduce food waste from 35 to 10 per cent. The national average for food waste in hospitals is 40 per cent.
So you’ve been hit with the spring cleaning bug, but are a little short on actual supplies. And you know if you leave the house to buy those supplies, there’s a good chance you’ll get distracted well before you’ve procured your purchases. But you can find hope — and no excuses— right in your kitchen. Check out these five cleaning tips using ingredients from around the house. The bonus is that as well as saving money, making your own cleaning supplies typically means fewer chemicals.
Use salt to clean wood Table salt does wonders when it comes to removing gunk from wood. Spread coarse salt over wooden cupboards and butcher block countertops and wipe with a damp cloth.
Remove pet smells Sprinkle upholstered chairs and sofas with baking soda and let it sit for 15 minutes. Give them a good vacuum and you should notice the difference almost immediately. This works on dog beds too — with no harsh chemicals. Unclog a drain Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by half a cup of vinegar and then cover with a damp cloth. Wait for five minutes and then rinse with hot water.
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“Here it’s down to 14 per cent,” says Chiang. “It’s been a slow transformation for long term care homes.” Another bonus is a recent survey that showed 95 per cent in patient satisfaction. “We are still able to accommodate 1,000 different diets,” says Chiang, “everything from Healthy Heart to gluten free.”
to be part of our Summer edition, please contact Michelle Bhatti, director of advertising at 604-630-3503 or firstname.lastname@example.org WORKING TOGETHER FOR HEALTHY JOINTS
To find out more, go to oasis.vch.ca Call one of these three clinics: North Shore 604-904-6177
Make an all-purpose cleaner Mix four tablespoons of baking soda and one litre of warm water in a reusable spray bottle. Spray messy surfaces with the cleaner and wipe up with a damp sponge or cloth.
Shine time Spray a mixture of vinegar and water onto mirrors before wiping with a coffee filter. Since coffee filters are lint free, they create a no-fuzz, streak-free shine.
extending your reach with
New social platform allows caregivers to share their stories Sandra Thomas | editor
New Westminster resident Ruby Dhillon has been acting as an unpaid caregiver for years — caring for her husband, mother and mother-in-law who all passed away in recent years. Dhillon’s role as caregiver continues today as part of what’s now known as the Sandwich Generation. Dhillon lives with and cares for her elderly father-in-law, and recently one of her sons moved home after separating from his wife. Since her son has joint custody of his children, they also live with Dhillon half time. Dr. Yvette Lu is co-producer of the Stories for Caregivers series.
“I’ve also had to go back to work,” says Dhillon, who owns a cleaning business. “But it’s made me more organized and now I plan meals for my father-in-law one day ahead.” Dhillon admits care giving can take its toll. 12
“It’s go, go, go all the time,” she says. “And sometimes I get tired and frustrated.” But, Dhillon is also finding comfort and advice from a new free website/social platform dedicated to sharing stories and offering support called storiesforcaregivers. com. It’s here unpaid caregivers can connect with each other, share their experiences and be inspired by uplifting stories and videos designed to build empathy for better health care and social policies, and drive family and friends to available resources and communities of support. Produced with the participation of TELUS Fund, Stories for Caregivers aims to share these stories. In 2017, TELUS Fund launched a special call for a web series based on entertaining and engaging stories with the potential to positively impact individuals providing care for loved ones. Many filmmakers applied and 10 were selected to create their pilot episodes. Audiences were invited to watch the pilot episodes online and show support for their favourites. With the support of more than 30,000 video views in a three-week period, the fund financed the production of three web series and the Stories for Caregivers platform. Dhillon says as a result of being involved with the project, sharing her story and listening to other
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caregivers, she’s come to realize how important it is to take care of herself, as well as everyone else around her. “I’m getting old myself,” says Dhillon. “There are times I need to ask for help. If I don’t look after myself, how am I going to look after [my father-in-law].”
So these days Dhillon makes sure to take a break once in a while and take a walk, watch a movie or read a book. Dr. Yvette Lu, a Surrey-based family physician who visits caregivers across Canada to learn about their lives and the challenges they face, is part of the Stories for Caregivers project. Lu helps produce the series with Robert Lyons, a media producer and photographer, and the Coup Company. Lu says it’s estimated unpaid caregivers save the Canadian government $25 billion annually across the country. Lu adds unpaid care giving face many stresses, including heavy lifting and transfers, isolation and stress. That’s why it’s so vital for caregivers to take care of themselves, she adds. “Caregivers often don’t realize they’re caregivers,” says Lu. “It usually takes more than a year for people to realize they’ve become a caregiver. What we do is interview a caregiver, then find a problem and then help them find a solution.”
