We are very pleased to share that Premier Doug Ford and Minister Greg Rickford visited Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) on Tuesday, August 24th to announce a $5.2 million investment to support the planning and design of our cardiovascular surgery (CVS) program. Thanks to this funding, cardiovascular surgery will be regularly performed in Northwestern Ontario, helping to address surgical wait times and improving access to lifesaving care closer to home.
Our current cardiovascular program is a partnership between TBRHSC and the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC). The PMCC is one of the world’s leading cardiac and vascular centres, and is part of University Health Network (UHN), located in Toronto. Often referred to as a ‘one program on two sites’ model, this partnership enables us to bring much-needed comprehensive cardiovascular services to underserviced communities in Northwestern Ontario.
Providing safe, quality, life-saving care closer to home is our goal, and the generous financial support from the Government of Ontario is vital to achieve it. A full cardiovascular surgery program at TBRHSC will allow patients in Northwestern Ontario to be provided with the same quality cardiovascular care as they would in Southern Ontario, but without the added stress and expense of having to travel. It also enables patients living in Northwestern Ontario to receive the life-saving procedures they need in a community that is more sensitive to their needs and more familiar with their circumstances.
To launch the CVS program, existing space at TBRHSC will be renovated and expanded to include:
We’ve already made tremendous progress with the CVS development, particularly with our vascular program. Since 2018, our three talented vascular surgeons, Dr. Mary MacDonald, Dr. Elrasheed Osman, and Dr. Matthew Ingves, have performed life and limb saving vascular surgery and procedures, caring for patients closer to home, on an impressive average of almost 400 patients per year!
Successes by the numbers:
Furthermore, since 2018, an average of 350 patients from Northwestern Ontario per year, have received cardiac surgery referrals. Soon, most of those patients will be able to receive the care they need, right here at TBRHSC.
Thank you to all staff, professional staff, volunteers, Patient Family Advisors, our partners at the PMCC and UHN, and our generous donors who have supported our CVS progress so far. This funding announcement marks an important and exciting milestone in our overall goal. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to celebrating many more milestones in the near future.