“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion.” – Albert Schweitzer, Winner, Nobe

From the desk of Joanne Flewwelling, EVP Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive

While Osler has been making headlines with our commitment to organ donation, we’ve also been busy preparing for donations of a different kind. On July 7, Osler took the spirit of giving to new heights as we officially began collecting umbilical cord blood to be banked publically as part of Canada’s national public cord blood bank.

After months of planning, followed by a testing and validation stage, healthy pregnant women over the age of 18 can now choose to donate cord blood at Brampton Civic Hospital.

Osler struck a partnership with Canadian Blood Services last fall to designate Brampton Civic as one of only four hospitals – and the only community hospital in Canada – to serve as a collection site. It is a tremendous privilege to offer this opportunity to expectant parents in the communities we serve.

At any given time there are more than 1,000 Canadian patients in need of unrelated stem cell donors to treat lymphoma, leukemia, or other blood cancers. Only 50 percent are able to find a match and patients from diverse populations have an even greater challenge. Brampton Civic serves a growing, diverse community so collection efforts will be important and will help patients by providing additional opportunities for finding a match, and helping to save more lives.

With one of the largest Labour and Delivery departments in the province that delivers more than 5,000 babies each year, this partnership presents a unique opportunity for Osler to make an impact in the community, across Canada, and around the world.

Our partnership with Canadian Blood Services is just one of the many ways we are reaching beyond our walls to deliver patient-inspired health care without boundaries.

For more information about the partnership and the opportunity to donate cord blood, visit the Canadian Blood Services website.

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

This week’s guest post is from Dr. Naveed Mohammad, VP Medical Affairs, and Susan deRyk, VP Public Affairs and Corporate Strategy and VP Marketing and Communications.

When was the last time you used the phrase, “it’s a small world”? We haven’t used it recently and we think that’s because our society is no longer surprised by how connected people and events are on a global scale. It’s now easier than it’s ever been to go beyond our doors to forge new partnerships at home and abroad.

At Osler we serve a diverse population – according to Statistics Canada, more than 50 per cent of Brampton residents and almost 60 per cent of Etobicoke residents were born outside of Canada. Providing care to such a multi-cultural community provides us with opportunities to be innovative and enhance the health care we provide locally, and through international partnerships. This is why Osler is developing a Global Health Program that will open doors for us to learn from, and contribute to, the homelands of the patients that we serve.

Typically, the phrase ‘global health program’ brings to mind images of organizations implementing health care initiatives that are aimed at ‘fixing a problem’ in remote regions of the world. Osler’s intentions are different – we are seeking to develop a mutually beneficial relationship that will help improve health care among each community’s respective patient population.

While the Global Health Program is still in the early stages of development, we are excited about its potential. Imagine the possibility of being able to partner with a health service provider in India to provide care for the growing number of people with diabetes, or build global partnerships to help improve access to care for the uninsured in our local community. We are still determining what countries or disciplines we will engage, but we are enthusiastic about the possibilities.

A truly robust and innovative program can only be created with input from the Osler family. Staff, physicians, and volunteers will have the opportunity to become involved in a global initiative that truly goes beyond.

Information sessions are being held this month at Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General so that we can share more details about the program and let you know how you can become a part of it. Lunch and refreshments are being provided so come with an appetite and an open mind!

Brampton Civic – Auditorium
Date: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Time: 12 to 1pm
Etobicoke General – West Cafeteria
Date: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Time: 12 to 1pm

“I’m living the dream – I get a second chance at life.” – Jennifer Monteith, heart transplant recipient

Earlier this year, heart transplant recipient Jennifer Monteith shared her incredible story at Brampton Civic. Once diagnosed with congenital heart failure, Jennifer could barely walk a few feet, but a heart transplant gave her new life. Her story, and many others like it, remind me of the impact of organ and tissue donation, and Osler’s commitment to ensuring that we do our part to help others receive life-saving gifts.

Osler is making great strides in the area of organ and tissue donation, and we recently received good news from Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) that resulted in an article on the front page of the Globe and Mail. TGLN results from last quarter show that Osler has significantly improved upon converting the number of potential organ and tissue donors to actual donors, increasing the consent rate from 33 per cent to a remarkable 80 per cent. This means that for every five potential donors we see, four become actual donors. We’ve has also improved upon notifying TGLN of potential organ and tissue donation cases, seeing an increase from 75 per cent to 94 per cent.

With more than 1,500 people awaiting life-saving transplants in Ontario, Osler’s success is truly exciting news. We have worked to improve our routine notification and conversation rates and these improvements are having a tremendous impact on our ability to positively affect the lives of those on the transplant waiting list.

Our outcomes have improved in large part due to a dedicated team that ensures organ and tissue donation is a part of end-of-life care and by adopting TGLN protocols to help staff in the ICU take the necessary steps to alert TGLN about potential donors. We are also working more closely with TGLN’s Regional Medical Lead and following-up on all potential organ donors.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your dedication to this important work. I know we will continue to build on these positive changes to help save more lives.

This good news builds on our TGLN partnership that launched Osler’s Be a Donor campaign to increase awareness of the importance and impact of tissue and organ donation. Our goal is to encourage 500 members of Osler staff, physicians and volunteers to register their consent as organ and tissue donors. If you like to register your consent as an organ and tissue donor, you can do so at www.beadonor.ca/WilliamOsler.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford

Brampton residents living and working near the site of the new Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness have likely noticed a lot of activity in recent weeks. The construction equipment that moved in was the ideal backdrop for a celebration of redevelopment progress as part of recent Osler’s Annual General Meeting.

While the hum of construction equipment would be a nuisance at any other event, it was the perfect soundtrack for our celebration. Over 300 people gathered in a tent on the site of the new Peel Memorial on June 25 to mark a monumental milestone in its redevelopment journey.

Politicians, volunteers, health care leaders, physicians and dignitaries were on hand for an exciting announcement confirming that Plenary Health has signed a fixed-price contract to design, build, finance and maintain the new Peel Memorial. This news was met with roaring applause as it signifies that our vision for the new Peel Memorial will soon become a reality as construction is set to start this summer!

This year’s Annual General Meeting was bittersweet as it was the final order of business for outgoing Osler Board Chair Kay Blair. Since taking the helm of the Board of Directors in 2009, Kay has steered Osler in a positive direction with her tremendous passion and unwavering commitment to transforming health care in the communities we serve. We are on course for success and her influence will be felt for generations to come.

Amid the excitement, we launched Osler’s first mobile app, HosNav.  This tool walks visitors though their experience at Osler with maps to the hospital, tips on the closest parking lots to a visitor’s destination, and the locations of all outpatient clinics at the hospital. HosNav is available for download for free in the App Store.

We’ve captured this and many of our other successes in our online 2013-14 Annual Report. We’re also excited to showcase our Annual Report through Osler’s new Instagram profile. Throughout the summer we will be releasing our year in review on Instagram by adding new photos and content each week. Check out our #OslerSelfie at instagram.com/oslerreport2013  and don’t forget to follow us!