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New clinic bringing down the louse in New Westminster Cornelia Naylor | Contributing writer
That’s because Vivian, who just opened a new lice clinic in New Westminster, is a true believer when it comes to the technology she’s bringing to the Royal City. It all started about a year-anda-half ago, when the South Surrey resident was first confronted by the dreaded galloping dandruff in her nineyear-old daughter’s thick, shoulder-length hair. Saea Vivian stands in front of the Columbia Medical Building where she opened a lice clinic in March. Photo: Cornelia Naylor
“Like most parents, I was going out of my mind,” she said. “I did everything I thought I could do... It didn’t go away.”
She had had a mother-daughter trip planned to visit her brother and wife in the U.S. and called to cancel, but her sister-in-law told them to come and promised the lice would get what was coming to them. She then took Vivian and her daughter to a clinic equipped with a patented medical device (the AirAllé, formerly called the LouseBuster), which uses hot air to blast the creepy crawlies and their eggs. “I was just blown away because there’s no pesticides, no insecticides. It’s completely environmentally friendly — and it worked in an hour,” Vivian said. “They told me it was going to work, and I didn’t believe them.”
But it did work. A 48-year-old single mom working in marketing at the time, Vivian looked into the company (Lice Clinics of America) and found out it was looking to break into Canada. Floating the idea with friends, she was shocked to find out how many people in her circle had been affected by head lice. “It’s not something that’s part of a dinner conversation or that you chat with friends about over a glass of wine,” she said. “They’d never said a thing to me.” Vivian was among the first in Canada to enter into a licence agreement with Lice Clinics of America. She opened her first Lice Clinics of Canada clinic in Langley in June. The New West The AirAllé device (formerly location, in the Columbia the LouseBuster) uses Medical Building at 301 East hot air to kill head lice and Columbia St., opened in March. their eggs. Photo: Lice Clinics of America Like the clinic she visited in the U.S., the New West location is set up much like a doctor’s office with individual treatment rooms. It’s rewarding work, she said, and business is going great, but she’s still a little surprised at the direction her first entrepreneurial venture has taken her. “This was never on my radar, never in a million years,” she said.
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Five places to practise ‘forest bathing’ in the Pacific Northwest Sandra Thomas | editor
Forest bathing, a fairly new health trend to B.C., got its roots from what’s known as shinrin yoku — developed in Japan in the 1980s. Also known as forest therapy, the practice involves a slow walk in the woods while taking in the sights, sounds, smells, feel and even taste of your surroundings. The founders of shinrin yoku believe those who regularly forest bathe benefit from numerous health benefits, including a boosted immune system, lowered blood pressure, reduced stress, improved mood, better ability to focus, accelerated recovery from illness, increased energy levels and better sleep. An important aspect of forest bathing to note is that it’s no hike in the woods. Instead, it’s a slow-paced walk that allows you to accept “invitations” to watch the birds and breeze above you and feel the twigs beneath your feet and the many textures of tree bark with your hands, while smelling plants and flowers. 16
Often participants will spend hours covering very little distance. The founders hope that in time, forest bathing will move from a trend to a way of life. There are several individuals and groups in B.C. offering guided forest bathing excursions at a wide range of costs, but there’s nothing stopping you from experimenting on your own. Here are just five magnificent forests in the Pacific Northwest where you can soak it all in: Stanley Park Despite its close proximity to downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park offers more than 27-kilometres of trails lined by towering cedar, fir and hemlock trees. For trail information visit vancouver.ca. Parksville/Qualicum Beach Cathedral Grove, located within MacMillan Provincial Park off Highway 4, is home to ancient stands of Douglas fir trees — many as old as 800 years. Visit “Things to do” at visitparksvillequalicumbeach.com.
District of North Vancouver Check out the Baden-Powell trail in Lynn Canyon Park or for an easier walk, stroll the Lynn Loop in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. Visit vancouversnorthshore.com. Pacific Spirit Park The park covers 763 hectares and includes more than 50-kilometres of trails to choose from depending on your needs. The park consists of a spectacular foreshore that lies along the Point Grey Peninsula. The forest separates UBC from Vancouver. Visit metrovancouver.org. Sunshine Coast Forest bathing is offered regularly at the Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary with walks typically lasting between two to four hours, while covering less than .4 of a kilometre in distance. Visit marylakeconnections.ca
Shorter wait times for
Hospice patients see the world through
New provincial strategy will see five hip and knee replacement programs implemented across the province
Donated VR headsets expand the range of comfort options at Crossroads Inlet Hospice
Sandra Thomas | editor
Diane Strandberg | Contributing writer
He chooses to watch a National Geographic film of a male lion and its mother feed and doze in the sun in Africa. The 360 degree experience is as lifelike as one will find in a hospice next to a busy road in downtown Port Moody. “If nothing else, it’s a great distraction from your troubles,” acknowledges Einarsson, who plays the guitar and has his own Youtube performance of a piece called "Tenderness" he wrote for his nurses when he had a tumor removed. (Find it under Susan Einarsson’s YouTube channel.)
