Update on the Development of a Comprehensive Cardiovascular Surgical Program at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

‘One Program on Two Sites’ model for cardiovascular care.

In order to bring safe, quality health care to our patients, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) developed a partnership with the University Health Network’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (UHN-PMCC) and together, a corridor of services was created using a ‘One Program on Two Sites’ model for cardiovascular care.

The purpose of this model is to save lives and limbs and to reduce the burden of cardiac and vascular disease in Northwestern Ontario by improving access to essential services right here at home. With UHN-PMCC as our partner, we are ensuring that our care is top-notch and that our patients and families will receive the very best care possible. Our partnership allows us to extend the reach of UHN-PMCC’s centre of excellence into Northwestern Ontario so patients may benefit from leading edge advancements in cardiovascular care.

Vascular Surgical Services

The vascular component of the comprehensive cardiovascular surgery program launched in 2015 with the introduction of its first phase of procedures, which included non-invasive vascular diagnostics, general vascular and dialysis access procedures, non-complex endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) and both minor and major vascular surgeries including lower extremity occlusive disease repair.

The second phase of development in collaboration with UHN-PMCC will also see continued vascular surgical services provided to a wide variety of patients with vascular disease in Northwestern Ontario, including major vascular surgical procedures and emergent vascular trauma surgery. This service will provide both elective and urgent vascular surgery to residents of Northwestern Ontario while continuing to refer more complex endovascular and open surgical candidates to UHN-PMCC.

Cardiac Surgical Services

The completion of the second phase of development for the Comprehensive Cardiovascular Surgery program at TBRHSC will see the provision of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and heart valve replacements for patients with cardiovascular disease in Northwestern Ontario.

Our future cardiac surgical services will provide both elective and urgent surgeries to our residents while continuing to refer more complicated advanced surgical candidates to UNH-PMCC for more complex management.

With the goal to improve access to high quality cardiac and vascular surgical services for Northwestern Ontario residents, the University Health Network’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre will share their clinical expertise to support the development of TBRHSC into a fully operational surgical site for selected cardiovascular case types. Wherever possible, care will be delivered ‘close to home’. The cases that are complex and outside of the criteria established for TBRHSC will be managed at the UHN-PMCC. In this manner, the appropriate level of care is offered to all patients, ranging from routine to complex, across two sites.

The development and planning of our ‘One Program on Two Sites’ model is currently in the second stage of the capital planning process known as the functional program development stage. Numerous cross-functional working groups from both TBHRSC and UHN-PMCC have worked together to design and prepare the clinical programs and services along with the physical elements and spatial requirements for the next submission required by the Ministry of Health in order to reach our goal of providing residents of Northwestern Ontario with high quality cardiovascular surgical services, right here at home.

For more information, please contact Wayne Taylor, Manager and Clinical Project Lead, Cardiovascular Sciences Program via email at taylorw@tbh.net