Cardiovascular Surgery Project

Two Sites, One Program

The burden of cardiovascular disease in the Ontario Health North (OHN) region is extremely high.

Compared to the rest of Ontario, we have:

  • The highest rate of cardiac disease
  • The highest rate of amputations (3 times the provincial average)
  • Among the highest incidence of high blood pressure
  • The highest rate of stroke and diabetes
  • The highest rate of kidney disease
  • The highest rate of risk factors contributing to these chronic diseases including smoking, alcohol use, poor diet and poor exercise
  • An above-average admission rate for cardiovascular conditions

To significantly improve patient care for the region, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) has been working with the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at the University Health Network (UHN) to co-develop a cardiovascular surgery (CVS) program at TBRHSC since 2013. TBRHSC and UHN developed and executed the Two Sites, One Program Model for the provision of Cardiac and Vascular Surgical Services.

This partnership will support the successful implementation of a Corridor of Cardiovascular Services, seen as a requirement to implementation of a cardiovascular surgical program in Thunder Bay. The developing TBRHSC program will be guided and mentored by the experienced team at UHN, Canada’s premier cardiac centre with a global impact of improving heart health around the world. Wherever possible, TBRHSC will establish processes based upon those approved and utilized by UHN professionals to ensure consistent quality standards across the two sites.

The partnering process will extend across the various structural levels of the two organizations. From CEOs and administrative leaders, to clinicians and physicians, technical staff and front-line care providers, all participants will share information and skills with a goal of providing high-quality, efficient cardiovascular services. Having cardiac surgery available in Northwestern Ontario can mean the difference between life and death; it’s our time to have life- and limb-saving surgical care here at home.

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Where We Are

TBRHSC created a five year plan to launch a cardiovascular sciences program. The first phase of the plan focused on the implementation of the vascular surgery program, which included the successful implementation of the following

  • 2015 – Vascular component of the CVS project launched
  • 2017 – Non-complex endovascular aortic repairs (EVAR) performed at TBRHSC
  • 2018 – Acquired three vascular surgeons and implemented the RAVE clinic providing 24/7 vascular coverage

Where We Are Headed

operating room

Upon implementing the new CVS program, cardiac and vascular cases will be performed at TBRHSC. The TBRHSC-UHN partnership will make CVS services accessible to Northwestern Ontario residents and enhance Northwestern Ontario’s health system. Northwestern Ontario residents must currently travel outside of Northwestern Ontario to receive cardiovascular surgery.

The implementation of this program will fill acknowledged gaps in the regional care system and provide residents with more timely access to needed, high quality treatment in a more familiar environment that is closer to home. In addition to our current services, once implemented, TBRHSC will also be able to offer:

  • Pre-habilitation
  • In-Patient Rehabilitation
  • Complex PCI Procedures
  • Non-complex Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
  • Valve Repair
  • Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI)
  • Outpatient Surgical follow-u
  • Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)
  • Coronary Care Unit (CCU)
  • Cardiovascular Surgical Unit (CVSU)
  • Cardiovascular Care Clinic including:
    • Cardiac & vascular surgery preadmission clinic
    • Assessment rooms
    • Consultation rooms
    • Vascular laboratory
    • Post-operative care clinic
    • Rapid Assessment Vascular Exam (RAVE) Clinic
    • Rapid Assessment Cardiac Exam (RACE) Clinic
If you’ve been referred to Cardiac Surgery:
Our Regional Cardiovascular Triage Nurse will contact you personally at the bedside at TBRHSC to explain the process steps involved in traveling to our partner site, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network, Toronto or other cardiac sites.A travel package including information on travel grants, hospital map and hotel suggestions will be discussed and provided.

Note: Traveling home via commercial flights is the standard process for all patient post cardiac procedure and or surgery.

For further information, call the Regional Cardiovascular Triage Nurse at 684-6676 for visit the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre Health Information page. (