1 in 3 People in NL Will Need Cardiac Care In Their Lifetime, And We’re Ready To Help Them

Our donors put three new echocardiograms in the Health Sciences Centre that let us see your beating heart, live and in 3D. “In the past, we would have had to cut into a patient, put a tube in, or even open their chest to see their heart,” says Dr. Sean Connors. “Now a surgeon can visualize a valve, see where it leaks, and plan a surgery without ever cutting the patient open, because of the information these cardiac ultrasounds provides us.” Your donations to the Health Care Foundation have replaced two cardiac catherization labs, and added a third lab with an electrophysiology suite. By 2025, we will replace an additional three cardiac catherization labs, and increase capacity with a fourth lab. Our cardiac catherization labs perform about 5,000 patient procedures each year, and we your donations keep the these labs cutting edge. In 2021/2022, our donors raised $100,000 to purchase an endoscopic vessel harvesting system, a tool used for coronary artery bypass graft surgery. The endoscopic vessel harvesting system makes smaller incisions, resulting in reduced infection rates, pain and scarring. In 2019/2020, our supporters raised funds for six cardiac recovery chairs. Our donors purchased Newfoundland and Labrador's first mechanical heart in 2017/2018, and two new echocardiograms and three new cardiac ultrasound machines in 2018/2019. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians experience the highest incidents of cardiac disease in Canada. Health Sciences Centre is home to the only cardiac care program in Newfoundland and Labrador, and provides tertiary care for the entire province. The Health Care Foundation is committed to providing our cardiologists with the tools they need to provide our patients with the best care possible. We encourage preventative and rehabilitative cardiac care through program specific funding, including heart healthy lifestyle changes.

Making Hospitals and Health Centres More Comfortable for Patients and Their Loved Ones

In 2022, the Health Care Foundation successfully raised funds for two new Cuddle Beds for the Palliative Care Unit at the Dr. L.A. Miller Centre. Cuddle beds give patients and their loved ones the chance to be close while in hospital. With your donations, you can help patients who are terminally ill feel supported with their loved ones by their side. Maintaining physical contact, being touched and experiencing intimacy with family and loved ones help patients who are terminally ill feel supported. In palliative care, these beds can provide relief in the last moments by allowing this closeness, while keeping the patient comfortable without interfering with medical equipment. The Health Care Foundation is responsible for upgrading wayfinding for dementia patients, special dementia doors in long-term care, and making spaces more comfortable through artwork. We have purchased fans for patient rooms, ice machines, blanket warmers, and other patient comfort items not normally covered by a hospital budget.

Supporting Women’s Health

Last year, our Women’s Health department handled 15,693 obstetrical, gynecological, prenatal concerns and special procedure appointments, and saw 1,505 Maternal Fetal Assessment Unit appointments for high risk pregnancies. In 2020-2021, 1,668 Women’s Health patients required surgical interventions by Cesarean section deliveries. Your donations to the Health Care Foundation support Women’s Health through the purchase of exam tables, integrated operating suite Our 2022 Brunch with the Bags event raised funds for a Urodynamic Analysis Unit, which helps measure nerve and muscle function, pressure around the bladder and flow rates, and is used to diagnose women of all ages. In 2019/2020, your donations refurbished the birthing suites and purchased a fetal monitor. In 2018/2019, your support meant we were able to purchase a LOGIQ E with xd clear imaging, and develop resources for women who have had miscarriages.

Supporting our Patients in Mental Health Programs

1 in 5 adults in Newfoundland and Labrador will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime. To reduce stigma around mental health, the Health Care Foundation has made a $14,000,000 commitment to redeveloping the Emergency and Psychiatric Assessment Unit, to change the delivery of care for patients. We are spending $1,000,000 to make the New Adult Mental Health and Addictions Facility comfortable for patients through the Peaceful Ports program. Our Moving Lives Forward Scholarship Program, proudly supported by NAPE, funds $45,000 in scholarships each year for recent clients of adult mental health and addictions programs. Scholarships, valued up to $1,500, are available to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, and can be used for tuition, fees, books, materials, and personal development courses. Since 2018, we have provided essential funds to the First Responder Psychological Safety Collaborative, a province-wide program that works with multiple first response agencies who attend critical incidents. In 2020-2021, we purchased a new 15-passenger bus for our mental health program. This bus provides transportation so our patients can have supervised access to the community to practice life and integration skills. The bus is also used to provide frequent social outings for geriatric patients. Your donations to the Health Care Foundation provide vital support for LeMarchant House, HOPE Program, Open Doors, PIERS, therapeutic gardening, and Joyful Listening programs, and purchase specialized equipment for Mental Health and Addictions Programs.

17 New Fully Integrated Operating Rooms Ensure Better Surgeries for Patients

As surgeons came to rely more and more on technology, operating rooms became very congested with bulky equipment and too many cords. Thanks to Trades NL, we have completely modernized 17 operating suites. As of 2022, 13 suites are completed. The new Integrated Operating rooms are located in the Health Sciences Centre, Women's Health Program and St. Clare's. The new integrated operating rooms feature improved lighting and keep equipment on booms, reducing the number of staff required for surgeries and instances of infection, so patients can recover faster. As Dr. David Pace puts it, “More cameras, lights, and video monitors, and less clutter, allows us to do our surgery better”.

