Reaching new heights at Etobicoke General

It’s hard to believe that just one year ago we gathered at Etobicoke General Hospital to break ground on the new four-storey patient tower and Ancillary Services Building (ASB). So much has been achieved in such a short period of time and now we’ve reached an exciting milestone!

On June 26, we welcomed members of the Osler community – dignitaries, health care and business leaders, construction partners, donors, local residents and our incredible staff, physicians and volunteers – to the site for a standing room only event to celebrate the “topping off” milestone.

“Topping off” is an event that is widely recognized in the construction industry that signifies that the building has reached its full height and that the structure of the building has been completed.

Following the formal portion of the event, guests were invited to sign a beam that will be installed as part of the new patient tower and steel plates that will become part of the ASB. In case you missed it, check out our photo album from the event on Facebook!

When it opens in 2018, Etobicoke General’s new patient tower will add 250,000 square feet of space for new and expanded departments, including a state-of-the-art emergency department that will greatly improve access to care and patient flow. The ASB will replace the aging, existing medical office building with more than twice the square footage of contemporary medical space that will house existing ambulatory care clinics and a new satellite dialysis program.

There is plenty of work still to be done before we can officially open our doors to patients, but this is a remarkable step in our redevelopment journey!

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Helping seniors live their best life

We’re once again celebrating Seniors Month in the theme of “Living Your Best Life,” which rings true for many people in the communities we serve. The population in the Central West region is rapidly aging, with the number of seniors aged 65+ expected to increase by 62 per cent by 2025. To ensure seniors continue to live their best lives, we need to ensure that the health care system is there to support them when they need it.

Growing for the ages

One way Osler has committed to being there for senior patients is by building dynamic new clinical spaces to ensure that we are able to meet the changing needs of our growing patient population. We’ve made a conscious effort to redevelop some of our physical spaces, like the new Peel Memorial, and evolve our programs with seniors in mind.

One of the many unique features of Peel Memorial is our outdoor spaces, which includes a courtyard dedicated to rehabilitation for senior patients. This area is connected to our rehabilitation centre and has been designed with pathways that each have a different surface to help patients practice their mobility.

Check out the many senior-friendly features we’ve considered at Peel Memorial:

Seniors will also be assisted in getting prompt access to outreach and outpatient services that will help them maintain their independence at home and in the community. Specialized geriatric clinics like stroke and fall prevention, as well as short-term rehabilitation, will be available for seniors with complex medical and functional issues.

We’ve found our NICHE

Osler is also proud to have achieved Exemplar status of the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) program at both acute care sites – Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General Hospitals. This designation recognizes our ongoing, high-level dedication to geriatric care.

We’ve embraced this approach through the development of senior-focused outpatient programs a Nurse-Led Outreach Team that partners with long-term care facilities in the community to provide timely care to seniors and an interprofessional Geriatric Outreach Team that provides in-home, non-urgent geriatric assessment to frail seniors who are unable to attend clinic visits.

We’ve also created the volunteer-led Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) where trained volunteers do activities with elderly patients to keep them engaged and reduce key delirium risk factors.

Elders are an important part of the communities we serve and ensuring they receive the unique health care services they need is as important to us as it is to their families. We are proud to be a part of their healthy lifestyle so many can continue to live their best life.

A Sensational Summer of Events from Osler Foundation

Can you feel it? With trees, grass and gardens blossoming all around us, it’s clear that summer is just around the corner. I love this time of year, because the community seems to come alive. People are outside walking, riding their bikes, swimming, playing sports, or just enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, I encourage you to check out some of the exciting Osler Foundation events coming up next month. This is a great opportunity to take part in something you enjoy doing while supporting your local hospital at the same time!

 June 4

Walk n’ Roll Fest for Healthy Kids

Come out to walk the 5K route on the Woodbine Race Track and have a ball at our brand new family festival featuring live entertainment, a petting zoo and games. Funds raised will help equip a new Labour and Delivery Unit, new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and dedicated spaces and equipment for young patients in the new Emergency Department at Etobicoke General.

 

 June 5

Osler Open: Brampton Invitational

We’ve teed up another excellent day on the links at Lionhead Golf Club for our annual golf tournament. Last year we sold out, so register your team today to guarantee your tee time! Proceeds from the tournament will help continue to equip the new Peel Memorial and fund the next generation of diagnostic equipment and technology at Brampton Civic.

 

 June 10

Ralf Rides Again

The new Ralf Rides Again event will honour the memory of Ralf Jarchow, whose fundraising efforts ended in a tragic accident while completing his cross-country fundraising cycling odyssey for Peel Memorial. This 15K bike ride takes participants from the Brampton Rugby Club to Peel Memorial, where Ralf’s legacy will be gratefully acknowledged with a recognition plaque placed at the bike rack in his honour.

