Today, the Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre to celebrate an exciting advancement in comprehensive cardiovascular care. The implementation of vascular surgery and on-site endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) now available in Northwestern Ontario is a major milestone in the establishment of a full cardiovascular surgery program for the region.
EVAR is a minimally invasive surgery in which a modular stent graph is inserted into the femoral artery and passed up into the weakened part of the aorta. Prior to this development, patients requiring this potentially life-saving procedure had to travel outside of the region to access the service. The first EVAR procedures in Thunder Bay were performed in January, 2017.
This accomplishment stems from a partnership with the University Health Network (UHN), which began in 2015. The partnership has and will continue to be instrumental in Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre’s quest to expand and improve our comprehensive cardiovascular care program in accordance with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, ensuring access to the highest quality of care, close to home.
“It’s an exciting day for the dedicated team here at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and for the people of Northwestern Ontario. I’m glad that I could be here today as we mark this important milestone in the development of the local cardiovascular program and in the delivery on our commitment to give patients in Northern Ontario access to the care they need when and where they need it, close to home.”
– Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
“Providing local vascular surgical services at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is very welcome news for patients in our region. I am proud of our government’s commitment to improving cardiovascular services and I’m looking forward to our long term goal of providing full cardiovascular surgery here in Thunder Bay, building upon the establishment of local angioplasty services in 2009”
– Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay – Atikokan
“Learning that I could receive my treatment here at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre was a huge relief. Undergoing a medical procedure is stressful enough without the added difficulties of having to travel and leave your support team behind. I am so thankful for the excellent quality of care that I received right here at home.”
– David Stephens, first EVAR patient at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
“This is an important step forward for our Hospital and we couldn’t have done it without our valuable partners at the University Health Network. We are committed to meeting the specialized acute care needs of the people of Northwestern Ontario. The arrival of vascular surgery and the ability to provide potentially life-saving procedures such as EVAR brings us one step closer to where we should be in terms of providing comprehensive cardiovascular surgery, closer to home.”
– Jean Bartkowiak, President and CEO of Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and CEO of Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute
“Our partnership with the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre to bring a comprehensive vascular surgery program to underserviced communities in Northwestern Ontario has made an immediate impact. Recruiting two vascular surgeons means that rather than having to travel elsewhere in Ontario or Manitoba for care, patients at risk for stroke, rupture of an enlarged aorta or amputation due to poor leg circulation will be able to be treated locally in Thunder Bay. Our ‘one program on two sites’ model will ensure that the same high quality of care for patients with vascular diseases is delivered in Thunder Bay and at UHN.”
– Dr. Barry Rubin, Medical Director, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network (UHN)
“We are grateful to our donors who are the missing piece when it comes to funding the necessary equipment needed to perform critical, potentially life-saving surgery, like EVAR. It is thanks to their continued generosity that patients and families will be able to remain closer to home.”
– Jody Nesti, Chair, Board of Directors, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation
“Admission rates for cardiovascular patients at our Hospital are well above the provincial average. Our patients and their families deserve local access to care. This recent accomplishment reflects our commitment to meet the needs of our region through improved access to cardiovascular care, which will dramatically improve the quality of care and quality of life for thousands of patients.”
– Grant Walsh, 1st Vice Chair, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Board of Directors
“Donors form the missing piece to the puzzle by choosing to give in support of the equipment that is necessary to perform life saving surgery such as EVAR. Already, donations to the Northern Cardiac Fund have provided a portion of the funding necessary for the equipment needed to perform EVAR.
It’s our time to step forward and continue to work collaboratively to bring a full cardiovascular surgical program to Northwestern Ontario and the Health Sciences Foundation and its donors look forward to contributing to the life and limb saving care we know is on the horizon. The first step we are celebrating now is a very positive indicator of what’s to come.”