Improving the Delivery of Healthcare in our Intensive Care Units for Years to Come

We prepared for a potential surge in Intensive Care cases due to Covid-19 with the purchase of 15 next generation Progressa™ ICU beds. These beds promote early mobility, getting patients up and walking sooner, and are designed to optimize patient and caregiver safety while reducing bedsores. Your donations to the Health Care Foundation have funded patient lifts in the Critical Care Unit, surgical instrumentation and staff and patient initiatives. In 2014/2015, the Health Care Foundation funded the Self Auditing Hand Hygiene Project across Eastern Health. iPad technology aided the promotion of hand hygiene, and hand hygiene compliance rates have improved across Eastern Health as a result. In 2014/2015, compliance rates were 63%. Thanks to technology funded by the Health Care Foundation, hand hygiene compliance rates are currently 93%. Hand hygiene is the most basic infection control practice, and most effect in preventing the risk of transmission of infectious diseases. The improvement in hand hygiene compliance rates creates a culture of safety for our patients, and provides better outcomes.

New Spect CTs Can Locate The Cause Of An Illness In A Matter Of Minutes, With A Full Body 3-D Scan

In 2015/2016, your donations put two new Spect Cts in our hospitals. Spect CTs combine 2 technologies into one revolutionary machine that provides quicker, clearer 3-D scans of patients. That means lower wait times for patients, and better digital details for doctors to diagnosis your disease. SPECT CTs also let your doctor track how your treatment plan is working in a way that wasn’t possible before, so you have a better chance at beating illnesses such as cancer or cardiac disease.

Safer, Faster Recovery for Patients in Rehabilitative Care

The new “Solo Step” track and harness system at the Miller Centre ensures there is zero risk of falling during rehabilitative exercises. This gives patients security and confidence that leads to quicker rehabilitation, and because physical therapists no longer have to hold patients up during exercises, they can stand back and observe their patient’s progress. This “hands off” approach gives patients more dignity and comfort. The NuStep Cross Trainers at the Miller Centre and Pleasant View Towers are adaptable exercise equipment for mobility impaired individuals with attachment for arm and leg extensions. Your donations to the Health Care Foundation have funded other pieces of equipment, such as Gaitkeeper Mini Treadmill – to use with litegait – portable walking surface; Sci Fit Exercise Bike, Eyemobile Plus, Invistus Active trainer, and Sci Fit Exercise Bike. In 2020, your donations purchased a Point of Care Ultrasound Machine. This is a physician tool that enables more accurate injections of botox and other drugs in the management of soft tissue injuries, particularly spasticity. In 2022, your donations redeveloped of the Miller Centre Exercise Room. The exercise room, now called the Exercise Medicine Lab is up and running, with the first program started in June. The room has allowed the Miller Centre to introduce GLAD Canada’s program for hip and knee osteoarthritis management, a program that looks to return function to the lower extremity through targeted exercise and movement. This program runs for a six-week period with participants attending 12 times. The room is being used by both outpatients and inpatients at the Miller Center and will introduce strength training and aerobic conditioning into their recovery plan. Staff are able to use the room for exercise before and after work or on lunch. The intention is to grow the capacity to offer exercise medicine as a rehab strategy for populations that could benefit from this approach, including cancer, stroke, metabolic disease, and more. This room will play a key role in both the diagnosis and prescription of the exercise intervention, and a space to develop the habit of exercise. The Miller Centre is the provincial rehabilitation site and exposure of staff to innovations in the rehabilitation sector occurs out of province. With the restrictions on how education funds can be spent internal to Eastern Health, staff has not been able to send anyone to conferences, trade shows or learning opportunities for a few years. The Health Care Foundation supports the Staff Knowledge Transfer Fund: Professional Education Fund for Staff, which impacts staff's ability to stay current in the field.

Funding Innovation in Healthcare

The Health Care Foundation supports the Innovation Ecosystem. We have contributed and committed to over $1.500,000 to ensure the brightest minds in Newfoundland and Labrador’s meditech sector have the resources they need to create innovative solutions to the unique healthcare challenges we face in our province.

The Health Sciences Centre was the First Hospital in Canada to Buy a 3T MRI

Our new 3T MRI delivers an image twice as vivid as the 1.5T MRI we had before. As a result, we can catch cancers quicker, diagnose cardiac diseases better, plan brain tumor or aneurysm surgeries more accurately, stage prostate surgery, and improve the treatment plan of a patient with MS, to name but a few examples. The 3 T MRI removes the requirement of sedating children and patients with sensory and developmental issues. The machine is quieter and reduces feelings of claustrophobia. Because the 3 T MRI scans faster, we have also lowered wait times. In 2019/2020, the 3 T MRI was used for 6,014 examinations.

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