 

Over the past decade, Osler has been redeveloping its hospital sites to ensure we meet the growing health care needs of the patients and families we serve. With the opening of the new Peel Memorial and steady construction progress being made at Etobicoke General, it clear that we’ve come a long way in a short period of time with the generous support of our government partners and people in the communities where we operate.

There has been a lot of reporting in the media recently about increases to hospital funding and Osler will receive an additional $10.2 million this year to directly support the delivery of care by supporting better access to services and improving the patient experience. This funding is welcome news but we still need the support of the community to help expand and equip our spaces.

Many people don’t know how much money must be raised in the community to cover construction and equipment costs in our hospitals. The Province of Ontario funds 90 per cent of the planned upgrades and expansions. However, it is expected that fundraising within the community will provide 10 per cent of construction costs and 100 per cent of the funds for equipment for all three hospitals.

I encourage you to come out for a day of fun in support of your community hospitals that will be there for you now, and into the future.

Osler in India and Pakistan: A rewarding experience

This week’s guest blogger is Susan deRyk, Joint VP, Service Quality & Community Relations and Co-Lead of the Sun Life Financial Osler Global Health Program

We live it every day, but some things really bring Osler’s Vision: Patient-Inspired Health Care without Boundaries to the forefront. For 17 days in March and early April, I had the privilege of participating in the Sun Life Financial Osler Global Health Program’s third tour to India and Pakistan. This was a humbling experience, a life changing event, and profoundly demonstrated how the Osler community embraces our Vision.

It was a rewarding and humbling experience to be part of this extraordinary team focused on accepting the challenge of caring for patients in an environment with limited resources on the other side of the world.

The team returned in mid-April, and having had a chance to reflect on our experience, which was packed with more highlights than we could capture in our daily blogs, we were pleased to share more insights through staff information sessions held earlier this month.

In India, we continued to build on partnerships established over the past two years with the Dayanand Medical College & Hospital (DMCH) in Ludhiana and the staff and nursing students at Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Dental College & Hospital (SKSS) in Sarabha village.

We spent almost three days at DMCH, working with staff and physicians from the mental health and addictions program and emergency medicine, to exchange ideas about patient triage, assessment and care planning. The nursing staff was enthusiastic to implement some of the processes we use at Osler, especially group counselling for patients.

What struck many of us while at DMCH was the level of involvement of families in the delivery of patient care. This collaborative approach has inspired Osler to develop a Family Presence Policy that will enable families to better support their loved ones in hospital. As part of our partnership agreement, we have both committed to reporting back to each other on the initiatives we have agreed to launch before our next trip.

At SKSS, the team helped provide care at two medical camps for local villagers that focused on diabetes education and screening as well as mental health and addictions. These camps offered much-needed care as we provided care and treatment for 500 people in two days! With these volumes it gave us a taste of home away from home, as did the incredible hospitality we were shown at every turn. It was heartwarming to be welcomed into their community to share their customs, and traditions.

Following our experience in India, the team connected in Karachi, Pakistan with program co-lead Dr. Naveed Mohammad to visit two of ChildLife Foundation’s free paediatric emergency departments, as well as ChildLife’s sister organization, SINA Health, Education, and Welfare Trust (SINA), which operates 17 primary care clinics in the poorest neighborhoods of Karachi. With extremely limited resources, but impressive resourcefulness and organization, these organizations care and treat more than a million patients every year.

As we toured a number of facilities with SINA, we saw firsthand the challenges that limited resources, and a patient population with poor literacy and high rates of poverty, pose on this organization. Together, we identified many opportunities for partnership and are excited to explore more in the coming months.

It is a true privilege to contribute our expertise in areas around the world while also gaining invaluable insights about caring for the patients we serve at home. We look forward to continuing to build strong relationships abroad that will help us better support patients and families in our own communities.

Singing the praises of Osler’s incredible teams

The old saying “it takes a village” most certainly applies to Osler. The remarkable roster of clinicians, professionals and volunteers at Osler enable us to provide exceptional care to patients and families every single day. So, each year we take the time to recognize their considerable talents.

Ontario Doctor’s Day

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Every year we mark Ontario Doctor’s Day (May 1) to celebrate the 850 physicians who provide care at Osler. They are passionate about the work they do inside our walls and in the community by truly living our Vision by providing patient-inspired health care without boundaries.

Many are making significant contributions in the field. Like Dr. Martin Chasen, who was this year’s recipient of McMaster University’s Elizabeth J. Latimer Prize in Palliative Care. Or Dr. Naheed Dosani, who was featured in a news story about his work delivering palliative care to Toronto’s homeless. Or the clinical team from our Emergency Department who travelled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to provide much needed medical relief and train local health care workers. Or Dr. Sameer D’Souza, in collaboration with his colleagues, whose award-winning work in improving the time to physician initial assessment and length of stay has helped transform the ED at EGH into a top-performing ED in the province. This is just the tip of the iceberg and we are so proud to have such amazing talent at Osler!