“It’s like having your own personal Imax Theatre,” said Daniel Einarsson, a musician, who was one of the first patients to Photo: Diane Strandberg use the new Google Dreamscape headset provided by a local donor that enables 360 degree virtual reality via special videos and equipment. Daniel Einarsson tries one of the new Google Dreamscape headsets available at the Crossroads Hospice Society-Inlet Centre Hospice for patients who want to experience 360 degree virtual reality.
Einarsson puts on the Google headset, with a Pixel 2 phone slipped into the front, and using a small controller can scroll through virtual reality experiences offered via Youtube or other platforms. 18
There are many ways Crossroads tries to bring comfort and a home-like feel to its 15-yearold Inlet Centre hospice, but this is one of the more novel and intriguing admits Tereza McDermid, executive director for the Crossroads Hospice Society, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. McDermid is studying how to use the system, one of two that were recently donated, and says it’s a simple way to give patients a bucket-list experience as they live out their finals days. Although some people may be more comfortable with
There could soon be relief coming to British Columbians waiting for knee or hip replacement surgery.
the technology then others, McDermid says some of her patients are willing to try new experiences. For these people, the Google Dreamscape headset and virtual reality video is a great idea.
Premier John Horgan announced March 21, that the provincial government is launching a new, four-part surgical strategy aimed at reducing wait times for the health care British Columbians need. One of the first components of the strategy will see five hip and knee replacement programs implemented throughout the province.
“There’s some 75-years-olds who act like 20-year-olds — they might want to experience a new thing while they’re here. It gives them something to talk about.”
These programs will address the long waits faced by people. In 2016 and 2017, 30 per cent of people waiting for hip surgery and 38 per cent of people waiting for knee surgery waited more than 26 weeks.
Patients who stay at the hospice — with its comfy couches, dining table and open-plan kitchen — have access to a number of programs, including pet, music and art therapies, and healing touch. There is also Wi-Fi, cordless telephones and a fullcolour flatscreen TV in each room. But volunteers who are searching for ways to make patients feel more comfortable now have virtual reality technology to propose and McDermid said it’s an option not a requirement. “Depending on where they are in their life’s journey, this is something they could do and we would be very careful.” Einarsson said it was a fun way to experience new videos and added he’d gladly recommend it to others.
Photo: dan toulgoet
Crossroads Hospice at Inlet Centre in Port Moody is encouraging its palliative care patients to run with the lions, live on Mars and experience New York and Paris — all from the comfort of a chair, couch or bed.
The strategy is supported with ongoing targeted funding of $75 million starting in 2018/2019 and increasing to $100 million for 2019/2020. The hip and knee replacement programs are designed to support increased surgical volumes, reduce wait times, and improve continuity of care for patients by coordinating all the services a patient requires to prepare for, undergo and recover from surgery. "We are thrilled to be part of this
important work and announce the new hip and knee replacement centre at Vancouver General Hospital," said Dr. Bassam Masri, Vancouver Coastal Health's surgeonin-chief for Vancouver Acute and the head of the orthopedics department. "Streamlining the intake and assessment process for hip and knee replacement surgery reduces wait times for patients, providing them with comprehensive, wraparound care before and after surgery so they can get back to living their lives in the best way possible. With people spending less time in hospital, we are able to perform more surgeries." In 2016/2017, approximately 14,390 hip and knee surgeries were performed, and by 2018-19, more than 19,250 will be done annually. That translates to a 34 per cent increase in hip and knee surgeries. This will significantly reduce the number of patients waiting. West Vancouver resident Christopher Hebb had both of his hips replaced at Vancouver General Hospital. "My recovery from the surgery was rapid and let me continue to travel for work and remain active," said Hebb. "I hike two to three times a week with my wife and, last
year, I took on the Grouse Grind for the first time since my surgeries. I plan to do it again this summer." In total under the surgical strategy, 9,400 more surgeries — 4,000 additional hip and knee, 900 dental and 4,500 other surgeries — will be done throughout the province by the end of March 2019, compared to the previous year. The surgical strategy has four areas of focus: P roviding more surgeries in areas with long wait times, starting with hip and knee surgeries and incrementally tackling other surgeries with long waits Investing to keep up with growing demand for all other surgeries Making surgical programs and operating rooms in the province more efficient through better planning and scheduling and, establishing centralized booking and a single point of contact for patients Making sure the right number of health professionals is in place to deliver the services needed to meet demand both now and into the future, including surgeons and anesthetists, as well as nursing and rehabilitation health professionals spring 2018