National Nursing Week

Next week, we’re once again celebrating National Nursing Week (May 8-14) with a number of activities and events at each of our sites with something for everyone including educational seminars, mindfulness sessions, prize draws and more.

I began my career as an critical care nurse and I know firsthand that nursing is often about going the extra mile to meet the needs of patients. Nursing Week is a powerful reminder of how nurses affect the lives of patients and families, and our communities. Osler’s nurses truly exemplify our Mission: innovative care delivered with compassion.

National Volunteer Week

Osler’s volunteers are the unsung heroes of our hospitals, quietly going about their work to support patients, families and clinical teams. During National Volunteer Week (April 23-29) we celebrated our team of more than 1,000 volunteers who make a world of difference to patients and families each day. From cuddling babies in the NICU to serenading complex care patients to leading tours of the new Peel Memorial, they are vital to the Osler community. Our staff have a message for our amazing team of volunteers to let them know just how appreciated they are:

We’re always looking for good people to join our stellar team of volunteers. Learn more about how you can be a part of the action.

Share the

We want to hear about your experiences with Osler’s stellar team. Give us a five-star rating on Facebook, like one of our posts or send a shout out to someone who made a difference in your care on Twitter using #LoveMyMD or #YESThisIsNursing. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Cutting the ribbon at Peel Memorial

We’ve celebrated a number of milestones at Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness but we recently reached our most momentous one yet. From ground breaking to topping off, substantial completion to last week’s ribbon cutting, we’re thrilled to finally reach the end of our redevelopment journey.

Osler was proud to welcome Premier Kathleen Wynne, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa – along with local MPPs, donors and community partners – to celebrate the grand opening of the new Peel Memorial last Wednesday. Following remarks that took us on a journey through the hospital’s long and storied history, our honoured guests gathered in front of the bright and colourful windows in the atrium to officially “cut the ribbon” and open the new outpatient hospital.

To echo many of our speakers, the new Peel Memorial is greatly needed in the community. Our patient volumes are steadily increasing and we recently saw a remarkable 789 combined visits in the emergency departments and Urgent Care Centre (UCC) in  . While the UCC opened a few months ago, we’re already seeing patient daily patient volumes that exceed our targets.

Peel Memorial will work seamlessly with Osler’s two other hospital sites – Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General – so patients can easily move between the three facilities and quickly receive access to care for non-life-threatening illnesses.

Our unique approach to care at Peel Memorial focuses on the treatment of patients who don’t require an overnight stay in hospital and offers an extensive list of specialty and day clinics, as well as health services and programs, needed most in the community. This includes supporting the unique needs of seniors, children, people requiring mental health services and individuals living with chronic conditions like diabetes or asthma.

We are thrilled to celebrate the official grand opening of Peel Memorial, which we know will serve our community well.

Welcoming spring with a record-breaking Holi Gala

Now that warmer weather is here, it’s safe to say that springtime is in full bloom. But two weeks ago when we had our final blast of winter, Osler Foundation welcomed spring a little early, and in colourful fashion, with their fourth annual Holi Gala, presented by Interstate Freight Systems (IFS).

Traditionally, Holi is known as the “festival of colours” in India that marks the arrival of spring and end of winter. At Osler, it’s an opportunity to celebrate and connect with the incredibly diverse community that we serve in Brampton.

This vibrant night brings together the best in traditional and contemporary Indian culture through food, dance and entertainment making it one of my favourite events to attend. More than 850 guests attended the sold out event as well as several dignitaries including Patrick Brown, Ontario’s Leader of the Official Opposition; Linda Jeffrey, Mayor of Brampton; and other MPP’s and City Councillors.

The timing of the event coincided with the latest tour for the Sun Life Financial Osler Global Health Team, where a clinical team from Osler was on the ground working and providing care with health care partners in Punjab, India and Karachi, Pakistan. Osler emergency physician Dr. Gurjit Bajwa, who was part of a previous tour, spoke to the crowd about how these partnerships benefit patients from our two very different, yet deeply connected continents. Learn more about the current team’s experience in their daily blog.

By the end of the night, Holi Gala raised a record breaking $400,000 to support vital programs and services at Etobicoke General Hospital, Brampton Civic Hospital and the new Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness! Congratulations and thank you to our dedicated Co-Chairs, Dr. Vandana Ahluwalia and Dr. Gurjit Bajwa, the volunteer committee, and the many enthusiastic staff, physicians and sponsors for their support of patient-centred health care delivered in our community and beyond.

In case you missed it, check out the photo gallery from the event!